For the past few weeks, my Bible study group has been studying the Epistle of Paul to the Philippians. The Philippian church was special to Paul because of how they supported his ministry and he mentions multiple times his thankfulness for their “partnership in the Gospel”. So I thought I would use this update to introduce you to my partners here in the SIM/MTW HIV/AIDS Care and Treatment Project. This letter will introduce my Western team mates and the next update will introduce the Ethiopian ones.
Bev and Andy Warren are the team leaders. They are veteran missionaries, having lived in Africa for about 25 years. Andy is a development specialist and the chief spokesperson and fund raiser for our project. Bev does the accounting work for the project, which is a huge job. They host our weekly team meetings and make sure we get good snacks and coffee!
Michael and Emily Treadwell are both teachers and work with the Children and Youth program. They lead groups for the school aged kids in the project, teach English, make home visits to kids and their parents, and advocate for kids who are having problems with school. They also help to coordinate our Child Sponsorship program. They have become great friends and companions as we all work through our first year in Ethiopia together.
Caleb Treadwell is Michael and Emily’s son. He’s almost 3 and was adopted from here when he was just a year old. Caleb has an amazing vocabulary for someone who never heard English until he was a year old. He is full of energy and loves to cut–with any kind of utensil that will do the job–and especially at our favorite pizza place.
Kendi Anderson is an intern with our Children and Youth program, doing a gap year between high school and college. She is very determined, and thanks to her, we have been able to get one of our HIV+ kids on treatment, whose mother was otherwise reluctant to do this. Last week she and Emily went to get a teenage girl back in school. The principal was reluctant to take her back, but said to come back in the afternoon after he talked to the staff. When they went back, he told them that he had told the staff that if the “ferinj” (local word for foreigner) were that committed to this child, then the school had no choice but to take her back.
Jacquie Overton is a physical therapist from New Zealand who helps us out a couple of days a week. Her husband is the headmaster at Bingham Academy, a K-12 school for missionary and other ex-pat kids. It has been great to be able to collaborate with her on some difficult cases and come up with a reasonable plan of care to help improve the lives of our beneficiaries. Well, I hope this gives you a better picture of some of those with whom I work. Next time I’ll introduce you to our Ethiopian staff. They are a very special group of people and we are so thankful for their commitment to the hard work they do everyday to care for “the least of these.”
I would really covet your prayers for the following areas:
- Perseverance for the last month of language school. I will be done on April 16th! Then for progress and boldness in using Amharic day to day at work. I still have much to learn.
- MTW East and South Africa Retreat April 19-23rd in Capetown, South Africa. My South African friend at language school is jealous I am going to Capetown! Pray for a relaxing and refreshing time, as I prepare to go to work full-time upon return.
- Praise for wonderful prayer, financial, email, snail mail and care package supporters at home, who allow me to be here, doing something I love. It was great to be able to have people from 3 of my supporting churches–Park Slope, Resurrection and Abbott– here in February with the Baltimore/Brooklyn, NY medical team.
- Completion of the final report of our current 3 year contract with the government and wisdom for writing the next 3 year project contract. Pray that we would find favor with the government officials and have discernment on what we need to be doing in the future.
- Wisdom in caring for our beneficiaries, whose social and medical situations are very often difficult at best–that they would experience the love of God as we care for them.
- Summer interns who will be working with the Children and Youth program–that God would provide the right people who love kids and the Gospel.
- For Leuel, our 9 year old boy, who has just started on 2nd line AIDS treatment. Pray that he would respond to this new treatment, as there are few, if any, other treatment options left for him. Right now he is doing very well, all things considered.
- For Marta, Yodannes, Lelise, Bezuwork and Meseret, all of whom are pregnant and in difficult circumstances. Pray that we would be supportive and loving at this difficult time in their lives. Pray for healthy babies.
- For a busy summer (rainy season) of visiting medical teams from mid-June to mid-August. Pray for logistics–the first team is 55 people, good relationships with our partner churches and government officials, that the people cared for would sense the love of Christ in all we say and do, for stamina for the staff.