As you probably know, if you have any skills in Facebook stalking, I am leaving for Ethiopia in 4 days. I will be gone for 5 weeks.
This is going to be a very rewarding, yet also very taxing experience. I have been to Ethiopia before, but under different circumstances, and with a different organization. I am finished with that organization. I have partnered with a new organization, one that I feel is run according to God's will. I have no doubt that God will be honored with the things that this organization, and the founders and missionaries involved do while in Ethiopia. I am very happy to be teaming up with them.
On my last visit, I stayed for 3 weeks. At first, before leaving the U.S., 3 weeks seemed like a very long time to be in a place like Africa. I was truly frightened of the travel, and was overwhelmed with, "what ifs." What if I got to Ethiopia and it didn't feel right? What if I got scared, and wasn't able to come home? What if the people were hostile, or didn't like me? What if I didn't get accustomed to the culture? All of these thoughts, and more, bombarded me in the days leading up to my first trip. But, once I got there, all of them were put to rest. I set out on my mission, and fell in love with the country, and the people in it.
The 3 weeks were much too short. By the beginning of week 2, I wanted to call the airline and have them change my tickets, to push it back a few weeks later. But, I didn't. Instead, I promised myself, and the people I would be leaving behind, that I would return.
I am fulfilling that promise. And I can not wait to be received by the smiling faces, the hugs, the laughter, the joy that the children will have. It will be amazing to hear them chanting, "Benji Ferenge!" when they see me approaching.
To everyone who has supported me, whether with encouragement, donations for the children, finances, or treating me to dinner, THANK YOU. I love you all for your support, and for your friendship. Thank you for giving to children that I love, and for being a blessing to a people who need so much.
I will miss you all, and I look forward to seeing you when I return. I can't wait to show you pictures of the children that you have helped by sending me to them.