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ALL THINGS AFRICA!

 

For a week Dan Morris, Steven Hinkeldey, and Joy Casey traveled to Kenya and many places in Ethiopia. We spent time in Nairobi with J&N* learning about ministry that uses medical teams to bring the Gospel to urban and outlying areas. Read the blog post about the incredible impact on a Maasai community in Tanzania.

Jason Barta (from NewLife Ethiopia) joined us in Ethiopia when we returned from Kenya. After landing in Addis Ababa from Nairobi, we immediately headed south to where NewLife Ethiopia is focusing on evangelism among unreached Muslim people groups.  We visited the newly constructed church that funds from HPC made possible. 


 



The choir and church leaders met us with joyful singing

and many, many welcoming hugs.

 

Steven preached through two interpreters …


The building was packed, with people standing outside to hear.  There were masses of children everywhere!  These young ones were so well behaved squeezed like sardines on a bench or sitting on the floor.  Knowing that most of them had come to the church at seven this morning for Sunday School and stayed for the long church service – it was impressive how attentive and quiet they were.  

 


Steven was presented a traditional drum as a thank you

to him and High Pointe Church.


Once church was over, our team was invited into the basket weave structure next door that was the old, temporary church.  Tables were brought over from the new church and we, along with the church leaders, were invited for coffee with a little something to eat, too, typical of Ethiopian hospitality.


That afternoon, Steven shared God’s Word with a house church that met under a tree in a believer’s yard. 


HPC supports two Ethiopian indigenous missionaries.  We met

Missionary “S"* and his wife in a home where “S” could share his story and we could get to know him on a personal level.  The aroma of strong coffee mingled with sweet incense assured us that our host was treating us to a traditional coffee ceremony.  Popped corn or Kolo (roasted barley) usually accompanies the coffee, but serving big chunks of delicious, fresh baked dabo (bread) shows special honor to guests.  It is tradition to ask guests to cut the bread as Dan is doing in the picture.   We had a lovely visit with this precious missionary and his wife!


Missionary “A” is the second missionary that HPC supports who has been instrumental in starting three churches among his tribe.  We visited his current church on a Monday and were surprised so many people showed up to greet us! 




It was like a regular church service with exuberant singing and Dan and Joy sharing impromptu messages from God’s word. 





We observed the literacy program in action and were pleased to see children reading and writing.  There is no school in this village, so Missionary “A” and his assistant teach reading, writing and simple math several times a week to both Musim and Christian children. 



Having time with Missionary “A” over a cup of coffee and traditional food served by the women of the church was an experience to treasure.  Along with dabo, dried peas and popped corn we were served what they called butter.  This butter comes in an ornately decorated container and Dan was requested to be the one to pile it on plates for all to enjoy.  The butter’s consistency is not greasy; it is more like wet brown sugar but not sweet and is laced with spices – Ethiopians love it!  It is only served on special occasions; we were honored to have it.  We also went to “A’s” house to pray for his 4-year-old son who has become paralyzed for no apparent reason and to meet his wife.  Our prayer time was intense as we interceded for healing.


High Pointe’s long-term ministry partner, Pastor Temesgen, lives and ministers in the northern part of Ethiopia.  Early one morning we hopped on a flight and 1 ½ hours later landed in Shire (SHERE-ee).  It was wonderful to see Pastor Temesgen! We visited two feeding programs for children who are internally displaced because of the recent civil war.  With the help of Samaritan’s Purse and other donors, the Shire Church feeds 350 children a hot lunch Monday-Friday.  The children are identified for the lunch program because they are full or half-orphans or have parents who are disabled, but there are many thousands more who live with food scarcity. 



All three of us (Steven, Dan and Joy) are history buffs, so we delighted in visiting the ancient site of Axum that is thought to be the birthplace of Christianity in Ethiopia.  Steven and Dan felt like they were part of an Indiana Jones movie wandering among tombs and structures dating from 300 BC to 100 AD.  We got to see a model replica of the Queen of Sheba’s palace — remember her visit to King Solomon in 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles?  History credits the eunuch Phillip baptized (Acts 8) as the first to bring the Gospel to Ethiopia.


We visited many more church plants among Muslim people groups and gained a deeper appreciation of the challenges missionaries encounter working in areas extremely hostile to the Gospel.  It was a packed-full week of listening, learning, and understanding more fully God’s heart for unreached or unengaged people groups! 


“Father, lead High Pointe Church where our trust is without borders.  Let us walk upon the waters wherever You would call us.  Take us deeper than our feet could ever wander and strengthen our faith.”  (adapted from the lyrics of ‘Oceans’)


"Xaviar Meskem" - "thanks be to God" in Amharic


Steven, Dan, and Joy from the High Pointe Missions Strategy Team


*For the security of our missionaries, we do not use their names or specific locations anywhere on the internet.

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