Meet our adventurous bears

I would like you to meet the boys bears.

Each bear travelled all the way from the Hudson Bay Trading Company to join our family for the boys first Christmas courtesy of Auntie Cheryl and Uncle John (my Dad’s cousin).

Jos has the originally named Hudson (none still have the given name by HBTC for the bear).

Seth has Harry.

and Levi has Hamish.

These bears are living through the crazy journey of possibly moving to Ethiopia with us. This week Hudson and Harry visited an Ethiopian restaurant in Kings Cross with us for Seth’s birthday.

They took some leftovers home for Hamish to try.

He got his paws very mucky because you eat by tearing strips of the Enjeara fermented bread and pinching up bits of food.

Tomorrow they will be joining us for cross cultural training for a week at SIM HQ in Suffolk. Please pray we all stay well, have energy and most of all find it useful and take it all in.


The weather here has been so changeable the last few weeks. It has been hard to believe what the weather forecastors say will arrive the next day. Last Friday it was 13c, warm and sunny in our garden.

The next morning we woke to snow and biting ‘Beast from the East’ winds. With the wind chill it felt like – 6.

It is so odd to think that if we do end up in Ethiopia, these extremes will no longer be a daily conversation starter!

Our plan (if we get accepted by SIM) had been to move out in August for the start of the new academic year. However, we have heard from SIM Ethiopia they are unable to accept any new long term team members before January due to staffing issues.

All in all, I think this is a good thing. Wonderful God ordained timing. We will get to enjoy time regrouping as a family post PhD, enjoy all of us going on the river at the bottom of the garden over summer without me thinking I should be sorting things at home. Those things can wait to a degree until the boys start school again in September. Best of all we get to experience a few more seasons.

Tonight we have the next step along our selection path. A 2.5 hour personal history review interview!

The forms are submitted.

So the last month has been spent wading through the forms to apply to be members of the Serving in Mission (SIM) agency, the mission support group from Christ Church Cambridge and Bingham Academy, the school the boys will be going to. These forms have all been mammoth brain stretchers to be filled in amongst all sorts of other normal life things – PhD thesis, sermon prep, poorly kids, pastoral situations etc. Needless to say we are exhausted, and these are only the first steps to going. We would value your prayers for energy and clarity of thought for the thesis being written and the next set of forms!

Back with our boys.

Hello. I’m sorry it has taken a whole week to give another update. Life back at home with 3 boys who missed Mum and Dad lots has been full on, as well as Levi being ill with a cold and then tummy bug ever since we got back.

My parents did an amazing job looking after the boys while we were away and the boys were genenrally on good form apparently.

 Here is a photo of the boys with their presents.

SIM Guesthouse

We have been staying at the SIM (Serving in Mission) guesthouse here in Addis. SIM have by far the biggest team and infrastructure for missionaries here in Addis. It has been great to get a feel for how we could be part of the team.

We have been amazed by the amount of beautiful flowers and greenery even amongst all the dust and poverty.

Bingham School.

This is where the boys would come to school. They currently have 27 nations represented here and 40% of the school not from Christian families.

Here are some photos of the school. 

Just for you boys…here is a picture of the squash court, so you can even bring your rackets with you!

And finally one of the schools five Giant Tortoise!

Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology (EGST).

We finally made it over to EGST today, the whole reason we are investigating moving our whole family here.

The church in Ethiopia is growing rapidly, but there are not enough places to train church leaders and especially to train people who could then go on to train others.

Interestingly EGST was partly founded by a gentleman who came from the church I grew up in. Dr Peter Cotteral was the Principal of London Bible College (now LST).

We had a great time looking round and meeting the staff and faculty. On a Tuesday they all eat lunch together. Today was special as the former Dean was there Dr Debella Birri . It was wonderful to see the love everyone has for him, but also his joy in the Lord at the way EGST continues to grow and thrive.

They have a library which they are keen to develop and have someone work in who could help with communications internationally. They were excited to hear I had some experience working in the library at Tyndale House.

Currently the only Old Testament faculty member is also the principal and so he is very keen to get someone on board who could teach old testament / Hebrews and also supervise old testament students as they set up a PhD programme jointly with a university in Holland. This will be the study area for PhD students.

We were shown round by Teodros and Afework.

The view from the top of the 7 storey building is amazing.

Where might we live…

There are a few possible options for where we might live. We could rent an apartment or villa somewhere near to EGST. This would be a good plan in the long run for getting to know Ethiopians and the culture. However, initially while in language school for the first year we would most likely live on the SIM press compound with 13 other families. Here there would be safe places for the kids to play outside as we get used to things, internet would be far more reliable and lifts could be shared to school.

It is expected that westerners and any Ethiopians who can afford to employ a home help. This is because things here take much longer. Any fruit and veg needs to be bleached before it is prepared etc. They can also help with child care while I am in language school.

Here is the Ethiopian meal prepared for us yesterday by an Ethiopian home help on the SIM compound.

Another Bavink geek!!!

So, some of you know my husband Pete is quite a geek. More specifically he is a theology, hebrew, church history geek.

To this end we have this weird system for the initials of the middle names of our children spelling Bavink (as in Herman Bavink). Today in Addis we had lunch with someone who had wanted to call his son Herman. He is very excited to realise he has without realising it started our system using Herman for middle names of his first two kids without realising it. Lord give me strength!!!