Emails from Alaba (Jan. 22, 2007)
A few days ago we received emails from our sons David and Nigussie in Alaba. Here are some excerpts. (I’ve made minor spelling changes. Notes in italics are my explanations.)
David (right) and Nigussie (left)
My Mamiye, The day before yesterday Desalegne and I went to Keranso #1. (This is Hajji Mohammed’s church.) Now we are doing the remaining work of the building. Hajji Mohammed, Desalegne, and I were carrying stone from outside of his fence to the church. It was good time. Fatiya (Hajji Mohammed’s wife) and H. Mohammed send you greetings.
At the same day afternoon we went to the prison and visited Mohammed and Kedir. Mom, really Mohammed is very much happy. (His story is on the web in the articles “Miracle in Alaba” and “Surprises from Heaven.”) I have seen the joy of the Holy Spirit in him. His face is shining. Already we have arranged a person to attend and teach him attentively (for discipleship). He is doing a good job. Now Mohammed is considered as a faithful prisoner to follow up other prisoners. (I think he means that even the guards have noticed a big difference, so now the guards are using Mohammed in some sort of peer system of prisoner accountability.)
I have spent a long time with him and Kedir as well. Kedir is left with only 20 days to be realized (to his prison term; he is the brother of the man Mohammed murdered and is in prison on false charges of burning a home in retaliation). Mohammed and other prisoners have applied to go to another prison in Shoa Robit to attend technical school there. They are waiting the response. (Mohammed applied before, but was denied; this was God’s sovereignty so that he could be won to Christ! I hope that he is denied again so that he can be discipled well.)
I think after some days he will be baptized. Mohammed
said to me “I will be an evangelist like you” Amazing!!! God is able to
change from murderer to evangelist!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We bought wood for Bassa Church. If God wills we are
going to begin the
About Zobechame, we met with some of the officials. Their idea is ok. But their supervisor went some where for short time training so they said we need to deal with him. Mom, as soon as we get permission, we will begin the work. (See Report 3B on the web.)
On the other hand, last Wednesday I gathered all evangelists and dealt deeply about how to carry on our ministry. We decided to pray together every day before we go to the work about 30 min (7:00-7:30am). Weekly on Thursdays we will have prayer and fasting day. (No food until the supper meal, but water is OK. Shall some of us join them in this fasting? To share with them and focus together on the spiritual battle waging, and His call to us for holy, surrendered ministry and living?)
Also monthly one day all of church ministers will have prayer and fasting day (this would include the 14 evangelists, plus all church leaders; the church leaders have full time jobs; they would be comparable to our “elders” or “overseers” or “deacons”). Also we have days for evangelism. Beginning next Monday we will visit all of our church members in their homes. (They are gathering spiritual and biographical information; the church is growing so rapidly, they need to regroup in terms of ministering effectively; many, many young people are coming to Christ, but some are returning to Islam, partly because of poor follow-through.) Also we are arranging different departments for different kind of ministries.
Please pray so that God would help us.
Mom, praise God for doing still wonderful things at Dada church. Still many People are coming to Jesus. (We stayed overnight at Dada village; this is David’s home village.)
Dear my precious Mama and Papa how are you doing? How much wonderful is to be with God’s family in his kingdom work. Though it was God’s will for you to leave us, it was difficult and sad. It is a kind of paradox. Any way, God’s way is right.
Thank you very much for sending us to Babugaya to have rest. (Both David and Nigussie were exhausted after our trip, so we sent them to a SIM mission rest home for a couple days to recuperate.) Let me say a few things from what I gained being in Babugaya.
1 Rest- I am grateful to God for he is the one who
put a model for us to get rest in the beginning (Gen.2:2-3).He is
absolutely right in doing that. He knows how much important is for us to
get rest. I had an ambition many times to get rest but I could not. In his
time he brought this idea to your mind. May God bless you for obeying him.
I have enough time to sleep, sleep, sleep!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, to sit on the
shore of the sea (actually a volcanic
lake) and enjoy what God created.
(It’s a beautiful garden compound with
little cabins.) I have seen practically that rest is
important to serve God with refreshed mind. I have got strength and being
refreshed. It has great help for me so that I would
2 Being productive- while I was walking in the garden I have seen a small and thin orange tree among the relatively big trees. It has got much orange fruits to the extent that the fruits push the branches to the ground. There were also trees without any fruits; yet they were big enough. Guess what I learn? What matters is not being big or thin, long or short, male or female, white or black—etc but being productive matters. Let God make us productive for his glory and for his kingdom sake in every thing we do. (I especially like Nigussie’s 2nd lesson...good to remember for all of us. And what is being productive? It’s not numbers or projects...it’s the fruit of the Spirit in our lives; it’s living for the eternal; it’s Christ in us.)
May He bless you today as you’ve glimpsed a bit of His Kingdom in Ethiopia.
January 23, 2007