A group from Rock Bridge returned home this week from an 8-day trip to Ethiopia. Our trip continued to explore and develop our relationship with Compassion International, including a developing partnership with a local church in Awassa, Ethiopia. Additionally, we were able to visit Malissa Cawood, one of our members who serves in Ethiopia as a teacher. Trip highlights included:
- Visiting a Child Survivorship Program, including visits to slum housing.
- Overviewing Compassion’s extensive work in Ethiopia on behalf of children through local churches.
- Meeting and playing with the children Rock Bridge members sponsor. Awesome!
- Deepening our relationship with our “church-t0-church” partner in Awassa.
- I was able to preach in their Sunday service through a translator … incredible experience.
- Ben Honeycutt was able to help lead worship, including a song that had both Amharic and English lyrics = a foretaste of heaven!
- We had extensive meetings with the church’s elders to hear and understand their compelling vision to reach and minister to people.
While I’m still processing everything, here are some thoughts so far:
*Christianity is for ALL peoples & ALL nations. I was convicted about living in my “Western-American-Southern-NW GA bubble” when the God I worship is global and offering Himself to all peoples. I think my vision of God is bigger and my heart for missions is stronger. I am convinced we must press forward to be a church engaged locally and globally for the cause of Christ.
*Compassion Child Sponsorships make an incredible difference. For $38 a month the entire life trajectory of a family can be changed. I visited 4 homes of sponsored children, most of which were one room shacks with 5-9 people living in them. In every case, they shared how the sponsorship had allowed their child to receive an education, medical care, clothes, and weekly Bible study. In every case, they had pictures of their sponsor family and the letters that had been sent to them. In every case, their joy was high, their gratitude genuine, and their hope strong.
WRITE YOUR SPONSOR CHILD: Even more than the $38, these children & families want to know us and pray for us! My child’s mom told me I was in effect his “dad”. These relationships, even though long distance and cross-cultural matter and make a difference.
Compassion makes it very easy to write your child via email from their web site; you can even upload pictures (which the families love!). Click HERE to create an account or login so you can write your child — it matters!
Worship fuels missions. Most of the time we focus on secondary reasons to do missions: poverty, economic distress, disaster relief, neglect, etc. These are very important but not ultimate. The primary reason we do missions is the glory of God demands it and worship of Him fuels it. God is worthy to be praised by all peoples all over the world, but He is not. Why? Because He must first be revealed. God has chosen to reveal Himself through His people. His worth fuels our service and our mission. We want more people to worship the God Who is worthy. Before we see statistics of people who live apart from Christ and of starving children, let’s see God in all His worth and then let’s go with all our might wherever He sends us!