The Rainy and Busy Season

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
July, 2015

So Many Things Going On!
Catch a glimpse of the many aspects of developing a youth group with a solid foundation on Christ and His Word in Ethiopia!
Last Sunday was graduation Sunday, and these are the kids that graduated out of elementary age Sunday School and into our youth group! (they are holding up their graduation certificates we made for them!)  Please pray for these kids, that they would decide to continue following Christ into their teenage years. (And you can pray for us because if they all come we will have 20-30 new 13yr olds in the youth group… Gulp!)

A recent youth event we had was attending a basketball tournament with four other area churches. Each church brought their worship band and we had a time of worship before the basketball games began.
Our team was in red, and Diane cheered them on with the girls.

Finance Update!
As we near the one year mark of living in Ethiopia, we are reflecting back on all that the Lord has done for us. Part of those reflections include you, our supporters! We are thankful for remaining at 100% of our financial needs being met this year! Praise the Lord! We pray that your generosity has drawn you closer to the Lord as we, along with you, depend on his provision for our lives.
Looking forward: With Baby Knudsen on the way, our financial needs will increase by approximately $1,200/month (most of that being health insurance and fees). Our visit to the States this fall is medical in focus, and we don’t have to reach this new goal until our home assignment in Fall, 2016. But of course if you are able and the Lord leads you, additional financial support would be helpful.
Day Trip!

A few weeks ago, we took a day trip with some friends to the Nile River Gorge (it’s like the Grand Canyon of Ethiopia). We found some grass-eating monkeys along the way, that are only found in Ethiopia. Meanwhile, these kids were doing their best to sell our friend some baskets.

3rd Trimester!
What a difference a few weeks make! 9 weeks vs. 29

We have only 4 weeks left until we fly to the States!

Dates to Save:

Dallas friends: our open house baby shower will be on Sat, 8/8.
Michigan friends: our baby shower will be Thurs, 8/13
Wisconsin friends: our baby shower will be Sat, 8/22.
*If you do not receive an invitation, but would like to come to one of these showers, please let us know!!
Stress!

A lot goes into living in a different country, and we both felt our stress levels rising, so we took a vacation day and relaxed, read, and went swimming. It was a nice break!

4th of July Party!

We had about 20 youth from church over to our house to celebrate the 4th of July with us. Diane cooked up sloppy joes, baked beans, watermelon and chocolate chip cookies, which was quite the endeavor, but she enjoyed it. These were all new foods for them (except the watermelon). We played several games such as “patriotic bingo,” and the boys especially loved the Frisbee. And of course selfies were involved! It was a great time of getting to know them better and letting them get to know us better as well.

Prayer Requests

1.  Praise that plans are coming together for July and August.1A. Pray for the Youth Retreat July 23-25th. Pray that it would be a useful time to continue          to congeal the youth group as well as challenge the youth to go deeper with their faith.

1B. Pray for the Evangelistic Outreach July 30th-Aug1st. Pray that the
youth in the youth group would catch the vision of reaching out and sharing their faith with            others, and that others would hear the gospel and put their faith in Christ.

2. Pray that we find healthy ways to deal with and deflate the stress in our lives. This will always be an issue as we live in another culture, and is important as our business increases.

3.  Praise that baby and momma are healthy and that baby is growing and moving more and more each week.

4.  Pray for safety traveling, a healthy delivery, and smooth adjustment to caring for a baby (and all the emotions that go with these things!).

Serving by your prayers in Ethiopia,

 David and Diane Knudsen 
Posted in Hot off the Grill

Language School and Summer Plans

 

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
June, 2015

Finished Language School!
and
Plans for the Summer
     
L
ast Friday we finished our final course in Language School! The picture above is our language teacher and the director of the school giving us our certificates of completion. We have learned quite a bit of Amharic over the past school year, and are also very aware of how much more there is to learn! We really enjoyed that these past months were set aside for us to learn Amharic, and we are also ready to not be going to school everyday and to focus more on youth ministry at IEC. (the International Evangelical Church).

Above: Our language teacher, Abeba is in the middle of telling us a story in Amharic. He was  a great teacher!
To the Right: the Amharic version of “The Boy who Cried Wolf.”

Current Ministry

We are close to wrapping up the school year with the Youth Bible Study on Sundays. David has really enjoyed the teaching aspect, and Diane has really enjoyed leading a small group of girls. It has been really encouraging to see God working throughout the year! We’ve seen growth both in our volunteer leaders as well as in some of the youth. We, of course, have also grown through it too!
The last fun day, we prayed for them for their exams, and took them out to ice cream!
They loved it.

Plans for the Summer

We have been learning about the flow of life here in Ethiopia.  One important difference between here and America is how the school system operates.  Here, it is almost all-consuming for the students. Their national exams are taken way more seriously than any SAT ACT or standardized test in America (because the exam scores determine if the government will give them a free college education, and in what subject area).
Because of this, our teens at church have mostly disappeared till the end of June. But then their break for summer/rainy season hits and they go from full-blast school to nothing. No day camps, summer camps, part time jobs, or regular sports activities; just the sound of the rain for company.  This makes rainy season huge for youth ministry here because church will literally be invaded with bored teens with nowhere safe to go and nothing to do.
  So we are planning for them.  They will be assisting with the IEC vacation Bible school (as leaders for the kids) for two weeks.  We’ll have a weekend retreat and we are planning to have a graduating senior college prep class.  David may try to set up only the second putt putt course in Addis Ababa!
  Plans also need to be put into place for the time we’ll be gone, both for summer activities, as well as the return of the Youth Sunday Bible Study in the fall (which is taking the summer off). There is plenty to do in the ten weeks until we fly out to have baby Knudsen in the US!

Prayer Requests

1.  Praise that Diane is feeling much better than earlier in her pregnancy!  And that baby Knudsen is healthy and developing well.

2.  Pray that God would give David wisdom. He is making a lot of decisions on how to best proceed with developing the youth group. We pray that we are laying a godly, sustainable foundation for others to come and join and continue building.

3.  Pray for us as we are now adjusting to life without school; as we try to develop and set a new schedule for ourselves. -There are always the questions of “Am I doing enough?” and “Am I doing too much and this is not sustainable long term?” Or if those aren’t enough “Am I doing the right things?”

4.  Pray for Diane as she tries to decide if and how much new responsibilities she should take on. She has time now, but doesn’t want to commit to too much that she won’t be able to continue after the baby arrives.

5. Pray for the necessary people to step up and volunteer to lead while we are in the States this fall.

Serving by your prayers in Ethiopia,

 David and Diane Knudsen 

Posted in Hot off the Grill

Baby News, Preaching, and other News

 

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
May, 2015

Baby News, Ministry,
and New Couches
The Knudsens have some news!
We learned the gender of our baby at our last sonogram appointment!

Some wonderful friends came over and made a “gender-reveal” cake to celebrate with us. The color of the cake reveals if it is a boy=blue or girl=pink. It was a nice time of celebration.

Ministry

The last weekend in April, David got the chance to preach at the International Evangelical Church, where we serve each week. He did an excellent job, and I am proud of him!

If you want to watch it (Mom) here’s a link to it on youtube or you can download the audio from here. We’d post a picture but most sermon photos involve David’s mouth hanging open or hands waving around.

Some other encouraging news is how I am enjoying my small group of high school girls. It is fun getting to know them and talking with them about different struggles they may have. I really enjoy it! Some recent questions they’ve asked include “So how do I forgive that person?” and “Can I have crushes, or is that lust?” and “Pray for me because I was lazy and didnt study so now I’m failing French; pray that I’ll actually be dilligent.”  or “I think my cell phone is probably an idol in my life….but dont tell my dad I said that! It would just prove him right!”  hehe. I love how honest they are when they decide to open up!

Couches
We are thankful for our new couches! We had been looking for several months and hadn’t found anything that fit our budget AND our idea of comfort. We are thankful that we came across these. It makes our house feel more like a home.

Prayer Requests

1.  Praise we bought tickets to return to the States for baby Knudsen. To our friends in Dallas, MI and WI, stay tuned for more information on when we might be able to visit!

2.  Praise God for giving David the ability to preach, and for the opportunities to teach the youth. Pray that God continues using His word in our lives and that this ministry would be from the outflow of His work in our lives.

3. Pray for our sanity and emotions as we are making so many decisions right now! One specific area is that we are looking into hiring a house cleaning helper (very common here even for Ethiopians and a great way to grow in getting to know Ethiopians too). We have several good leads and we want to make a good decision because it matters who is in your house several days a week! More to come in a future update. 

Serving by your prayers in Ethiopia,

 David and Diane Knudsen 

Posted in Hot off the Grill

The Boonies, Baby and Other News

 

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
April 28, 2015

(Sorry we’ve been absent lately.  Between our trip, internet issues, getting back into language school, and baby we are behind on keeping you up to date. This edition is about our trip and we hope to have another update out to you soon about other exciting happenings in our lives.)

Going South to See the Rest of Ethiopia

Living in Addis Ababa and saying you understand Ethiopia is like living in New York City and thinking you understand what the State of New York is like. There is a world of difference from the daily life of people in Addis and the lives of those living in the more rural parts of Ethiopia. This was one of the best parts of going on our trip south: seeing how the much of the rest of Ethiopia lives. This includes things like a weekly market where everyone walks or hitches up their horse-drawn cart and comes in to town (like Little House on the Prarie!).  This can lead to lots of staring at the foreigners who came to see the market too (you really stick out and are a much rarer site in the more rural areas).

While there, we helped teach a course on English Grammar to students in a Missions College run by the local church.  In our free time, we tried to practice our Amharic with the students.

Diane and Rebecca (the missionaries we were helping) invited the ladies over for tea several times. It was an encouraging time to see how we, from completely different cultures, worship and serve the same God and have fellowship with each other through the working of the Holy Spirit. It was also encouraging to see fellow Christians wanting to become missionaries and going through training to do it well; just as we did.

We really like the missionary family we stayed with. It was great to learn from them what missionary life in rural Ethiopia can be like. For example: How do you cook solely using ingredients found at the local market? How do you deal with all the attention you get from being the only non-Ethiopians in the entire area?  They dont live in a grass hut, but you can hear hyenas calling on the hills all night. They also have water, electricity, phone and internet access half of the time. We admire them!

One free day, we took a hike up a mountain, I mean straight up the mountain. The scenery took my breath away. Was it the altitude? or the beauty and majesty of God’s creation? I’d say both!

Prayer Requests 

1.  Praise that baby Knudsen is healthy and that the healthcare we are getting here is great (thanks to a local diagnostic center for our ultrasounds and SIM’s clinic for our Dr. appointments).

2.  Praise God for the friends he’s given us here.  This was a major request when we were leaving the US 8 months ago.  Coming back from our trip has been great reminder of all the people who we love and care about in Addis.

3. Praise for some great new youth leaders that God has provided. We had been praying for some fresh leaders who would be commited to the youth group, and God has provided! 

Serving by your prayers in Ethiopia,

 David and Diane Knudsen 

Posted in Hot off the Grill

We’re Having a Baby

 

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
March 5, 2015

An Expanding Team!

So There’s that. We’re due September 12th. The day after Ethiopian New Year, so we’re aiming for a New Year’s baby. Our plans are still being worked out but will probably include flying back around 7 months to the States to give birth (and so the future grandparents won’t disown us) until probably 8 weeks after the birth (so our junior missionary can get some shots and a passport).  All of that is subject to change, especially if any complications develop.

Youth Hiking Trip
Fearlessly riding the Bus
A few weeks ago we took almost 50 teens on a hiking trip to the forest/mountain north of town. We had a great time and were really encouraged by a number of things:    1. The number of kids who signed up to go,  2. Their diversity (they weren’t all from our Sunday Bible Study),       3. Their enthusiasm, 4. The number of volunteer leaders we had to help us on the hike, and 5. We came in on budget. We are thankful it went so well. It was really an answer to prayer! 

Below: the boys really wanted to photobomb
the girl’s picture. Haha! 

Watch out for the Donkeys!

Heading South
Last we talked, we were still working out the details of a trip to go south and jump into the deep end of the Amharic swimming pool.  We’ve now got our plans figured out.  We’ll be going 5 hours south to Durame, Ethiopia. We’ll leave this Sunday (March 8th) and be there for 2-4 weeks depending on how it goes.  While we’re there we will be staying with another great SIM family (here’s their blog), and will be helping to teaching English at a school for Ethiopian missionaries. Hopefully by the end of our time there, we will have traded by giving them our English and recieved their Amharic. Learning English is important for them to continue their education and to communicate with missionaries in other countries where they may serve.

Prayer Requests

1.  For Diane being pregnant here. When you’ve got morning sickness nothing sounds good to eat, and when you’re in Ethiopia food prep is more work than in the US. Put those both together and you’ve got a somewhat discourage chief chef. Pray that Diane’s energy levels will pick back up as we go into the second semester and that she has wisdom to know when to just rest for the day.

2.  For our immersion trip down south that we would soak up Amharic like sponges, and have enough energy for all the relationships we will be building there.

3. Pray for the Youth Bible Study small groups. That they would be united in their groups, and that the groups would become places where the teens are free to be honest and the adult leaders can truly model Christ for them.

4. A major praise for how God has been showing us how we’ve adjusted to living here and how our home and place of ministry is the right spot for us.

Your ministry partners in Ethiopia,

 David and Diane Knudsen 

PS Your extra this month is a blog that attempts to humorously describe life in Ethiopia through a ride on a minibus (a 15-20 passanger van which is the main source of public transportation here in Addis). The good stuff starts in paragraph 4.

Posted in Hot off the Grill

Language Learning As Ministry

 

February 4, 2015

Persevering in Language Learning,

As we enter our 5th month of language learning we wanted to share some of the reasons for doing all this language learning that we need to remember ourselves (enjoy listening in on our therapy sessions).

Reasons for Us to Learn Amharic even though we could just minister in English:

1. Learning Amharic shows love and care to Ethiopians.  Last summer when we knew less than 100 words of Amharic, anytime we used them it was to the delight of whoever we were speaking too, and the normal response from them was, “You know Amharic. You should come live here!”
         Now we do live here, and only poorly know Amharic, but our efforts communicate our love for Ethiopians.  Last month we celebrated Ethiopian Christmas with a family from church (who are all quite good at English), because we’d been out of class for a few weeks we were eager to practice our Amharic. So Christmas dinner became about a 50/50 conversation.  On our way out the door, one of them realized, “So you’re learning Amharic for us?” Yes! It’s not useful for anywhere else; Amharic is really only spoken here. It was really encouraging for this to click for someone else!

2. Only the well educated know English well, our ministry would be limited to only them without learning Amharic.

3. It allows us to minister with Ethiopians on an even basis, instead of them always having to accommodate us by speaking their second (or third) language.

4. It teaches Ethiopian culture. Culture is built into the language we speak.  Last week I learned that “stranger” and “guest” are the same in Amharic.  I’m not sure what this means yet, but it shows something of how Amharic speakers think. Another example is Amharic uses the same word for “like,” “love,” and “expensive.” This is really helpful to know when a guy is holding my (David’s) hand and saying in English, “I love you.” By which he means, I appreciate and like you as a friend, but since it’s all the same word in Amharic, you would just know from context what level was meant. (PS same sex handholding is a sign of friendship in Ethiopia and is by far more common than romantic handholding).

5. It teaches us humility and helps slow down our Western desire to come in and “solve all the problems.” There’s not much more humiliating than having a Masters degree and being considered “cute” because you talk like a 2 year old Ethiopian.

In Other News

We are continuing to develop the youth Sunday Bible Study which is now focusing on Discipleship as seen in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7).

This lovely picture came as part of Diane’s experience assisting with a missionary single women’s retreat. The place where it was hosted was 5 stories and on a hill at the edge of town, so there were some great panoramas to be seen!

Two weeks ago, we were swept up in the celebration of Jesus’ Baptism (Timket). Its a major holiday here (bigger than Christmas) which involves two days of religious parades. The priests on the right are carrying the holy “Tabiots” which are a major feature of the processions, along with preaching, praying, and lots and lots of singing.

Prayer Requests

1.  Keep praying for us as we plan for the next year of youth group and determine how to continue developing the youth Sunday Bible Study. This is still an ongoing request, but we are encouraged by a few new adult volunteers who have recently stepped up. Praise God. We are thankful for the other volunteers we already had too, but fresh people are great.

2.  We’ve been asking you to pray for an opportunity for us to do some Amharic immersion outside of Addis Ababa. We’ve had a wonderful opportunity dropped in our laps.  We haven’t finalized all the details but it looks like we’ll get to go to a very rural town 5 hours south for about a month with another SIM family.  This is a wonderful answer to prayer because we will have hosts who are excited to have us and an opportunity to possibly teach at the missionary training school in town too.  So praise God for this opportunity and keep praying as everything gets finalized that we would solidify our Amharic by being there.

3. Pray for our engergy levels.  Christmas break was great, but now the activities have come roaring back.  There is more to do than there is time, so pray for us to know when to say “enough,” and when to keep going.

Your ministry partners in Ethiopia,

 David and Diane Knudsen 

PS Contrary to what we said last month, this is a Marabou stork not a vulture.  All you aviary lovers who corrected us, consider yourselves vindicated and apologized to. It’s still a face only a mother Marabou stork could love though…

Posted in Hot off the Grill

From the Land of Two Christmases: Knudsens in Ethiopia

 

January 12, 2014
Merry Christmas!Happy New Year! and Merry Christmas again!Ethiopia uses a different calendar, so this year we will celebrate TWO Christmases! The first Christmas, Dec 25th, we celebrated by joining other missionaries for a potluck and caroling and then went to our church’s Candlelight Service. It was lovely! The second Christmas, Jan 7th, we celebrated by joining some friends from church in their home for doro wot -a spicy chicken stew specially made for holidays.

In keeping with our budding Amharic abilities, we read the Christmas story from an Amharic Children’s Bible this year. Diane also got to read (in English) the Christmas story in front of almost 1,000 people during our Church’s Christmas Eve service. She held off the stage freight valiantly. 

In between our two Christmases, we went on a small vacation with the Maarseveens, our friends from language school. Our goal was to get out of Addis Ababa with its 3 million people, see more of the country, and to relax. 

We drove to a small town three hours south and enjoyed reading and playing games by the sparkly-clean-but-bone-chilling-cold pool. We tried to see hippos, but alas, only saw their habitat. They probably saw us though! 

 Our Hotel and cold swimming pool 

                    Looking for Hippos                                       A fisherman that we did find

The Youth Group Bible Study is going well. We are currently on break for Christmas, but our last meeting of the year we opened for any questions they might have. We were asked some great questions such as: “How DO I forgive someone?” “Can I lose my salvation?” and “Is listening to secular music a sin?”
David planned a Christmas party as his first Ethiopian youth group event in December, and it went smoothly. We are learning a lot about how to do it well here. Afterwards, as we were cleaning up, some of the girls opened up to Diane and she enjoyed getting to know some of them more. 


David teaching at the Youth Christmas Party

 We want to thank you emmensly  for sending  Christmas cards and packages! Diane laughed  and cried as she opened them. They were so  meaningful to us, and helped us feel connected  with all of you who are important to us.  

 

  Diane with the cards you’ve sent us!

Christmas decorations from a care package!
Prayer Requests 
1.  Keep praying for us as we plan for the next year of youth group and determine how to continue developing the youth Sunday Bible Study.

2. Pray for an opportuity to do some immersion Amharic learning.  We’ve been kicking around the idea of going somewhere in Ethiopia where we’d have to use our Amharic for daily living as a way to cement what we’ve learned. But we also want to go there with a reason for going and using the language. Pray for us and others involved that we might find a good
opportunity for this kind of language learning/reinforcement. 

3. Praise for a wonderful break from Language school and Christmas celebraton.

                       

Happy New Year and
Merry Christmases
from us,


 David and Diane Knudsen 

PS This vulture we saw on vacation wanted to say hi, and that he hopes to see you soon.

 

Posted in Hot off the Grill

Photos from the Field: Seeing What the Knudsens in Ethiopia are doing in November

November 27, 2014

Dear Friends,

We are now about 2 months into 9 months of language school.  We are sure you rejoice with us as we conquer such things as Amharic future tense, but we can’t have 9 months of posts about language school (we don’t want to write them and you don’t want to read them).  Sometimes missions life is like life everywhere else, just normal.  We have the youth Bible study every week and spend 3 hours a day 5 days a week in language school. So here’s the plan for this update:

1. You can learn how to pray for us in language school by reading about another missionary’s experience.

2. We’ve got a bunch of pictures to share of what our lives here look like.

Diane’s been decorating our home and making good food (zuchinni bread in this case).

      We do a lot of driving around and
enjoy seeing the crazy loads piled on
top of cars. 

We are making friends at language school
(during tea time).

He’re what one day’s
writing class looked like.

We celebrated our anniversary at a very nice restaurant, and explored the Ethiopian equivalent of a greasy spoon later that week. Both were delicious!

Here are two very different kinds of neighbors.  The elementary school we can see from out kitchen window (we always know when 3:30pm is because we can hear the roar of cheers as school gets out). The kitten is a stray (one of many) that live around our home.  We named it Nyan cat (how can 114,000,000 viewers be wrong! haha).

Lastly, this is Diane’s view of the weekly view of youth Bible study.
(David does a great job teaching!)


Prayer Requests 

1.  Keep praying for us as we try to develop the leaders God has given us.  Volunteer recruiting and development is always a challenge for ministries. 

2. Pray for our dilligence with Amharic language learning.  (Because Addis is a big city there is lots of English and we need to stay dilligent to practice our Amharic.

3. Pray for Christmas.  There will be no white Christmas in Ethiopia (which to some of you sounds great right about now).  We’ll be far from our families and need to find new ways to celibrate and enjoy Jesus’ birth and our break from language school. Pray that skype will work on Christmas and that the packages that are sent make it here without incident.

4. Praise that Diane hasn’t had any bug bites in 3-4 weeks. (We might be winning the war).

                       

Thankful for YOU during this season,

(we learned how to write our names in Amharic)

      David and Diane Knudsen 

PS Your Newsletter-extra this month is a National Geographic short video about a traditional spiritual healer (commonly known as witch doctor) in the town just south of where we live. This is alive and well in Ethiopia and is something many of our students will need Godly responses to.

Posted in Hot off the Grill

Now You’re Speaking My Language: The Knudsen’s in Ethiopia at Language School

November 10, 2014

Now You’re Talking!

Salamnish? Endetnish? Dana negn, Iksiaber yemuskin.  This is my most-used Amharic phrase.  It means: Hello, are you at peace? How are you? I am fine, thanks be to God.

Greetings are hands down THE most important thing to know and do in Ethiopia. When I was little, my mom taught me that the magic words were “please and thank you.”  In America that’s true, but here those are not nearly as important. In Ethiopia the “magic words” are greetings. One experienced missionary told us, “In Ethiopia if you don’t greet you’re not human.” These greetings can be quite extensive, probably about at least a minute between two people, including asking about their family, their work, and their general wellbeing (often repeatedly). As you can imagine this can end up talking a lot of time the more people you know (and we are getting to know more all the time).

Greeting people in Amharic often impresses them and makes them happy that we westerners are speaking their language (or at least trying to). I don’t completely understand, but am glad to do it!
One day last week, we stopped at a vegetable stand and we greeted and did our whole shopping in Amharic!  Which is a great mark of our advancing skill in language, but more importantly, it made the vegetable seller SO happy. So happy in fact, he gave us too much change! I caught it and made sure we had the right amount; which made him even happier!

Language school has been going well, and we just finished phase 1 of 4. The curriculum says we have now learned 800 words! 
Next, in phase 2 we will learn to read and write using the Fidel (Amharic Alphabet), and practice telling stories.  

Youth Sunday Bible Study

Last Sunday was the first youth Sunday Bible study. We had 48 teens and 12 adults attend!  This last Sunday that went up to about 65 teens and 12 adults.  Please continue to pray for God to send us the right leaders for this ministry, and for us to figure out a good location to have all these people in classes.

Orientation Weekend

We attended SIM’s new-missionary orientation last weekend.  One of the highlights for us was its location at a retreat center by a lake outside of Addis. We enjoyed the fresh air and wildlife including going hyena spotting one night (from cars)!

 

No really, that’s a hyena,
not Bigfoot.

 

 

Prayer Requests 

1.  We thank God for the great start to the youth Bible Study and for the leaders He has brought us, but keep praying.

2. Pray for language school, this will be an ongoing prayer request for a while. 

3. Pray for patience. We have adjusted quite a bit to living here!  but there is still much more to learn. And many things go far more slowly than we often hope. You can pray Colossians 1:11 for us.

                       

Your missionaries IN Ethiopia,

David and Diane Knudsen

 

 

PS If you made it this far, you are the kind of reader who would probably enjoy this 3.5 minute video experience of Ethiopian food and sights.

Posted in Hot off the Grill

Partying Like It’s 2007, and Other Ethiopian Observations

 

Happy 2007!
Because Ethiopia uses a different calendar, on September 11th, we just entered the year 2007AD. This is followed two weeks later by Meskel, another major holiday. This is the Ethiopian holiday season similar to having Christmas and then New Years a week later in America.  
For New Years, we celebrated by enjoying dinner with some fellow missionaries, and the next day David got to preach for the New Year’s praise and worship night led by the youth at church.
For Meskel we went down to the major city square in town andwatched a giant bonfire.
There were lots of bonfires throughout the city (and probably the country), including three in our neighborhood. Another part of Meskel celebrations is eating! We had kitfo with some Ethiopian friends.  Kitfo is ground beef mixed with butter and spices.  Many Ethiopians enjoy it raw or very rare.  We had some that was more cooked.

 

 

 

Adjusting

Paperwork. We have succeeded in getting all of our Ethiopian paperwork filed and completely processed. This is a major blessing because it can take months, but only took us about 2 weeks for all of it! 

Car. We have gotten much more comfortable driving around in Addis. Remember that crazy video of driving in Addis?  This is us driving through the same spot. We even went out of the city to visit the Eucalyptus forest north of town, which tested our little car’s abilities. Diane drives too, but David doesn’t think to take videos when she is, so we don’t have proof. 

Fridge. We’ve successfully made a few major purchases on our own, including our new refrigerator and microwave! (the one we started out with was a loaner until we could purchase our own). Diane is very happy about the fridge.

Friends. We have greatly enjoyed building relationships (normally through eating) with our coworkers at the church as well as fellow missionaries here. 

This means War!       


One of our unpleasant parts of adjusting this month was a battle with fleas and bedbugs.  The fleas love Diane (who gets big welts when bitten) while the bedbugs love David (who doesn’t react). We are now waiting to see whether we have won the war or only the first battle. Thank you for praying for us.  As we adjust we have very much needed your prayers. (and probably still will in the future too).

 

Youth Ministry

We asked you to pray for us to find a balance between getting involved with the youth ministry now, and saving time for language learning (classes start Sept 29th). The answer we have come up with is to start by focusing on a youth Bible study on Sunday mornings.  This will help meet the immediate need for discipleship with the youth, and will serve as a good training ground for youth volunteers.  We have two volunteer trainings this month (Oct 4th, and 18th) and then the Bible study will start on October 26th.

Prayer Requests 
1. Praise that our energy levels are improving!  We are getting used to the altitude, our bed, the Muslim call to prayer at 5am, and have developed better expectations for how much we can do in a day.

2. Pray for our leader trainings this month (Oct 4th, 18th). Pray that the right people would come, that we would have discernment, and that we would be able to train them well. 

3. Pray for language school, this will be an ongoing prayer request for a while. 

4. Pray for our attitudes.  There are many ways this can go bad for missionaries. *Becoming frustrated with Ethiopian culture because it’s different than ours.
*Being arrogant because, “we have all the answers.”
*Being depressed because, “we couldn’t possibly make a difference,” and “we need help to do anything.”
You get the idea. We need attitudes that honor God even when we have bad days. Especially then! 

                       

Your missionaries IN Ethiopia,

 

 

 

David and Diane Knudsen

Posted in Hot off the Grill