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Addis is full of sounds. At any given moment throughout the day noises can be heard. The chanting from the Christian-Orthodox church up the hill. The honking of horns, both close and distant beeps of drivers communicating and navigating through the streets. The rushing of trucks and cars on the streets below. Voices from nearby homes that are full of life. The beeping of sales as street children vie for the attention of each pedestrian in hopes that someone will buy their goods. The barking of dogs that runs endlessly through the night. The old men sitting outside our hotel chatting. Kids walking through the streets. Animals being rushed to their slaughter.

A myriad of sounds that are so completely intriguing and foreign to me, yet I seem to be focusing on the same voice that does the most harm to my soul. You cannot do this. You will not make it. You are not enough.

You cannot do this. I cannot do this apart from Jesus.

You will not make it. I do not have to make it on my own.

You are not enough. I do not have to be enough because Jesus is enough.

That voice that tells me I am unable to be enough makes it sound like as if not being enough is a negative concept, but in reality it is true. I cannot do this apart from Jesus. He is the rock in which I must stand on in order to not completely fall apart, but that voice is often so hard to distinguish. There is a song by Ben Rector and the line in it says, "Because the devil is walking in my soul and all I really want to know is You can hear me, You can hear me. Sometimes the devil sounds a lot like Jesus, Telling me I'm not enough." Oh how I understand that line the more I stay in Ethiopia. 

Yelling at myself...

Are you listening?

Truly and honestly listening?

Are you able to perceive the voice of God that has breathed life brilliantly into each segment of weariness that you experience? 

No... I am not always listening, not truly listening. I miss who God is and what he is doing right before my eyes. Here is the brilliant thing about being stuck in a 3rd world country with very little to do and very little to distract you from hearing what Jesus wants of you. 

It's hard to miss it.

I am able to sit.



In a way I have not experienced in my life.

I am have been too busy moving and doing. Becoming distracted from the BEAUTY that the God of the universe is trying to show me. This has changed me. Missing the voice of God, yet capturing it again, has changed me. Ethiopia has changed me. 

My confession. I am not enough, I cannot do this, I will not make it... and that is okay. Simply because I do not have to be enough. My Jesus is doing this. He is moving and working and will make things fall graciously into place. He will shout from a mountain top as to the things he will accomplish in this time. I desperately do not want to miss it.

I stood at the top of a mountain recently where our new friend shared that just on the other side of the mountain was the healing waters of the Christian Orthodox Church. We stood there, learning the history of Ethiopia from a 25 year old guy who was passionate about his country and his faith. The Horn of Africa is a botanical garden that will take your breath away. The sounds of Addis off in the distance that I have to strain to hear. I stood there wanting to yell from the top of my lungs in the silence of the gardens. In that moment, I shifted my perspective. I heard Jesus speak to my soul. He told me to turn to this young man beside me and ask them what they think about Jesus. Today however, I missed a simple word from God. To give this young girl my food. BUT JESUS spoke to Todd, he leaned over and handed her his food. Conviction washed over me. How could I have missed that chance. How could I have allowed Satan to distract me when a young girl who I walk by everyday was in need? 

Do not be like me. 

Do not allow yourself to be so distracted that you cannot hear Jesus.

Do not allow yourself to get caught up in life in such a way that you are not allowing yourself to hear what God is calling you to do.

Ask yourself...

Are you listening?

Truly and honestly listening?

Are you able to perceive the voice of God that has breathed life brilliantly into each segment of weariness that you experience? 

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