Ethiopia Onesimus Nesib Seminary women students and Pastor Samuelson  in 2011

Ethiopia Onesimus Nesib Seminary women students and Pastor Samuelson  in 2011


We will separate today. Ron will spend intensive time with administration, looking at the health of the hospital organization. Rachel will shadow hospital staff, with the intent of determining what equipment would make their work more effective and efficient. Girma and Karen will spend time at Onesimus Nesib Seminary. One of the needs of the seminary, according to a recent accreditation review, is an expanded library. How can we make that happen?

Each night we will come together and talk about our experiences that day. It’s important to process what we have seen, to clarify needs and opportunities, to support each other, and to ask God for open eyes and hearts.



But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?

And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain” (Exodus 3:11-12).

You have to smile at this text. Moses asks God for a sign that God was sending him to the people of Israel. God tells Moses that he will be receive it after he leads the people out, when he worships God on the mountain.

It’s true. Most often we don’t get prophetic signs, warning messages, divine clues that we are doing the right thing. Sometimes we need to just do it, and experience God’s affirmation afterward. We walk by faith and not by sight. But God is there, both in times of absolute certainty and anxious questioning, in times of great faith and honest doubt. We may need to wait, though.



Thursday was a busy day for us. Ron and Rachel spent all day at the hospital and nurses school. They started the day by going on rounds with Dr. Tariku. Then, Ron talked gathered the financials and had a look at them, but also talked with key personnel. Rachel witnessed a surgery, shadowed the head nurse and then went over to the nursing school with the mannequin we brought along (a body on which students can learn how to do procedures). Rachel laughed at the one they had been using (terming it “ancient”) and showed the head of the nursing school how to use this one. He is desperate to receive nursing textbooks which his students can use.

 Girma had his own business in the morning – visiting the Lalo Aira elders (church council) and meeting with the secondary school principal.

I started the day at the seminary chapel, then visited a class on Ethiopian church history. The teacher is using a number of books for resources, but one is published by our publishing house, Lutheran University Press – a wise, wise teacher! After tea (which is held between the two morning classes) I met with Rev. Tadese for the rest of the morning. They too are in need of books for their library. The accrediting organization was here this year to approve Onesimus Nesib operations. Their only criticism was the small number of books available to staff and students. He also shared a drawing of the women’s dormitory. I’m eager to share it with you all!

In the afternoon, Girma and I went to the secondary school and met with the students sponsored by Lalo Aira Secondary School alumni around the world. They are from financially struggling families (some orphans), and the alumni association pays their school fees. The success rate for the students the alumni sponsor is 95% (success equals getting into university). That’s amazing. Then we met with the principal of the school and heard his vision and his challenges. Then Girma and I set back walking to the guest house. It’s a long distance! We finally caught a “cab” when we got to the main street. It’s a three-wheeled vehicle from India which can hold three people (one being the driver). It was an adventure!

Dinner was low-key tonight, and no one stopped by, so we relaxed and prepared for Friday’s schedule of activities.