Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Braces Off!!!! :D

Yesterday I got my braces off! (finally) Here's some pictures with me and my new look.
With Braces...

Without Braces!!!! :)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

May 14th: Day Thirteen of the Ethiopia Trip

Today is the day we get Home!!! We got on our flight, and during the flight Dad allowed me to watch Up, My Fair Lady, and Ratatouille. That got me half way there. I did get some rest, and I listened to music on my ipod for awhile so that helped.Once we got off the plane, got through airport security, and got to meet a beagle dog who sniffed our luggage, we met Janelle and Mrs. Hageman. Also, just outside, Mom, David C., Marta, William, and Samuel were there to take us home. It was so good to see their faces again! :) I showed them pictures from Africa, and they really liked that, as well as being able to see our prayer partner's family. By the way, I didn't get airsick at all for the entire trip! When we got home, Dad and I handed out the souvenirs. Here's what they all got from oldest to youngest (skipping me):
Andrew: a green t-shirt that said "Ethiopia" on it.
Sarah: a pink and silver scarf.
Margaret: a purple and gold scarf.
(Skipping me)
Maxwell: an African chess set.
David: an authentic Ethiopian horse tail fly swatter.
Tabitha: a dog coaster/ puzzle.
Marta: an Ethiopian purse.
William & Samuel: wooden animals and an Ethiopian story book.
I got some Ethiopian flip-flops, and an Ethiopian flute. (which doesn't actually work)
Mom got some jewelry made of silver and Giraffe hair. Dad also got his Mom, Grandma Eddy, a paper art Giraffe picture. Well, this trip has truly been a once-in-a-lifetime experience which I will not be likely to forget ever. I wish that you could have been there as well, because I know that just looking at pictures isn't the same as actually being there. Maybe someday those who are reading my blog will go to Ethiopia or a country like that, or maybe have already gone. Still, as I have been through this trip to a country so different than America, I have learned several good lessons that I wouldn't have otherwise, and I thought I would wright them down.
#1: I have learned to be truly thankful for things that before my trip I have taken for granted such as electricity, food, easy access to stores, good transportation, and good water.
#2: I have learned how real God is, and what a blessing it is to have Him in my life as my Savior.
#3: I have learned to be grateful for my my family and church as never before.
These are just a few of the major lessons God has showed me through this trip. I am so glad to be back! And I hope that as you read through the rest of my future blog posts, you will be able to see a difference in my life from this experience. I'll close with this thought: If I had never gone on this trip, I never would have been this grateful for living in our country as I am right now, or as thankful for what God is doing in the Gurage church. It was really eye opening! I'd better stop before I get carried away, so good-bye, or, in Guragine, "bow-hey-car!"

Friday, May 24, 2013

May 13th: Day Twelve of the Ethiopia Trip

This morning started with breakfast, as usual, and immediately afterword, shopping for souvenirs (not as usual). We got a lot of stuff, but I don't have time to write down all that we got for who... after all, I have nine siblings, so you must realize how time consuming it would be to wright all those items down! :) Thankfully, Dad and I both love to shop, so we thoroughly enjoyed our time together picking out all the just right gifts for our family.
After the shopping, we headed back to the Brant's Addis Ababa house. On the way there, we met an auld acquaintance of the Brant's , whose name was Aba. I didn't know him, but it turned out that he was a major part of the team last time we sent a group from our church.
We met an Auld Acquaintance: Aba
We had a hurried lunch, packed our various bags into the car, and sped off to the airport. Aba was a gift sent straight from God, because without him, we probably would have missed our plane, with all the traffic and other stuff. But Aba was a taxi driver, so he knew all the back roads that led to the airport, so we weren't stuck in traffic for hours, and we did get to our plane on time, despite everything.

The five hour plane flight seemed like nothing, when compared to the fourteen hour flight from Seattle to Dubai the first day! We did arrive safely, and found our hotel with little or no difficulty. We got ourselves situated, and headed downstairs to have a 10:00 pm dinner. (Which was delicious by the way). When dinner was finished, Dad and I went back to our room, Dad to get some much needed sleep, and me, to take a long, hot bath (also much needed!), and then I went to bed too. I'll keep this short tonight, but I may fill you in on more during the fourteen hour flight. Yikes! I hope I can sleep through most of it! Good night.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

May 12th: Day Eleven of the Ethiopia Trip

Today was our last day in Gurage. :( We had one more church that Dad was going to speak at, and he spoke on the prodigal son. Saying Goodbye to Asfaw and Tadesse was very sad. I'll really miss them and their families. While I'm here, I almost envy Daniel for being able to stay longer with these wonderful believers, but again, I miss my family and my church too... it would be a tough decision if I had to make it! It was really awesome watching the Gurage believers pray, because when they pray... wow! They really pray!! Their love for Christ just over flows when they pray, and often time, they are hoarse by the end of their prayers (even the ones not praying), because of all the "Amen!"s and "Hallelujah!"s. Thankfully, those words are the same in their language as well as ours, so we could understand them! :)
After saying goodbye to the church leaders, we enjoyed a beautiful ride back to Addis Ababa. Even with all the bumping, I loved to soak in all I could while I could. I'm going to miss the animals on the streets when we get back to the states. :( I am also going to miss being able to stick my head out the window, wave and yell "bow-hey-car!", making the people break out into grins and shout back. We probably won't do that in the states either. We'd get really funny reactions in the states! :P
The day finished with us sitting around the living room and sharing our favorite part of the trip and reflections on what the lord had done in our lives over a bowl of jello (ah, the luxuries of Addis Ababa :). Got to go! See y'all soon... probably in the plane or in Dubai. Good bye Ethiopia! :(

P.S. We still have souvenir shopping to do! (in Ethiopia) :)
Natalie enjoing a cup of tea. (and jello)

Jello: a luxury from Addis Ababa.
Mr. Cory Hageman relaxing in the Brant's Addis Ababa house.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

May 11th: Day Ten of the Ethiopia Trip

This Morning, after a delicious meal at the Brant's, (again), we loaded up both vehicles. We were taking some of the Bible Students, so this was necessary. We were going up the mountain to a church and soon to be built school house for the Muslims. A service was going to be held there, but out side of the church, because the crowd was to big to fit in the church. 
See what I mean by to large to fit in the church?
Dad spoke on the sower and the seeds parable, and how all the different soils represented different types of people. Oh, I almost forgot to tell you, before the service began, Daniel Hageman got out his American football, and started tossing it around with Dad. A couple of the Bible Students joined in, and we found out some interesting facts. Mulu Zeleke, my grandma's prayer partner, is a really good aim with throwing! He caught on almost right away! Mikyas Degu, Daniel Hageman's older brother's prayer partner, is better at catching, which was fun to watch. 
American Football: It drew a crowd!

Dad, with a crowd of kids waiting to get the football for him.
There was a crowd of little kids that stood behind Dad, and whenever he missed a catch, they would run and get it for him. One little girl was holding a baby on her back, and that baby was so cute!
Isn't the baby cute?

Daniel asked if he could hold it first, but after he held it, I wanted to, so he handed the baby to me. I got some pictures of all of this, so you'll see what I mean by adorable.
Tomorrow we go back to Addis Ababa, so I'd better get some sleep. I'm going to miss Ethiopia so much. I've really grown to love the people here. Maybe someday I'll come back. I hope I can! Goodnight.

Monday, May 20, 2013

May 10th: Day Nine of the Ethiopia Trip

They cooked us some lamb meat over a fire for our dinner. It was delicious.
This is Tadesse and his little girl, Christian.

This morning, we had breakfast at the Brant's again, and as soon as we had cleaned up the meal, we went to a meeting with the leaders of the churches in Gurage. Once there, they discussed with Dad and Mr. Brant how they hoped this sister church relationship would help our churches. The afternoon was spent quietly resting, because tonight there was going to be a Bonfire for us and the Bible students, and some of the church leaders. When evening came, Bible students started trickling in. Natalie and I armed ourselves with cameras and took pictures of as many Bible students as we could. 

This is Mr. Cory Hageman with my Grandma's prayer partner, Mulu Zeleke, and my oldest brother's prayer partner, Elias Demese.

We also got to meet Tadesse's wife, Mekedus, and their little girl, Christian. She was cute too, and she took a liking to Natalie right away. The dinner was good, if fact, they cooked the lamb meat right in front of us, so we got to watch the whole process. (thankfully, they did the butchering somewhere else. :) Tomorrow is another busy day, so this had better be goodnight or else I'll be exhausted.

This is a picture of all the Bible students that came to the bonfire. From left to right:
Asefa Habte, Yohannes Teka, Elias Demese, Birhanu Argaw, Ababa Merga, Kidusan Euketu, Daniel Hageman, Abera Wolde, Mulu Zeleke, Mikyas Degu, and Kibir Yisfa Mware.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

May 9th: Day Eight of the Ethiopia Trip

Today was the third, and final day of the Pastor/Bible student conference. Natalie gave her Testimony today, and Dad gave his final lesson to that crowd which was on being leaders of prayer. He also had a session for Q&A. Those pastors and students had some good, deep questions. Wow!
From left to right: Mr. Hageman, Dad, and me. We're trying to look like we're eating, but not actually eating
 Dad and I got to have coffee and a snack of kocho and a little bit raw lamb meat at Banksira's house today, right after lunch. What a wonderful family. 
This is Banksira's oldest daughter, and she is pouring the traditional cups of coffee for us to enjoy. (with salt)
When we heard his testimony, all I can say is that he leads an amazing life, and that with God, nothing is impossible.
This is our Family's prayer partner, Banksira Argaw
His littlest girls were the cutest little things, especially when they came up to Dad, me, and Mr. Hageman to give us the kiss on the cheek greeting. I really hope that sometime I'll be able to see their family again before we leave. (Or if I come back to Ethiopia again).
And this is his family: and Dad and I.
I have yet to get pictures of the Bible Students, so I'm hoping to get an opportunity soon. The last couple of days we've not had electricity, and it came on earlier today. You should have heard my yell when the light came on. I was so glad to finally get a shower! I've never been so happy and grateful for electricity. Tonight, there was a youth meeting at a church, and Daniel taught on having a godly attitude no matter what your circumstances. Natalie had enough supplies to do the "wordless bracelets" at the youth thing too, so we got to help hand out stuff. The youth liked the bracelets too, almost as much as the Bible students and pastors at the conference. After the youth program it was just bed, so I'll see you tomorrow, and tell you all more of our adventures.

May 8th: Day Seven of the Ethiopia Trip

Today was the second day of the Conference, and two of our team had to give testimonies, so Daniel Hageman gave his in the morning, and I gave mine during the afternoon, after the lunch break.
I also had to prepare a song to sing, if you remember from yesterday, and Dad said he would sing the third round for us. (sigh of relief). I did not have the courage to sing up there by myself. They did seem to really enjoy our song, so I guess that makes it all worth it. (Even though they couldn't understand a word of what we were singing, except for maybe
Asfaw and Tadesse and Daniel. ((the other Daniel))). Natalie did the "wordless bracelet" today too, after my testimony, and the Bible students caught right onto it. Whenever Natalie asked something like, "What did this bead mean," they all raised their hands to show that they knew. It was neat to see that most of the verses that went along with the bead, they already knew by heart, so they would repeat the verse back at Natalie in their own language. After the conference was done, Daniel H. got out an American football, just to see what they would think of it. Some of the Bible Students caught on right away, but for some of the older ones, it was just a little bit to weird. We found out that Mulu Zeleke, my grandma's prayer partner, is a really good thrower for this being the first time he had ever seen one in real life. One of the other guys, Mikyas Degu, who is Daniel Hageman's older brother's prayer partner, was much better at catching. The day basically finished with dinner at the Brant's and us going back to the hotel again for the night. Still no bed bugs! :) Good night.
Me telling my testimony, Tadesse translated.

From left to right: Mrs. Brant, me, and Dad. We're singing "Father I Adore You".

Friday, May 17, 2013

May 7th: Day Six of the Ethiopian Trip

Today was the first day of the conference for the pastors of the Gurage area, so we got to meet some of the Bible School students for the first time. We got to meet our family's prayer partner, Banksira Argaw, and my oldest brother's prayer partner, Elias Demese. Hopefully, we will be able to get a lot of pictures of most of the Bible School students, since our church people are praying for them. They seemed to enjoy our flute playing okay, although I could tell it was a little bit different to them.
Natalie and me playing our flutes @ the conference
Tadesse heard from somebody (I won't tell you who, but it wasn't me) that I sang, so he wanted  me to sing, but there was no way I was going to sing up front by myself, so Mrs. Brant offered to sing with me. Bless her! :) Tomorrow, as part of my testimony, I'm going to sing "Father, I Adore You". I might even get Dad to sing the third round with us. That would be really cool.

At the Close of the Day, we went to an Ethiopian restaurant, and were served Ethiopian food, the traditional, Ethiopian way. (With salted coffee!) I wish I could tell you the names of the dishes, but I only know the word for bread, dabo.
Over dinner, when Dad told Asfaw that we home schooled, he was amazed. In Ethiopia, homeschooling is not heard of. It took him a while to understand how the homeschooling process worked. Once dinner was finished, Mrs. Brant took us back to their house, and served us dessert: custard and cookies. We drove from there to the hotel, and went to bed. Got to go! Goodnight!

May 6th: Day Five of the Ethiopia trip.

Me in the central area of our Ethiopia hotel
This morning it rained quite a bit as we drove to the Brant's house for breakfast. The electricity was on and off throughout the morning, but with daylight, it wasn't to bad. After breakfast, Mrs. Brant got a call from Tadesse and he told her that he wanted to have a talk with us about how he was hoping this trip would play out. She invited him to come right then, so pretty much as soon as he hung up, we finished the breakfast cleanup, and he arrived. He talked to us awhile about what he hoped this trip help with and we got the rundown on how the week was going to be. He also offered to take us to the new school building that is in progress right now, and a scenic view of the whole Gurage area from up on top of a mountain.
Wow! There has been a lot of progress made on the school building from the last time we had a team come. Almost the entire bottom floor is completed. Natalie and Daniel H. took some pictures, but I accidentally left my camera in the car. :( Sorry.

You can kind of see some of the traditional mixed in with the more modern tin roofed houses
from left to right: Me, Dad. Natalie, Mr. Hageman, and Tadesse
The trip up to the mountain was truly beautiful, and a little scary since it had been raining, and the road was still slick. It was worth it to get to the top though. Here are some pictures of the view:

Isn't is beautiful?

There were some kids that followed us down, and we took some pictures of them, just because they were being cooperative. Daniel and Natalie jumped into the picture too, just for kicks.
Mr. Hageman got his telescope out and let the kids take turns looking through it. They loved being able to see far away things up close.
I learned my first word in Guragine on the way down the mountain. You pronounce it: bow-hey-car, (don't forget to roll your r's), and it means goodbye, roughly translated. It was fun to say that to people and get their reaction. I'll never forget the look on people's face when you said good bye in their own language.
We drove back down the mountain, and had dinner at the Brant's. After that, we went back to our hotel for some much needed rest. Better go, 'cause tomorrow is coming! Good night! 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

May 5th: Day Four of the Ethiopia Trip

The electricity was on this morning, so we were able to enjoy breakfast with more light than just candles like last night.

Gurage countryside
The trip up to the hotel in the Gurage area in Ethiopia was really quite scenic, and except for the consistent bumping up and down, and the regular animals stopping right in front of the car, I enjoyed the ride very much :). I even saw a donkey just laying down, right in middle of the road making all the cars and buses have to go around it! (lol) Mr. Hageman and Natalie, (his daughter), even saw a monkey, but they were in the other car behind us, so I didn't get to see it. :(
At the hotel, we were met by Tadesse, one of the church leaders, and he helped us unpack the vehicle into our room. We got a couple of surprises when we went to look at the rooms. Mr. Hageman and Natalie got a cockroach in their room, and Daniel Hageman, (yes he's related to the other Hagemans), had a bat hanging in one corner of the room! Yikes! I'm glad it wasn't in my room! In our room, we only had to squash a couple ant-like critters, and chase a fly around our room that skillfully avoided our attempts to take his life. He was more annoying than creepy, so I guess that was okay.
We then headed up the mountain to the church Dad was going to be speaking at, and we got to meet Asfaw, another one of the church leaders of the area. He welcomed us, and climbed in the back with Daniel H. It had started to rain, so the going up was slick, and we slipped a couple of times, but never enough to ditch us. (Thank you Lord!) We arrived there safely, and the service had all ready started, so we crept in and were made to sit up in front of every body. The service was definitely different, but I kind of liked it. Even with their singing, even though I couldn't understand a word of what they were saying, I could tell that they really loved God, and were praising Him from the bottom of their hearts.
It was so fun to see even the little kids just singing with all their might to Jesus.

Asfaw's wife, Yeshi, and their daughter
After the service, Asfaw took us to his house for a bit to eat and coffee, the traditional way. We got to meet his wife, Yeshi, and their 3 year old daughter. Their little girl is so cute, and even though she was shy, she smiled at me so sweetly. She posed for me out side of the house, and she was so well behaved!
The time at their house went by much to quickly, and we had to say goodbye much sooner than I wanted to. As we went back to the car, we got a crowd of little kids following us. Their ages were probably any where from 12 to 2. They thought it was the most funny thing in the world when Daniel H. gave one of the littler boys the traditional shoulder bump greeting and said "Salaam no." (I'm not sure how you spell it, but that is how it was said) which is their greeting.
We went back to the hotel again, rested for a couple of hours (if you call squashing bugs every five minutes resting:), and went to the Brant's house for dinner. Mrs. Brant is a fabulous cook, and this meal was no exception. After dinner, we chatted and cleaned up. Eventually, we went back to the hotel, and I slept in a chair, because it looked less likely to have bed bugs in it then the bed.
I can't wait for tomorrow and what it may bring, so good night for now, and I promise to write in you soon.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

May 4th: Day Three of the Ethiopia Trip

People selling sheep right next to the highway. (I'm taking this picture from inside the car!)
Tonight, I wright by the aid of a flash light because the electricity has not been being consistent. Yes, we are now safely in Addis Ababa and have been fed a delicious dinner by Mrs. Brant. (To those who don't know them, they are a missionary couple to the Gurage people in Ethiopia, and it was to them that we went on our missions trip.) All that really happened today was yet more traveling, so I still don't have much to record. However, on the way to the Brant's Addis Ababa house, from the airport, it was interesting to see people herding goats and sheep right next to the highway, and seeing chickens, donkeys, horses and cows wandering along side vehicles. It was also kind of nerve wracking having animals and people randomly crossing the road in front of cars going along at speeds of over 60 miles an hour and swerving out of the way just in time! (this is no tall tale, I was watching Mrs. Brant's speed.) I must say, even the small amount of time that it took going from the airport to the Brant's house was quite an experience in itself. I told myself, "Welcome to a 3rd world country Rebekah!", and began to brace myself for what else might happen. Well, I had best get some sleep, 'cause it sounds like we're going to be getting up at the crack of dawn to hit the road again, but this time, for Gurage. See y'all later, good night!

I'm washing dishes for Mrs. Brant by candle light.

May 2nd & 3rd: Days One and Two of the Ethiopia Trip

Me on the hotel bed in Dubai
May 2nd:
Well, we are now above the clouds. I didn't want to record anything in my journal before this, because I figured the airport details would probably bore you. I really enjoyed the take-off, and God blessed me by giving me a seat right by the window, so I got to watch us take-off. When we went over the! I still can't believe I'm going to Africa. It's now 6:25 our time, so I may record more in Dubai. See y'all then! :)
May 3rd:

This is the central part of the Dubai hotel. (Compare it to the picture of our 3rd world country hotel in Ethiopia)
This entire central area of the Gurage hotel could probably fit inside the pool area of our Dubai hotel.
By the way, the fountain doesn't work. :)
I have just finished a delicious dinner of various Arabian dishes at the hotel in Dubai. (Including lamb meat and flat bread with humus.) The flight was rather long and uncomfortable, but the customer service, if it's okay to call it that, was excellent. I will make this short because its really my bedtime locally, although morning in our own time. I will try to record more as soon as absolutely possible. By the way, no one has gotten air sick yet! (praise God! :D)

These are some funny looking pigeons we saw in Dubai

Who I Am...

Hi! My name is Rebekah and I am almost 15 years old. I decided to start my blog with things about myself so all that read about me sort of already know about me before they try to wade their way through my blog posts.
I am a pastor's daughter, my Dad is the pastor of Manchester Community Church in Port Orchard, WA. I am in a fairly large family of 12 people. I have 9 siblings, and I am the fourth oldest. I like to do a lot of things, which include: Anything with horses :), helping my Mom with my younger siblings, reading, writing stories, spending time alone with God, spending time with others with God ;), jewelry designing and making, riding my bike, spending time with friends, playing my instruments, and more that I can't remember right off the top of my head. I mentioned above that I play instruments, which are the piano and flute. I not a professional at either, but I do enjoy playing both.
I just recently went on a missions trip with my Dad to Ethiopia, so I kept a journal faithfully of each day to start my blog with. So that will be the start. Have fun reading about my random remarks! :)

Blog Tour for Project Canvas!! *cue intense celebration*

GUYS, I couldn't be more excited to share about this incredible book that is going to be available for you to get your hands on in just ...