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Thirsty Church Leaders in Hosanna, Ethiopia


eth20151

We are back in Addis Ababa, grateful for a safe arrival to the big city.

Before we left Hosanna today, I was thinking about Paul’s mission to the Gentiles as he describes it in Ephesians 3. A phrase in verse 8 was especially meaningful: “To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.” It’s that phrase “the unsearchable riches of Christ” that struck me. Paul does say that he he proclaimed “the riches of Christ” to the Gentiles, so we can know something about the resources that are found in Christ. However, they are “unsearchable.” I think what he means is that the riches of Christ are so vast, we could never search them out fully. It’s like the story I heard of the man who was walking the boundaries of a lake. When he was almost finished, he discovered that he wasn’t marking off a lake, but an inlet of the immeasurable ocean! Like that ocean, we could never measure the riches that are found in Christ!

Nevertheless, Selamab and I did our best for two days to dip our little cups into the ocean of Christ’s riches and to serve as much as we could to the thirsty church leaders who gathered in a remote location outside of Hosanna. Of all of the teaching experiences I have had in Ethiopia in the six trips I have had with Selamab, this was my favorite. These leaders came to learn the Bible! Selamab gave them as much of Colossians as he could in the allotted time, and I taught through Titus. Our teaching included group discussion and Q & A, and even some small group work. The dialogue was lively, many discoveries were made, implications for the Ethiopian church context became clearer and clearer, and the discussions even extended into the break times. I was especially encouraged by some of the younger church leaders who asked excellent questions and happily filled up their notebooks with insights.

Selamab and I also got to preach to mostly children at a church each evening in Hosanna. We’re anticipating one more opportunity for preaching on Sunday morning in the vicinity of Addis (thanks to missionary Jeremy Freuchting, a friend who lives in Addis now with his family). Sunday night, we head to the airport, and Monday night we will be home! Once again, thank you for praying.

eth20152

eth20153

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