Ethia-opy is what Claire was calling Ethiopia this morning. :) For those of you who know my family, you know Ethiopia has become a big part of our lives. We sponsor a little girl there through Compassion International, and for those of you who know my Dad, you know he's there almost as much as he's in the USA! We call it his home away from home. Anyway, he's there right now with e3 Partners, who he and my Mom serve with, and he just sent the most incredible update email of the ministry that's going on there...thought I'd post it for those of you who might be interested...
Unbelievable day! We visited in 4 different homes today with people who had all been trained last April to find out how they've done since then. We were all overwhelmed with how faithful they've been in sharing the gospel, leading people to Christ, starting new churches and going to more communities to find a person of peace for the purpose of starting "2nd generation" churches.
|me, Dad, Pastor (can't remember his name), Mom, & Katie in Ethiopia in 2007.
Home #1: A young Orthodox Priest was led to Christ by a born again Orthodox Priest privately witnessing to him in Orthodox Bible School. He's now leading church in his home and has started planting 2 more churches in unreached areas. And...he's ALWAYS smiling...Jesus radiates from him!
Home #2: A woman's husband went to prison, got saved came home and led his family to Christ. Since then they've started a church in their home and have planted another in a different part of their larger town.
|typical Ethiopian mud hut
Home #3: An Ethiopian evangelist who had never led a church took our training and went home to start a multiplying church. Soon he'd led nearly 20 to Christ, gathered them together for worship and instruction and trained them to go to other villages and follow his example. 10 other areas are targeted and have young Christian evangelists working hard to begin new churches.
|this mom was SO pregnant, I'm sure she birthed the child right there in the field, as there weren't any clinics around.
Home #4: In a village 1/2 hour drive from town a farmer who was saved, came to our training and while walking home heard the Lord speak to him to plant churches in his village of 2,500. He wasn't sure how, but trusted God to lead him. Not many days later he heard a loud commotion in a neighboring hut. He went and found many people gathered around a woman who was demon possessed and close to death. She'd tried everything for help...Orthodox Priests, witch doctor...but nothing helped. He proclaimed to all who had gathered that only Jesus could deliver the woman. He prayed and, not surprisingly, she was delivered and several came to faith in Christ. Since then, others have been miraculously healed, delivered from demonic possession and become followers of Christ. A group of over 30 meet regularly...a "Mega Church" for this area! And he now has several other villages that are targeted for new churches.
What a day! We all are exhausted from praise and thanksgiving!
|Katie & her translator helping someone get reading glasses at the eye clinic.
We don't always extend our trips to include "checking up" on churches that have been previously planted, but it sure was exciting to see how God continues the work of building His Church after we help start the process. To Him alone belongs the Glory!!!
I love that my Dad has such a heart for missions! Please pray for him and the team...God is moving in Ethia-opy!!