Tag Archives: Ethiopia

The tired traveler and the taxi man

I heard a cool story today and want to pass it along to you.

A man flew in from a country in Asia. He was a Muslim. He had flown many long hours and was exhausted when he arrived. He was supposed to be picked up at the airport by someone, but when he landed there was no one looking for him. He waited for a long time, wondering what to do in this strange new land.

A member of the Ethiopian church in Seattle was driving taxi that night. He saw the stranded traveler. Approaching him, the Ethiopian asked the immigrant if he could help, even offering to give him a ride and let him stay overnight at home.  The traveler gladly accepted, spending not just one night but two. The next day, the Christian helped the visitor contact his friends, who came for him.

Some while later, that visitor decided to visit a church in Seattle. When he entered, he looked up on the platform and who was preaching that day but the very taxi driver who gave him transport and lodging! He soon declared that whatever that taxi driving preacher believed is what he wanted to believe also. And he placed his trust in Christ.

Let’s keep our eyes open for ways we can welcome the stranger. Our loving actions, even when small, send a clear message!


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Mission strategy hidden in plain sight

Jesus-followers in America can engage the Near Frontiers right in our own cities when we share the ministry vision of an immigrant. This is a strategic mission opportunity which is hidden in plain sight.

girma sharesI met Girma Desalegn several years ago in Seattle. We both showed up at a local conference attended by people of different ethnicities. In such settings, I gravitate toward those who are of different background than myself (I am caucasian).

Girma and I talked for a couple of years about different ways we could partner together. Early in the process he began sharing his vision to bring practical Biblical training to church leaders in his homeland. His concept was  a “mobile Bible school” that would take the training to leaders who could not afford one of the in-country Bible schools. He would bring mature believers from the States once a year to cities in different regions, closer to where the pastors, elders, and women’s leaders lived. There would be no charge for the training, but high demands for faithfulness were required for graduation from the two year program which Girma designed. The vision captured me.

But it wasn’t just the vision. I had been able to get to know Girma as a man of integrity and passion for Ethiopia. And he had a network of friends and leaders in Ethiopia ready to partner with him.  In God’s planning, the diaspora which exists today makes possible this convergence of invaluable factors: Vision, Integrity, Passion.

Tweet This The diaspora which exists today makes possible the convergence of Vision, Integrity, Passion.#nearfrontiersTREK

ethiopian gatheringRecently we had a fund-raising dinner to bring together friends of Ethiopia to celebrate what God has done over the last five years of training. Hundreds have graduated from the program. We made the financial need known, and many people shared of their resources.

One of the most important aspects of what Girma has called the Vision Leadership Institute is that every Saturday local, trusted Ethiopian leaders with more training meet with all the trainees and take the subjects deeper. They require assignments, score results, and keep attendance.

Ethiopia 2014 150 At the end of the two years there is a graduation that is a high point in their ministries.

This is yet another way in which God is making mission available to more believers today. God gives vision and brings resource to fulfill it. May I encourage you to pray that God would bring such visionaries into your sphere of influence that you might partner with them!

Tweet This  Share strategic mission by coming alongside a visionary immigrant leader. #NearFrontiersTREK #Ethiopia

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