Grinding coffee in Africa
New Adventure while Reflecting on the Last
Grinding coffee in Africa

There were many lesson’s that I learned from my year in Ethiopia and my first year in the mission field.  It has been great rereading this list and reflecting on these as I gear up for the move to South Africa.  I can’t wait for the many things that I will learn and the ways that I will grow.  I know though that this life is not my own it is the Lord’s.  So I give my life again to him.  I trust him with my next adventure.

Below is the list of 100 lessons I have learned in Ethiopia:

  1. I love to travel but hate to pack
  2. I like when the power is out more than having power
  3. Actual toilets are overrated, I will take a squatty potty any day
  4. I love to learn a new culture
  5. you have to look both ways when crossing a street when if the traffic is only suppose to be going one direction.
  6. Trying new cultural foods adds to the adventure and will make for a good story later even if the food tastes bad
  7. My identity is not that I am an American but a Christian
  8. I have to laugh about crazy parts of life that can not be controlled or it will destroy you.
  9. The longer I live overseas the worse my english gets
  10. Living overseas is like a really long version of charades
  11. The body of Christ truly is made up of every tribe, tongue and nation
  12. Relationships are more important than tasks
  13. There is no word in Amharic for busy
  14. Heat resistant glass bowls do not mean fire resistant on a gas stove
  15. I need to grasp a child like faith
  16. Malaria meds and I don’t get along at all
  17. you must bring your own toilet paper
  18. Many people think my name is foreign
  19. Don’t flush the toilet paper
  20. Coffee in America tastes like water…the real thing is in Ethiopia
  21. Salt in coffee is not bad, it cuts out the bitterness
  22. Prices change based on your skin color
  23. If you want take away for your leftovers that will cost you extra money
  24. you can eat with your fingers and not get yelled at, it’s normal
  25. God is not a God of safety but a wild God
  26. Persecution is very much still happening today
  27. Demon possession is real unfortunately
  28. Not to let my God size dreams dwindle
  29. I am not living to please men but to please God
  30. Fear is the absence of faith
  31. One’s happiness is not based on the amount of money in your pocket
  32. Ministry can look very different from one day to the next
  33. The flashlight on my I phone is not only for light but also to lure mosquito’s for the kill
  34. Parasites love me…unfortunately
  35. I am not living my life for self gratification but for God and his mission
  36. Baby wipes can serve as a shower
  37. Life is an adventure embrace it
  38. Raw meat tastes good
  39. Don’t let others crush you as a person, look only to the Lord
  40. Showering and not having physical dirt come off of me makes me feel like I wasted water
  41. I finally understand what it truly means to live each moment for the Lord
  42. Prayer is Necessary, Prayer is a weapon, prayer is not a crutch to do nothing
  43. God loves to use ordinary people like me for his greater plan
  44. Waking up to the Muslim “Call to Prayer” reminds me that each day is Day 1 for serving the Lord
  45. The easiest way to turn a girl off is to propose to her without even knowing her name
  46. Shower drains are important in keeping rats out
  47. God can do amazing things through you if you just let him
  48. If you feed a chicken milk it will help her from breaking her eggs
  49. I can’t believe how processed Gold Fish are
  50. It’s good to take deworming pills about every two months when living overseas
  51. Skype is a wonderful invention for staying in contact with family and friends along with having support
  52. Attending an International Church with over 52 countries represented means that clapping happens on beats 1 and 3 along with 2 and 4
  53. Baking soda, coco powder and sugar can take months to find
  54. I now no the symptoms for parasites, Geradera, stomach bugs verses worms
  55. There is a definite reason God wired me the way that I am
  56. I hope that I can keep up with the purpose God has for me in my life
  57. To get clothes super clean use your feet instead of your hands
  58. Turn your clothes inside out when drying in the sun to avoid fading
  59. Network both on your phone and internet is a luxury!
  60. God did really promise not to flood the earth again.  I had to remind myself daily through rainy season in Ethiopia
  61. Bumpy roads are way more fun than smooth ones
  62. Honking your car horn happens all the time.  Many times as a warning not out of anger
  63. When someone uses there turn signal sometimes it means to pass on that side of their car
  64. The stars are way more beautiful in Africa
  65. Anything imported is super expensive
  66. Buying products while living in Ethiopia from China is a waste of money
  67. Buying products off offline does not work in Ethiopia because their is no zip code
  68. Make the most of every opportunity given to you by God
  69. God is moving constantly it’s only when I slow down do I normally see it
  70. God has turned my darkest moments in my life into amazing ministry tools
  71. City living stresses me out
  72. I am more concerned about solid poop now then diarrhea
  73. I hate stereotypes and assumptions
  74. I would make a horrible famous person because I hate being the center of attention
  75. The perfect way to avoid eating my vegetables is to get a chicken who loves them!
  76. Water and Electricity is a luxury
  77. Seat Belts aren’t required when you put 29 people in a 12 passenger van
  78. To trust God to move me to a holy discontent
  79. What you are is God’s gift to you, what you do is your gift to God
  80. Christ filled the largest gap of sin, what Gap am I willing to fill for the kingdom
  81. Sheep have tails down, goats have tails up
  82. If muds houses are made properly they can last up to 30 years.  Made with Straw, hay and mud
  83. When flying in Africa you still get actual food not just a bag of peanuts
  84. Lanes are just artwork on the ground that don’t hold any meaning
  85. Leprosy is still happening and Ethiopia has the largest Leprosy Hospital in Africa
  86. Getting everything on my grocery list can mean going to six different stores and take all day
  87. There is no rules in driving, there is a standard but even that is unknown
  88. The busy ringtone in the states is the actual ringtone in Ethiopia calling someone.  Many times when calling the states I listen to the busy tone waiting for them to answer
  89. Adding minutes on your phone in Ethiopia is like playing the lottery in America, you scratch off the numbers and hope you get winner that will actually enter
  90. Drying machine’s are only for the elite
  91. There are two season’s in Ethiopia rain and sunshine
  92. Addis Ababa sits at an elevation of 9,000 feet above sea level
  93. Serving Christ is reweaving the frayed fabric of the world
  94. God is faithful through it all
  95. No matter where I am, what I do, or who I meet: I will praise and serve God
  96. God is a healer
  97. My God is able
  98. When moving overseas buying things feels like you are using monopoly money
  99. I could sleep in drive in America compared to driving in Ethiopia.  It takes a whole new level of focus
  100. I love Ethiopia and miss it greatly!

Empower a Woman. Impact Generations.

Lydia’s Mission empowers and teaches women skills in rural South Africa to feed, educate, and care for their children by earning a living wage. When a woman begins to grasp her value in Christ through discipleship and Biblical training, her life becomes the first ripple of hope…that will last for generations.