Posted by: Brittany | October 20, 2010

Returning to Ethiopia.

Dear Family and Friends,

If you had told me just a few weeks ago that I would be traveling back to the beautiful country of Ethiopia at the end of this year I would’ve told you you were crazy. But I’m learning every day that God’s ways are not my own, and that His timing is not mine, either. The doors continue to swing open and I am stepping out in faith.

When I returned from my trip with Mocha Club last summer, I already knew that I would go back to Ethiopia again someday. I didn’t know when, but I knew that wasn’t the last time I’d stand upon Ethiopian soil. God had instilled in me such a love for the people there. There are days during which I am overwhelmed by how much I miss them and how very much I want to return. I am thankful beyond words for the opportunity the Lord has given me this winter.

I have been accepted as a member of a team departing for Ethiopia on or around December 29th and returning on or around January 11th. I will, once again, be spending time in Addis Ababa (the capital), Nazaret and Ambo. While ministry plans are not yet set in stone, we will spend the majority of our time serving Women At Risk in both Addis and Nazaret. Women At Risk provides spiritual, emotional and psychological counseling to former prostitutes while also providing job training. While in Ambo, we will visit the Compassion school and work with the school children and street boys. I will have the opportunity to see familiar faces and build upon relationships that began back in the summer of 2009. That, to me, is an incredible blessing. Our ministry plans will come together as my team and I have conference calls in the coming weeks. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from last time, it’s that not all will go according to plan, and flexibility is key. I am so excited to see where God will lead us and how He will minister both to us and through us during our two weeks on the ground in Ethiopia.

Please join me in prayer as the trip approaches. Pray for Jesus to be reflected by myself and my team. Pray that the Ethiopian people would have open hearts to receive His love. Pray that the Holy Spirit would give us the right words in each situation. Pray that as a team we would be of one heart and mind, that we would maintain an attitude of humility and service, that we would have hearts that are willing and teachable. God WILL change us. He will challenge us, stretch us, mold us. And He will uphold us and strengthen us through it all. Pray that we would rest in those truths and that we would not try to do any of His work in our own strength.

Between now and my trip, I will need to raise a total of $3,050. I know that’s nothing to God, and I trust that if His plan is for me to be a part of this trip, that the funds will surely follow. If you feel led to support me financially, please visit https://www.mochaclub.org/africa-trips/, scroll to the bottom of the page and select “Make A Donation” under Winter Ethiopia Trip: December 27th, 2010 – January 9th, 2011. Enter my name in the first field (“Trip Member’s Name”) and fill out the rest. If you’d prefer to write a check, please let me know and I will provide you with the information necessary to do so. Please note that all donations are tax deductible. To those of you who may have supported my first trip to Ethiopia with Mocha Club, I sincerely appreciate you and your generosity and understand if you are unable to support me financially this time around. If you have any questions about finances, or the trip in general, please feel free to email or call me!

Thank you all in advance, from the bottom of my heart, for prayerfully and financially supporting me as I prepare for and go on this trip. I thank God for each and every one of you.

During my first trip to Ethiopia I wrote in my journal, “I want to go in the direction He calls me and not be afraid of it.” He is a God who answers prayers. May He receive all of the glory.
Blessings,
Brittany


He has told you, O man, what is good;

And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?
Micah 6:8

Posted by: Brittany | January 9, 2010

Ethiopia 2010?

I haven’t written here in a while.  There are probably several reasons for this, but if I’m being honest, it feels like my trip this past summer was a different life entirely.  I don’t like admitting that.  When I came back I was determined that my life would never look the same.  I was sure that I would never let it feel like a distant memory.

It’s a frustrating feeling.  I remember walking down Park Avenue the day I returned from Africa.  I remember looking around and feeling like a fish out of water and wondering what all of this was for- the money, the tall, extravagant buildings, the luxury apartments.  It was everything Africa was not.  And I missed Africa.

For a little while that feeling continued.  But somewhere along the way, days started going by during which I didn’t think about my trip.  And soon it was weeks.  Lately, though, the memories are back and I find myself thinking of Ethiopia and the people there often.

I didn’t anticipate returning to Ethiopia this summer, but when I heard about the trip Mocha Club made just this past couple weeks, I began thinking about going back.  When I received the email about the upcoming summer trips, I began to seriously consider it.  What happens next is prayer.  And lots of it. :)

I’m writing this post to ask that you pray with me.  Pray that if the Lord wants me to return to serve the people of Ethiopia, that He would direct me in that.  Pray that whether I go back or not, that He shows me how to live in a way that glorifies Him and puts into practice all He taught me during my time in Africa.  Pray that He would enlarge my heart for those in need of Him, both here and overseas.  Pray that no matter what I do and where I go, that Jesus would be the center of it all–that He would always be my Reason and my Strength and my Guide.  If I go, I go in His name.  If I stay, I stay in His name.

Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:11

Posted by: Brittany | September 16, 2009

compassion.

There’s a heaviness on my heart again today when I think of Ethiopia.  It’s not sadness, really.  It’s not exactly hurt.  I’ve been trying to pinpoint just what to call it, and then I realize:

This is what compassion feels like.

If I feel this, I can only imagine the compassion that Jesus had- the heaviness on His heart for the world and the people He came to save.  It makes me love Him all the more, to know this feeling and to know that He has those same feelings towards me, and even greater still.

Posted by: Brittany | August 21, 2009

go in peace

bettyThis is Betty. I gave her a pedicure on our first day at Women At Risk.  I knew enough Amharic to be able to ask her name.  Then I asked how old she was- she’s 18. During our time at Women At Risk, Betty was awfully quiet. I’d often see her go off to the side by herself and just sit and observe. That day I decided to join her. We didn’t have much to say given the language barrier, but I think it was okay. It broke my heart that this sweet girl had been through things I couldn’t imagine. Here I was, five years her senior, and yet this girl had seen the hardest of times. When I was 18 I went to college. My parents provided. I had no cares or worries. Meeting Betty put things into perspective.  I pray that whatever pain and hurt she has suffered, whatever shame she may feel, that she would truly know and grasp the amazing love with which Jesus loves her- that just as Jesus said to the prostitute who washed His feet with her tears, He will say to Betty, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Posted by: Brittany | August 20, 2009

hope for addis.

I met a beautiful woman at Women At Risk. Her name is Addis, and she has two wonderful daughters. Addis was quiet but so loving. She told me she wished she could come back to New York with me. Funny, because I would have rather stayed in Ethiopia with her. I think about Addis often, praying that she continues forward in the path that God has laid out for her, and experiencing His joy and peace. I am so thankful to Women At Risk for the work they are doing, and for reaching out to people like Addis. It is for her that I have started a new Mocha Club team (in addition to my team supporting Orphan Care & Vulnerable Children).

Please join my new team, Hope For Addis. As little as $7 a month can change lives. Hope For Addis is supporting the Child Mothers & Women At Risk projects through Mocha Club.

Posted by: Brittany | August 14, 2009

love across oceans.

Check out the guest blog I wrote for Mocha Club!

Posted by: Brittany | August 14, 2009

fun fact.

I can’t believe I didn’t share this earlier:

The day we arrived at the school in Ambo, tons of kids surrounded our bus as we were getting off. There were so many sweet faces. The first child I locked eyes with looked familiar. It hit me in that moment:

THIS is him.

The boy I just happened to use a picture of on this blog was smiling right at me. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to take a picture of him myself. But it was such a beautiful moment to see that familiar face– to connect what I’d simply seen online with a real, sweet little boy. I had him in my English class a couple days later. He was so smart and eager to learn. He raised his hand to answer almost every question.

It was such a blessing.

Posted by: Brittany | August 12, 2009

I miss you.

I miss you.

I miss you, Addis. I miss you, Abrahet. I miss you, Selam. I miss you, Segarada. I miss you, Howee. I miss you, Giftikia. I miss you, Tura. I miss you, Surafel. I miss you, Tadios. I miss you, Donawhet. I miss you, Romiya. I miss you, Derebe. I miss you, Tgist. I miss you, Sefen. I miss you, Genet. I miss you, Rael. I miss every face, every voice, every story.

I miss you, Africa.

[Warning: Several name spellings were butchered in the making of this blog post.]

Posted by: Brittany | July 28, 2009

blog.

As this blog is home to all posts pertaining to my recent trip to Ethiopia (and related thoughts), I have set up a personal blog here. It doesn’t really have a theme. I’m not really sure how often I’ll even use it. But there it is! :)

Posted by: Brittany | July 17, 2009

International Justice Day.

Visit the new Mocha Club website.

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