Thursday… It was a long day. It was a good day …no, it was an incredible day!
The Woman’s Touch mission team deposited much more than new clothes and food to twelve women in a remote village in Ethiopia. They gathered the wives and children of the twelve evangelists in this village who have dedicated their lives for the past eight years to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ through friendship evangelism and practical helps. Their wives work tirelessly gathering water and wood, tending a small garden, raising children and making sure there is something in the pot for their families to eat. They live as their neighbors do… in mud and straw houses, cook outdoors, their children have few clothes and fewer shoes and food is scarce. The wives were amazed that ladies from America would want to meet them and wondered what they could possibly want with them.
This team of ten women wanted nothing more than to share Jesus’ love with these hard working, seldom recognized women and unfolded several ways in which to show Christ’s love to the women and children gathered. When bowls of water, soap and towels were produced and the American women knelt down and picked up hardened, dust caked feet and began to wash them, the Ethiopian women pulled away saying, “No, no! You must not do that. We are not worthy. We must wash your feet!”
Gently but persistently, the American women indicated that they were following Jesus’ example and it was their privilege to kneel before these courageous women and wash their feet. As they washed, another team member prayed for them with the interpreter telling each woman the blessing being bestowed. Tears erupted from each woman and, many times bent over double sobbing, the women heard and felt God’s love for them and began to understand that God held them in the highest esteem.
It was almost overwhelming for them to take in… but as the sweet aroma of lotion was massaged into the cracked, rough feet and the Holy Spirit began comforting their parched spirits, each woman looked up with renewed hope and beautiful smiles glimmered through the tears and the American women were rewarded with grateful hugs and kisses.
In preparation for their time in Ethiopia, the Women’s Touch team gathered skirts and shirts to give to the ladies they would have the privilege of meeting and touching with Christ’s love. After tummies were full, the team joyfully gave each wife a new skirt and shirt …. a luxury unimaginable to these humble village women.
For months the Women’s Touch team saved money, had fundraisers, gathered skirts, shirts and VBS supplies and planned how to bring hope and laughter into the lives of women and children in Ethiopia. They had little inkling how powerfully the Holy Spirit would use their willing hands and hearts to impact lives.
Are these women super Christians? Are they more spiritual than most? No, the difference between them and those reading this is simply that they said, “Yes, I will go.” God only asks for us to respond to His call. He will do the rest.
Post Script …..
Nine of the twelve evangelists are sponsored by families here in the U.S. This is the only source of income they have, and their lives and the lives of their families are examples of extreme dedication to furthering the Lord’s work in this village. We need three more sponsors at $50 a month so all twelve can have income. 100% of the money goes to the evangelist. Will you say, “Yes, I will do it,” and allow your finances to supply basic necessities for these steadfast disciples?