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!!!

Addis Ababa as a city.

Poverty here in the city is in your face and stark. Slums are everywhere along side roads and ‘normal’ housing areas. Apparently in many other African cities the poverty is as bad but the slums are round the edge of the city so you don’t come face to face with it as often.

Road works, Ethiopia style.

Here is a blog post for our boys! They are resurfacing the road to the houses on the far side of the airport. However here they don’t shut part of the road and divert the traffic. You all just keep on ploughing through! Apparently it helps with compaction of the ground. All we know is it’s very bumpy, very slow, fume filled and can’t be good for the cars which are all really old.





Sunday fellowship.

Today has been a day of meeting people who live here in Addis, both locals and those who have come from abroad here.

We started the day having breakfast at the guest house with a family staying here who normally work in the north of Ethiopia. 

We then headed to St Matthews Anglican Church. It is known by taxi drivers as the English church, which is ironic as most of the congregation aren’t English. We met lots of lovely people there and there were lots of kids of similar ages to our boys.
During the service a lot of the kids work seemed to take place outside in the beautiful garden, which is where we all enjoyed coffee afterwards.

People regularly head off together for brunch somewhere. We went out with Jacob, Tessa and their boys to ‘bread and brew’ owned by a British Ethiopian. It felt very much like a coffee place from home. We both had Eggs Benedict.

Finally this afternoon we went to see friends of friends from Cambridge. They answered questions about how to get to know Ethiopians, where are good places to live and fed us good Ethiopian food. The drive was interesting (I’ll follow up on that for my boys sake shortly!).

It’s a new, new, day.

We’ve been woken this morning just before sunrise (which 6ish all year!!) by the Muslim call to prayer. It is SO loud and just a caucophony noise. 

We were reflecting on how even though, Islam is a relatively small part of Ethiopian society, we have noticed so many Muslims just because of their distinctive dress.

So as I lay here, it is the Awesome Cutlery kids song I have going round my head…

Thank you, Father, for today
Teach me how to choose your way
Help me lift my eyes to see
Who you are
You are faithful, always true
Every good thing comes from you
Meet me in your Word
And help me worship you

It’s a new, new day
To sing your praise
It’s a new, new day
To walk in your ways
It’s a new, new day
To make you known
It’s a new, new day
To see your kingdom grow

Jesus, you are all I need
Thank you that you died for me
Help me know you’ll always be
Here with me
I am weak, but you are strong
When I stumble, you hold on
Help me turn away from sin
And worship you

It’s a new, new day
To sing your praise
It’s a new, new day
To walk in your ways
It’s a new, new day
To make you known
It’s a new, new day
To see your kingdom grow

It’s a gift of time you give
One more day for us to live
One more chance for us to call
On the name of Christ the Lord

It’s a new, new day
To sing your praise
It’s a new, new day
To walk in your ways
It’s a new, new day
To make you known
It’s a new, new day
To see your kingdom grow

A new, new day (Album This is Awesome Cutlery 2016)

We’ve made it!

We have landed safely in Addis. Afework, one of Pete’s contacts at EGST met us at the airport. We are installed at the SIM mission guesthouse where we are staying during our time here. 

I have spent most of the day in bed having vomited once on the plane and once after arriving here. Feeling better now. 

Pete has done a stirling job getting us set up with an Ethiopian SIM so we have some data. He has also taken lots of video clips. However no photos so will post some tomorrow hopefully.

Bye bye boys

This morning we sent the big boys into school (they were fine, I had a lump in my throat). Levi didn’t get with plan quite as easily so he didn’t nap when needed and consequently my parents will arrive to washing everywhere but these things happen.

Levi was such a happy boy today and just wanted to have fun with us. Which was lovely and heart wrenching all at the same time.

We are at the airport waiting to board, missing the boys loads, but so very grateful to the Linebaughs and Days for having the boys tonight. We are also incredibly grateful to my parents for having them tomorrow until Thursday!! Pray for them all to have special times together please. 

Also pray for us for travelling mercies and that we would get some sleep on the plane.

Well, I never thought…

This time last year we were looking forward to finding somewhere to move to in Cambridge as Pete was going to finish his PhD and start a post doctoral research post with his PhD supervisor.  Things seemed even more confirmed in late January when a family from church said the cottage they owned next to their house just west of Cambridge had unexpectedly become vacant. Would we like it, for reduced rent, for as long as we wanted? It is an amazing cottage with enormous amounts of outside space for the boys to have adventures and people in a hugely generous fashion gave us their old furniture. We moved in at the beginning of April ready to live here for the next four years.

The last weekend in April we travelled to Munich for the wedding of Alexandra, our dear old lodger from one summer at Tyndale. Sat in her sisters kitchen 2 days later, while all of Germany and the U.K. enjoyed the May Day public holiday, Pete got an email from the university of Cambridge saying they had decided to give someone else the post doc.

Over the following few weeks we went through all sorts of emotions. Finally in August, came the peace of realising once again that our Heavenly Father hasn’t abandoned us and does of course still have a plan. He hasn’t taken us down this crazy path these past 13 years of highs and lows in all aspects of life. living off grants, the generous supports of friends who believe in what we are doing and taking on crazy extra workload of jobs on top of a part-time curacy, full time PhD and a family of 3 very lively boys. Of course our Father has a plan for what is next. 

However, the email in October from the Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology came as a surprise. Apparently Pete had sent them his CV in August a long with other places. EGST liked his CV and are in need of an Old Testament lecturer. Fortunately Pete remembered to tell me about that email because the next day he had an email saying they would let him know when he would be teaching from September 2018!! We replied in horror, suggesting they were a lot further along the thought process than us!

However we did feel we should at least investigate the possibility. Various conversations have happened with people in the last couple of months that have led us to believe this might be where the Lord would have us serve him next. 

And so we come to the thing I never thought I would find myself saying… On Friday Pete and I will fly to Addis Ababa for 5 days to help us discern if this is the right move to make.

Of course, anothe thing I never thought I’d do is write a blog!

I hope you enjoy reading about our adventures this year. Who knows where we will be this time next year.