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Gospel Bracelets

GOSPEL BRACELETS  -- Woman-to-Woman Outreach Ethiopian Style

NewLife Ethiopia hosted a retreat for 40 indigenous missionaries and their wives representing three unreached  Muslim tribes.  These men have been living and working under extraordinary pressure.  They are joyful, full of hope and not discouraged despite the upturn in radicalism among their people and ethnic unrest throughout the country.  They are simply amazing – as are their wives who hold the home together and support their husbands.

But home is not all these women do!  Can I brag for a few minutes about the fairer sex?  Much is expected of these women – they have large families, little money, meals to prepare over an open fire, hauling water is a daily pressure and keeping themselves and their kiddos clean, fed and in school (if there is one) is no small thing.  And they don’t live in houses with electricity (most of them), they sweep a dirt floor, help with farming and use a communal squatty potty.  But that is not all!  These mighty women find time to intentionally reach out to their Mus!im neighbors and invite them to their home for buna (coffee) and something to eat.  Being former Mus!ims themselves, they are understanding and attentive to their friends’ problems, always ending their time together with prayer in the name of Jesus. 

We heard many stories of Mus!im women coming to know Jesus Christ through the witness of these hospitable women who show kindness, concern and share the gift of the Gospel.  Some of the Mus!im women have come to faith in Jesus and want to openly acknowledge it, some are hidden Christ-followers and remain in the mosque, while others are not yet ready to commit. 

Several times we heard stories like this:  My Mus!im friends call me when their kids are sick.  I go to their house (sometimes secretly or when their husbands are not there) and pray for their sick child and he/she is healed.  This is not a one-off scenario!  In these villages there is no medical infrastructure.  If you are sick you either get well, die, or are healed supernaturally.  One woman said her neighbors come to her with problems asking for prayer, like … My teenage son ran away.  But your God would know where he is and can bring him back to me. The women are not daunted by these requests because they pray and expect God to answer … and He does!

They use ordinary life to initiate conversations, and we gave them tools that will help them.  Women from several small groups attending High Pointe Church made gospel bracelets to give to these women.  Aren’t they beautiful?  We used the colors that many children are introduced to in Sunday School to tell the entire story of salvation from sin in the Garden of Eden to eternal life with God. 

We gave each lady a bracelet and then they made one to give to another Christian lady in their church, teaching her what she just learned.  The ladies at High Pointe also put together hundreds of kits for the missionary wives to use to teach others how to witness using them.  The lovely bracelets will draw the attention of other women when they are getting water, attending a funeral or wedding, going to market or having someone over for buna.  The bracelets open the door for a spiritual conversation. 

We had so much fun learning about the gospel bracelets, making them, and then practicing using them to share the gospel message with each other.

THANK YOU, women of High Pointe who made these bracelets!  It was the highlight of our retreat. 

Ameseginalehu and Galatooma!  (thank you in the Amharic and Oromo languages)

Joy Casey


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