Ethiopia Mission Trip Update: Day #8

For Sunday service, we went to IEC (International Evangelical Church), which is a church that Dorothy attends. English service was done by Pastor An from Korean congregation of the church since the English ministry pastor was in the States. After the service and lunch, Joy wanted to go shopping so we went on to the open market. After that, Janelle and Mike took us to the local mountain top.

The drive up the mountain was a beautiful one. There were lots of classic old Orthodox churches that we passed by. Once on the top, the view of the countryside from the top was astounding. However, kids were always around us asking for money and what not. Mike added that it was mainly due to our own fault, in that the tourists just gave away money feeling sorry for them, when doing so did absolutely nothing for them.

Upon return, we heard that our team from Jinma was returning tonight so the three of us waited for them to return. They arrived tired a little before 9 pm and had begun to tell us of the stories.

Since it was so late, Dorothy cooked for us a potato soup and cornbread. Some of the stories the Jinma team shared were like the following. Joanna shared how she met a guy who used to work with Compassion International for 9 years. That’s the same organization with which we have adopted few children to sponsor. However, he shared how he was disappointed with them after 9 years due to limiting how the money was to be spent. When Joanna asked PS if we should stop the sponsoring with Compassion International, his reply was no. Having understood both sides of the story, so long as the money wasn’t misused, we should continue supporting the children. The team had also many opportunities to see how the churches helped the orphans. This was mainly by giving them some money and encouraging them to invest it in a business they would like to start up. In many cases, such have seemed to work rather well. Another neat praise to hear that I forgot to mention yesterday from the talk with Dr. Weingartner was that Makane Yesus only comprised of approximately 5000 members in the ’50s. Now, they number over 5 million! The church here has been growing so much that they have a preaching point. When they plant churches here, they almost immediately start new churches elsewhere. These are called preaching points. One has to walk about an hour before you establish a preaching point. Such places can be anything even under a tree, but they go out that far to preach and share the Good News. Now that they are big enough, Makane Yesus (non-Orthodox Christians, mainly of Lutherans and Bethel Synods, have begun a mission organization that have started to reach out to Ethiopia’s neighboring countries. They use two non-religious models to reach out as all but Keyna are Muslim countries. Two models are literacy programs and health programs. The Ethiopians send out people to start teaching people how to read as well as providing clinics to help the sick. When the relationship is good, they ask the local government for permission to build a church. Government says ‘no’ but it’s the people that tell the government to let the Christians build the church since their own do not help them. It’s an amazing model that just amazed the people like me. Again, now Ethiopia is becoming like Korea where it sends out missionaries to its neighboring countries like Somalia, Djibouti, Sudan and Eritrea. God moves in mysterious and amazing ways.

After much sharing, the tired team re-gathered to pray and called it a night.

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