Day 29: Have you ever known people ahead of you in life who give you a vision for what you might want your life to look like? We are thankful for people like that in our lives, who we have been able to look at and gain a vision for parenting, for being empty-nesters, for retirement, etc.
Some of the most formational people in our vision for living in Ethiopia have been Andy and Bev Warren. If you read Day 23 about how I ended up going to Ethiopia the first time, Andy was the leader of the Mission to the World team in Ethiopia (and the one whose dad was a pastor in my hometown).
During that first summer as college-aged interns in Ethiopia, Andy and Bev opened up their lives and invested SO much in us. They fed us countless delicious meals in their home, poured endless cups of coffee, gave us rides, taught us about Ethiopia, showed us how to interact with people and care, guided us through how to think about sickness and suffering and poverty, prayed with us, shared their family with us, and had numerous conversations about all our drama like boys, what we want to be when we grow up, etc. I can’t imagine how immature, needy, and irresponsible we were, but they continuously gave of themselves regardless.
Living life with them helped us to see that we could live a relatively normal existence as missionaries in Ethiopia—that it is possible to have a cozy home, cook familiar foods, and give our kids a rich childhood. Since that summer, we have continued to visit them both when we’re in Ethiopia and when they’re in the US—they’re practically family to us. And we are THRILLED that when we move to Ethiopia, we’ll be a part of their team. Their ministry to HIV/AIDS patients and their families has grown by leaps and bounds since we were first there, and while our work in surgery will be different from theirs, we are honored to join a team that does such incredible work for the poorest of the poor in Ethiopia. You can learn more about their work here: www.ethiopiaact.org.
So thanks Andy and Bev for opening your lives up to us and to so many others. We are profoundly grateful for the blessings of learning from those who have gone before us, and we hope that we can make ourselves available to people we’re ahead of in life stages the way that Andy and Bev have for us 😊❤️ #31daysofcalling #lovesinethiopia