by Nicole Brown
After returning from another trip to Ethiopia, my heart and mind are not at rest. I am so unsettled once again at what I have witnessed looking into eyes that seem so empty and untrusting…torn and dirty clothes, feet with no shoes and children that are without parents. Jesus never said that following him would be easy or that everyone would choose to follow him once they heard the Scripture. The truth is that even though sometimes we might see a huge difference immediately in things he has called us to do, other times we have to be patient when we see mountains blocking the way.
Urgency is of the utmost importance in one of the refugee camps. The children are in desperate need of a soccer field so they may be engaged in games and activities to keep their minds and bodies busy. The human traffickers are nearby and are actively seeking these 800 unaccompanied minors. A major government sponsor has pulled out of the camp which has affected the finances for sports equipment, fields to play on as well as education on protection against HIV, human trafficking and more. Right now the children are easily tempted with any reason to leave the camp since they have nothing keeping them there.
On a lighter note, encouraging things are happening. The church in Shire baptized another 9 members, some of whom traveled in from the surrounding church plants. Continuing Bible college classes in Shire were taught in January by Pastor Randy Messer from FBC Oak Grove, and Experiencing God was taught by Ed Newsome from United Believers Community. Students are attending these classes from nearby towns as well as coming in from the refugee camps. Soon the first class will graduate and be pastors, how exciting!
Much needed clothing and shoes were given to numerous people in the camps. Time was also spent building relationships with refugees by playing, talking, laughing, encouraging and simply listening to the hurts and needs of the broken hearts. It is my prayer that funds will be raised quickly so that we may return immediately to oversee the projects that will keep the unaccompanied minor children engaged and safe.
Thank you Lord for the prayer warriors, the supporters, and for all who go in your name that make these things possible, may we remember that you are always in control.