Upcoming travel to Ethiopia

Sometime in late spring, my wife and I will by traveling to Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. There at an orphanage, we will be adopting a young girl who will become our fourth child. I’m very excited about the trip!

In reading about Ethiopia, I discovered that the capital is nearly 8000 feet in elevation. That will probably be high enough that the air will seem thin to us. Why is it so high I wondered? Just yesterday I discovered the answer in my reading on church history:

In Africa, low-lying Christian Nubia succumbed to Muslim assaults [in the 1300s)]. Ethiopia survived, but only after relocating its capital and main territories into its mountainous heartland.

-Philip Jenkins, The Lost History of Christianity, p.238

Head for the hills! In the 14th century, Muslims conquered much of the Christian world, including all of northern Africa. Ethiopia is the one exception. In fact, it’s been more or less continuously Christian longer than anywhere else on earth.

Ethiopia was a potent ally for Egypt’s Christians, when they fell under Muslim rule: as late as the fourteenth century, Ethiopia tried to prevent the ongoing persecution in Egypt by threatening to dam the Nile.


Dam the Nile. That would throw a monkey wrench in somebody’s day for sure.