Thoughts from Ethiopia
Categories: Pastors Blog
It is hard to believe that my trip to Ethiopia has come and gone. There was so much anticipation for the trip that, like Christmas for a kid, it seemed like it would never happen. The days that we spent teaching at Bright Hope Theological College were some of the most fruitful days of my entire life. Not only because of what I did in teaching, but because of what I received. First, I was there with two of East Texas Baptist University’s finest ambassadors, Dr. Elijah Brown (professor of missions) and Dr. Dub Oliver (President of ETBU). I gleaned much from both of these men as they taught through the letter to the Ephesian church. Dub’s gentle way of imparting truth to leaders and Elijah’s prophetic voice both challenged and informed my spirit.
Second, I was blessed beyond measure to sit in a room for four days with 150 Ethiopian pastors and church leaders. They sat and listened with such attentiveness, eagerness, and hunger for God’s Word, for up to four hours with little to no break. They received no credit for this week long course, yet faithfully attended every session every day. These men and women became lifelong friends, even if I never see them again, I will never forget them. Ethiopia sits in such tremendous potential and or crisis. The nation’s stable government, religious freedom, and growing evangelical church provide a strong foundation for the church to make known the salvation of God so that all the people may rejoice (Psalm 67). On the other hand a high unemployment rate, rampant poverty, increasingly crowded urban areas, and the growth of Islam has the nation teetering towards another direction. Added to this the fact that Ethiopia’s neighbors are not the best examples of stability and positive growth, the nation sits in either a strategic position of effectiveness or could become another African nation succumbing to political and religious unrest. Please join me in praying that the church leaders that we met, along with the 1000’s o others serving in Ethiopia will be strong and stand firm, that they will not grow weary in doing good, that they will be steadfast in the ministry gospel of Jesus Christ.
I want to thank you, the members of Crossroads, for broadening your perspective to pray for and give to this mission work. If we claim to be the Church founded by Christ (Matthew 16:17-19), called to share the gospel with the world (Acts 1:8) that God has declared His love for (John 3:16), we must be willing to GO into the world and share His LOVE (Matthew 28:16-20).
In His Service,