The dust swirled in elegant plumes from the dry fields but seldom caught my eye. What startles the western observer in Ethiopia? Bright eyes, faces, hands of greeting, and a flash of grinning teeth. The people draw the eye like a flashing lure draws the fish. Is it the fact that they are all out and in the open air? Everywhere you go are young boys standing as tall as storks on donkey carts with square platforms. Groups of people huddled under the protective wings of spreading shade trees. Everywhere there are people moving, like streams of ants, except for those quietly waiting for three-wheeled Bajaj taxis. Or, perhaps, the reason is something more amazing. Even the ragged, youthful rogues, no older than the beasts they drove, could not hide their nature as image bearers of a creating God. These beautiful dark-skinned image bearers in their colorful garb delighted the eyes most of all as they worshipped the Lord in joyful abandon … sheep, bleating for their shepherd.
The fighter verse song in my head in Ethiopia was John 10:27–30. My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they will never perish and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.
God’s sheep are all over the world and they know the sound of Jesus’ voice and long for his food, and he protects them and cares for them. We are one flock, and, in Ethiopia, we met flock-mates!
Our team came away from Ethiopia in love. We took quite a few pictures, some of flowers and a few animals. We had some terrific food, including full-flavored and rich fruit. The highlights of the time, however, were with those fellow sheep. God’s image bearers exist everywhere. The greatest times were gathering in Jesus name for worship with the flock, eating with locals, praying with church leaders, and holding broken children. Jesus blessed our time, and our team of 11 taught pastors, visited orphans, and delivered food to landslide survivors. These sheep are hungry: the theological famine in East Africa continues. We were only able to come and, by the Spirit, alleviate a small part of it. We left pastors hungering for more and orphans still desiring parents.
4th Year Seminarian
Please pray for:
- Ethiopia and the nations.
- How YOU might keep serving the Church of Jesus world wide.
And remember to:
- Kiss and hug your spouse and praise Jesus for your children.
- Rejoice that Jesus has put you in a context where you can have a theological feast on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays… ANY TIME YOU WANT TO!!!
- Make the most of your feast, come to the table of God’s word ravenous.
- Share the food with your little flock and the world.