All this week I’m sharing a journal from a life changing trip I took with the Bible League to Ethiopia. Today is day 5. I know these journals will encourage your faith. Please read and share. Thank you!
Ethiopia Trip: Friday, Day 5
Friday was our last full day in Ethiopia. The travelers were somewhat haggard so we headed for a hotel with beds that were a tad bit more comfortable. I’ve been sleeping well during most of the trip, so I was alright with pretty much anything. However, I could understand the need for some to get a good night’s rest before we travel 19 hours toward home.
The focus of this trip is intentional. Broadcasters from around the country are experiencing the work of the Bible League in Africa for the specific purpose of raising support for thousands and thousands of Bibles. Each of us take our job seriously as we all are trying to meet our specific goals. On this last day, many of us are comparing notes, journaling, and working on audio to use for this important campaign.
To be honest, I felt a little guilty resting at the hotel Friday. That was until God gave me some really neat ministry opportunities. First, a couple of us headed out into the streets for a walk. We traveled about a block when I stumbled upon a sign for Zion Holy Spirit Foursquare Church. As I am a Foursquare Church pastor, this was a rather neat happenstance.
We went into the small, well kept church to look around. There was a woman praying in the front. After a nice but brief conversation, I felt compelled to give an offering for the church. It was small in my eyes, but large in theirs. What a cool God we serve. I immediately thanked God for this grace gift.
After a pleasant quarter mile walk, we headed back to the hotel. I went to the top floor to lay out on a lounge chair and read my Bible on my iPad. Again, I felt just a tinge of guilt for resting. That was until a hotel worker asked me if I was reading the Bible. After I said yes, we had a wonderful conversation about his passion and faith in God. His name is Ammanuel and he is a man on fire for God.
We encouraged each other and prayed for each other. After about a half hour of talking, he asked if I could send him Bible study materials so that he could grow in his understanding of God. He wants to attend Bible school, but he is waiting until he can save up a little more money. I encouraged him that he could most definitely be a pastor or a teacher. During our time together he quoted many scriptures to me, that he also had me look up on my iPad.
What a God we serve. He brings His servants ministry! On my day of rest, I go to a Foursquare Church and have a Bible study on the roof of an Ethiopian hotel. Only God can arrange such things.
I have felt the prayers of many on this trip. I have felt the peace of God that passes understanding on multiple occasions. I have also been given the gift of simply being present. Much of my life I spend thinking about the next thing. My mind has a habit of raising in a thousand directions. This leads to creative expressions, but also to a fair amount of mental fatigue. This trip has given me rest in my mind, body, and soul.
Instead of creating show content or crafting sermons, I’ve just been abiding in the day. Even these journals have been simple, straightforward expressions from my heart. They’ve sort of just flowed through the keyboard with little effort.
Before going on this trip, I was somewhat concerned about what I would see. Although I’ve raised support for the Bible League in the past, I’ve never been out on the field to actually see what they do. I was somewhat afraid that I might see things that troubled me or weakened my conviction to raise support.
Thanks you Jesus!!!! This trip has not only confirmed my resolve to work with the Bible League, but it has increased my passion to promote these important campaigns. The work I’ve seen in Ethiopia is life changing and anointed. The leaders, workers, and everyday Christians impress me with a zeal and integrity that goes far beyond much of what I see in the United States.
I am a better person for going on this trip. It will affect not only my passion for the Bible League, but my passion for the Word of God.
I thank everyone who has read these updates. It means much to me that you would be willing to take the time to hear my heart. Your prayers do not go unnoticed. Blessings on you all.