By Joy Casey in Ethiopia
Our evangelist missionaries have been making friends in a large village and two smaller villages, all seemingly located out in the middle of nowhere and over an hour’s walk from each other. The missionaries have faced significant barriers over the two+ years they have been there. But today was a day of celebration for what God is doing. Thirty converts from the three villages gathered at a nearby lake and were baptized. In an area usually scorched with sun, today of all days it had to cloud up and rain. It didn’t hamper the enthusiasm one bit, and shortly the sun blazed forth and all of us dried off quickly.
After being baptized, some of the older teens remained in the lake and had a good time swimming and playing in the water. They sloshed ashore and joined the spontaneous singing from the people on the bank. All acknowledged God’s work in this hard place and thanked Him for changing hearts. Today was a happy day celebrating the burgeoning community of believers in this area; however, the Christ-followers know they will face significant push-back from their families, tribe and mosque upon return to their villages.
We joyfully walked back to the larger village and gathered under the worship tree. There is a rented room for prayer and teaching, but the 80 converts of this town hold church under a lovely shade tree. We want to build a worship center in this village, but the M*slim-controlled government is putting up significant roadblocks. Until then, the tree will do.