|Posted by Canaan Community Church on June 20, 2012 at 11:45 PM|
I made it to Ethiopia safely! I am in Addis, Ababa the capital of Ethiopia and the nerve center for all of Africa. Ethiopia is the ONLY African country that was never colonized! Ethiopians are very proud of their heritage and that they can truly hold on to the fact that they stood up for their independence.
Ethiopia is most know for it's last emperor Hali Salasi who is well known for being worshipped by the Rastafarian Movement of Jamaica. Although he never claimed to be divine, because he called himself the King of kings ( which was in terms of ruling over the many rulers of Ethiopia) Rastafarians believe he is a reincarnation of Christ.
Well today when I got off the13 hour plane flight in Ethiopia, as strange as things were, there we're still some very familiar sites as well. Panhandlers looking for handouts, hustlers looking to shine your shoes, wash your windows or carry your bags, and even the infamous Bootleg DVD man made a cameo! If there is one thing I have noticed immediately it's that although poverty may look different in different places, the human spirit to survive is the same everywhere
A good paying job in Ethiopia (where you are above the poverty line) is about 400 Birr a month, which is about $20. we waste that on one large pizza! Today I am already getting lessons in what it means to truly love your neighbor as yourself and I see in a harsh way here that handouts will not change anyone's position, they just breed generations of beggars. Although they may be necessary in emergencies, loving people and really being involved in their lives is the best option. Of course just giving someone a dollar and patting ourselves on the back is easier, but walking with someone and affirming their own dignity and potential for greatness is far more necessary.
Tomorrow we take a tour of some Community Development work in Addis, done by Dr. Jember Tefera and her organization Holistic Integrated Approach (IHA) who have done over 4000 units of housing in the slums of Addis.
I'll post pics on Twitter @Pastahj also, this is done on my iPad so forgive any typos! Talk to you soon...
Sharing, showing and being shaped by love,