As frequently happens here, I was surprised (this time, thankfully, a good surprise) by a situation due to miscommunication. I thought I was going to one of our student’s churches to preach on a Sunday morning. It was actually the final day of an annual 3-day missions conference for 7 churches who gather on top of a local mountain. I missed that somewhere. It was very encouraging to me to see. Some churches here have no vision for missions, even though the first generation of Christians is still alive in most of their churches, being converted by early SIM missionaries 60-80 years ago. These 7 small churches are together sending 6 evangelists to areas of Ethiopia (mostly M*) with the money gathered here each year.
We parked outside the nearest local church. Since the gate obviously wasn’t designed with cars in mind (the gap to the left of the car in the photo), I suggested I just leave it outside the thicket. They wanted it inside the compound. They won the argument and promptly chopped down the thicket. When the hole was big enough, we drove through.
The hike up to the top was about 30 minutes. It was not difficult, though the days are warm and dry. You can see in the photos that the dry season is in full bloom (or full “crackle”?)
A couple thousand people were gathered for the conference.
I preached from 2 texts: John 19 “It is finished” and Col 1 “I’m filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions”. Christ’s redeeming work is done, but through his servants (and their sufferings) he is gathering in the whole number of his people through the preaching of the Gospel.
When the time came to collect the offering, this old woman (right), having no money, prepared bread and brought it. Encouraged by her example, they took a second offering and raised another $110!