The first four days in Ethiopia were truly remarkable. As I did on the last trip, we traveled to preach in one of the newly planted churches each morning and evening. So, it’s a lot of travel. These churches are all in the North, where it is very little, or no Gospel witness among the Orthodox and Islam people; this is where God
has sent us.
Please be assured that your investment in these SOC Graduates produces eternal fruit. We don’t have an exact number, but God has planted at least 60 churches since we earnestly began using SOC graduates to plant these churches in The Horn.
We have planted churches in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, and North Sudan. We have had excellent services so far. I believe God has been speaking, and the people have been receiving with great earnestness. God moved in every service.
On our last night in Ethiopia, we traveled to a remote place. When we arrived, we found a typical (typical for us) church; made with wooden posts on the ground, tarps for a roof and walls, and a dirt floor. When I arrived, the brethren were already on their knees praying. After a while, they stood and asked me to speak. The presence of God was there. I told them how much at home I felt among such prayer and worship. I never got to say what I had prepared. God had me speak to them from Matthew 24 and 25, and they received the Word with great intensity.
As we prayed and asked God to prepare them for the work of ministry in this part of the world, God moved on their hearts. The pastor of this church graduated from SOC three years ago. I was so pleased to see how he was walking in the Truth. There has been a tremendous outpouring of God’s Spirit here in Djibouti as well. The hunger of the people affects me significantly. The prayer and worship before and after the preaching are wonderful to behold.
We walk through the marketplace to get to the church in the city. It is incredibly dirty, unbelievably noisy, and completely chaotic. Most people just stopped, stared, and pointed as we walked by. They knew I must be a preacher because I was white and was not with the U.N. The church was right in the middle of the market; we walked through a doorway and up dark, uneven staircases to the 3rd floor. I had to walk very carefully not to miss a step. If the local pastor had not led me, I would have been afraid to go there. The first night, we got to the room 30 minutes before service, the brethren were already earnestly crying out to God in prayer. When service started, they worshipped, then I preached.
I have known and worked with Pastor Samuel, one of the great Men of God and a School of Christ graduate in East Africa for many years. He is the main reason we have planted scores of new churches in five countries. These churches are in the most difficult unreached areas where there is much persecution. The SOC is so blessed to have men such as Pastor Samuel dedicated to reaching the lost before it is too late.
I believe all of these brethren are the “no-name” people who will receive a great reward from our Master. Some of these pastors and evangelists have nothing short of astonishing testimonies. It is good to meet them and put faces to names and testimonies. Keep in mind it’s 96% Muslim here. These are all 1st generation disciples.
Some have opportunities to leave and go to Europe or the U.S., but they stay because, as one brother told me, “it would be easier and better for my family if I go to the U.S., but God did not call me to America, he called me to serve his people here.” Over the years, I have heard this statement in war-torn towns, refugee camps, and the poorest villages. Extremely humbling to be among such brethren.
We are laying our plans for the rest of 2022. Thank you for the finances now and over the years. Thank you for your intercession. God has answered EVERY prayer along our way. I wouldn’t know how else to describe the things that are happening. All glory to the Lord!