Okay, I’ll admit it. After five days of teaching, I feel exhausted.
In fact, we’re all exhausted. This
is the inevitable sum result of teaching for long hours, interacting
with spirited students, and (for me) eating far too much injera
bread. Even all the delicious Ethiopian coffee in the world could not
keep me up past 9:00pm tonight. But it’s a satisfying sense of
exhaustion, and I’m truly grateful for it.
We have much to be grateful about,
really. It’s been a privilege to be here, interact with Ethiopian
believers, laugh with new friends, and sip coffee several (dozen)
times a day. This week has been a great blessing to me, and I trust
God will use it to bless his church in Ethiopia in far more ways than
can be imagined. I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve with
excellent teachers and interact with excellent students, students
with the ardent desire to learn something from God in his Word.
This is, after all, why they have come.
Alex and I taught a class of eleven Ethiopian believers from
different parts of the country and serving the church in a variety of
ways. Despite Ethiopia’s current political situation and despite
the difficulty of travel, these brothers and sisters considered it
worthwhile to travel to Bishoftu so they might acquire the
interpretive tools they’ll use to love God more deeply and serve
Christ’s church more completely. In the coming years, they’ll
return again and again, each time eager to see God’s glory in his
word and to make it known throughout all of Ethiopia.
After five days of teaching, I believe
they have both the tools and the passion to do just that. For
example, today we applied everything we have learned this week by
walking through Daniel 7:9-14. Step by step, we interrogated the
text, considering the intended meaning of the passage and its
relation to the whole Bible, and Christ as its center. I think we all
felt the excitement of hearing God speak through his word, and felt
encouraged as we saw its significance for our lives. God’s word, we
saw today, is exciting precisely because in it God speaks to his
people concerning who he is, what he expects of their lives, and how
he promises never to leave them. To see all people know and love
God’s word is precisely the reason for which organizations like TLI
exist, and that’s a vision I can stand by and to which I can give
Please continue to pray for our team and our students as we all travel home to our
respective families. Pray for our Ethiopian brothers and sisters as
they continue serving Christ amid difficulty and the temptation to
preach what congregants want to hear rather than what God has said.
Pray that they will apply what they have learned this week to their
daily lives and their ministries. Finally, pray that God will be
honored in the hearts, minds, and pulpits of each church in Bishoftu
and in all of Ethiopia.