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Ethiopia here we come …… again

Tomorrow (Friday, 20th) the 1st Ethiopia team will get on an airplane for the long flight to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia going to share how Jesus Christ has changed our lives. The “journey” to Ethiopia started early this year since our first training meeting was in January over 6 months ago. Our training and preparation for Ethiopia has consisted of support raising (learning how to share the financial need in healthy ways), immunizations (shots) party and cultural awareness training, team building day, practice sharing the gospel with the evangecube, roleplaying sharing our testimonies, and giving biblical defense for the gospel for common Orthodox and Muslim arguments.

As I think about these next week 2 weeks, I can’t help but think about the people who will hear about God’s saving grace for the 1st time. Pray that God will move in people’s hearts, not just the Ethiopians, but also the North Americans. This is a unique opportunity to “unplug” for a week and think about what is most important, how much God loves us, and the opportunity to share that love with others. The team is together all week as they get up early and eat breakfast together, share a devotion together of what God is teaching them, load up in vans and share Christ with Ethiopian brothers and sisters, come back to hotel and share meal together, share evening debrief time where they sing, pray and talk about all that God did during the day, and then collapse from exhaustion.

Check back regularly for prayer requests and stories from the mission field. We arrive in Addis early Sunday morning (8 hours ahead) & I’ll do an update on arrival.

Please pray that:

• flights would be on time and connections would go well

• bags would make it to Addis Ababa on time

• Ethiopian hearts would be receptive to the message of the Gospel

• Unity between the North Americans and Ethiopian partners

* safety & health for North American family members at home

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Thursday Ethiopia update- What a mighty God we serve

We started the day with a long drive out to a picturesque remote village in the mountains, surrounded by agave plants, horse drawn buggies, and all sorts of livestock, including donkeys, cows, goats, chickens, puppies, etc.… The village was full of many unreached people who had never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ.

When we stepped out of the van, we immediately split up into groups and started sharing with individuals on the main road. Kellie started sharing with two young farmers. Just after ending the conversation and not seeing anyone in sight, a group of teenagers who were in the local university came walking towards the road. Kellie met them and got to share her story, and the four teenagers all professed their belief in Christ!

After a challenging morning, Anthony was able to bounce back and share the gospel with multiple people who were on their way to a funeral that was in town. God definitely had an interesting way of placing people in our paths that day. Many individuals accepted Christ along the way. Shortly after, many of us engaged in a friendly game of soccer with the local children. Several of those children wanted to invite Jesus into their heart after Anthony shared the evangecube and the story of the gospel with them.

Meanwhile, Kayla got the opportunity to have a conversation with a woman, and found out she was a single mother and also a widow. This woman ended up inviting Kayla, Stacy and Tarikwa into her home, and Kayla was able to connect with her by sharing her own story. It was mutually encouraging and the woman ended up accepting Christ! Then, the woman’s mother-in-law came into her home right as the woman was accepting Christ. She asked what they were doing, and then they were able to share the good news of Christ with her as well. The mother-in-law then invited them into her home and accepted Jesus as her Savior. She then offered up her home to start a church for the village – praise GOD!!

Outside of the home, Abby was trying to keep some of the children in the village busy by playing with the football and bubbles (which are DEFINITELY a favorite here). One of the Ethiopian disciple makers pulled her aside and had her share with some women. They heard the good news of Jesus, but said they wanted to think more about it before accepting. Then in the same field, other disciple makers had been sharing with some men, and there were two brothers who accepted Christ! The disciples makers then grabbed Abby and Anthony to go with the brothers to their home to share with one of their wives and their mother. We walked through scenic farmland and finally arrive at their little hut. We shared with their mother and the one brother’s wife and they both accepted Jesus as well! They accepted joyfully and said that it was all in God’s timing bringing us to their home because it was not in their plans (a common story throughout the week when sharing with people who accepted the good news).

As Abby and Anthony headed back to the part of the village where the rest of the group was, we all somehow found our way to the same home of someone in the village to stop, rest and have some lunch. (The hospitable nature of all Ethiopians is completely foreign to the busy, distracted American culture of not being able to be bothered) Kimo had apparently been sharing with this man and his family, and so Kimo got to share his personal story and the incredible good news of Jesus. The man who owned the house accepted Christ while the woman of the home was preparing a coffee ceremony for us as their guests. It was a sweet celebration of singing songs in English and Amharic.

On the way out of the village, we broke out into song in the van. Ferenge and Ethiopians united together singing, dancing, and thanking God for a powerful day of God moving throughout the village.

There were so many individuals who accepted from people off the main road, to kids playing soccer, to people wanting to include family after hearing and accepting the message themselves. It was awesome to see how God connected all of these peoples and stories in that village. It was especially incredible to see how God used the testimonies of the people on our team to meet people were they were in their spiritual journey. Today was a great reminder that God doesn’t need us, but He definitely uses us as a conduit for His word.

Small Team of Abby Hare, Anthony Anderson, Kellie Long, Kayla Curry

The team has full hearts but is also tired after a long week of ministry. Tomorrow (Friday) we will have a celebration ceremony followed by a hike up the mountain with our translators & disciplemakers. There we will say goodbye to our new friends & then go back to the hotel for part 1 of our closing debrief. After our debrief we will have a nice dinner & get some rest. Saturday will be our off day as we will see some of the city of Addis Ababa, have a nice lunch, do our final re-entry training & then get cleaned up & head to the airport. What an awesome week of ministry as we have seen God moving in the hearts of not just the Ethiopians but also the North Americans as well.

Please pray for:
– Continued good health & safety
– Unity & rejoicing with our Ethiopians partners during the celebration service
– Many churches to be planted
– Encouragement & perseverance for the new believers who will experience persecution & rejection because of their new faith

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Wednesday Ethiopia update- Our God is faithful

Hello to our sweet friends, families and those who have supported us along this journey. First of all; I am not a blogger, so bare with me JSecond, it’s so hard to believe our trip is almost half over. Today was very much a different day than we would have expected. It started out with one of our team waking up & not feeling so well.  I am thankful for the Lord’s provision and care for each of us emotionally, physically and spiritually this week!


After breakfast & our team devotion, we headed out for our third ministry day. Demeke (e3 national coordinator) told us we would be going out even farther to the unreached village of Kelecha. Our caravan bumped along a long dirt road through the beautiful countryside. Finally, we arrived at the village and started our morning with the most incredible worship service and of course a coffee ceremony…the two best things ever!


Team 2 (Josh, Claire, Shelbi and myself) walked through fields to grass huts with kids running towards us while we’re walking and kicking the soccer ball. One woman came out of her hut with her infant strapped to her other small child’s back, we asked her to join her us under the big tree next to her house. The conversation was complicated as I was speaking English, Mama T (Tarikwa) translated to Amharic and then the disciple-maker translated Amharic to Orifa (regional language) . Her behavior was very distracting and she was sometimes disrespectful.  As we continued to talk, asking about her farm and her family we got the opportunity to ask some diagnostic questions and learn that she was a “tree worshiper”. Provision for her life came from this tree and their family was fully dependent on this tree for anything that was good. She believed that “works” are necessary to appease the tree. After asking more questions of her and sharing my story, she was unreceptive and more interested by the fact I was a forenge (foreigner). She continued to mock me and call more people over to “see the foreigner”; as people came I continued to share the good news. What was at first just one woman was now four women. Again, each of these women rejected the gospel story yet proceeded to call more people over. Each time I shared the evangecube with the growing group, the four original women’s eyes and body language grew more and more interested. They began asking many questions, some of the women were Ethiopian Orthodox and concerned that if they became a Christian, where would they be buried, where and how they would worship, what would their husbands think? I was able to encourage them that they can worship anywhere, in their houses or at the local church, and the Ethiopian disciple-makers in their village are available to encourage and educate them further. As more and more people came to the circle and heard the gospel multiple times, the women professed they believed this gospel story to be true and would be life changing. Here is where the cool part happened…I got to step back and watch the translators and disciple makers pour into these women’s lives and encourage them on a more personal level. The women asked if the disciple-makers would come back to their houses on Saturday and Sunday to share with their husbands; that they too might know the good news. Even though the conversation was not the smoothest, praise God for His faithfulness, open ears and for changed hearts!


Today was a difficult day all around, being laughed at, unwilling ears to listen and interesting spiritual beliefs, but God has not left his throne. We continue to be blessed by the disciple makers and Ethiopians we have encountered. Thankfully, we get to be here to encourage and equip the disciple-makers as they are the ones who continue to pour into the Ethiopians lives. We are thankful for the seeds that have been planted in their hearts and will continue to pray that God would show himself to them.


We had one of the greatest debriefs tonight of the trip! Thankful for a team who loves each other well, communicates well and is ultimately focused on the greatest goal. Even though the nights get late and we are tired from long days…games are a MUST and it was ended with two rounds of beloved Mafia!


Thank you again for your prayers and support from afar; they are definitely felt! We love you!


Story by Team 2 (Kathleen Howard, Josh Pickett, Claire Curtis and Shelbi Harris)


The team is doing well as we finished our 3rdfull day of ministry.  Today’s ministry area is known as a stronghold where people worship the local witch doctors so it’s not surprising that today was the most difficult day so far.  In saying that, “we have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love & self control” II Timothy 1:7  We have 1 person who had a fever today but they are feeling better so please continue to pray for good health.   Tomorrow (Thursday) is our last full day of ministry so it is kind of bittersweet as we have seen God move in people’s hearts this week in incredible ways.


Please continue to pray for:

  • Unity with between the North Americans & our Ethiopian partners
  • Good health & safety for the team
  • More open hearts to the gospel
  • Many churches to be planted

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Tuesday Ethiopia update – What an awesome God we serve!

Our day began at a small village called Wole (Wah-lee) where we were greeted initially by some men and children. A few of us were able to share our stories and the gospel with our new friends with several acknowledging Christ! Very shortly, crowds began to gather. Within an hour, about 150-200 local Ethiopians had joined us. Some of us were sharing the gospel with the older men and others continued to play with the children. However, an initially fun situation shortly turned awkward when the crowds of children became unruly, leaving us feeling unsafe. We quickly gathered our team, translators, and disciple-makers in the van and left the village. On our travel out we learned that the disciple-makers had made good connections with some on the men in the village and plan to visit the community for prayer, worship, and the start of a CHURCH PLANT next Wednesday! The larger situation leaving the village discouraged many of us, but the end result very good news. And God’s light shines in the darkness, and brought a sense of calm with an afternoon shower.

The lunchtime downpour hit as we were leaving the village, so we drove about half a mile down the road and parked on the side of the road to eat lunch in the van. As we ate lunch, several young boys and older men walked by and began to engage us. As we sat with the door open, I (Katie) had the opportunity to share the gospel and most of them, including older men (One who doubted the gospel initially after hearing from a friend and another who is battling alcoholism) accepted Christ! They all said that this was the BEST news (Christ dying as payment for our sins). They then prayed the prayer of salvation with our disciple-makers, connected with them to learn more and sent them home with bibles.

As we drove off from that conversation songs of praise and worship filled our van. Praising the Lord for his faithfulness, and stopped to share with more locals in the area. This was a busy highway so we had a lot of folks passing by. We split up to cover both sides of the highway.

I, Nic, was crossing the street and one of our translators called me over. Little did I know I was about to have the privilege to share the gospel with one of our disciple-makers father. Chibru had told us just yesterday that no one else in his family had believed in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins. I had the pleasure to share a little bit of my story and how for most of my life I tried to earn God’s love only to understand that it is the free gift of grace, through faith, belief, and trust that Jesus’ sacrificial death was enough for us. That we didn’t have to work for anything for Jesus had already paid it all. I shared that through Jesus only can salvation come and this is a truth that profoundly changed my life. After much conversation and thorough partnership with our Ethiopian brothers, this 65+ year old man professed faith in Jesus Christ as Lord. The joy on his face was so overwhelming, all he could do was embrace me with a hug and kiss on the cheek! Truly, a sweet blessing from the Lord. With Chibru’s father, an older couple also made this decision (more to come in a moment) Hallelujah!

God was working in big ways on both sides of the street. I, Megan, was called over by a translator to begin sharing with a sweet older woman who was blind in one eye and nearly blind in the other. As I shared the gospel story her nonverbal body expressions were ones of internal excitement and joy! She believed this story to be good news, and with that asked to pray and receive Jesus! But wait the story continues….

On the other side, two of us (Katie and Heather) were able to share with a young teenage girl who grew up in the Ethiopian Orthodox church. After we shared the gospel and answered her questions, she admitted that she believes Christ is the only way to a right relationship with the Lord. We gave her a bible shared a few verses for her to read at home. We learned later that she is the granddaughter of the older woman and older man who had accepted Christ with Chibru’s father across the street!

In a nutshell, our day was an incredible turnaround, a light shining in the darkness. A calm of joy, love, peace, and gentleness following the storm reminded us of God’s perfect timing. His plan is ALWAYS better than our own. And man, are we thankful!

Story by Small Team 3: Katie Pacholczyk, Heather Gascoigne, Nice & Megan Ochoa

The team is doing great & feeling great. The altitude of nearly 8,000 feet above sea level wears on the body but the cool weather has been so awesome!!! What’s the weather like in Dallas? It was high of 78 in Ethiopia today (wish you were here). Our translators & disciplemakers are such an encouragement as we couldn’t do this without them as the disciplemakers will be following up & shepherding the new believers & gathering them together into new churches.

Please pray for:
– Open hearts to the gospel of Jesus Christ
– Continued good health & safety
– Unity with our Ethiopian partners

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Monday Ethiopia update- The power of the gospel of Jesus Christ

Woke up at 5am, still groggy from a late night of playing the game mafia. Quiet time on the balcony of my hotel room with a contrast of serene scenery and a megaphone of chanting call to prayer from the Ethiopian Orthodox church across the street. It’s the first official day in the ministry field. Reading in Matthew 9, I’m reminded how Jesus opened the eyes of the 2 blind men. Praying that He opens the eyes of countless Ethiopians who are following the false doctrine of the Ethiopian Orthodox church.

Quick breakfast of crispy toast, eggs and double macchiatos, the team shares learnings from God’s word. Then we’re off in the vans to the church in the countryside listening to Tim’s oldie Christian jams, taking in the scenery – dirt roads, crazy drivers, aimless animals, donkeys carrying hay bales on their backs, mountains and rolling hills, roadside markets and crowds of people starting their week.

We arrived at the church and meet our 35 translators and Ethiopian disciple makers. Friendly and hospitable, we are all greeted with the traditional Ethiopian handshake (left hand holds the right arm out and two shoulder taps). We gather for worship under a plastic tarp BUT I’m dying to go to the bathroom after all that buna (coffee). Tarikwa kindly escorts me to the backyard consisting of a sheet and a hole in the ground covered with logs and a square cut out. It smells to high heaven and suddenly, I don’t have to go anymore. I decide that this is an adventure and I decide to go with it. YOLO. I survived and immediately stopped drinking water for the day. I joined the worship service and we worshipped with the Ethiopians. We started off Ferenge (American) style with Our God is Greater, then the Ethiopians took it up a notch with Galatomi – lots of clapping and passion brought many of the girls on our team to tears. Our special time of worship led to more hospitality – homemade bread the size of Texas, fresh popped popcorn with pure cane sugar and piping hot coffee made from scratch. So piping, I spilled it and then a fly landed in it. No more coffee for me. Pleasantries are exchanged between small teams and translators/disciple makers. We split up into vans and spread out among the countryside.

Team 4 lands in the middle of a farm with the sun beating down and a few people milling about. We start sharing the gospel with the Evangacube – one by one, people reject. Discouraging at first, but we continue on down the road and onto some train tracks. No people in sight for 20 minutes of walking. Finally, we happen on to a Chinese train stopped ad being worked on. We say “Salam” (hello) and 15 train workers disembark. Mike and I tag team. He shares his testimony and I share the Evangacube. God speaks through us and all 15 people accept!! Encouraged, we head down a dirt road and start sharing with every person we encounter. Many accept and we actually meet a few Christians. It starts downpouring rain, but we continue to share and people continue to listen. We eventually make it back to the Christian home, eat lunch and do one more round of sharing – crowds start to gather and many people accept! WE head back to the hotel celebrating the many lives transformed in the name of Jesus!

-Amanda McLachlan (Team 4)

The team is feeling tired but hearts are full after a 1st day of ministry. The morning was hot with the sun beating down but a storm cloud came through around noon & a rain shower cooled things off. We are excited about what God has in store for Ethiopia team 2 tomorrow. Please pray for:
• Hearts open to the gospel of Jesus Christ
• Unity between our North Americans & Ethiopian partners
• Good health & safety
• Clean communication of the gospel

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Ethiopia team 2 arrives safe & Team 1 on way home

Ethiopia team 2 arrived in Addis Ababa safe with all their luggage. Team 1 has started their long journey home. Team 2 is tired but today (Sunday) is a day to get some rest & do in-country training before the ministry starts on Monday.

Please pray for:
* open hearts to the gospel message
* unity between North Americans & the Ethiopian partners
* good health

I’ll update the blog more after our 1st ministry day on Monday.

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Thursday Ethiopia update

Sorry for the delay in the update. The wifi in the hotel was out on Thursday.

We cannot believe four ministry days have passed so quickly! Ethiopia is absolutely beautiful and the people are extremely welcoming. Every day of this trip has been a gift… filled with story after story. Today was no different.

Today, Nick, Paul, Tawni, Alyssa, Ryan, and Rebecca (Small Team 3) all set out on a walk with no specific destination, but with one very clear purpose: to love God and love people. We weren’t surprised when we shared the Gospel and faced resistance and we were continually grateful when God revealed himself and saved souls today. Praise God!

Discipleship & transferring the ministry from North Americans to Ethiopians was the theme for today. Many conversations were opportunities to help “move the needle” for people to better understand who God is, His story, and His love. A few sweet moments were seeing a teammate, Paul, disciple young believers on how to share the gospel and read God’s Word. Paul would teach the disciple-makers who would then teach others, who would then teach others. It was encouraging and fun to see people eagerly apply the things Paul taught them. Nick had the opportunity to lead an influential leader of the community to Christ. He shared his story with authenticity and joy and God saved His soul! Ryan got to speak to a man who actually spoke really great English but did not fully understand the unconditional, never taken away, gift of salvation we receive through Christ. The young man walked away visibly encouraged!

After a pretty long and hard rain, Alyssa and Rebecca pursued a woman by a river who was washing her family’s clothes. They kneeled down in the water and helped scrub each pair of tattered clothing so that Ryan could share God’s love story to her. Truly a humbling moment… and we never stopped singing. Galatomi (Orimifa for “Thank you”) is a fan favorite! Tawni was never shy to share the gospel and Alyssa and Rebecca never missed a beat to play with some kiddos. Bubbles are an Ethiopian child’s delight.

Something our team started spontaneously doing for the kids was acting out various bible stories. This is easily our favorite memory as a team.

Today, our time ended with an impromptu play of David and Goliath for about twenty-five kids who lived in the area. No lights, no lines, just a children’s bible, a translator, and a bunch of really fun young adults ☺ If only we could post a video. Nick was an exceptional Goliath… rolling straight into cow dung after “David” pelted him with a stone.

God is at work.
Story by Rebecca Mosley (on team with Nick Berrios, Alyssa Sullivan, Paul Sanchez, Tawni Gray

The team is tired after a long week but healthy & strong. The closing ceremony today was bittersweet as we got to celebrate all that God did this week but also had to say good-bye to our Ethiopian translators & disciple-makers. Tomorrow (Friday) we start the long drive back to Addis Ababa & will spend some time processing the trip & having a nice dinner. Saturday will be spending some time going to the market, getting some rest, doing our trip debrief & re-entry training & then Saturday night heading to the airport for the long flight home.

Please continue to pray for:
• Continued good health for the North Americans
• Rest as they prepare for the trip home
• Safe travels on the Ethiopian highways
• New believers would stand strong under persecution
• Many new churches would be planted among the new believers
• Preparation for Ethiopia team 2 who leaves Dallas on Friday afternoon

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Wednesday Ethiopia update – Our God is might to save

So today was absurd. Just absurd. We started the day driving out to the same village where we were on Monday and Tuesday, but being stopped by a large, potato-hauling truck taking up the entirety of the road, we got out of the van to chat. These men were loading 220-pound bags of freshly harvested and bagged potatoes onto the back of a big truck in a process requiring a certain ingenuity considering the lack of machinery. Shortly after, Stiles was able to help a farmer plow a field with a team of oxen and wooden plough.

We then loaded back into the van and proceeded back on our original route to a large schoolhouse in the mountains. The favorite image of that hour and a half at the school was the view of Ryan, in his Indian Jones hat, in all his whiteness and largeness, surrounded by 50 black children who were laughing, playing, and answering his questions in unity with enthusiasm and vigor. Without permission, it would be illegal to share a religion during school hours. After obtaining permission, every member of our group of 6 found themselves surrounded by a group of 40-60 children and in a fun position to share the Gospel. After numerous had accepted the message of salvation through Jesus Christ alone, the balls and bubbles came out and with them, simple anarchy. What a time that was until the children were called back to class.

Lunch found us (the six North Americans) lying in a field having lunch surrounded by the green fields, mountains, farm animals lingering around, and birds chirping. We were all able to settle in and share with each other – moments that underscore one of the finest aspects of this trip: experiencing the sweetness of real, genuine community and fellowship with people who as individuals could not be any more different than one another. We then visited the house of a Christian family which we had visited on both days prior where we had coffee, sang worship music (both American and Ethiopian), and shared encouraging stories from the disciple makers. Jenna could not resist herself and broke Rule 4 of the trip (no touching animals) and gave one of the puppies running around the yard a good back scratch. The hospitality that we have been shown here has been unlike any I, or any of the rest of us, have experienced before. It is a testament to the character and kindness of the people of Ethiopia. It will not be forgotten and we will try to be emulate that when we return to Dallas.

The next 3 hours comprised the group of 15 of us (Ferenge, Translators, and Disciple Makers) making our way down the dirt road back to the asphalt and engaging every home owner and traveler on the road. There was nail painting, dancing, and singing; children were taught patty cake, men, women, and children came to Christ, lots of donkeys and horses, agriculture metaphors which explained the differences between Ethiopian Orthodox and Protestantism, specifically that we cannot earn our way into heaven by good works, and the beginning of our team training the disciple makers so that when we leave in 2 days they will be prepared.

Jenna, Mel, and Bethany have been incredible. This is a male-dominated society and it is clear in the culture. They have pushed through this cultural difference and have embraced the men and women of Ethiopia with grace and strength. They have shown the women of this country what it looks like to be a woman strong in Christ, they have witnessed to men, painted the fingernails of every little girl (and most little boys) in town, and are responsible for the fact that our translators and disciple makers – the men are ultimately responsible for our effectiveness here as well as the follow up when we leave – have fallen in love with our group. What an impact this has made.

Today was the best day, for many reasons, and like Mel said it’s simply amazing that our team of 5, who are so different in every way, are falling into stride by embracing our differences and optimizing them in a way that maximizes our gifts to work together on mission. This is simply one more example of God’s hand in our work here. It seems absurd that individuals so different could be used so effectively and with so much over-the-top enjoyment in being together.

Ms. Kari: Mel says hey!

The team is feeling great & engaging so well with the Ethiopians. What’s the weather like in Dallas? The weather in the mountains of Ethiopia has been awesome!!! There has been a cool rain each day & the temperature is low 50’s with the high being high 70’s. Even though the weather is cool, you can’t forget sunscreen since we’re over 8,000 feet above sea level. Thursday is our last full day of ministry as Friday we start the long drive back to Addis Ababa.

Please continue to pray for:
• Open hearts to the gospel & many churches to be planted
• Continued good health & safety for the North Americans
• Unity with our Ethiopian partners
• Servant hearts

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2nd day of Ethiopia ministry- Amazing Grace

Today was the second day we got to work with the amazing people of the local church here in Assela to share the story of Christ in this region. First, our team got to experience a full showcase of the fervent hospitality of Ethiopian people; from unbelievers giving motorcycle and horse/buggy rides when our van could travel no further, to an unbelieving family giving our team shelter during intense rain, to multiple times where the local church provided us coffee, food, and encouraging worship.

When we got to our first location by motorcycle, our team brought out the football and watched Ethiopians try to throw a spiral. As more men gathered, our team shared their personal testimony and the story of Jesus with this group. Nobody responded as wanting to accept Jesus into their lives, which was discouraging at first. However, on our way to the next destination (a local church) we prayed for that group of men to want to know more about Jesus, and wouldn’t you know… two of the young men in that group showed up at that church. They joined us inside and after long conversation with questions and reading scripture, they both accepted Jesus!

After leaving the church we shared with more adults and youth next to a nearby field, where multiple young girls accepted Jesus! Later it started to heavily rain and we were invited into a family’s hut to take shelter – there were 16 people crammed in a 50 square foot huddled around an LED light. Our team shared the story of Jesus with this family and engaged with the head of the household about accepting Jesus – and got to explain the power of Jesus amidst his fear of a woman in his family worshiping an evil spirit. We made sure to connect them with multiple of the disciple-makers with us to work with them through overcoming that fear as a family.

We left toward a local church member’s house and picked up in the van two unbelieving friends on the way. They joined us inside as we ate bread, coffee and got to know each other. Our team shared the gospel, answered questions, and shared their personal stories to relate to and challenge these men – who had heard about Jesus before – to stop procrastinating on the decision to accept or reject God’s grace through Jesus. One of the men accepted Christ on the spot, and the other wants to learn more from the disciple-makers in the coming days before he makes this important decision. At the end of the day, as evident as the Ethiopian hospitality was God’s desire for every one of us to be in relationship with Him. Our team is humbled and joyful that He let us take part in that work today!
Story by Lincoln Neely (other team members include Brittany Bennett, Callie Fisher, Tommy Christenfeld, Kari Kurz)

This week of ministry has gone great. We have shared our personal stories of life change & share about how much freedom is in Christ with hundreds of people so far. The team is healthy & safe bonding so well with our Ethiopian partners. Please pray for:
• Continued good health for the North Americans
• Unity with our Ethiopian partners
• Open hearts to the gospel of Jesus Christ
• New believers will stand up under persecution

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Monday Ethiopia Update- God ways are not our ways

Today was our first day in the Ethiopian mission field! After spending time with a local church, our North American team met our Ethiopian translators and disciple-makers from the area. We went to a nearby farming area and quickly jumped into a soccer game with some local youth. One of our team members volunteered to stay and watch our backpacks. While she was waiting, she and some of the Ethiopians on our team were able to share Christ with a small group that had formed. One of those young men listening put his faith in Christ! While doing the “less exciting” job of watching backpacks, our friend had the opportunity to share Christ with a heart ready to hear.

The theme of unexpected opportunities continued as sudden rain (more line a monsoon) sent us up the hill into a local family’s home. These believers welcomed us with great generosity, not only sheltering us, but also offering us fresh potatoes and coffee. One of the young men who had been playing soccer joined us in the home, to find shelter from the storm. He had been listening to stories of how Jesus changed some of our teammates lives. He told us that he understood, but wanted to learn more. While in the home, this young man sat between two members of our team and was able continue talking with them. He said he believed the message and trusted Christ! The rain brought an opportunity for this young man to continue working through his understanding of who Jesus is and come to believe in Him. At the same time, a local family and our team of Ethiopian and American believers were able to enjoy some sweet fellowship and encouragement.

Though the day brought unexpected changes, God’s sovereignty showed through so clearly. He has a plan, and ultimately is the one to change and move hearts to know Him. Even more, God has good gifts for all of us in the ways that He directs our path. Join us in praying for the new believers in Assela, Ethiopia, and for the disciple-makers who will continue to pour into them.
Story by Leigh Ann Thompson (other team members include Preston Badgett, Carylea Coffee & Molly Cole)

The team members are feeling well after a 1st full day of ministry. The seeds of the gospel of Jesus Christ were shared many times today with some people accepting the free gift of Jesus Christ. Please pray for:
• Open hearts to the gospel
• Continued unity with the Ethiopian partners
• Good health for North American team

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