Well I had not heard from Eileen since the email I received this morning. All day long I kept checking my email for an update. I sent her an update on what was going on around here and at around 5:20 pm I received a response. They lose power quite frequently in Addis Ababa so she was sending her email messages in segments, typing short messages, sending them quickly and then doing it again. As I started the first email, I noticed she was ONLINE! "YES!" I yelled out loud, scaring one of my co-workers. I quickly initiated an online chat with her and soon realized that I was probably as giddy as some pimple-faced teenager chatting online with his girlfriend. It was just so cool! Here she was, on the other side of the world, on another continent, and we were talking back and forth online. We were hoping we were going to be able to do this and actually even video chat, but they don't have a high speed connection where she is now.
Here is a sampling of our conversation:
me: Hi Babies
im writng so fast dont check the spelling its dark and i can';t see eutther
me: how good it is to talk to you! even if it is only like this
Eileen: oh how i wish you were here
me: me too...almost time to go home..what time is it there?
Eileen: 12]30 a.m everyone is in bed i am in the dark here
the pastor from intnl church is coming to dinner tomorrow night. cant wait to meet him
Eileen: i SEE GOD ALL DAY TODAY
me: yaeh mee too
Eileen: I am trying to record today so much happening
me: what do you want me to post today?
Eileen: God is writing this story...you can fix this post and then put it up i have more to add though..i can hardly see the keeys
me: you mean the email you wrote? I have not even finished reading cuz i saw you were online
Eileen: yes..i am still writing
me: we are so excited for you and for all that is happening....how is solomon?
Eileen: I LOVE SOLOMON
Is that cool or what?
Here is the email she sent:
What an AMAZING DAY!!!! I could not sleep again. I hardly slept on the plane and then I only slept about 4 hours and I suddenly woke up and was wide awake. I just prayed for the LORD to orchestrate our time here, give me wisdom and discernment and SHOW ME HIS WILL!
WE called Habtamu, Cherokee's driver, to take us out to eat and run a few errands. We ate at the same Starbucks-type cafe (Kaldi)where Ryan took us. We had omelets, pancakes, and water bottles. Georgie sat very quietly during breakfast, almost like he was out of it. He was just riding in the car with the video camera on and not saying much all morning. Habtamu then took us on a riding tour all around Addis telling the history and saying "photo forbidden here" and "OK, now you can take photo again". "Photo forbidden", "OK now again". It was funny, Georgie was so serious. Then he told him to make sure the camera is tight on his hand in case someone tries to grab it. Then we went to lunch at the Lime Tree Restaurant and Cafe. A lot of Americans in there. WE had spaghetti. The entire time we drove around and went to the same little market to buy water bottles, Solomon had his arm around me and did not let go of my hand. HE sat right next to me and just kept the biggest smile on his face all day. I kept holding him and hugging him all day. We were inseparable.
Solomon is such a gentleman. He opens the doors for me, etc. On the way back from lunch I noticed Georgie had his eyes closed and was really out of it. He was in the front seat and we were in the back.
I asked if he was OK and he said,
"I can't believe all these fumes, I can hardly breathe..."
I burst out laughing and said,
"Are you getting carbon monoxide poisoning or are you sleeping?"..
He said, "I honestly don't know, I hope I don't die here!"
It was soo funny. He later shared that he felt out of it all day and he thinks he was honestly in shock!! (Note from Jerry: When I was there 2 years ago, it took me several days to get acclimated to the high altitude and lack of oxygen. I was pretty much out of it also)
Georgie had never seen such poverty, or such a sad situation. A man came to the open window and begged him for money. He had 10 fingers on one hand!!! Georgie looked at me with his serious face and huge eyes after he gave him some money and said..DID YOU SEE THAT? I was right behind him so I did. Then all of a sudden we started getting swarmed by beggars. A lady with a tiny baby came to him next and he just teared up.
He said "I can't believe this!"
Then he said "OH-OH, Look what I started" and the driver started off again.
He said he has traveled 6 continents and has never seen anything like this. So we came back to the house and he went to take a nap.
Solomon and I sat on the couch all alone for several hours and he just shared his amazing testimony with me. I sat in tears and amazed at all that God has done. He described our visit to Kolfe to a "T". He has it memorized and etched in his mind. He took out a photo album he has made and showed me the photo we took with him kneeling at my feet with the whole group. and he said "THIS IS THE MOST SPECIAL DAY OF MY LIFE - THIS IS THE DAY I WAS BORN AGAIN!! He proceeded to give me details of how that day went down. He described that he started out very sad and depressed and was in his room studying for exams that were coming up soon. He heard a lot of boys talking about a family that was visiting outside. He decided to go out and get refreshed and take a look. He saw me with Habtamu and decided to join us. He described every thing we did. I was amazed when he said that he was noticing something different about me and that I seemed so interested in everyone. Then he said we went to the soccer field and talked a long time with all the boys and we were getting ready to go. He said he doesn't know if you remember Jerry but you said we had to leave and I told you we can't until I give all the boys a mama hug. He heard you say not we have to go and he said he prayed right there for God to please let me give him a hug!!! Please ! And that's when they all lined up and one by one I gave everyone of the boys a big hug.
I shared our testimony at dinner tonight and then Solomon shared his testimony. It was awesome and I see where God is going big time. I was a bucket of tears. He said he never understood the Bible when he read it because he didn't know what real love was. Gina from Children's Hope Chest wants a video of it to post at CHC. She said it is going to impact the world!
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. Eph 3:20-21