On the Road Again (Jonathan’s been listening to Willie Nelson)

 It is funny sometimes the pace that life can take. We spent two weeks in Debre Zeit feeling like we were doing very little and moving at a snails pace through our time. Trust us, we are not complaining. This week we apparently shifted into 5th gear on a straight stretch. Consider the work of God; For who can make straightwhat He has made crooked? Ecclesiastes 7:18 It is amazing to see the work that the Lord can do with His people. This week at CHE we had a group of Americans from Washington (and one from California) come to the drop in center to minister and play with the children. It was a busy three days but the children were obviously touched by the visit from so many folks. The visitors were obviously touched as well. There were about 18 folks that came all with varying talents. One member of the group is a doctor and he gave the children basic health exams and we were able to take the children to a nearby clinic and have them tested for parasites and get a good blood check. The doctor feared that many of the kids were anemic, probably from parasites. While he gave the children individual examinations the other children played with the many soccer balls the group brought, made crafts, sang songs or played games like Red Light, Green Light. The children, after the second day, were singing Jesus Loves Me as they played in the courtyard of the compound. Other members of the group started on the task of building a small shelter at the compound to cover over a ping-pong table that CHE will be getting soon.

From the lab work that was done for the children we found out that 7 have Giardia, 3 have amoebas and one of the 7 with Giardia also has hookworm. The doctor went with Jess and Nega to the pharmacy near the compound and bought medicine for all of the children. The group also brought vitamins for the kids to take. We imagine that the kids don’t know how good they can feel. They are getting regular meals now, but they aren’t getting all the nutrients they could because of their parasites. After the meds and the vitamins, we may really have our hands full!


In addition to the work that the group did with us this week, Jonathan was able to get his Ethiopian driver’s license, Bisrot got the temporary and then the permanent plates for the CHE makina (car), and we received two cards and three packages from home-two for us and one for the kids at the drop-in center. Jess described the week best when she e-mailed our sister-in-law Karyn and said that God blesses us all the time, but there are times when He floods us with blessings. This week we have been driving full speed through one of the best floods we have ever experienced.


Jonathan actually has been driving some in the flood of crazy Addis drivers. He has been stopped by the traffic police every day that he has driven. It only took him one day to get a ticket from one of the ubiquitous traffic officers. Jonathan crossed over the imaginary yellow middle line as we went around a stopped truck. We were looking for a place to turn around to head back toward the office/drop-in center. If we had not turned around and just went on our way, we would have been fine, but we went back past the officer and he gave Jonathan a ticket. When you get a traffic ticket in Addis the officer takes your license and your ticket acts as your license for 48 hours. You have to go to one place and wait in an insanely long line to pay for your ticket and then go across town to pick up your license at the police station. TIA. The funniest part about Jonathan getting a ticket is that the next day, the same traffic officer stopped him for veering too far right to avoid being hit by another car. The officer only saw that Jonathan went too far right. He didn’t recognize Jonathan at first but when he looked at his license he asked, “Didn’t I punish you yesterday?” Jonathan was a bit agitated this time so he plead his case to the officer. After several minutes of argument the officer backed down and Jonathan managed to avoid another ticket, praise God.


It is nice to have weeks that vary, too many weeks like this week may overwhelm us and make us not fully appreciate all that He does for us. Too many weeks of rest and slow pacing tend to make us lazy and complacent. He always knows what we need and when. Emu commented this week that Jess was excited about the foringe being here. Jess was excited about other native English speakers, but mainly we were both excited about the chance to see and be a part of God’s work.






  1. Jon and Jess, It really sounds interesting how that culture works. It sounds like you are going back in time in alot of ways. The ticket Jonathan got and the way he handled it showes he is truely learning how to deal with whats going on there. We really enjoy your updates. It gives us an idea of what you are doing and what to pray for. We love you both and miss you. All our love, Dad and Mom

  2. So, is a ticket in Ethopia as expenseive as it is inconvienent? Or worse, does it go against your insurance? Do you have insurance in the bush country? I often think of the two of you and wonder how hard will it be to readjust to like in the states. Thanks for sharing your journey. We love you guys! Dana and fam

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