YWAM has a mission team from the NW ministering in Ethiopia. Oriah Longanecker has been sending us updates and this is from his latest, after finishing several days of ministry in the community of Korah (at the dump in Addis Ababa):
Over the past few days, we helped distribute the supplies that we were able to purchase, with the generous support of many friends and family back home, for the families selected by the local church leadership (in Korah). Instead of supplying 40 families with life-sustaining food, fuel and equipment, God multiplied the 'harvest' and He blessed 60 with these provisions!
Shibur, the young mother who had the infection that we have been assisting, is responding very well to the medication, and therefore eating again, and she and her sister came to church with us today - praise God for seeds planted and watered! Shibur told us that she had decided to name her baby, Himanet, which means 'religion' in Amharic, in honor of the help we had provided her and her baby. Our prayer is that the religion she, her baby and her family find is an eternal relationship with Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
We also assisted in the digging of a new bathroom septic tank site, 3x3x3 meters in volume, that will serve the church and gym. The going was rough (rocky, hot, oxygen deprived and dirty) and the blisters were many but so were the laughs and the camaraderie that was built will not soon be forgotten. I managed to win over some fans to the 'flavored electrolyte drink' movement such that after greeting us each day, the first thing our digging buddies said was 'red whuha?' - which meant, did you bring more 'red water'? Note: bring more powdered drink mixes next trip...
The church leadership shared a special VHS homemade video with us that provided an inside look at the life of scavenging in the dump for their food, clothing, household goods and various items they try to sell for a few birr (cents) in order to buy items they cannot find in the dump. This was a very special gesture of trust extended to us and helped us not only understand better the desperate situation that so many are in within Korah, but also helped move our relationship as well as our discussions of ways to provide assistance to the next level.
This morning we were privileged to be invited to worship together with the people of the church at Korah. Their pastor even extended the honor of preaching today's sermon to one of our team, Pastor Jeff. We had prayed earnestly that God would speak through Jeff and He most assuredly answered our prayers! The worship was truly a peek at what our worship in heaven will consist of and the sermon spoke truth from the Word into the hearts of many who responded with decisions to trust and believe in Christ as their Savior - as frequently said here in Ethiopia, 'ahhmen'!
Our team has been discussing at length the joy we see in the lives of our brothers and sisters here in Korah. By the world's standards they have absolutely nothing of material value... What is so captivating is their true and complete joy found solely in God!
Tomorrow we visit and work with a dozen local missionaries in a rural village. We will then spend a few days working with the YWAM Adoption Ministry team here in Adama at the Widows and Orphans Home. I'll keep you posted on how things progress. I want to take a moment and say what a great team we have (truly blessed we are!) and what a great leader and friend Pastor Mark continues to be. Please continue to pray for our team and the people of Ethiopia.