January 8, 2012
Dear Friends and Family,
This is just a quick note to let you know that we have arrived safely back in Soddo after having a marvelous time with family and friends in the states. We did not have the snow that we had anticipated until the day of our departure. As we were entering the Muskegon airport, United Airlines called to say that our flight was cancelled. Our trip was rerouted to Grand Rapids to Minneapolis and then to Amsterdam and on to Frankfurt, Germany, our original departure city for Ethiopia. However, we were unable to make that connection and after waiting in several long lines were rerouted to Addis. So after two full nights on airplanes we arrived safely with all of our bags. We had no problems with customs and Goucho, the hospital driver, greeted us warmly. We spent one night in Addis Abba where we grocery shopped and returned to Soddo the next day. It was funny that while doing our grocery shopping in Addis Christmas music was still being played in the shops. The Ethiopian Christmas is on January 7. It still seemed odd, after already experiencing Christmas in the states, to hear “Let It Snow” in the grocery store especially when it was 90 degrees outside. We were welcomed warmly here in Soddo and it feels like we have never been away.
We truly were blessed to be with four of our five children, and three of our six grandchildren. Sara picked us up from the airport and Miriam, our daughter from South Africa, along with Mark and Faith, her children, spent Thanksgiving with us in Frankenmuth, MI with Alice’s family. Our former German exchange student, Jenni, was also with us for Thanksgiving. Miriam’s husband Chris, along with Anna-Maria and David and Betsy and little Jack David, joined us the week before Christmas. Even though Muskegon was devoid of snow, we enjoyed five days up North (as we say in Michigan) staying in a lovely condo owned by some of Betsy’s friends where we had just enough snow to have fun.
We really wanted to see more of our friends while we were home, but our time was so limited. If you missed seeing us at one of the area churches, you might want to view a short 6 minute movie of our work at soddospecialdelivery.org. or on YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ah-o0OWMNNE
You have been so generous. We took back extra suitcases full of baby clothes, baby blankets and hospital instruments. We still had clothes and blankets collected that we were not able to bring with us which will need to come later. Thank you so much for your prayers and support.
Here are some currant prayer needs:
- The hospital is up for re-licensing with the Ethiopian government. Please pray for favor.
- Dr. Stephanie Hail is currently in the states visiting family and friends. Please pray for her safe travel and direction in her life.
- Wisdom as we begin our work again tomorrow and that we will have the financial, spiritual, emotional and physical resources to care for the women that God sends our way.
- Our six surgical residents who are in various stages of their training.
We love you and love hearing from you.
Mark and Allison