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I totally admit to being exhausted Sunday morning and skipping church.  What can I say, I caved in to peer pressure.  Only one of us decided to go to church.  So for breakfast we had arranged to meet with Pastor A (I can tell you a little more since there will be no names), who we had met yesterday, to ask again if he needed anything, even though yesterday he said nothing.

We found out he really needs a solid house through Pastor Z, who had been praying with his wife before the conference that Pastor A and his family might be able to get a better roof.  Pastor A lives in a city of about 20,000, but his house is built of sticks and has a plastic roof.  His parents and siblings are okay now with him being a Christian because it’s been 11 years, but others in town are not.  He worries that someone will burn down his house because people walk by and throw lit matches.

It was settled.  We needed to build him a house. We asked how much money it would cost to build Pastor A a cement home with a proper roof that would withstand the rainy seasons and also be a better defense against people throwing fire on his house.  So we started talking about fundraisers and how to logistically get money to this man, perhaps through the ministry.

God always seems to orchestrate things perfectly, doesn’t He?

We were worried that our hotel bill was going to be quite a bit more than we had budgeted, but it turned out to be a misunderstanding.  Our room bills were half of what we were expecting to pay.  All of a sudden all of us had a lot of extra cash on our hands.  Without a word or a thought, we all knew what we would do with our extra money.  We gathered the cash together to pay our hotel bill, then put together the rest we had budgeted and gave it to Pastor A.  Our translator explained to him that this was for his house, and you could see the shock on his face.  It was so wonderful to see the disbelief turn to joy on his face, and to know that his family will be safer soon.  Pastor Z promised to send us pictures because he has email and Pastor A does not.

Pastor Zerugirma and Pastor Awel

If this story has touched you, maybe you could find the funds to send him a small laptop.  We now have a way to send things to him through our contact here in Ethiopia.

What a fruitful trip!  As I write, we are preparing to drive to Addis to catch our flight, but I’m hoping that sometime during a layover I can catch the internet to tell you about our party on Sunday night.  It was a hoot.

Coffee-wallpaper TLC



It’s a Small World


Monday was a prep day.  We unloaded all of the suitcases that we brought—they were full of goodies for the ladies, babies, and staff at the home.  Everything was sorted through by size for the babies so that it can be stored until it’s needed. We got some diapers for the current babies sorted out, and some put away for future babies.  There was so much other stuff:  pots, lotions, soaps, toothpaste, feminine pads, baby toys, candy, and on and on it goes.

Then came all of the literature for the conference.  Oh, my.  DVD’s had to be packaged, bookmarks stacked after they moved all around in the suitcases, and then a few of us took the glamorous job of folding brochures.  We finished 1,500 of those.  Only 3,500 to go…


 Tuesday we started another day finishing sorting the baby clothes and folding more brochures.  It was a lot like Monday.  Until after lunch.

One of the men who is speaking at the conference this weekend came by to introduce a friend of his to the ministry.  They are both named Samson—one’s first name is Samson, and the other’s last name is Samson, so I will differentiate by calling the conference speaker Pastor Samson and the ministry friend Mr. Samson.

Mr. Samson wanted to visit Living Hope Ethiopia because he had heard about it and he ministers to people who have been affected by abortion.  He speaks to huge groups of pastors and asks them how many have aided a woman in getting an abortion.  It never ceases to amaze him at the high percentage of men who raise their hands.  He then teaches them about the realities of abortion, the reality that there is a life inside the mother, not just a ‘blob’ like they are taught.  The presentation is much more involved, of course, but for the sake of time…after he is finished with his talks, he asks the men if they have changed their minds, and they break down.  So many of the men experience true brokenness over what they have done.  They confess and repent, and are sorry they had been bad examples to their families and congregations, and sometimes their wives will confess and repent to having had a secret abortion as well.  He has even been allowed to give his message in Mosques!

Mr. Samson quickly found that he needed a way to counsel these people after they left the conference and went back to their regular lives, and this is what Meseret does for women here,  post-abortive counseling.  So there is a possibility of future training opportunities.

He then proceeded to tell us a lot about his past, and we were completely enthralled for over an hour.

First, the happy, amazing parts:

Mr. Samson is from Kenya, but married an American.  They moved to Arizona, and he still lives in Tucson.  He knows the pastors from the church we used to attend there!  He attends the church that Randy attended in his childhood.  How amazing is that, to go to Ethiopia and meet someone who knows people you know?!!  He knows quite a few people that are friends of Mike and Dinah as well, because of the pro-life connection.  He planned to visit here not knowing that Mike and Dinah would be here visiting too.  God knew.

The awful parts will have to be a cliffhanger, because I’m keeping this post on a happy note.

Tonight was spa night for the girls.  They enjoyed facial masks and a manicure, and lots and lots of laughter.

Beauty Masks Painting Nails

It is so nice to give these girls a little treat after all the heartache and trouble they have had in their young lives.

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about all the trouble and heartache that refined Mr. Samson by fire.


Coffee-wallpaper TLC



Who am I?


I am a friend.  I am your neighbor, your sister, or someone at your church.  I love to study God’s Word and share it with you.

Come here to witness my excited “A-ha!” moments, as well as some pretty mundane stuff.

I have a distinct disdain for emotionally driven bible studies, so you won’t see any of that here.  Why?  “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9 ESV)  That’s why.  We are not taught by Scripture to “follow our hearts” but to follow Jesus Christ.  Emotions can be easily manipulated by crafty teachers, and when that happens we forget to look at Bible verses in their proper context.

My prayer is that you find the writings here helpful, edifying, and encouraging.