Good afternoon and God bless you!
We have been here in Ethiopia now for approximately nine days and the experiences of getting adjusted mentally, emotionally, and physically have been many and have varied in intensities, as well in the aspect of stress that it applies to one’s soul. There is something about the thought of coming to a place for one to two weeks and the fact of staying for two months that is different. It seems strange I suppose, but there is something about it that one has to deal with in the coming. I have to say that this has been both a learning and an overcoming experience for which Nancy and I rejoice; we are praising God for His strength and vitality that He is giving to us every day. The Bible says “His mercies are new every morning” and we are finding that it is necessary to appropriate that portion given for that day early on.
I would like to share with you some of the experiences that we have been having and I trust that you will not think that I am being negative. Paul shared many of his adventures, not to tell us what a hard time he had or what a great man of God that he was, but it was for the fact of sharing the goodness and the greatness of the God for whom he labored. So also is it my desire that in sharing it might encourage others to reach beyond their limits to touch the hand of a Living God.
I think it best to relay to you from the beginning, for that is where every good story begins. Usually when we pack to travel it is no big thing as we take the minimum of things that we would use and know that for the amount of time required it would be sufficient. But going for two months is something of a different story. It is a little bit like moving. Did you know that there are so many little things that we do every day that we take for granted or don’t even think about? There are simple things like wash cloths. How many of you have given any thought to a wash cloth or a dish washing cloth? How about a hanger? How many of us think they are important enough to think about? As for me, if I think about them at all, it is because there are too many of them cluttering up my closet. Or for that matter, have you ever thought about a place or something to hang them on; these are all little things until you have need of them and you do not have them, and it is not a simple thing to get them. Then there are the little things that we do like going to the store, turning on the lights and having them work, having water that is good to drink or having any water at all. These are things that one can endure and bear with for a short period of time because of the thought that one will be leaving soon for a better environment. However, it becomes a different story when you go for an extended stay. I just might add here also, and I think if they are honest, those of us who have traveled, especially to Africa, given the fragility and lack of honesty of these governments, one would also be somewhat concerned about the instability of the political and economic environment, not to mention that we are preaching the coming of Jesus Christ in the midst of global collapse and WW3. My question to you is, where will you be when it happens, and when it happens, how much of a reality of God will you have gotten in the time of the buying of the oil?
To say that this has been, is, and shall continue to be an amazing adventure is a gross understatement. The harder the devil hits us the more convinced we are of being in the will of God and that there is something we have that the devil does not want us to give to this people. We recently received a prophetic word concerning this journey and it was extremely encouraging. It was quite apropos to our set of circumstances concerning our stay in Ethiopia. Within just a few days of our stay here, it became evident that we were experiencing some plumbing problems. The first sign was in the kitchen; it started with a few drops and then turned into a stream and then it became a shower. As you can see the band aid method is at best only temporary, but considering the limited amount of resources available to us at the time, it was the best that I could do and it really did not last too long. The next problem that we began to notice was that the water was running out from under the tub. We didn’t think too much about it because we figured that it was the over splashing from the water from the shower. Oh were we wrong! In a very short time the tub stopped draining and when we tried to apply the simple action of plunging it, boy, that was a mistake! It began to spew out dirt and sand from the drain into the tub. After two hours plus of trying to get it to work we were forced to cry for help. My, were we surprised! What was perceived to be a simple project with a simple solution, we discovered it to be far more encompassing and complex. Is not that just like us and the little things that we do the same as I was talking about earlier? It does not look so bad from the outward impression, and it seemingly is doing the job when all of sudden something stops working. It at first seems so simple, but as the Holy Spirit begins to investigate and pry into it becomes quite a bit more complicated and extensive as well as expensive and often times as not, interferes with our ambition and plans. The truth of the matter is that unless you are willing to dig down into the depth of it, no matter what fix you apply to it, it will only be temporary and the problem will never go away and will always come back worse than it was before.
Well, praise the Lord and pass the ammunition! I have to say that there was, I thought, enough on my plate that would keep me repenting for the next decade, but you know what they say? When it rains, it pours, and the saga continues!
May God’s Blessing & Favor be with you always,
Bro Burt & Sis Nancy
P.O. BOX 955, Mahomet, IL 61853