The adhan starts about 5:40 this morning. Despite waking twice last night, the Lord has blessed with long & sound sleep - a much-needed refreshment after two flight cancellations, and 42 hours in airports & airplanes getting here.
Adhan: the Muslim call to prayer.
I lie here in the wee hours of breaking light, musing on this oppressive drone of the empty call. It arrogates itself to command the faithful, demanding that they worship. They are under duress to seek their god. The call does not fear their ire; unwelcome intrusion breaking their peaceful slumber. It thinks it is king. But the call is empty in its power, and they obey it to find no hope.
I slept well under my makeshift mosquito-netting tent. But now I must take a brisk shower. There is one mosquito still somewhere in the room. I have taken out 4 of them. The shower will end without incident, and I will leave the room later in the morning with that last one still buzzing about somewhere. But I believe that I have escaped unpierced. We will call it a draw. I am happy with the arrangement, and the Lord has given mercies.
Tesfaye comes to fetch me. Coffee & scrambled eggs rouse me at Time’ Cafe’. The coffee is piping hot - small and potent. It is a rich invitation to the day. A monkey climbs the wall beside our table and perches, turning his head inquisitively. None of the cafe guests give him much notice, and he goes on his way.
As we eat and drink and talk, a good-sized group of locals is walking together up the street, moving slowly and deliberately. A funeral procession. The hearse is clearly identifiable, even though I know none of the culture. The people are quietly respectful. Even the cafe turns off the music until they pass. One pocket of three well-dressed young men, near the rear, is on their phones as they proceed along. I wonder where the casket resident is now, and I pray for this group.
We leave out for Adama in a Toyota truck, driven by Tesfaye’s friend whom & which he has procured for the day. Driving is often an adventure in other cultures. And Ethiopia is no exception. We slow behind a large truck, then swing out into oncoming lanes to pass. Immediately, there is a goat in the middle of the road. It has found something interesting to eat. We slow briefly, and then swing out further into oncoming traffic. I fear that the goat may perish. I am also mildly concerned for us. We pass within inches of its head. No one in the car is moved in the least. Neither is the goat.
Not an hour later, passing through Shashemane, the opposite traffic thickens, and slows. Happy singing greets the ear. It is coming from this approaching cavalcade. Rows of men, brightly dressed, rising on horseback, chanting in sing-song harmony! They bounce in their saddles with joy. They are followed by grinning and waving revelers in their bajaj’s (A bajaj is the 3-wheel motorcycle transports that are everywhere) and then there is one white stretch SUV. A wedding!
The Lord has blessed us truly this morning. We have seen both sides.....
Join us this Sunday for an introduction and update on our four Ethiopian missionary church planters!