Greetings from the Selbys in Ethiopia
Our life in Ethiopia is all about learning. We are learning how to drive, how to buy our vegetables, how to say hello; we have to relearn almost every part of our lives. For everything we thought we knew how to do well, we soon realized we had to go back to the drawing board. For instance, buying vegetables: we get into our car, fight through the chaotic flow of traffic, and finally reach the vegetable stand. First, we talk to the stand owner and share the news, and only then do we buy our vegetables. However, whereas in America we pick out our own vegetables, here we tell the stand owner how much of each vegetable we want and he weighs it and bags it up for us. It is a far cry from when I used to go in and out of the grocery store, pick out my own vegetables, and breeze through the automatic check out: I was done in five minutes and might not even speak to anyone. This is a good snapshot of how life works in Ethiopia: life takes time and relationships always come first.
The task of learning also marks this early stage of our ministry. For now, learning a language called Afaan Oromo is our main ministry, and we have already seen how our knowing even a little of Afaan Oromo brings such joy to people for whom this is their main language. It is a simple, but deeply meaningful way to show the love of Jesus and that they, and their culture, are valued.
Thank you for your partnership in His ministry in Ethiopia.
Tyler, Katie, and Ruby Selby