**UPDATE: All thirteen bikes have been covered! Thank you so much!
Our YWAM team, along with Jason & Jackie Sanchez, Kara Portilla & her mother Donna, Mike Monahan along with Kaitlyn & Kimberly from Arizona, went for a final visit to the village where we have started a kindergarten for the twenty children that are sponsored through YWAM. Prior to the children breaking for lunch, we sat under the Worship Tree and listened to the evangelists share about all that God is doing in the immediate village and surrounding area.
The work they are doing is exciting, amazing, dangerous and extremely challenging ….. and they blew our socks off with the testimonies of lives being changed, churches being birthed in ways I would have thought impossible, and we all felt like we stood on holy ground hearing stories like those of the first century church.
Once the children ate their lunches it was time to play, and we all enjoyed pushing them on the merry-go-round, catching them at the bottom of the slide or just playing chase and tag with lots of hugs and tickles.
I had time to hear a bit more from the elders of the church and I asked them what their needs were.
For the past seven years, eight evangelists have been serving in this village that covers quite a large area, and because the Holy Spirit is moving in such a mighty way, four more evangelists have joined them.
Each house or cluster of houses in this village is fairly far apart because each dwelling has farmland included. They asked me if there was a way for them to have bicycles so they could reach the unreached further away and be more efficient in discipling the new converts. A bicycle costs $100.
These evangelists have lived on what little the church could give them, ate what little their garden produced and, from what I could discern, are raising their families on the edge of destitution and poverty.
I did not hear one complaint, only praises to their God because this past year has seen 150 families, formerly adhering to a repressive religion, convert to Christianity. It is all the reward they needed.
I know better. Every father and mother wants their children to have adequate food. It would be nice to have a sturdy door on their hut so snakes do not have access at night. It would be nice to have a lean-to next to the hut to cook in so their families are not breathing in smoke, and I know having the liberty to seek medical help if their child gets poked in the eye with a stick is reassuring. Simple things… yet out of reach to these people.
I am buying one bike and sponsoring one evangelist at $50 a month. I want to partner with 12 people who will enjoy the satisfaction of giving these men money to provide for their families and giving them a means of transportation to do the important work God clearly has called them to do. We actually need 13 bicycles, because the teacher for the school walks two hours each way to teach and he shyly told me that a bicycle would be a huge benefit to him, too.
If you want to help, please call or email us at:
This Christmas will be a bittersweet one for me. As many of you know, my son died suddenly in May. He wanted so badly to go to Ethiopia with me and in his honor, I will buy a Christmas gift to bless the less fortunate in Ethiopia. I cannot think of one item my family actually needs and I am confident that my daughters and husband will join me in giving Christmas gifts that not only will bring satisfaction to our hearts, but will give immeasurable joy to those God has put in my path in the in exotic, beautiful and desperate land of Ethiopia.