Dear Friends and Family,
Tadias, selam! Greetings from the Ethiopia Mission Team. We are all excited for our upcoming opportunity to serve God overseas. We leave on Mar 26 for Ethiopia with a team of 9 people from Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, and we will be there for 2 weeks, returning on Apr 9.
Ethiopia is a landlocked African country which is probably most remembered for its terrible famines in the mid-1980s. Unfortunately, hunger and poverty are an ongoing reality in the country. Ethiopia was ranked LAST of 141 countries by income per capita in 2002 (source: World Bank Development Indicators 2004), and has many challenges, including poverty, AIDS, education, water resources, and food production. Ethiopia is also a country with a rich and ancient cultural heritage. Never colonized by Europe, Ethiopia has maintained its traditions and pride in its national identity in a way that most African countries have not. A sect of Judaism has survived since centuries before Christ, and Christianity has been a main faith since AD337, when the King made it the official religion.
When we are on-site, we'll be working with an organization
called Hope Enterprise, which operates schools, feeding programs, and
vocational training in both urban and rural settings. Hope’s mission
is to help “the poorest of the poor” and they have many mechanisms
in place to provide holistic help to those most in need. We'll be teaching
Bible lessons in a K-9 school in Dese, about 150 mi north of the capital
Addis Ababa (but it takes 10 hours by car to get there, so the roads must
be pretty bad). We'll also be visiting AIDS patients in a hospital run
by Mother Teresa's Sisters of Charity, helping with a meal program in
urban Addis Ababa, and visiting/teaching at a new Hope school in the rural