I greet you again from Ethiopia.
To understand what is going on here, you need to know a little history. Ethiopia is a country that is proud of its history although it has passed through a difficult period of communism and subsequently through the war. They refer to Judaism, which was brought here by the Queen of Sheba as she learned it from King Solomon. But they also refer to Christianity which was brought by the king’s eunuch whom Philip baptized. And to all of this, throughout history, Ethiopia was an independent country most of the time. Even during the colonization it was an independent kingdom although the surrounding countries were under the dominion of the British, French, and Spaniards. Because of this, the country managed to maintain certain specifics that begin with such small things as a calendar. The year 2004 will begin this year with September 11th. Each month has 30 days, so every 6 years their year is 13 months long to catch up the difference of their 360 days per year, compared to 365 days in a solar calendar. Furthermore, they count daylight time from the biblical 6 hours morning, so at noon they have 6:00 and evening 12:00. It’s interesting just to think about it, because it is quite possible that God gave this land a certain grace to preserve a truly valid calendar, uncorrupted by nobody and by nothing.
For example, you will not find pork for dinner here. Their Jewish past took it from them as unclean animals, and all the meals are practically “kosher” here. All this would have been nice if it had not caused religious pride in the peoples’ hearts. We faced it in every step we took and in almost every meeting. On the other hand, they are a very open people because of the fact that they were willing to accept a new good thing that God has sent them (Judaism, Christianity). Thus, they were very open to receive the brethren from the U.S.A. into their congregations and to hear the word that God has entrusted us with. The problem is that they are very quick to take this word and very quickly make a religion from it. So it may all look alike in words, and in terminology it is the same as we use, but in reality it very easily becomes just another denomination.
The brothers from the States have come here already for 4 or 5 years. Meanwhile they were invited, for the most part, to different churches or denominations which were often very cooperative and willing to receive them once again. But this brought no change, of course. Nevertheless there were found several individuals here who understand very well what the word is about and their hearts began to burn with desire to come closer to God and to lay hold to that which is right into their lives.
This mission then is not about going from one congregation to another, but it is to have a close fellowship with brothers and sisters who understand it in their hearts. We had several small home meetings where we shared the word and also we had different personal interviews which began to show more who and what direction the one will go (is headed). Our goal is to bring together brethren who will be willing to work together in the unity of the Spirit and seek God’s will. One of the things that is being coordinated is meeting with these people and “showdown on the table.” We wanted to make it before my departure, but we will probably not make it before I leave. I believe it will be one of the key things for this mission. I ask you to pray that God would reveal the thoughts of the heart and that He would ordained the elders who will work together in unity of the Spirit of God.
There is one more thing before us that we need to pray for. Brother Burt has an open door to the Jewish synagogue. These are Messianic Jews and it is probably the first time when we will have gone to such a place with this word. Please pray for the anointing of the Holy Spirit to give us wisdom and how to get to the hearts of these people and help them to come closer to God in the midst of the denominational structure. A lot of God’s grace will be needed. We will be there today (Friday, 6/17/11) in the late afternoon, probably until night. It is quite possible that this will be one of the key meetings!
I fly back home tomorrow but Brother Burt will stay here until June 23rd. He will need a lot of wisdom and discernment to not be deceived by false brethren. Pray for him.
God be with you,