By Joy Casey
My time was spent today in a predominately Mu*lim village where NewLife Ethiopia runs a kindergarten and planted a church that has spearheaded evangelism in five other villages. It is the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year with forty eager kindergarten students learning what school is all about for the first time.
The students are sponsored by ministry friends in the U.S. that provides a nutritious lunch five days a week, ensures a small class size and, of course, the opportunity to learn letters and numbers and how much God loves them as His unique creation. The children are selected by the village chief and come from the most humble homes in the village. These are children who would never be able to access an education without their sponsors and this school.
This entire area was ‘adopted’ by Lighthouse Church in Washington, and I am traveling with two of the church’s leaders. Pastor Paul and the village pastoral team are getting acquainted and sharing ideas about how Lighthouse Church can serve the church, the school and the evangelists when they bring a team over at the end of December.
Pastor Paul and Peter, from the church’s mission committee, met many new people today. I can’t begin to tell you what a joy it was to introduce them to some of my dearest friends in Ethiopia. They and the people laughed a lot as Pastor Paul took the plunge and learned words in the Orominya language to help him connect better when he returns in December.
Tomorrow we are at the same village but will concentrate on the eight evangelists who are supported through individual sponsorship by people in the U.S. We will take time to listen to their triumphs and challenges and look for ways to encourage them. NewLife Ethiopia’s right hand man for evangelism, Pastor Zerihun, and I have been strategizing the evangelical outreach and church plants for 2018. I believe God is asking us to set some pretty lofty goals. As always, I am eager to see His provision as we work alongside incredible men and women that are ‘going and making disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit’. God promises to be with us always. (Matthew 28:19-20)