by Joy Casey

Twelve of our missionaries meet with Pastor Zerihun, our Evangelism Director, for a full week four times a year for two years. This bible school is an intimate discipleship course designed by Pastor Zerihun to strengthen, educate, and empower leaders in our church plants. The twelve were instructed to identify 2-4 leaders in their churches and intentionally disciple them, imparting to them what they learn in bible school. Forty-six leaders are being impacted by the school!

The first day of the 3rd quarter, the missionaries arrived anxious and subdued. The communities represented by these men are agrarian and depend entirely on what they grow to live. Seeds were planted in May with the anticipation the upcoming rainy season would water their crops.

Right on time, the expected rain came in June and July, and everything was popping up green and lush. Then … the heavens closed, and the unrelenting August sun beat down turning the soil hard and causing the teff (Ethiopian wheat) and corn to shrivel and stop growing.

A severe two-year drought in Southern Ethiopia is recent history bringing with it vivid memories of starvation, many funerals and children sold as indentured servants. It is no wonder the men were gravely concerned about the crops.

They turned to God according to Isaiah 62:6-7 and implored the Lord for help. The majority of the first day and again the next day was devoted to intense intercession.  By mid-afternoon of the second day, the sky darkened, and rain began to hammer the roof! The missionaries were ecstatic giving praise and thanks to their God Who heard their cries for help! It rained every day that whole week. The men went back to their villages relieved that their crops would revive and produce a bountiful harvest.