This was by far my favorite day....D did well, we had a wonderful lunch with a new friend...and we were going HOME. :)
We ran an errand to a hotel with our driver--really nice place, so snapped a few shots there. Family and friends.
Pictures from the balcony at the Garden Palace restaurant.
Trying to capture the experience of driving in Addis.
Security system at the guest house. :)
If the kids were the sweetest memory I have, the sheep truly left the biggest spiritual impression on me. I keep thinking about these images in my head. The sheep. The sacrifice. The Son. It just seems so much more real this way.
All of these waiting to be sold, to be sacrificed. Unknowing what their immediate future holds. Ignorantly waiting. But, the reality of the one who was sold and sacrificed when he KNEW what was about to happen. And not only knew but willingly CHOSE to do it. For us. For me. I don't ever want to forget these sheep.
It seems that sheep have been a recurring theme in my spiritual understanding and growth. When we were adopting C, we found out the meaning of her name (New + Happiness= future of happiness) while at a women's conference. I then went to a talk where the speaker explained that the shepherd knows us by NAME and calls us by the name of who we really are....tears, of course.
There was another time when a guest preacher explained the significance of the term the Lamb of God--the Savior of the World. Starting with Abraham and Isaac--the ram replaced 1 boy, the Passover Lamb saved the firstborn in each family before the Israelites left Egypt, then the scapegoat tradition was done yearly to 'cast off' the sins of a community, then priests would sacrifice lambs and other animals to gain forgiveness for the Jews. Then Jesus. When Jesus appeared, John said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"
The WHOLE world. What a savior. And what a reminder it must be to the beautiful people of Ethiopia to celebrate Easter with such a tradition.
More recently, at an adoption conference, the amazing speaker told us about 'green pastures' like in Psalm 23. There's a great explanation here if you are interested, but it isn't what you picture. Basically, the 'green pasture' is small bits of grass on a rocky hillside. Each sheep listens for the shepherds voice to tell him where his next bite is...the bite that will sustain him for right now. Until the shepherd shows him the next bite. That's not what I want my 'green pasture' to be like. I imagine lying in the sun, relaxing, and being quiet and content. Well, I guess I should have realized a long time ago, life isn't like that. I need each bite--one at a time--to sustain me. And I have a good shepherd who guides and leads me - even through the rough transition of adoption - to that next energy giving, life sustaining, savior dependent bite. I was feeling weary, but not hopeless. And our faithful guide has continued to bring us through these days--dependent on him. That's a good place to be.