Wow! Again, this update is late, apologies for that! Things continue to crack on here at a whirlwind pace, it’s hard to believe that the first term is almost over here at Bingham. I think a lot of people here are really tired and ready for the week break that we will get. I am very fortunate to be heading across to the U.S. to attend the wedding of two very good friends. Andrew and Danielle met here in Ethiopia, and I’ve gotten to know them both very well, both individually and as a couple! They both have a number of good friends here at the school, and organised their wedding at the same time as the October break so that some Bingham staff would be able to attend. There are three of us travelling over, we’re all very excited to see them tie the knot, and to get to see a bit of Pennsylvania!
The past number of weeks have been tough for a number of reasons. Firstly, Andrew and Danielle had intended to come back to Ethiopia to work for another year after their wedding. I was really looking forward to having two really good friends back in the country. However, due to a number of problems, they have had to change their plans to return, and look to God for their next steps. Transition and goodbyes are a part of missionary life, the turnover of people here is very high. However, the fact that this happened in a very short time span, just one week, made it very difficult for Andrew and Danielle, as they said goodbye to plans, friends, colleagues and homes. We as friends of them also have found it tough realising that they aren’t going to be around as we’d been looking forward to.
Things at the school are very busy. I’m feeling worn out at the moment, and know that I’m not the only one. It's great to know that all the other staff here are Christians, I've been having some really encouraging and lifting times of prayer and worship with various of my colleagues here. It's amazing to be feeling overwhelmed and have someone come and pray with you, and then be able to do the same for them the following week. It's a good spirit of all being in this together, getting each other through. I also feel incredibly blessed by my housemates, who are very supportive and concerned, and are also quick to pray with me. In talking with friends here, and discussing feeling overwhelmed, we realise how important it is to see answers to prayer, and encouragements that God gives us.
This month, we had the annual, week long "Spiritual Emphasis Week". Bingham fly in two separate speakers to speak to the students, one for the middle school students, one for the high school. Every day, they each have a special assembly, and discussions and dialog was encouraged during classes etc during the week. Both speakers were very good, and spoke enthusiastically and passionately. I especially enjoyed the middle school speaker; Brenda, a woman from Liverpool who many of the students had trouble understanding. She used many ingenious and catchy visual illustrations, which backed up her points so well, I had a kind colleague take one of my classes so that I could attend one of the assemblies where I had class! It was great to see the students so engaged and listening so well. The week culminated in a separate high school and middle school youth night, on Thursday and Friday respectively. These are always encouraging evenings, but this year was especially encouraging to see God moving so powerfully in the student's lives. The high school students spent a long time after the evening praying for each other, and talking to the speaker. The challenge always for us as staff is to ensure that these spiritual highlights don't just last for one evening, but continue throughout the year. Please pray for us as we follow up with them, and challenge them to live out what they heard and experienced throughout the week. There have been some encouraging times outside of the week too, one teacher I know had a student notice he was feeling a little stressed so prayed with him about it. Such an encouragement to see Jesus' love in the lives of the students here.
Brenda was very into drama and skits.
Christian was a young youth pastor, very enthusiastic, passionate and animated! Very engaging.
I helped during the worship sets.
The middle schoolers were encouraged to pin struggles and difficulties they were facing to a cross.
Some of us staff took the two of them out one evening for some cultural Ethiopian food and dancing.
Please pray for the situation in this country. I am safe, and things in this city are peaceful, so please pray that it will stay that way, and that the situation in the surrounding areas will calm down again.
More pics here
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