By Brother Fikresillassie Tsega
I would like to give a praise report of a recent mission trip we took.
Early in the morning on Friday, July 22, 2016, Brother Jemal, Mr. Tadesse and I, Brother Fikre, left Addis Ababa on a bus to a city called Hossana, which is about 300 kilometers from the capital city of Addis Ababa. The city Hossana was a transition to our final destination. It is the winter season in Ethiopia and the day was very cold and rainy. We had to spend the night in Hossana in order to catch the early morning bus to another town. Brother Jemal and I rented an affordable one room to share and Mr. Tadesse stayed on his own.
The next day we met at the bus station and took a mini bus that goes to a small town called Soda, which is located southwest of Addis Ababa, in the river Gibe region. Gibe is a tributary of one of the largest rivers in Ethiopia called OMO. The road was manageable until a small town called Morsito. Too much rain and the muddy road made the remaining trip so very difficult. Many times we had to get out of the bus and walk to make the load of the bus lighter. We kept moving forward even though we were struggling, but the road in front of us was blocked by a bus which was stuck in the mud. The passengers began to dig with shovels and other tools to unstick the bus. Although it took several hours, we were finally able to reach the last station of the mini bus, the town Soda. Praise the Lord!
The next challenge was to get to our final destination as soon as we could. This time there was no transportation so we had to walk an hour-and-a-half to get to the brethren. We headed to a village called Omo Chora, by the river Gibe region and arrived to the small village Totanik where the brethren live. The brethren received us with warm affection and made us rest for a little while. We then prayed and gave thanks to the Lord together. The day happened to be a market day for the village so the brethren asked us to visit the market with them. This gave us a relaxed walk and good fresh air before the evening meeting.
In the evening, the elders of the church and others gathered together in the church for a time of fellowship and worship. Mr. Tadesse began by giving his testimony and then Brother Jemal and I shared from the Pattern book by Brother duCille. We continued until midnight and the people were very pleased and encouraged. The fellowship was uplifting and we felt the presence of the Lord. These brethren are very hungry for the word and on fire for the things of God.
After the meeting was over, dinner was served in the church. It was a banquet, a very delicious meal which we all enjoyed. We can only say “God bless them.” We also spent the night in the church where they had prepared a sleeping area for us as well as some of the brethren who also spent the night with us.
The following day we started with an early morning prayer meeting followed by breakfast. We then started the meeting with uplifting songs and prayers. The brethren asked us to introduce ourselves to the congregation. We introduced ourselves and each one of us prayed – it was a time of exhortation and fellowship. The Spirit of the Lord was moving and we felt the presence of the Lord in the meeting.
I would like to mention some facts about the brethren’s background as they are a people who are isolated by society because of their heritage and trade. Many people in Ethiopia are not aware of this, but it has become an acceptable thing to isolate such ones and these people live in their own community doing only business with other communities. Their origin is believed to be Jewish. They are artisan by trade and very good people. We saw the hand of the Lord in a people who are despised by society. We gave praise to God. From what we learned no one goes to fellowship with them in their church. The goodness of the Lord is amazing and we saw and heard their testimony which gave us remarkable encouragement. Their love and compassion for us was Godly. May the almighty God bless them and keep them we pray, Amen.
Sunday was our last day. After we finished our mission, we exchanged a heart-felt good bye with our dear brethren and left in the afternoon. The brethren advised us to change our route to get to Addis. This time we traveled by renting a motorcycle taxi to take us to a place where we could catch a bus to another town and eventually to Addis. However, due to the heavy rain, the motorcycle drivers told us they could not proceed since it would be a dangerous drive. It was a bit shocking that in the middle of nowhere, the only option was to walk in the mud and rain for two-and-a-half hours to get to the next town where we could find transportation which would take us to another town to spend the night. Initially our plan with the new route was to get to Addis on the same day. We were exhausted and soaked with rain and mud when we got to a town called Wolkete. Brother Jemal’s feet were badly hurt and he didn’t feel well. We found a room for the night which Brother Jemal and I shared. Due to the water shortage, we were not able to take a shower. The following morning we arrived home safely around 11 AM. We thank God for His protection and love.
Your Brother in the Lord,