Day 18: When we were preparing to go to Ethiopia for a year during Tim’s residency, there were lots of things I was concerned (aka worried) about. One of them was friendships—if Tim is going to be working every day and I’m going to be staying home with Sam, who am I going to be friends with? What if I can’t find any friends? If you know me, you know I’m outgoing and NEED people. What if I didn’t have any?
I worried about that, so I tried to pray about it. I prayed for ONE friend. And boy did God answer with way more than that—American friends, British friends 😉, Ethiopian friends, and more. But my very first friend there was Selam. She owned a tiny store (called a “suk”) a few doors down from our house. I must’ve stopped there to buy some eggs or cokes, and she invited me in and a beautiful friendship began.
She spoke some English, I spoke a little Amharic, and we were both skilled at charades. We shared faith in Jesus and an incredibly similar sense of humor, and we laughed together endlessly. When I was having a bad day or just going crazy inside the house, I would grab 18 month old Sam and we would head to Selam’s suk. We’d sit crammed into the tiny space and drink coffee, eat snacks, and talk and laugh. We were truly kindred spirits, and meeting a friend like her so quickly was such an obvious and abundant answer to that prayer for one friend.
Here’s an excerpt from a letter I wrote to Selam as we were leaving Ethiopia (my Amharic tutor translated it for me to give to her): “Even with our language barriers and cultural differences, I feel like you can almost always just look at me and know exactly what I’m thinking! My friendship with you has truly been one of the greatest comforts of our time here. To have a friend who really understands you is a rare thing, and I am thankful that God gave me that in you."
How does this play into my desire to return to Ethiopia? Well, it’s an example of how God heard my fears and provided lavishly. And I can look back on His faithfulness in the past to renew my hope of His faithfulness for the future.#31daysofcalling #lovesinethiopia