The moment my feet hit Ethiopian soil for the first time, I knew two things. That I would be back. And that I would bring Nicole, my wife, with me.
I’m sure it was the smell of the air, the people I was meeting, the power of the work we were doing; a combination of all of it. I knew, with each passing day, this was something my wife would need to experience. That knowledge only grew on my second trip.
In a healthy marriage, there should be space for people to have individual passions. But I think the important things, the things closest to our hearts, should be shared at least once. In my experience, this has proven a fertile ground for God to solidify further the bonds of what we vowed. When a marriage is strengthened and a cause is defended at the same time, in a profound way, God’s glory is on display.
Nicole joined me on my third trip. My eyes were glued to her reactions. Each new sensation, emotion, heart tug…I was a secondary participant in her experience. With every woman Nicole met with her warm embrace, with every child she held, with every quiet moment spent staring out of the van window trying to comprehend it all…I was reliving it all again, for the first time. But this time, two hearts were being reborn together and by the end of our trip, we knew our involvement together was inevitable.
(Adam and Nicole with the Carry 117 onsite supervisor, Medi, and her son, Yabsira.)
This last trip together set the stage for some pretty amazing things on this side of the Atlantic Ocean. My wife and I both have increased our roles at Carry 117. While our level of involvement individually may have put a certain amount of strain on our relationship, doing what we are doing together has only strengthened it. While this may have been something that took time away from our family if I were to do it on my own, it is now a shared passion that has ignited both of us. I also think this is a healthy thing for our young boys to witness. It’s amazing to hear them talk about Carry 117, and really cute when they help out behind a sales table.
In addition to increased roles with the organization, we have also taken positions as country representatives in global outreach at our local church. This has provided an outstanding opportunity to keep the women of Korah at the forefront of our congregation’s minds, as well as kept the partnership between Carry 117 and our church strong.
Family stability is at the core of what Carry 117 is about. Strengthening families in the capital city of Ethiopia is their passion. What has caught me off guard is the extent to which Carry 117 is strengthening a family in Westminster, Maryland.