Executive Director, Dave’s Reflections from Ethiopia Trip

What a joy it was to be back in Ethiopia again.  It is amazing how things have changed in only 4 years and to be lovingly greeted at the airport by Hawi with her beloved mentor and friend Windamu!

We set off with our team from The Ascent Church in Monument, CO on November 8th to visit the church and ROTOM staff for 3 weeks. Many of our friends at the Asham Africa Hotel caused us to feel so loved, appreciated; and more so as we were uplifted to see how God is working in Ethiopia.  This blog message will highlight some of those favorite and God’s Diving Appointments. We will be sharing so many more of our stories along the way with you!

ETHIOPIA STAFF ACCOLADES

One significant Ethiopia Trip highlight was meeting our ROTOM staff that Hawi, our country director has supporting her. When we left ET 4 years ago, she asked us to pray for staff who were committed and hardworking and one’s who had a calling. Well….we happily report that she hired some very special young women who were recruited through ROTOM’s Champions program. Their knowledge and abilities and their heart for the seniors’ is proven in their commitment.

Kidist Getachew is the Program Director over the Champions program as well as helps with the program for our ROTOM Seniors as well. She is a young 23 years old and is growing as a servant leader in the mold of Hawi. Her oversight of the Granddaughters in the Champions Program along with her willingness to jump in and help, was such a blessing to see.

We met Bizunesh Alemayeu (Buzi), a social worker who truly and wholeheartedly loves our seniors in the Senior Friendship program. She was such a joy to be with! Helpful in that her continuous introduction to the seniors, in capturing photos and also becoming our interpreter. Part of her team also included, Girma Kebede their detailed accountant. When talking with him he shared, “Hawi is one of the most selfless and driven people he has ever met or worked with.” His stories about her commitment through long hours and total focus, reminded me of the selfless service of Mother Theresa and, that’s what Hawi is to these seniors. I was overflowing with joy at God’s answer to our prayers for great staff!

ROTOM ETHIOPIA SENIOR CENTER IMPROVEMENTS

The second highlight was to see the improvements Hawi’s leadership made to the ET Senior Center, currently home to 13 seniors; also crosses for the ROTOM offices and gathering place for Senior Fellowships. I remember helping on our last trip paint the interior/exterior of the rooms and doing small fix-it jobs around the center. Now to see these great improvements as well as her future dreams was awe-inspiring! The week after our mission’s team left home, Sherri and I were there to help out with whatever necessary (we firsthand saw her resourcefulness in using the funds our team contributed to). Improvements included wooden deck protection; the enhancement to the cover over the walkway. Hawi rejoiced in seeing the project in process and was beyond excited to share photos of the “final product” after we arrived home.

We also had the privilege of going on at least 6 Senior Home visits with staff and received reports from our team on others visiting their Senior Friends. We were blessed to participate in several Service Projects too. To experience the love of the seniors, and to see in person their extreme gratefulness in their heartbreaking circumstances, was just the reminder that community and friendships are so much more important than possessions. My heart overflowed with gratefulness to all of our dedicated senior friends and partners just in receiving their hugs and kisses as I greeted them at the fellowship as well as in their homes. To cap it all off, we were taxied around, hauling food, mattresses, and our bodies in the amazing van that you helped ROTOM ET purchase! Hawi could not express her gratefulness for it any more than over and over rejoicing with us about having reliable transportation for all of us!

Once again, we want to say THANK YOU for your partnership in this growing ministry and I know that God is blessing all of you because of your sacrifice and generosity. We love all of you and look forward to sharing more in the coming year. It was an honor and joy to be your representative on the ground for the 3 weeks Sherri and I visited our friends in Ethiopia.