Sunday teaching and challenges in Ethiopia

July 18th, 2010

Marty and Nate arrived late last night a full day late.  They had mechanical problems on two of their planes so the delays set them back two days. It is a long trip even without having problems like that.

Yesterday the skin around my left nostril started feeling sore so I put some antibiotic cream on it.  This morning there was an area about as big as a nickel that was covered in a crusty yellow layer.  I cleaned it off and the skin was raw and tender underneath.  I put an anti-fungal cream on it hoping that it might help.  By the time I arrived home late this afternoon the serum that seeped out had mixed with the cream and dried into a crusty yellow layer again.  I cleaned it off again and put more antibiotic cream on it.  I hope that it isn't anything serious.
A weird facial rash that oozed serum for several days. Kind of spooky in a developing country.

Brother Jackson had asked me to teach Sunday school last week so I had prepared the lesson on Joshua.  It has good application for my life right now.  Joshua had a great task placed before him but the Lord committed to be with him and gave him the steps to stay strong.  I find that I have a lot more faith when I study the scriptures and work hard to keep the commandments.

The branch had three more baptisms today but their attendance is dropping from what I can see.  I think that many members come hoping for money or a job and leave when they don’t find it.  It reminds me of some of the 5000 people that Jesus fed that left when the going got tough.

I spent the afternoon with the O'Crowlys.  We went to a party for the branch president of the other branch.  They recently had a baby and were having a celebration.  It was my first Ethiopian food of this trip. I have been doing most of my own cooking and the times that I have eaten out have been in western style places.  

After the party we went to the O'Crowlys home and discussed the challenges and opportunities of working in Ethiopia.  They are a wonderful couple and are doing so much good here. They have experienced firsthand how many problems arise when people are given handouts.  In many cases they have to help the people see that it is important for them to work for what they receive.