-Jerry Pederson And looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him…Mark 10:21
Our day began with a beautiful sunrise over the Ethiopian jungle with smoke rising in the distance from the numerous huts tucked away in the hillsides. We began to gather on the deck outside the dining hall. A few of us were journaling, some were in quite meditation, and others in light conversation. It’s very peaceful with the sounds of the jungle slowly coming alive. Today fells like the beginning of the end of our journey.
After breakfast, Gebe shared with the team on Mark 14 & 16. It was about the woman who poured expensive perfume over Jesus’ head. In Chapter 16, it talked about Mary Magdalene going to Jesus’ tomb to anoint his body with spices. The take away from Gebe’s message is that we need to have our priorities straight and be discerning about timing.
In getting to know Gebe this past week, it is apparent he is a solid man of God and a very gifted leader. Gebe is and will be one of the Ethiopia’s future leaders.
Our team then transitioned into our first debriefing sessions. The leaders of our team have realized we all need help in making sense of the physical, emotional, and spiritual experience we have just come through. They want to prepare us, before we return to our families, friends, and jobs. Many people shared deeply and emotion from their hearts.
We get on the road again to the Sabana Lodge on Lake Langano with a stop at Lake Awassa. After a short one hour drive, we arrived at Lake Awassa with an unplanned detour to the Haile Resort.
The Haile Resort is a luxury hotel only six months old. It was built by Haile Gebresalassie, a NYC Marathon winner and national hero. It just so happened that Haile was a the resort today. I couldn’t have been more excited, being that I run marathons too. When I got to meet him, have my picture taken with him, get his autograph, and personal phone number, my heart was pounding. This experience put the explanation point to my time here.
Boat rides out on Lake Awassa to see the hippos followed by macchiatos on the patio concluded our short stop at the Haile Resort.
Then we were back on road again for the final leg of our trip to Sabana Lodge. Traveling the streets and highways of Ethiopia has become one of the experiences I will remember most about this country and it’s people. Everywhere we travel there are countless people and children along the roads and standing in the doorways of their huts and houses. You can’t help but catch their eyes with yours, respond to their eager waves, or react to all the infections smiles.
As I look into the faces of all these anonymous people, I can’t help but feel a deep love for them. For at the very basic level, when we strip all our stuff and layers away, I know they are just like me. The have hopes and dreams, they love their wives, children and families, they laugh, they cry, and I’m sure they struggle with the questions of life too.
God, please help me to continually see others with your love.
And looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him…Mark 10:21