by Joy Casey
written in Ethiopia 5-3-13
As I sat gazing at the acacia trees dotted across the savannah with round mud huts scattered here and there, I marveled once again that I, Joy Thompson Casey, raised in Cordova, Alaska, was heading toward a village tucked out of the way from most everybody’s sight but God’s. I guess I will never cease at marveling at God’s grace in my life and how amazed I am to serve and love Jesus doing what I am doing.
I have been in traffic jams before, but never one caused by a herd of camels! Yep, today I was up close to at least 100 camels trotting right down the middle of the road with no intention of moving to the side to let the cars pass. We finally inched around them when their herders directed them off the road down a dusty path. It was fascinating to see these exotic creatures so close.
I am traveling with two new friends from a large church in southern California. Marc and Tegra Little are troopers and a total delight to travel with. They are spending the week with me to learn the scope of Adoption Ministry’s outreaches in Ethiopia. Marc thinks on a grand scale and has provided inspiration to contemplate solutions with a more global approach.
Already Tegra is hoping to form a mission team from her church for next year. Tegra’s thoughtful insights and compassionate heart will leave a deposit in my spirit that God will use to expand my understanding of many things. I am so blessed to be able to get to know these two incredible people.
Our first day was spent visiting all of Adoption Ministry 1:27 project areas in Addis, and joyful testimonies were given of God’s provision through people in the U.S. who have “adopted” a family in Ethiopia. I am so encouraged when I see lives often radically changed with this help!
Today, we had such a great time in the village of Gutumuma with the evangelists. Easter in Ethiopia is this coming Sunday and the twenty kindergarten children were on break, so it was a time to concentrate on the evangelists only.
Marc brought an excellent word and lovely Tegra also shared God’s heart with the men eager to hear. Streams of Mercy (Wick Nease) visited the evangelists last month and noticed that these men had need of shoes.
He sent money to buy each of them a pair of shoes, and they were taken to the next large town to pick out the shoes they wanted and today they were formally presented with brand new shoes! Thank you, Streams of Mercy!!
The evangelists have been covering many, many miles on bicycles bought for them several years ago, and the bikes have literally been driven into the ground. I am so grateful to everyone who purchased a bike for these men as they have been a useful tool in sharing the gospel in this part of the world. But the time has come to replace them.
Two faithful donors made it possible to purchase sturdier dirt bikes so the missionaries can continue sharing the gospel and making disciples in very remote places.
It was an honor to give each man a spanking new bike because I bear witness to the fruit of their untiring labors. In addition to the 200+ families serving Jesus in Gutumuma, over the past five months 85 new converts are being nurtured in two new villages where the evangelists have been sent. These villages are religious strongholds so this report is indeed good news!