Lighthouse Christian Center in Washington has “adopted” a M*slim village in Ethiopia. Over the past five years, this church has sown into the church plant, evangelism outreach and kindergarten in this out-of-the-way area. Pastor Paul Moffett from Lighthouse and Jason Barta from NewLife are there now with a team of people from Lighthouse. The village has no electricity or plumbing, water is hauled from a water station, education is minimal with the people eking out survival from sustenance farming.
This past Sunday, Pastor Paul preached during the church service while the rest of the team interacted with the children outdoors, showing them the love of Jesus. We rented a generator for Sunday and Monday so we could show the Jesus Film to the community on Sunday afternoon and at a special youth gathering being held Monday.
On Monday, 140 youth gathered in the church for a first ever youth rally. There was exuberant singing and one of the missionaries from the village preached God’s Word. Then the Jesus Film began: all eyes forward, shuffling feet stilled and complete silence as the young people were riveted to God’s story told dramatically in their tribal language. For most, it was the first time seeing a film. For many, it was the first time hearing the gospel. Church leaders were on hand to answer questions and pray with any who so desired.
Of course, the band of Americans was a novelty. Little did the youth know that this team from Lighthouse had been praying diligently for this day and for them for a very long time. God put together a group of predominately younger people that is dedicated to prayer and who just expect God to come through when they pray. And come through He did! As the American young people shared some worship songs with the Africans, the Holy Spirit’s presence was powerful uniting both cultures in a bond that is unexplainable. Pastor Paul who travels the world and is a seasoned team director, said the youth rally in this M*slim village was the most powerful day of outreach ministry he has experienced.
After the conference was dismissed some of the older youth grabbed the drum and started spontaneously worshiping. The Americans joined in the dancing and spirit of worship and they went from the church building to the worship tree on the property. When the generator was disassembled and loaded in the van and it was time to leave before black night descended, the Ethiopians sang and danced the group back to their van. As the van slowly found its way down the donkey cart track, the throb of the drum and the voices of the youth carried on the evening air as if bestowing a benediction on the amazing, God-honoring day.