Darcy is a volunteer with Acts 8 Ministries, and joined our 10-day trip this September. Below is her account of the journey, and her experience being in Ethiopia!
Recently, I went on a trip to Debre Zeyit, Ethiopia with Teresa from Acts 8 Ministries. When I was approached about going, I said “Yes,” and God took care of the details! This trip was to be my first outside of the United States, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I had good expectations and so much peace as I prepared. The unknown was very exciting to me, and I wanted to see if Jesus was worshiped the same in Ethiopia!
Before the trip, Teresa did such a wonderfully thorough training. I was impressed with the professionalism and respect that was shown, and not a detail was overlooked. Us volunteers were even treated to coffee, snacks, and got to choose our lunch which came from a local quality deli. I was even more excited for the trip after training finished!
When September rolled around and it was time to go, I felt at peace. Teresa knew what to expect and filled me in as we went along. She was confident and knowledgeable, and I felt comfortable letting her lead me through the ins and outs of international travel. I learned a lot along the way!
We spent our first night in country in Addis Ababa, then took a taxi to Debre Zeyit the next morning. It was quite a drive!
We enjoyed the trip with our cab driver, who proved to be a master at navigating the crazy traffic in Addis Ababa. We found out he was in the worship band at the big Christian church he attended! We sang, then he sang and explained to us what the songs said. He proved to be a good tour guide, too, and it was very fun sharing the Lord on the drive! It was also fun seeing cows, goats and horses on the side of the expressway!
I realized that these people had genuine care for each other, and once you were acquainted, you became like family.
When we got to Debre Zeyit, a woman named Yenagu was there to meet us. Teresa had met her on the previous training trip, and they shared a good relationship. I found out that she was quite well known in the community. She had been involved in so many Christian happenings; she had even been on television there! This is a woman I would learn from in my time there.
Our cab driver, Yared, was awestruck when he realized Yenagu was who we were meeting there! She was gracious and hugged him and gave him her phone number. We had hugs all around before he left us at the guest house where we’d be staying. I realized that these people had genuine care for each other, and once you were acquainted, you became like family.
Days with Fellow Believers:
We spent a lot of time with a young pastor, Wondwossen. That Sunday evening Teresa, Yenagu and I went to his church. We arrived when they were worshiping, and it was such a great time, full of passion, joy, and the presence of God! We were asked to speak, and all had something on our hearts to talk about. Our words were well received, and I felt honored to have been able to share!
Wondwossen generously offered his time to us for the duration of our visit. I saw and learned a lot about life there, and was treated like family. He even took us to meet his wife, young son, and brand new baby boy, what a blessing!
I spent a day under the weather, but Yenagu and the young ladies (at her house that she had raised) took wonderful care of me. They brought me food, Sprite, and water to the guesthouse. I was shown great concern and asked frequently if I was doing okay. It was so sweet and comforting, more like being at home.
Yenagu made sure Teresa and I ate, and invited us for every meal we were available for! I enjoyed experiencing Ethiopian cuisine, and I even got rice when my tummy was a little rocky. The coffee we were served was outstanding, and we even had a personal demonstration of coffee roasting in Yenagu’s living room by one of the young ladies!
The more time I spent with the people in Debre Zeyit, the more I saw the passion the Ethiopian people have for God, and their genuine desire for more of Him. I saw what a good fit Acts 8 is for this community.
We did some data collecting for Give Me Hope, and I was again so impressed with Teresa’s thoroughness and purpose as she collected the data and had it translated. During that time, we had the opportunity to visit churches, meet some pastors and even meet some children who were at school. They loved having their pictures taken!
Teresa had been asked to present a women’s conference to the Christian women in leadership roles throughout Debre Zeyit and even some farther outlying areas. She had done a conference on her last trip with another member of Acts 8, and it had been a big hit! Another opportunity to meet the needs of the Christians there! The material Teresa had compiled was so well arranged, relevant, and so well received!
I was honored to be able to share several times during the conference as well. These women were passionate, spiritually on fire, and hungry to learn anything that was new to them! What a huge honor it was to be in the presence of such wonderful women! They prayed and worshiped with fervor, and I felt my bar for this being set higher in a beautiful way!
Our trip had to come to a close, and soon Teresa and I were boarding the plane again for the long flights back to the U.S.
But my trip to Ethiopia is one that I will never forget. I learned about travel, about a different culture, and about the universal love for Jesus. I learned that where there is a need, God will provide a way to meet it. I will never forget being used by Him to help fill a need for my Ethiopian brothers and sisters in Christ, giving and being taught. I would do it again in a heartbeat!
For more info on how you could be a part of our mission trips, email: firstname.lastname@example.org!