by Joy Casey in Ethiopia
Sunshine and dear friends greeted me upon landing in Addis Ababa. It is good to once again be in the country that has stolen my heart. We went directly to the Yebsabi Guest House where a family is staying who has adopted a sweet boy from our Joyful Place orphanage. I feel I know this couple well as I walked with them through their first adoption some years ago, but I never actually had met them face-to-face. It was delightful to wrap my arms around them, listen to them and pray with them. They have legally adopted their new son, but due to a hold-up with one of the Ethiopian government agencies, they have not been able to get a new birth certificate for him. You need a birth certificate for a passport, and you need a passport to get a visa to enter America. So, they are sitting in their guest house waiting, with their little one left in the orphanage not knowing how long this hold-up will be. It is a very, very tough place to be.
I am traveling with a videographer/photographer who will put together some promo videos highlighting the work NewLife Ethiopia is involved with. We picked Donny up at his hotel (he came a couple days earlier) and headed to a town about four hours away. The church in this town has developed a M*slim evangelism outreach model that has been tremendously successful. For the past seven years, they have sent missionaries to fifteen towns in a region where there had been no effective outreach to M*slim people.
As people come to know Jesus as Lord, they are taken to a training center. For five days they sit under the teaching of a man also from a M*slim background. At the end of five days they make a decision whether to be baptized or not. There are now between 30 and 50 people baptized every two weeks!
The local church of this medium-sized town has provided the financing for this outreach over the years. They saw other areas (called zones) around them that were unreached and had a strong desire to have an influence but were stretched to their maximum. They couldn’t attempt expansion without help.
I greatly admire what this church is doing, and when I was approached to come alongside them felt it was exactly the work God has called us to do. I fervently hope an American church will partner with us to break ground in seven new towns, but until that comes to pass God provided financing through an individual to send seven missionaries (all of the same tribe and all from M*slim backgrounds) to this mission field.
Visit our website to find out how you can partner with us in supporting thesechurches: https://newlifeethiopia.org/evangelism/
Tomorrow: Baptism for New Believers
photos courtesy of Donny Cosse