…and — wow — talk about a heart on fire. He and I did this in 2018 as well, except, in 2018, we spent two full weeks together on the road. We’re talking every minute of every day for two full weeks. This year, it was “just one week” — but even in one week, every minute of every day… it tends to help you get to know someone. This guy is an enigma. On the one hand, he’s smart, articulate, and visionary. On the other hand, he’s relational-to-the-max, old-fashioned, and super-humble. This guy is super humble and sometimes fiercely independent, while, in other moments, he makes it clear he truly feels he has so much to learn. What is it about the Ethiopian mind, the Ethiopian culture, and the Ethiopian spirit that is causing them to thrive in the midst of chaos. Back home, their country is sometimes topsy-turvy with tribes that are rebelling, border checkpoints galore, and extreme weather conditions that would challenge the best of us. Yet… in the midst of all of this, Christianity has flourished. Check out this current article in Christianity Today, for example.




Imagine living in a land which was 3% Christian in 1970 and now maybe 25% in 2019. (The article implies 20% but all our insider sources are saying 1 out of every 4 is an evangelical.) The Prime Minister, for example, told his people — “let me be the nation’s pastor.” He’s an evangelical too.


So it should come as no surprise that my Ethiopian buddy has teamed up with our org to send six new teams in the past 12 months. They’re still in language learning, but they’ve already launched 20 new groups and they’re already seeing responses to Christ. And they engage people every day now in meaningful spiritual conversations. One of the Ethiopian team members was captured by a somewhat-dangerous Islamic group as a teenager. While being threatened with death, she refused to deny her faith. Now, as an adult, she’s back working among Muslims again in spite of it all.


Let’s take a lesson from Ethiopia. That treasurer got it right from the beginning (Acts 8). Let’s go back to the basics, trust in God, and follow the examples of our new-found friends who want to step up to the plate and finish the Great Commission. They want to take their places on mission teams around the world in the most dangerous lands. When I asked my buddy if he could find 18 new recruits for us, he looked back at me with strength, dignity, and intentionality: “We can find you 1000 Ethiopians who will lay down their lives for the sake of the Gospel.”


Now, I believe him.


Let’s join them in the Greatest Cause ever. May God give us strength.