GO Ethiopia - A Newsletter from the Harrisons

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Our First Post

Our family is excited to share this update regarding our long-term desire to serve the people of East Africa in the name of Jesus. The Lord has provided such that we are now ready to settle in Ethiopia as a family for two years and serve there and in surrounding countries starting this March.

Since Steadman’s first visit to Uganda in 2005, our family has been a part of more than ten trips to Africa, each time asking God to open doors and bless this nation. Alyssa has made two mis-sion trips to Good Shepherd’s Fold Orphanage in Uganda, and Miles has visited both Uganda and Ethiopia. Our home is dotted with pictures of our many African friends and with treasures we have brought back to remember these special people and places. The hint of a longing that began five years ago, to spend more time working alongside the people of East Africa, has grown into a funded and commissioned opportunity to go!

Steadman received approval from the Center for Creative Leadership to begin a two year contract in his new role as a visiting faculty member at Unity University in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia starting April 1, 2010. He will teach classes at the university part time and facilitate leadership training courses for CCL across East Africa part time.

Alyssa is applying to teach at one of the international schools in Addis Ababa. Two schools have come to the forefront of her interest. The first is a Christian school that sounds wonderfully like a smaller version of CaldwellAcademy (with a student body that is 60% Ethiopian), and the second is a highly academic inter-national community school.

Our boys are excited about our upcoming adventure and have memorized all the countries in Africa. They are interested to learn some words in Amharic, the language we will all begin to study together in the coming year. They also have lots of questions. Their questions range from what our house will look like to whether we will be able to have pets – a dog, a cha-meleon, a snake, or some exotic African animal (“Could we have a monkey, Papa?”) In many ways our adventure has already begun.

In October of 2009, after serving as temporary mis-sionaries for Global Outreach for four consecutive years, Steadman and Alyssa joined GO’s missionary training team in Mississippi where we were commissioned as mission project coordinators (MPC’s) to Ethiopia, meaning that monies raised do not go toward salaries but entirely to missions projects. Our upcoming fellowship and work with the International Evangelical Church in Addis Ababa and a number of ministries in the community will make our time in Ethiopia both full and fulfilling.

It will be hard to be so far away from our church family at Covenant Fellowship in Greensboro, but we are encouraged daily to see this next chapter of our lives as an extension of the work of this local church as well as an outreach on be-half of our larger Christian community. We are pleased to take the Gospel forward in both Word and deed to a people hungry for it, as Jesus has called us to do.

Many of our family and friends have asked how they can help us. We ask everyone to pray for God’s blessing on our faith and witness, and on our finances and health. Pray for God to continue to open doors and grow the leadership development that Steadman will direct through CCL’s Leadership Beyond Boundaries initia-tive. Pray that God would continue to provide opportunities for Steadman to preach. Pray that Alyssa will find a teaching position at a school where our sons can attend together. Pray that Miles, Liam, and Ethan will make new friends and enjoy the city and culture of Addis Ababa.

We would encourage you to give financially to our missions projects through tax deductible contribu-tions to Global Outreach International, account #3085. Current projects are medical assistance, orphan care, youth discipleship, and the establishment of a Christian library. We are pleased to have the financial accountability provided by Global Outreach to make sure that mission project funds go entirely to those missions projects.

Our earnest desire and vision is to help our new neighbors in very tangible ways. Your gifts and prayers will go to great use in our new community to help with the physical and spiritual needs of many.

We also encourage you to come stay with us on a short term mission trip and volunteer your time helping to accomplish this vision of service, generosity, and biblical training. We have two people lined up to come already, one to help with medical missions and one to help with whatever project needs it most. We’d love to see you!