Paul is in Addis tonight and last night, so it is just Nathan and I holding down the fort.  It is weird; I am not used to Paul being gone anymore.  In America, he would be gone one to two nights every week while he was on call at the hospital.  So I got used to it and always planned lots of fun things for the day and evening when he would be gone.   Well, I am a wimp and not used to being home by myself, especially with Nathan growing into a Daddy’s boy.

Well, Paul was busy packing on Saturday night and I was so thankful I didn’t need to pack…but then in the middle of the night one of the guards came to the door (this is common).  He explained that the power was out and Paul needed to turn on the generator, in order for someone in the ICU to have oxygen.  So he went to the generator and he came back and said, “Becca I don’t want to freak you out….but, there is a large fire in Soddo and it looks close.”  I looked out the front door and could see huge flames coming from the other side of town.  It was a bright orange sky in the middle of the darkness.  (I do have a pic, but Paul has the camera…will download later.)  So Paul told me to pack up the essential things, just in case (money, passports, our hard drive, cameras).  We stood by the door and prayed.  The wind howled around us and we knew it would not take much for the flames to be carried in any direction.  I cannot even begin to describe how heavy the winds can be here.  Actually, the missionaries told me about the dry and windy season before we came and how dust would collect on your window sills every morning even with the windows closed.  I did not believe them!  But it is true, every night the wind blows like a huge storm, but there is no rain.  I have never heard wind like this in the states, unless there was a tornado or HUGE thunderstorm coming.  Anyways, we prayed and as we stood in the doorway with the wind in our faces it calmed.  I felt the wind stop.  And after the prayer he went into the hospital to check for new patients and keep an eye on the fire.  And I went back and laid down, I thought about all the other people who may have prayed the same prayer as they watched their house or their business come close to the flames.  I saw how even though God allowed the fire, he also protected so much.  The fire was contained to the market and miraculously no one was injured.  The market is about 4 or 5 football fields big (according to Becca’s rough eyeing-it estimate).  It is filled with stand after stand of grain, lentils, pottery, vegetables, basically everything the people of Soddo live off of.  Every Saturday, everyone within the Soddo region goes to the market to buy what they will need for the week. 

I do not know how this is going to affect the economy.  Will those who can supply raise their prices, to above an already inflated level, that the people are already struggling to afford?  Will there be some basics, like lentils, or corn that cannot be provided at a sufficient level to feed over a million people?  Will the people who lost everything turn to God in this time of despair?  Will they realize an eternal hope is all any of us truly have?  Will they feel the love of Christ as others within the community reach out to help restart their business?

Please pray with us that the economy would recover quickly and that people would join together to help each other out.  The Ethiopian Christmas is this Wednesday; please also pray that Christ would be made known throughout this region and that above all He would be their hope.

To see a few pictures of the fire and devastation you can visit the Bower’s blog at .