Despite reaching speeds in excess of 650 miles per hour, the 13 and a half hour, 7,393 mile plane trip from Washington D.C. to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia felt like an eternity of stagnation, restlessness, and bathroom trips. I blew through a copy of Francis Chan’s Forgotten God, a book which highlights America’s inherent lack of the third part of the Godhead: the Holy Spirit. Great book, I recommend the read for every Christian because the Holy Spirit is what drives our religion and guides us to the Truth.
Anyways, I digress. I wanted to talk a bit about the Ethiopian culture I’d be immersed in for the next seven weeks. I did a little research and found out some very interesting nuggets about this exotic nation. To begin, Ethiopia (known in ancient days as Abyssinia) is the oldest independent nation in Africa. Three thousand years ago, the Queen of Sheba visited King Solomon in Jerusalem (1 kings, Old Testament), and on her way back to her kingdom, bore Solomon’s son. This offspring was the first in a long line of monarchs that traced their heritage back to the one and only, King Solomon. Another interesting fact I found was that many Ethiopians maintain that the actual Ark of the Covenant also is housed in a remote area in the city of Axum where it has been housed since the Queen of Sheba brought it back from Jerusalem 3,000 years ago. No one is allowed to see it except the keeper of the Ark, which is a solitary monk which is not allowed to even leave the monastery grounds until he dies. Who knows! Perhaps I will be in the presence of true holiness while in Ethiopia.
While on the plane, I experienced something I had never even thought possible. I watched the sun rise twice on the same flight without going to sleep in between In fact, since waking up at 3 am in Raleigh and departing around 6 am, I have not gone to sleep since then and I arrived in Addis at 7 am the following morning. Praise God for caffeine!
I don’t think I am quite ready to experience Addis yet because, quite frankly, I don’t know what to be prepared for! However, there is no time to fret; it’s time to jump right into the swing of a new life. God as my guide, I am ready to tackle the new culture and new life as an Ethiopian. I must empty myself of everything American and be ready to wash myself in the rich culture of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.