Saturday, October 31, 2009

Meetings at MAI Headquarters

After breakfast this morning, we walked to the MAI office, which is about 15 minutes away from our hotel in Addis. There is a sidewalk most of the way, so it is a pleasant walk. I do struggle as we walk past the Orthodox church block that has homeless people and beggars lying on the sidewalk. I wish that I could somehow easily and effectively help them solve their problems immediately. But I realize that this is simply impossible for one man to do. I do feel good knowing that in the long run, the aid that we are giving to them by increasing the food supply in the country will be a lasting solution that will help more people and hopefully be lasting change.

As we approached the office, I was so excited to be greeted by Abenet and Teddy. They are such good people. We had a great meeting with all of the MAI staff. Paul had us all introduce ourselves and tell each other about our background. There are about 20 staff members here now, with more being added in the near future, with over a dozen different projects going on all over the country. It amazes me that less than two years ago, they first arrived in the country and now we have an extremely rapidly growing business in a country where everything goes at a snail’s pace. It is nothing less than miraculous. Our goal is to do everything we can to help prepare the Ethiopians to never face a famine again. The vision of this endeavor is incredible. I love to work for this company and its lofty goals, and I try to do my best every day and pray that I can live up to the mammoth task that lies before me.

Abera and I put together our budget for the next two months and planned out the work for the next couple of weeks. I am so grateful to have such a good manager to handle that part of our stewardship. When we arrived back at the hotel, my mind was flooded with thoughts and ideas but I decided that I should stop to relax and unwind so that I could be more effective in my work. Mark let me borrow his David McCullough book of short biographies called "Brave Companions". I read two of them about people that I should have known but didn’t: Alexander Von Humbolt and Louis Agassiz. History should and could be so exciting if these people’s stories were told.

I talked with my brother, Lloyd, for several hours before heading to bed. I have really enjoyed spending time with him. We have spent more time together in the last week than the last 20 years combined, I think! I have decided that all of my brothers and I need to have a brother’s retreat and spend some time enjoying each other’s company.

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