2020 has been a crazy and unpredictable year for many of us! This morning I was having an honest conversation with the Lord about all the things going on, I feel like there are so many layers and it just feels overwhelming and heavy. I know many of you partner financially and by prayer and encouragement and so felt like here is the best place to share what is going on and how you can pray with us and for us!
This past weekend (Nov. 1) we were excited as we were gearing up to reopen our Kids ministries as well as our NEXT (assimilation/membership) classes. Earlier in the week there was a positive case at the boys' school that moved them to online learning for a short season. As a leadership team we thought it would be due diligence to get Covid tests. We were a bit shocked when Saturday afternoon, Doug's came back positive. Thankfully he is completely asymptomatic and feeling totally fine.
We were able to quickly move our services back to our online services, that we prerecord each week. We have been quarentining at home and Doug is isolating in the spare room and his office.
In the midst of the 14 day quarentine we woke up Wednesday (Nov. 4th) to news of Civil War being declared in Ethiopia. So many questions, concerns and another thing to navigate. We are fine and safe in the city, but know that a lot of our people are concerned, fearful, and just worn out. Pray for wisdom as we navigate and look over our contingency plans as a mission.
Living overseas and the process of going through work permits/residence ID's etc. is one of my least favorite things we have to do... and with things shut down and only reopening one month ago... even more of a headache! We need prayer and a miracle. To get our documents in place, which we are already expired, we had to have a document updated. What that means is: AGWM had to rewrite a letter, send it to their state for authentication, then to the State Department in DC to be authenticated, then to the Ethiopian Embassy in DC to be authenticated, then to us to take to the government here...to be authenticated so we can be legal. Our paper we need to move forward is stuck in DC at the Ethiopian embassy, and has been there for over 2 months now. We need a miracle for that paperwork to move, quickly! We are now being charged in USD daily for late fees until all paperwork is completed. We have a retreat we are supposed to be at in January, but will not be able to travel without residence ID's.
Kylea has adjust quite well at Northwest University, classes, dorm, job, driving, etc. Pray she continues to adjust well. We have made the really hard decision that she will not join us for Christmas. We understand, but are heart broken at the same time. Leaving a student at university is one thing, knowing you'll see them for Thanksgiving and Christmas makes it easier. Pray for all of our hearts as we head into the holiday season for our first holidays apart. Thank you to many, who have reached out to her, sent her care pacakges/gift cards and continued to pray over her transition, we love our Network and community!
In the midst of the chaos, God is doing some pretty amazing things!
We have added some team members:
• a part time admin assistant
• a part time finance manager
• an Ethiopian Pastor
We have lay leadership stepping into lead positions for hospitality, as well as new hosts and facilitators ready to step in an help us pastor and lead our people well! (pic. is of Muyue & Beatrice Chambewera: Community Group facilitators, Sunday school teacher and lay leaders in our Urban Tribes church, Eastridge Addis) These are all Ethiopians and others that God has given us to work with at just the right time!