Every night we have been debriefing the day and sharing our personal testimonies with each other and praying over the person who has shared their testimony. This has been such an encouragement to our team and just as God seems to do, he is binding our hearts together as a team more and more, as the days continue. Last night we were up late visiting and sharing with one another the stories of God’s faithfulness from the day as well as preparing for another ministry day in Korah, the area of Addis Ababa known as “the dump” and very impoverished.
The team is beginning to struggle for adequate rest and this is wonderful place to be in some regards as we know as we continue to minister here in Ethiopia it will be the Spirit of the Living God giving us strength and energy to bring glory and honor to His name through our team. One of the other people staying in the guest house told us about a good bazaar held at the International Evangelical Church (IEC) in Addis Ababa where we could purchase local items where a portion of the money would be given to the church, the largest evangelical church in Ethiopia (over 5000 members). The market/bazaar was very nice, there was no haggling really, no pressure, and you felt great about spending money knowing many of the items purchased were funding additional ministry here in Addis Ababa.
In the afternoon we went to the church in Korah very near “the dump” where God has
been blessing the efforts of the church leaders and the pastor to bring the hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ into this very difficult part of Addis Ababa. The scope of our job today was simply to minister to the children of Korah so we did our best to put on a gospel driven program where we sang simple gospel songs, acted out a story from the Bible and explained it and gave a God, Man, Christ, Response interactive message. The time there was so sweet as most of the team were holding children, many without parents because of Aids or other illnesses, and all seemed like we again were reminded why we were there; to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
We left the church there in Korah and went over to the actual dump area. This was quite difficult and powerful and will be quite a challenge to explain in short explanation. Essentially the dump is like our landfills where all the trash and waste from Addis Ababa is brought to a huge location. Due to the poverty in Korah and the overwhelming population of Addis Ababa hundreds if not thousands of people rush to the dump every time they see a trash truck coming with a new load of the city’s waste. They want to be the first ones to look through trash to find food to provide for their families or something they can either use at their home or sell for a livelihood. We encountered a woman digging through the acres of trash to find nails that she could sell for money. The smells and sights of the dump were overwhelming. We gathered as a team and prayed for the people in Korah, and praying that God would bring about change for those in the dump.
There was a powerful moment as we were reminded that our very best in the eyes of God is as the acres of trash in the dump and yet we receive the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:16-21) in Christ Jesus for the glory of God Father. And at the same time we were overwhelmed at the reality that our brothers and sisters in Christ are living in such conditions, and these are just the ones who have the hope of the gospel in their lives, not to mention those who are without the hope of Christ. It was heartbreaking. We were not in the dump for more than 25 mins but it was long enough to burn into our memory for a long time if not forever. Pray for Korah!
Finally we ended out day at a traditional Ethiopian restaurant where the food is served family style and all eaten with your fingers (right hand only) in a culturally appropriate manner centered around relationships. There was cultural dancing, clapping, and singing. It was a wonderful experience and we are exhausted from the day. May God receive all glory and honor from this day for his glory forever!
Ambassadors for Christ – Ethiopia Team 2012
Written by Stephen Martin