I would like to take a few moments and reflect on this trip into Ethiopia. It’s very exciting to see and hear what God is doing in this hour, especially when one is able to be on the frontline, so to speak. For me, it has been no different than the last two visits in this regard: one goes away eternally touched by the desire that God has for this country. The one thing that predominately is in our hearts as our time draws to a close is the necessity to come back. The scripture that comes to mind is in Philippians 3:12, Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. All of this was initiated for us in such a profound way when God visited us last May in an experience that I will never forget. Consequently, in each returning trip the burden for sensitivity to the heart of God has not diminished, but only increased. As we have had the opportunity to participate in the developing work here in Addis, as well as to travel to Gondar for what I would call a “reconnaissance mission,” we have been met with hungry hearts for this word of the kingdom.
The first meeting of significance for me was the weekly gathering at Brother Jemal’s house on Thursday. Here we gathered with about a dozen brethren to share in the word. The great encouragement this day was how the flow of the Spirit first began with Brother Tomas, and then it quickened me, and then it finished with Brother Burt. The flow was like a stream of water, both in content and substance. This is such a marvelous experience when the Spirit descends and becomes food for us all. One can sense the formation of a small group of brethren being knitted together by this word. We were rejoicing to the goodness of God as we returned to our place of abode.
The second encounter that was a great blessing was our trip to Gondar. It’s a short flight of about 45 minutes from Addis to Gondar. This is considered the birth place of Ethiopia and it is also the beginning of the Nile so you can begin to image the spiritual significance of these two facts and ancient spiritual history that will be rooted here. Here it had been arranged for several meetings back to back over the course of two days. The first meeting was that night and we arrived in a chapel that was filled up with university students. Here we were able to witness the grace of God visiting us with His presence. The following day we met with a small handful of ministers from various organized church backgrounds. The building we met in was very basic; an old brick/stone building with a dirt floor being mostly illuminated by the sunlight coming through the open door. I appreciated this experience very much, not only for where we were, but the purpose for which we were there. So, white board in hand, God gave us the grace to bring the word as we followed His leading. Here we were getting into the rudiments of the Tabernacle, covering the various elements and the due order of the Outer Court as it pertains to the expectations of God’s heart. Once again, the way the Spirit moved was tremendous; for without any planning on our part as to what the subject matter or content would be, as one would finish speaking, another would pick up and carry the thought on to the next dimension. This was the case as Brother Tomas continued the morning session’s thought from the Outer Court into the Holy Place. These are definitely divine appointments for both us and those that have come to listen. The apex of this venture into Gondar would definitely be the evening meeting in this same place. Now image this same old brick/stone building with dirt floor, but now it is after dark. There were maybe three small lights hanging from the rafters as the only source of illumination and yet the place was packed with at least 300 university students. Here in this dimly light place there was an unction and anointing as Brother Burt broke into the word and expounded on the reality of God that is available for each and every one of us. It was a tremendous time with many excited by the things they saw and heard asking for more.
Overall it was an excellent time and I do believe that we will have need to go back. No doubt as the glory of this initial thrust fades and as the reality of the word sets in so that the numbers dwindle and the many become the few, it will be the few that make all the matter worth the while! The scripture in John 4:32 comes to mind; But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. The one question that arises from the midst of this opportunity is to know to whom is this appointment meant to benefit the most, as if that were possible. Because you walk away absolutely humbled by the mercy of God to meet us in such a divine way and feed us with “meat that we know not of.” Consequently, I am touched by the greater reality of that “meat” as it is written in John 4:34, Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
This brings me to the third advent on this trip that has been a tremendous blessing and that is a visit to the Selam Children’s Village. Prior to our arrival, Brother Mark and Sister Rita, along with Brother Burt and Sister Nancy, had the continuing opportunity to spend time there, breaking bread with these young people. Out of the midst of the initial gathering it is settling to a number of about 8 or so. Of these, each had an opportunity to share their thoughts pertaining to the things that they are hearing. A common theme began to arise as they expressed their gratitude and excitement to have this opportunity. It was such a blessing to hear these things and to see the handiwork of God here. We were also able to get into the word which proved to be a great blessing indeed. God dropped a thought into my heart about Noah and his ark, so that is where we started. We looked primarily at the dimensions of Noah’s ark and drew out the type and shadow in parallel with the dimensions of the Tabernacle and its application to us as an end time people. It was very exciting as the young people’s hunger for the word of God was drawing the word and you could feel it as the flow would intensify. It was brief, but concentrated as the one thing that we always seem to run out of is time. Overall this has been a very productive time to the endeavor and ongoing work here in Ethiopia. I do believe that there is the favor of God to continue to push for the fullness of that which is on the heart of God for this land.
May God bless you!