Day One – Africa Bound (by Lisa Stoll)

17 hours, 2 planes, 23 bags, and one loooooooooooong 13 hour flight from Washington D.C. to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia….and we’re here!!!

Africa.  The other side of the WORLD.  We’re all still trying to wrap our heads around what we’re in the middle of.

We saw God’s favor literally SURROUND us from the moment we arrived in Chicago for our first flight to the moment we loaded our bags into the two vans that were ready to take us to the SIM guesthouse in Addis Ababa where we’d sleep for the very first night.

When we arrived in Chicago O’Hare, we weren’t told to stand in a huge long line, we were ushered into a special area where we had a team of people checking us in and tagging every piece of luggage we brought to donate.

Yes, EVERY PIECE of the 23 bags of donated food and supplies that we hoped to bring, we were able to bring without even a second glance!

Then, we made it through security (almost) untouched (you’ll have to ask Tim about that story!)  The endoscope that Ken assumed would raise some red flags wasn’t even LOOKED at, and passed through with zero issues.

Then, as we arrived in Addis and made our way towards customs with 23 bags overloading the baggage carts and trying not to look suspicious, we were able to bring EVERY. SINGLE. THING thru with almost zero resistance.  In the end Ken did need to pay a “tax” on one of the items that amounted to $30 US dollars – so for about $30,000 in medical equipment, food and donated supplies, we were THRILLED to have made it so smoothly!

This place is unlike any most of us have ever been to.  It’s beautiful, and awesome, and overwhelming all at the same time.

Tonight, we get to spend the night in the SIM guesthouse with other missionaries that are passing through Addis on the way to some of the many places across the continent that the Lord has called them to.  It’s such an honor to walk alongside those that we have been able to talk to, knowing that we might be on this journey for only 13 days, but they are giving their LIVES to share the love of Christ.

What an awesomely special place this is, and what a gift to be a part of His story, together.