Thursday, August 21, 2008

Pics: Project ET-403 from Monday, August 11, 2008

Don't miss our growing addition of pictures of our trip to Ethiopia. You can click here to see the slideshow!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The rain continues to fall on our final full day in Ethiopia

During breakfast, some members of our group were commenting about a loud blast of thunder that shook our hotel around 4am this morning.

Our Compassion Project visits are complete. So, Saturday is a cultural 'play' day. Seems like all of our 'shopping lists' have grown since we arrived in Addis Ababa about a week ago. Local coffee has been added to my 'must find and take home' list. J I enjoy a good cup of coffee. No matter the brand. well, I have truly fallen in love with native Ethiopian coffee.

For lunch, Italian Pizza from a quaint restaurant up a winding road way just outside the hustle and bustle of Addis Ababa was indeed a treat.

Now it is time to pack and relax a little before hopping our plane back to North Carolina.

Cindy and I have tons of digital pictures and lots of stories to tell. We will post our best photos from Ethiopia next week. We apologize for the lack of images on our Blog. I know that photos will help you see a little more of what we experienced this past week in Ethiopia. Lots of photos will be posted next week once we recover from jet lag. :)

In spite of some technical difficulties (and operator error), God is good. We are thankful that He kept our focus on soaking up this experience without loosing sight of His goal. Thanks for your continued prayers.

Bye for now.

Verne Hill (WBFJ News) LIVE from Addis Abba, Ethiopia (Africa)

Friday, August 15, 2008

What a week in Ethiopia with Compassion International

Here are some interesting factoids that we learned this week during our visit to Africa. Some of these facts will amuse, some of these facts should alarm you...

Ethiopia celebrated the millennium last September. That's right. The year is 2000. I hope that they are Y2K ready. Ethiopia is seven hours 'ahead' of North Carolina's current time.

Ethiopia was under harsh Communistic rule from 1974-1991. During this dark time, Christians met in underground churches. Democratic elections were held in 2005. The government is stable and people can relatively worship openly.

Ethiopia is located 3 degrees above the Equator and is in its rainy season. Temperatures this week in Addis Ababa (the capitol city where our Compassion Team was located) was mild, in the lower 70s.

HIV / AIDS, poverty and war have killed millions in Ethiopia. 123 out of 1,000 children never make it to their 5th birthday.

The birthplace of Coffee was in southern Ethiopia in the Coffa region. Coffee served with popcorn is a traditional way to invite guests into their home for fellowship. I'm hooked!

80% of the country's people work in Agriculture. Some of the staple crops: Coffee and roses.

Let's go shopping: It takes roughly 9 Ethiopian Birr (dollars) to make up one US dollar.

Most of the population is desperately poor. The average income is just $120.00 a year. Most families live on just $2.00 a month or $24.00 a year!

Ethiopia has skyscrapers, lots of shopping areas, an ever improving interstate road system and internet cafes. You'll also find massive poverty.

Compassion International (along side the local evangelical Christian church) is making a positive difference in Ethiopia...

In Obi Kale, one local evangelical church has grown from 200 to +2,000 members within 12 years since Compassion added a Student Center at their site. From this one church in Obi, three additional churches have been planted. From one child, many families are being transformed. Nearly all of the Compassion sponsored students at the ET-115 project have been baptized as believers in Christ.

When you sponsor a child through Compassion International you literally 'releasing a child from poverty in the name of Jesus Christ'.

"Speak up for the unspeakable, help those in need"

Proverbs 31:8-9

WBFJ will be sharing more in the coming days, weeks and months about how you can become a child sponsor through Compassion International. My family sponsors a young man in Southern India. Pray about getting involved.

Verne Hill (WBFJ News) LIVE from Addis Abba, Ethiopia (Africa)

Ethiopian Runner Takes Gold in Women's 10,000 meter

Go, Ethiopia! Boy, did we have the Olympic fever this afternoon. Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia won the Gold in the Women's 10,000 meter final in Beijing. On top of that, Dibaba also broke some type of world record! How exciting! Here we are in Ethiopia and we get to experience one of their favored athletes take the Gold! Yes, we must admit...we were pulling for her. :)Congrats to Shalane Flanagan of the USA on taking third place and the Bronze.

The Compassion team hurried back to the hotel to watch the much-talked-about Olympic event with some of our Ethiopian brothers in Christ.

Verne Hill (WBFJ News) LIVE from Addis Abba, Ethiopia (Africa)