by Joy Casey
Five years ago, there were two Christians in a tucked-away village in Ethiopia. They had been living there for seven years doing a lot of praying but with few people showing any interest in learning more about Jesus. All of their neighbors were M*sl*m, as were the government leaders and the village chief. In 2010, the fruit of their intense prayers broke through the assignment of Darkness in that area and 75 people came to know Jesus.
Most of the people had visions of Jesus and approached the two Christians to ask questions and eventually became Christ-followers. Joyous baptisms were held in a nearby lake, and over the course of the next three years, another 175 families joined others under the worship tree for teaching.
The worship tree still spreads it arms of shade, but a solid building has been erected to serve the needs of this community and to make a statement to the surrounding community… We are here to stay.
This past year the church, with the help of YWAM, has sent out 8 evangelists to the nearby villages to tell others about Jesus and exciting church plants are popping up to disciple new believers.
This is an agrarian village many hours from Addis Ababa. The best way to get there is to hitch a ride on a donkey cart, but for those of us who like to move a little faster or don’t like the bumpy ride, a car can maneuver through the dusty, narrow paths after turning off a main road. This significant sized village has about 5,800 inhabitants and grass huts sprinkled throughout the savannah. There are gardens next to the hut and chickens, cows and goats wandering in and out. Scores and scores of children live here and visitors can’t go anywhere without an entourage.
There is a lot of deep, deep poverty in this village. The kind of poverty where there is nothing to eat some days and very little to eat on other days. Children wear rags and don’t have shoes.
Doors to education are closed and hope for anything better is absent. Illiterate women are desperate to feed their children but have no way to earn money. There is impoverishment of spirit as well, especially among the women.
Adoption Ministry 1:27 is intervening…
Medina’s story is not atypical. After fathering 11 children, her husband took another wife and essentially deserted his first family. This family of 12 is in serious condition and help needs to get to them soon. Medina is unwell, and she and her children beg for their food and live off the meager charity of others. Fortunately, which is not always the case, she has made a way to keep her children in school. Her oldest children walk one hour each way to attend high school, then Galato (16) is in 7th grade, Ayantu (14) is in 5th, Alima (12) started 1st grade and the other children (ages 8, 7, 5 & 4) do not go to school.
Twelve years ago Sefiya was widowed and, according to the tradition of their village, she was forced to marry her husband’s brother. Her life is very hard as her brother-in-law has another wife and gives his time and energy to that family, leaving her to forage for food for their four children. As do most in her village, they live in a traditional stick and mud house with a grass thatched roof and a dirt floor, no electricity and no bathroom. Teyiba (11) and Bilal (8) daily go to the water station and haul water to cook with, but there is very little extra for washing. Finding enough to eat consumes most of Sefiya’s days, and with a new baby it is impossible for her to work as a servant. All four of the children are under nourished and their health is poor as a result.
Amane’s health is very bad, but her husband took another wife (seems to be a trend here!) and gives her no support. All four of her children cannot attend school due to finances and all of them are undernourished, two of them significantly affected. The goal with this family will be to stabilize them with food and build up their resistance, get medical help for Amane and two of her children, and next fall get all the children enrolled in school.
When a family is “adopted” for $50 per month, a month’s supply of food and hygiene products are provided for the family and a case manager assesses other needs to be addressed over time.
We are very excited about this newest “light” in rural Ethiopia. Adoption Ministry 1:27 impacts families and changes their situation for the better within months of receiving help. As we meet physical needs, we also are intentional to share the Good News of Jesus Christ longing to see hope lit in places where now there is only dark despair.
To adopt Medina, Sefiya, Amane or another family, please visit our website: