by Joy Casey

It has been a year since the world essentially shut down.  Travel has been curtailed, especially to overseas destinations, which means our U.S. staff has not had feet on the ground in Ethiopia for 14 months… Unheard of!  We are truly thankful for the tenacious, capable Ethiopian staff that has persevered through Covid, ethnic upheaval, inflation that has doubled and tripled the cost of living, and civil war.  Tensions are high between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile – tensions that could escalate into armed conflict.  And if all that weren’t enough to deal with, Ethiopians are on pins and needles as to how the upcoming elections will be played out.  With Covid spiking people are frightfully aware there are no available hospital beds nor is there oxygen or other interventions on hand to aid people who are acutely affected by Covid.  People live or die depending on their body’s ability to cope with the virus; there is no medical infrastructure to help.  These are the realities of Ethiopia today.

And yet, holding tightly to God’s Word, our leaders persevere.  Babies are being cared for in our Joyful Place orphanage, four new churches are being built, our rural kindergarten is going strong and the physical structure for the training center is finished.

It won’t be until after the elections that we will be able to know how to navigate the next steps for the bible school.  It is hoped that inflation can be controlled and personal safety assured so we can furnish the school and dormitory and fill it with eager leaders-in-training.

None of us likes the “pause” button that interferes with our plans.  It is hard to wait.  And yet God is never stymied and we as a ministry needn’t be either.  We move forward, maybe not at the speed we would like, but it is gratifying to hear of people coming to faith in Jesus and being helped through community development.  NewLife Ethiopia is profoundly grateful for our friends who generously invest in the lives of so many in Ethiopia.