We saw this beautiful Ethiopian Jewess at the clinic in Addis Ababa. I wonder if the Queen of Sheba was this pretty?
On our last evening in Ethiopia, Wayne and I had a few hours before our flight. We took a taxi to the Hilton and grabbed a bite to eat in the gazebo by the pool. It was a lovely, cool evening and the only evening we were alone. Many people of different nationalities sat throughout the garden dining room. We enjoyed hearing several languages, German, English, Swahili, Amharic, Swedish. Our Ethiopian waiter was so handsome and attentive.
We ate hamburgers and fries. Home food just sounded good. We reflected on the the very full week we had with the medical team, meeting with indigenous Jewish believers, with Jonathan Bernis and the local Jewish Voice representative, Mezmor. We are rejoicing over all that God has done, and all that stretches before us… Honestly, we are overwhelmed and grateful to be a tiny part of the restoration, salvation, and training of the Jewish people in Ethiopia.
When we came back to the hotel, I finished packing my bag and had a few moments to rest on top of the bed before our shuttle to the airport arrived. As the evening grew darker and colder, I listened to the sounds of the city outside my hotel window–the traffic, people chattering from the front entrance below, and the sound of the elevator from the hallway.
But one sound drowned out the others: the canting on the loud speakers in Amharic of the Psalms. This is evidently something the Orthodox Church produces. You can hear it everyday, some days almost all day long. Here it was late evening, and the canting was still blaring.
The sound was not offensive though. Yes, it was foreign. Honestly, its tone is a bit Middle Eastern and does remind me of the Arabic from the minirets in Jerusalem. Those are creepy, eerie, and sometimes evil sounding though. But this cant is not like that at all.
As I stretched out on the bed, closing my eyes, I let the canting wash over me. I reveled in it’s music and meaning. I thought its sound reflected the spiritual yearning of people group, a culture that seeks for God. And although I did not comprehend the words, my understanding was crystal clear.
I heard a cry from a nation. A longing for God… a plea for connection expressed within the framework of a culture and language.
A cry from a nation! There was something very mystical and yet prophetic in the sound. It stirred me to prayer and intercession. It stirred me to tears. All the faces of the poor, of the spiritually hungry, of the needy, of the desperate, flashed before my eyes.
I joined that cry in my prayers. That cry will never leave me, until the glory of God is revealed here.
We are home now after 24 hours of flight. It will take some time to unpack all that was placed in our hearts. Our work is just beginning, and it is fledgingly, but sweet…
Right now a hot bath sounds good.