This will be my first time returning to Ethiopia since we came home with our youngest daughter almost 4 years ago.
A lot has changed since that day.
Our family. My work. The nonprofit organizations I work with. My friends. My view of community. My understanding of the story God is telling in this world. My beliefs of hope and faith. My ability to accept Grace. The understanding of how far my own strength can carry me (hint: it's not very far). The way I think about adoption and orphan care.
This is a personal trip. It could even be called a personal return; however, this return is to a different time by a different person.
...and that is good.
So, tomorrow I journey with friends near and far to return to Ethiopia and eventually make our way Uganda.
Over the past 4 years, I have had the privilege of serving on the Board of Directors for Kidmia and Help One Now. These two organization have held a very special place in my heart, so I was truly excited when they announced a new initiative working together for the children of Ethiopia. Both of these organizations focus on empowering local leaders to create and sustain local orphan care solutions. I believe this is a critical primary component to solve chronic problems, and I have personally seen this approach yield great fruit.
The sentiment of adoption and orphan care in Ethiopia seems to be shifting, so this trip is about listening and learning how to serve the families of Ethiopia in the ways they need. We don't pretend to carry any silver bullets or have any illusions of a "one size fits all" solution. We come humbly and quietly knowing that God is already doing great things. We simply seek to enter His story.
So, we go to listen and learn.
I go because four years ago Ethiopia became a part of my family, and it is time to return.