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Ethiopia update- planting seeds of hope

Sometimes when God speaks, he hits you hard. Like when you are awoken by a monsoon on a tin roof at 1 AM. Sometimes when God speaks he speaks gently, like the quiet, puddle-perfect dawn that follows and allows you to see the African landscape in a new, but dreary light. Big things have a big impact- like as you drive through Ethiopia, counting the passing puddles, watching the gentle purple flowers wave at you as a delicate orange finch seems to surf on a developing corn leaf. You get lost in the mud-covered feet of a weathered woman on her way to the well and suddenly your van comes to a complete halt and everyone explodes in panic.

While the tin-roof-rain was interrupting your rest, it was also interrupting the plan, as the road is completely washed out and there is no way to turn the van around. The 1am wake up call produced an African roller-coaster and your driver floors it and you cross the newly-formed ditch.

God moved in a big thing that washed out the way- on market day- that forced all the villagers to pass by the same fork-in the-road. The fork you stood at to tell of the hope you have.

Cattle pass with their wet-dog fur as another chunk of mud slops into a stream. The stream in return fills with ripples that carry out all the way out to the bank and you tell an elderly man that his cross necklace is symbolic of the one Christ died on. It’s the necklace he had been wearing his entire life and never knew the story behind the iconic symbol. It seems that every available ounce of overcast light is hitting the gold pendant as it radiates- almost as bright as his face as he yells to his friends “Did you know the story of this cross offers us freedom?” They all smile and you feel fulfilled and whole watching them experience newfound hope.

And as fast as the crack of a whip on a herd of donkey, the man exclaims that his donkey is late to the market and disappears behind the rolling cornfields. And the orange finch flies off into the clouds. They part and the sun begins to dry the puddles.

A small necklace, a short conversation, and a gentle morning somehow create the biggest, widest ripple that will forever change the path of a man and his friends.

Trip 1 people are all feeling great. I think this might be the 1st year where at least 1 person didn’t have to stay behind at least 1 day because they didn’t feel well. Please pray for:
• Safety as we travel back to Addis tomorrow (Friday)
• Team 2 as they head to the airport Friday afternoon & they make the journey to Addis
• New believers that they would be discipled as they experience persecution
• Team 1 over the next 1 ½ days as we process what God has done & how he wants us to bring our faithfulness back to Dallas

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