March 3 "Hello Friends, as many of you know, Becky will be returning from Africa on Mar 27th. We would like to have any of you who are in the area, come to a Dessert and Recap on Sunday evening Mar 30 at 7 pm. We will be meeting at the Mellises - 2319 Cartlen in Placentia. Hope you can make it! For those of you who are in Sonlight and are not able to make it, Becky will be speaking in the class soon. We will also send some pix and updates over email). Thank you so much for your prayers and financial support. Pat, Shelley and Becky Evert." If you have any questions, contact the editor.
March 3 Dear Friends, i am doing great. This week has been a real blast. We have been going on all kinds of trips with the kids while the volunteer group is here. They brought enough money to rent buses and cart the kids all over town. We were able to take a road trip down to Sodaray. You can ask Steve and Becky about Sodaray--they know all about the hot springs and monkeys and such. And then yesterday (Thursday) we took all the little kids to the zoo and to a miniature theme park with rides and slides. The kids all had a blast. It looked like they were all about to pee their pants at any moment from the sheer excitement of the day.
All us volunteers have become very protective of our kids and i feel like i am going to miss them so much. My time here is going faster than i would like it to and i feel like i will be leaving my babies in no time at all. I do feel a certain amount of growth as far as my goals for the future, though, and i have this trip to thank. I still will need a time of reflection and prayer to sift through everything i experienced here, but i feel like my major might need to change. i just don't know to what. Anyway, things are going great and i can't imagine my life without these kids and my co-workers in it. I will have a very hard time leaving. I am very glad that Steve and Becky come back so often because i would love to hitch a ride back some time soon and spend some time with my Ethiopian family. Anyway, i better get going. I am supposed to be in the kindergarten class right now. Thanks so much for your prayers and support.
February 17 Mom Shelley writes, "Dear Friends, Here are some excerpts from emails Becky has sent over the last two weeks. Thanks for your praying. It's been an amazing journey and a great learning experience! This is a long update so if you don't have time to read it please continue to pray for 1)Becky's health, safety , 2) for Marissa and Kaisa's salvation (her roommates), and 3) wisdom on how to reach the children for Christ. Thanks, Shelley"
February 7 So
today was an exciting day! We didn't follow our normal schedule so it
felt a little weird and out of the ordinary, but it was very exciting. Do
you wanna hear about it??? You really do 'cuz it was great. Ok, ready?
Here it comes........
We woke up early this morning (around 6:30) to get ready for our day and head to the airport. We picked up Kaisa, the girl from Finland who will be living with us for the next 20 days. She is a really cool girl and she is so excited to be here and be able to teach the kids about media networking. She is a journalist Both of my roommates are blessings and we have lots of fun together. Neither are Christian, though, so pray, pray, pray. After lunch we took a little break back at the house because the electricity cut out and we couldn't do e-mail.
This is where the day gets even more special.... We noticed two people riding horses and snooped around till we found the front door of this Ethiopian stable. I say Ethiopian stable because it is nothing like a stable you would see in the U.S. The horses were very healthy looking, though, and well fed. Horses always scare me because they are so big and powerful, and also happen to be quite stupid and easily spooked.
I was interested in riding one though. The stables in the states never let you really ride the horse. They make you walk the horse because they are afraid you will kill yourself and they will get sued. It is a very legitimate fear. In Ethiopia there is no such thing as suing people for your stupid mistake. Also in Ethiopia they like it that you will pay them to ride the horse and give it sufficient exercise. Needless to say, they let you do what ever you want/are able to do on their horses.
There were two large horses and one small. I had told the fellow the day before that i had only been riding once or twice and so I assumed that he had saddled the little guy for my learning benefit. Eau contraire! Marissa and I were both given beasts and the owner of the horses mounted the little guy. We started with a little walking and light trotting around the ring on the property so i could learn how to properly trot so my butt bones would not turn to dust under the beating.
The guide Hailu, however, attached a rope to my horse so that i would be able to learn to ride without having to try to steer simultaneously. I was very appreciative of this, because of the very fact i mentioned earlier about the rather stupid and unpredictable nature of these beasts. It went well and i got the hang of it rather quickly. Before i knew it Hailu turned to me and said, "So you are ready for to be alone now, no?" "Uhhhh.... yeah, sure, ok." In my mind i was thinking, "If he thinks i can do this, i think i can do it." Yeah i'm one of those people.
So anyway i took the reigns and galloped that horse like nobody's business! I also got a kind
of a strange horse who was a homebody and happened to know the way back,
so i got extra practice in the stopping and steering part. Then on the
way home we had to go up the hill that we had come down and i learned
that horses have to go really fast up hills. I was totally on my own for
this and the horse just took off like the wind up the hill and started
tearing down the trail. I thought about stopping the stupid thing but my
adrenaline would not allow for such a wussy decision. It was a blast!!
Even better, this stable is about a 3 minute walk from our house and the
owner speaks perfect english. I am way stoked, and my butt hurts really
After a week of bronchitis, asthma, sun stroke and some kind of fungal infection, Becky writes: Hey familia, I'm alive!!! I still don't have much energy or patience these days when it comes to the kids, but i am trying. This week sure has been a different one. When i talked to you on Monday i was in the middle of my heat stroke episode. I slept all day Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Finally on Wed. i was able to get out of bed without getting dizzy and feeling like throwing up.
i went back to work helping Kaisa with her media project and today we just played with all the kids in the yard. On Thursday they took all 70 kids to a park about an hour away. This park was just a wooded area in the middle of nowhere and there were an amazing amount of flie there. We also got a scare when one of the kids went missing. We were all worried because this child in particular has motor skill issues and is a little mentally slow. He was found after about 2 hours. He had fallen, knocking out two teeth, cutting up his face, and he was missing a shoe. He was pretty scared and after the day was over he was taken to the hospital for care. I also got to watch them kill a couple of goats out there in the woods. That was lunch. It is amazing how fast they can break those animals down into meals.
The English classes are going really well and we are having a lot of fun putting together games that the children can play while they are learning different phrases.
The large group will all be here by tomorrow and this next week will be filled with plenty of fun and activities. The kids don't have any school right now because they are on vacation so that means we will be doing a lot of extra curricular activities. It should be fun.love, beck
February 1 Hey! Tell Jim i said thank you for all the encouragement. It is so good to hear from people back home while i am here. It feels like i am in this with a whole team behind me. Today Marissa and i are having our first day taking our own class. We will leave for the older compound in about 3 hours and so will begin our journey. It will be fun. The more i get to know the kids the more fun it is around here.
I am finding it increasingly hard to give time to the Lord with my ever increasing schedule and i would like to be able to spend more time in prayer and reading my bible. The good news is, though, that quiet time with God is now something i crave. Much like the t.v. on a boring or stressful day when i used to be tempted to just tune out and spend hours being entertained... now i crave quiet time with God. I still don't feel necessarily like God answers or that it is a dialog, but i do enjoy being quiet and spending time in silence. Reflecting on the day and bringing forth prayers that are on my heart. Pray that my relationship with God would never take a back seat to my busy schedule here and that i would never lose sight of the wonderful things God has laid before me here.
Pray also for Marissa, who is not saved, that i and all that we work with would be God's instruments in her life to save her! .....It is really hard for me sometimes to know that she is not Christian because this trip is in itself a very spiritual journey for me and i can't share that with her the way i would like to. I am not quiet about my faith by any means but i am not able to have fellowship with her or receive encouragement from her like i would another Christian. I struggle a lot with how to show my faith to her without offending her. Anyway pray about that because i feel like my role as her roommate and co-worker is vital to her hearing and understanding Christianity.
Those soccer girls that Vicki G. mentioned are really nice. They are also really Christian and it is good to have girls around that i can get together with and praise the Lord by sharing what we are doing and learning. I have only met them once but they have been calling me to get together again and i will be sure to bring Marissa if she wants to go. The people i work with in the office are also really Christian and it is wonderful to hear them praising the Lord. I have been very blessed here. Continue to pray for my humility and attitude of servitude. I cannot believe that i have been here for almost a month!!! Time is flying by. Thanks so much for praying.
Yesterday one of the older girls was picked up by her new American mom. Everyone was sad to see her go, but it was so encouraging to see her go to a bright and healthy future. Instantly she was transformed into one of the wealthiest people in her country. Also yesterday i rode one of the van taxis by myself for the first time. It was very exciting. I told them where i wanted to go in Amharic and got there and back with ease. I am practically a local :) Life here is so easy now that i am confident in my ability to get around. Kaldi's was my stop (which is Ethiopian starbucks) and there i met with Steve and a group of four girls here who are with MAI (doing sports ministry - they all knew Paul G.). Kaldi's was fun but expensive by ethiopian standards.
My house girl is still very sick so i have been attempting to cook for myself. It got a lot easier yesterday cause i finally got propane for my stove. Cooking is a world of trouble when you don't have fire :) Needless to say my meals have been very humble but intensely satisfying. I also found out how to turn on the satellite tv that is in the house and watched Napolean Dynamite while i ate dinner, followed by an episode of CSI. It was quite nice but i can see how this new luxury might become very entangling. I am watching how much i let myself indulge.
I am sick of seeing/smelling dead dogs. It took me two weeks to see my first dead dog and only 3 days to quadruple that number. The live ones are everywhere and now the dead ones are too. There is one dog that lives on my street... i named him Bob because he's got some pretty gnarly dreads. He's a pretty cool dog. I hope he doesn't expire before i leave.
Anyway things are going better than ever. This Sunday is Timket. This is a festival that involves all of Addis where each of the Orthodox churches march out their own personal ark of the covenant of God. They bring them all to one square in Addis and celebrate by throwing holy water (the nearest river water. a.k.a. sewage) on the people and blessing them for the coming year. It promises to be the most colorful and extravagant festival i have ever seen. I am excited and i will be sure to take lots of pictures.
If i am able i will try to make a trip up to see Lalebella and Axum. Axum is where, all the Ethiopians will tell you, the original ark of the covenant resides. Any way i love you tons and i will write to you again soon.
Furthermore these last two days with the kids have been the best yet and i have had endless energy to give to them all the running and games their little hearts desire. This morning i woke with an eager attitude and even through i cried on the phone my heart was welling over with joy and excitement. This is home... for now ...and these children are my joy. they are darling and it is hard for me to think of the future they were born into without being reminded of God's sovereignty and the fact that He is here with me to help me do what i cannot do under my own strength. i am waiting to take any pictures of the kids because i know they are very sensitive about photography (the staff, not the kids). Even when i do get them though i will not be able to send them home because i will be forbidden from putting them on the internet. Any way i love you all to bits. And don't call me on Sat. morning because there is a chance i will be spending friday night at SIM because we are leaving for fiche at 7 in the morning. Also feel free to forward any and all of the letters i have sent so far. You can even cut and paste if you want. They are all very candid and i don't mind for people to see me struggle as well as rejoice in my time here.
Love you, Becky
So anyway, i am done with my "to-do's" by 2 and i realize that i've got nothing on my schedule till bed... at 9. Needless to say by the time i went to bed at 8 i felt trapped in a solitary confinement cell. To add to the pain the water was shut off so i couldn't shower and there was NOBODY else in the house. Also no food (and i still feel a little leery about wandering the streets of africa alone). Then because i went to bed early i woke early to find there was still no water and still no food and still nothing to do. I decided that if Marissa doesn't come for any reason i am coming straight home. Then satan got me dwelling on this idea of being here utterly alone and that's when i called you. When you didn't call back i sat and prayed to God for mercy. After which i went to work and had the most encouraging day yet playing with the children and having lunch with the office workers.
After i finish internet i will go back and do some cleaning and busy work. God is good, but i still am having trouble with feeling alone. I can't wait till Marissa gets here and i will have someone i can talk to without wondering if they are understanding me. But most importantly someone to spend the long and lonely evenings with. I know God is with me but i wish he would just tell me how His day went, ya know :) Anyway i love you all and i can't wait to see you in 3 months... i'll be a whole new, broken and rebuilt, me.
Sunday, 30 December 2007: I hope this e-mail gets to you. It took me about 25 minutes to log on :) Anyway, things are going great. It is monday morning and a van from AHOPE is coming to the SIM guest house this morning to pick me up. Things are so different here but i am enjoying it very much. I can't wait to get settled and find my place in this bustling town.
So far i have met all the missionaries at the SIM house and spent the day getting my bearings around town as much as i can. I love you guys so much and i have taken some great pictures of the town. Seeing as it took me so long to get to the mail i know i won't be able to send you pics from this part of town but maybe at the next place i try. I have to go know but i love you guys and i might be able to call soon :)Beck