On December 11th (tomorrow), I will be traveling overseas to Ethiopia, Africa. This is my first international trip since Europe in college, my first international trip alone and my first Christmas spent on international soil (or anywhere other than home really). It is both exciting and serile to be gone over Christmas. Traveling to Africa has always been a dream of mine and I glad it will now be a part of my story. I am looking forward to this time of learning, giving and grace. I am praying I don't run into this lady...
And I am absolutely expecting to have great stories to tell and pictures to show off when I get back. May the Lord bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you and give you peace.
Posted by A.J. at 10:25 PM
I leave for Africa on Friday. It feels exciting. It feels very crazy. It feels scary. This trip has been such a last minute thing that I have had little time to really prepare for it either logistically, mentally or spiritually. I just found out about it, knew I couldn't say no because its something I have always dreamed of and said yes and here I am.
I have learned a lot about traveling to Africa and I haven' even left yet. Below is a list of my discoveries.
1. There are really no diseases known to man that you cannot get in Africa, specifically in Ethiopia.
2. It is expensive to not die of a deadly disease. Vaccinations cost a small fortune.
3. For a relatively fair price you can get medical travel insurance in case you die or are dismembered and your relatives with to have your parts back.
4. You can get into Africa without proof you have had a Yellow Fever vaccination but they will not let you leave.
5. There is only one place in Africa that you can fly to directly from the United States and other than that you have to fly to Europe first.....turning an already VERY LONG flight into 2 VERY LONG flights.
6. You can purchase 50 Malaria vaccination pills for the same price as 2 tiny passport/visa photos- about 10 bucks. Somebody's pricing is way off.
7. Women can only wear skirts in Langano (where I will be). Skirts and tennis shoes....I am sure I will feel at the height of attraction.
8. The base cost of a plane ticket into Africa is actually less than $1000.00 until they tack on the almost $400.00 tax for who knows what.
Since I will be gone over Christmas I am trying to get my Christmas fix in first. In order to do this I have been doing all of the things listed below.
*Making and eating delicious holiday treats (this serves a dual purpose...packing on some pounds before I head out to keep me from wasting away in the event of sickness or lack of edible food)
-Christmas M&M cookies
*Watching Christmas movies
-Its a Wonderful Life
-Home Alone 1 and 2
*Going to see Christmas lights
*Listening to Christmas music in the car
*I would say Christmas shopping, but a lack of money and a lack of time is ensuring that everyone is getting some kind of African trinket.....a mask perhaps?
Posted by A.J. at 12:03 PM
This is an amazing prayer from the heart of David once provision had been made for the building of the temple. It is a reminder that we have nothing that hasn't been given to us from the hand of God.
1Chr. 29:10 Therefore David blessed the LORD in the presence of all the assembly. And David said: “Blessed are you, O LORD, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever. 11 Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all. 12 Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. 13 And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.
1Chr. 29:14 “But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you. 15 For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding. 16 O LORD our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a house for your holy name comes from your hand and is all your own. 17 I know, my God, that you test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. In the uprightness of my heart I have freely offered all these things, and now I have seen your people, who are present here, offering freely and joyously to you. 18 O LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our fathers, keep forever such purposes and thoughts in the hearts of your people, and direct their hearts toward you. 19 Grant to Solomon my son a whole heart that he may keep your commandments, your testimonies, and your statutes, performing all, and that he may build the palace for which I have made provision.”
1Chr. 29:20 Then David said to all the assembly, “Bless the LORD your God.” And all the assembly blessed the LORD, the God of their fathers, land bowed their heads and paid homage to the LORD and to the king. 21 And they offered sacrifices to the LORD, and on the next day offered burnt offerings to the LORD, 1,000 bulls, 1,000 rams, and 1,000 lambs, with their drink offerings, and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel. 22 And they ate and drank before the LORD on that day with great gladness.
Posted by A.J. at 10:31 PM