Equipping Ethiopia-Lindsay’s Experience on the Other Side of the World
I just experienced one of the best weeks of my life. My husband and I traveled to Ethiopia with a team from Watermark Community Church (including a fellow TELOS member!) and e3 Partners for a short-term mission trip. Simply stated – it was life changing!
The people of Ethiopia were so welcoming and excited to see us! Imagine being in a parade for a week – while riding in our ministry vans to and from our mission sites, we waved and smiled and waved some more. They all wanted to see the “Ferenge!” We threw frisbees, blew bubbles, and played soccer with the kids (and the adults!) It was so wonderful seeing their faces light up with pure joy when they smiled! One thing is for sure, at an elevation of 8,000 feet, it doesn’t matter how much ZUMBA or running I do in Texas, after 5 minutes of soccer or running a quarter of a mile back to our van in a hail storm, I was out of breath!!
The country is absolutely beautiful – miles of rolling hills of lush farmland. It was amazing to see men plowing huge fields with two oxen and a yoke, boys and girls as young as four years old shepherding their flocks, women separating the chaff from the wheat harvested from their fields – things that really made some symbolism in the Bible come to life!
We worked with Ethiopian nationals (translators and disciple makers) to share the Good News of Jesus Christ and what He has done in our lives. We were able to share with completely unreached people groups in several remote villages near Assela. While we were there, 2,200 people heard the Gospel, over 200 people trusted Christ as their savior, and 7 churches were planted. Now that we are gone, the Ethiopian disciple makers will continue to shepherd, disciple, and follow up with them.
I learned a lot this week, especially what it means to be fully dependent on God when I feel inadequate. The first day I was feeling a little anxious that I might not know what to say or how to answer certain questions, but John 15:26 reminded me that it’s not what I say, but what the Holy Spirit speaks through me.
I feel so blessed to have experienced this beautiful culture on the other side of the world and to have shared God’s love for these Ethiopian people. God willing, we will go back next year!
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. – Isaiah 55:10-11
Member Experience Manager/ZUMBA® Instructor