Blessings from Ethiopia!
Our team has been having a fantastic time loving on the people in this beautiful country as well as being loved on by them. The hearts of the people here are warm and welcoming, making the transition into Outreach a lot smoother for us all. We truly feel like family when it comes to the people we meet, including the people we’re staying with.
Who are we staying with? A wonderful missionary couple from India named Samy and Ruth. These two have served us in an abundance of ways, not the least of these being the way they feed us. Every meal we eat is followed by Samy hounding us all to “eat more”! The amount of curry we’re eating on the daily is a welcome surprise as we are experiencing not only Ethiopian culture but also a little bit of India as well!
The first day we arrived we spent resting up from the long days of travel. By the second day in country we were beginning ministry. We had the amazing opportunity to spend a couple of days traveling to the villages and working with the people there. Our first village day started out with some street evangelism as we passed out Bibles that had been translated into the language of Amharic. Each member of our team was paired with one of our Ethiopian friends who could translate for us. With the sun beaming down on us, we walked along the dusty roads, shaking hands and exchanging greetings. It was the first time evangelizing for many of us and before long my nervous excitement had turned into a peaceful joy. Joy to be in this country, on this continent, with these people.
That night, the people we had spoken to on the street gathered into the small churchyard to hear us speak. After a time of worship and prayer we performed a drama set to the song “Beautiful Things” by Gungor. Each of us had a piece of paper that had words on it describing who we had been and what we had struggled with before Christ redeemed us. As the song continued our labels of anger, suicide and loneliness turned to definitions of peace, life, and joy. After the short skit our favorite Alaskan, Bridget, shared her testimony. She did an amazing job conveying God’s love and grace for us all, no matter what we have done or what we have been through. After Bridge’s testimony Leanna acted as our team pastor for the night and shared a message based around foundational principals. Who is God? Why did He create us? What does it mean to have a relationship with Him? Leanna used her own story, knowledge, and verses from the Bible to communicate with the people there. Her talent for speaking, even when needing a translator, had our whole team smiling and whispering good gossip to each other as she shared.
The next village ministry day began in much the same way; evangelizing on the streets. The people in that village spoke a language called Oromifasuu, which presented a few more communication problems that God totally worked through (obviously- He’s the God of the Universe, no language barrier can stop Him!). To our delight, we ran a kid’s ministry in a tiny church with walls made of mud. We sang songs and put on a puppet show as the kids just stared. Yup, you heard me right, they straight-up just stared at us. The children were gentle and shy at first but as the adult service started they ventured out of their comfort zones and began sitting on our laps, playing with our arm hair, and throwing us bright smiles when we looked their way. For many of us, the following service for adults was filled with God’s presence. Bridget compared the worship that evening to the Bible verse that talks about making joyful noises for the Lord. And that’s precisely what it was. No matter what skin color, no matter what language, no matter what nation we are from, we all are together in the family of Christ. Though our cultures may be vastly different, we can still come together and worship the God who saved us all through His unchanging and amazing grace.
Please continue to pray for our general health and well-being as a team as well as Jaymie’s on-going recovery process that was mentioned in the previous post. Thank you for supporting us through thick and thin.
In His peace,
Kara-Beth Amuzzini – September 2014 DTS