Anticipation and Excitement in my Soul

Jun 28, 2015   //   by Jen   //   Blog  //  No Comments

I am so very excited.  Deeply excited.  I am thankful for a renewed spirit that allows me to be refreshed and ready for our next stay in the village.  Upon returning to the US in March, after a 3 month stay in rural Ethiopia, I was ready physically for conveniences that I love, like baths, fancy grocery stores, the fresh smell of lavender scented cleaning supplies and my squishy soft bed.  I was ready for the daily embraces of my two children and my husband.  I could hardly wait for the smiles and easy to understand words of my girl friends, my little backyard garden and simple artwork in my home that was familiar to me.

At first the physical pleasures of returning and the successes of the journey muted my deep missing of my village family and of the injustices I left behind.  Often it is the simple things that pop up and trigger compassion and memories that eventually compel me to return to work and advocate for my people.  I think of our 134 Bright Spot beauties that are smart and strong and that we have the privilege of encouraging in school and in kindness to each other.  I think of our medicine supply cabinet that is well stocked and gives much hope in the face of physical ailments.  I remember our 5 water wells that were only possible because of my brothers of choice that worked tirelessly to make sure they were completed and are now giving 1000 people per week each clean water for the very first time.

In my refreshed state, the urgency in my spirit rarely lets my heart rest in what is next, in what God wants to do through us in partnership with our family in the village.  I think of the bible based stories that are written about love and kindness and the good shepherd that need to be translated and illustrated and ultimately printed in the language of our people.  I think of the micro-businesses that have been started and more encouragement that needs to be given in the form of micro-finance grants.  I think of the bibles we will be privileged to share, for the hygiene supplies, school clothes, writing notebooks, vitamins and and I rejoice inside.  I think of the powerful hope that will be brought with the solar lights and the empowerment that comes from a beautiful handmade skirt given to a school girl.

My anticipation and excitement for our Fall 2015 trip is bursting out of me for the four women who have said “Yes!” to travel with me.  I am overjoyed to share with them the love that our village family that spills all over us freely.  I am thrilled that their willingness to step out of their comfort zone and to leave what is familiar to them behind, will allow them to be greatly overwhelmed with a gift and experience and growth that can be hard to find.  I am so thankful to have strong partnering hands and hearts to stand with me in the difficulties and the beauty.

What’s more, is I am excited to take gifts, beautiful gifts that have been given one by one for children and families that matter.  When we hand carry into the village love notes artistically detailed and created with words of hope by small children in a American vacation bible school setting, the awe of Gods love carried out in an action speaks incredibly.  Some of the children and families have walked from long distances, hours away, to ask for a bible and we get to purchase in country bibles for these people because one man listened to an ask for this need.  From handmade skirts by a grandmother, to a pizza sale at a small private school ran by elementary students that funded new shoes and medicine for hurting feet, to moms making cool stuff and selling it in a bank parking lot… every single person gets to share in the community of making a difference.  Each of us in our simplicity and dependence on each other including our Ethiopian partners, gets to share in the joy and success of sharing hope.  When we work together, when we give out of our overflow, when we recognize and embrace others who come from different circumstances than we do… beauty and love can break forth.

And this is why I am so excited…and I can hardly wait to return in to Ethiopia in September.  The longing in my heart for our family, the joy for my friends that get to come along and for those who will be sending their gifts on with us… the beauty is bold, it is inclusive and it is Love in Action.  Everyone Can Make a Difference.



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Nekempte hospital is the leading hospital in western Ethiopia, specifically in the Oromia region. Approximately 5 million people surround the hospital and are serviced by the staff at this medical facility.

We would like to highlight some new progress currently underway at the hospital. Dr. Haileyesus, the lead surgeon, has worked diligently to establish teamwork among the staff, the local community and with other non profit helping teams across the world. Doctor Haileyesus finds great success in working hard to build an infrastructure that supports the best care possible for patients. He sees great value in bringing together multiple helpers and team players for the best results.

While our wonderful doctor is very humble, we will boast of some of the wonderful achievements that have come from his leadership and partnership with others.

We are celebrating the opening of a new operating theater that will increase the number of surgeries by 50%! The new operating room gives more options as we have added a new orthopedic surgeon who is using SIGN materials to repair badly broken bones.

We are also celebrating the addition of a new skin grafting dermatome machine that has already increased our level of care for our patients.

With much thanks to the community and their support, to Doctor Haileyesus and his humble leadership and to the supporting NGO’s like Sign and Embrace Compassion, our team is making a wonderful impact for the Oromia region.

Nekemte Public Referral Hospital Haileyesus Tesfaye Jeanne Dillner Jennifer Bridges

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We are collecting brand new soccer balls for our kids for Christmas! Feel free to send them directly to our office or to one of our volunteers homes. We will be collecting through Christmas. ...

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