We have been here for one week now and I do miss home, but, there is no other place I’d rather be right now. I had the thought today that we are leaving in one week and I don’t want to. I don’t want to think that I may never come back to Burji again. It is completely in Jesus’ hands. If He calls me to come back, I will. If it is not in His desire for me to come back here, that’s ok too.
The worship service in the Soyama Town church was great this morning. It was not in English (except for my sermon) but I could sense the Spirit of the Lord in mighty ways. The offering was interesting. Many of the 300 adults in the congregation are farmers. They go to the town market every Saturday and sell their items. Sometimes, nothing sells. So after the offering was collected the Ushers came up to the front. Some were holding bags of lemons, bags of coffee beans, bags of Teff (a grain grown in Ethiopia), and some had bags of potatoes. They basically auctioned them off. Not in a competing way, but they would hold up the bag and someone in the congregation would make an offer for it and they would deliver to their seat and collect the money. It was a great picture of giving offerings to the Lord of what He has given you. What would it be like in America if some said, “I don’t have any money to give this week.” Maybe we could ask them to bring a pair of shoes that we could sell during church. We often make excuses for not having something to give at church. The Burji people truly understand sacrificing to give to the Lord.
This afternoon Matt (a pastor from Roxboro), Worku (pastor of the Soyama Church), and I went into town for a Pepsi. We three pastors had a great time together encouraging one another and sharing our hearts about ministering to God’s people. Worku shared that he had been into drugs heavily when he was a young teenager but the Lord got his attention when he was 15 years old. Worku was sick in bed with Malaria for 7 months! God used that time in his life to help him see the importance of serving Christ each day. In the evening, some of us held an impromptu English discipleship class. It was a great time sharing with these young people from God’s Word.
There was a great reunion tonight when Dave, Jason, and James (here is an article Dave wrote about James) returned from Gujiland. God is doing great things there. One lady received Christ when the Jesus film was shown the other night. Praise the Lord for that! Cindy, Mary, and I had the privilege again to share “our table” with part of our team. The Clinic Team was in tonight as was the Guji Team. The Village Team was here last night. The 3 of us in Soyama get to share the table with a different part of the team each night as they travel through. It really is the Lord’s Table we share. We really have the Lord’s u each night. No, there is no bread and wine per se, but there is food (goat), beverages (Pepsi and coffee), fellowship, rejoicing, encouraging, and talking about Jesus. If that isn’t the Lord’s Supper, I don’t know what is!
We ended the night with a great time of prayer together. It was in 3 different languages. Jesus was there! Oh how I love this place.