DownLine Team: God Shows Up


The following is an update from DownLine 2011 Team, a small group from DownLine Ministries in Memphis, TN, who will be serving as short-term missionaries at Onesimus Children Development Association and throughout Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in September 2011. We’ve invited our ministry partners to post their trip updates and prayer requests here on the TFC blog. You can learn more specifically about the goals of the trip by going to this post. Enjoy their journey and all God has in store...


We have successfully finished another day here in Addis Ababa and we are all back at the guesthouse reflecting on another great yet heart-wrenching day! We are each being affected greatly by what our eyes have seen here and how our hearts are aching. Being here gives such insight on the pain God endures daily and how his heart breaks by the second from the evil and sin that exists in this world. Fortunately, we can find our hope and comfort in that this world is not forever and, one day, we will all be rejoicing in heaven together. Praise God! So, while we may not always understand why Ethiopia is suffering the way it is, there is great joy to be found in that one day for those who believe the pain will end.

Written By Nicci Feathers

Medical Clinic at Onesimus (drop-in center)

Written by Nicci Feathers

“I find serving on a medical mission team to be one of the most humbling and rewarding experiences possible. I came to change people’s lives, and I find that it is my own heart that is changed.” Dr. Gene Scobey

The medical team did amazing things today! The doctors alone saw over 180 patients in 7 short hours. They were rocking and rolling and God, again, showed up and showed out! Aileen shared a story tonight about a small child with scabies and we did not have the proper medicine to treat this baby. As she dug hopelessly on a shelf of Onesimus supplies for any type of topical cream she could find, God did HIS thing and provided the exact medicine the child needed. It was not a prescription we had brought with us and yet, there it was! He is so much bigger than anything we can comprehend.

The dental team saw a slew of patients, as well, and they pulled a great number of teeth. Kelly, our hygienist, pulled her first tooth with Dr. Collier’s assistance, of course! Lastly, Dr. Rice shared about his experience in the clinic. He said that he expected to treat many more patients with clinical depression here because of the conditions and yet, there have been few. Hearing this made the truth ring even louder in my ear. We have too much STUFF in America and we complain when things don’t go our way. These people have absolutely nothing and yet, they are completely content. I have a lot to learn from them and the joy they find in what they do have. For a brief moment, I thought, “They just don’t know what they are missing.” But, truly, it is I who is missing the bigger picture. The STUFF really can’t provide the happiness~ only God and God alone. My prayer is that I will hold steadfast to this picture and when I feel like I have it a little rough, I will remember that I have ALL I need~ God’s grace and His mercy.

Downline Conference Training Day 2 with Pastors and Church Leaders

Written by Shad Berry

Day 2 of the conference ended on a very encouraging note! Steve, Dr. Cattau, Karly, and I continued our discipleship training. We have been getting great feedback everyday and have felt very appreciative. The challenge is determining whether or not the principles and strategy of discipleship and multiplication are going to be used. We know they are grateful we are with them and appreciate the training, but our prayer is that at least one member of our conference would catch fire with returning to the biblical method of evangelism and discipleship.

After the first three sessions one of the leaders of the seminary came walking up to Steve and I with a large smile and a chuckle in his voice because he had overheard some of the pastors coming to the realization that they have plans for buildings, programs, and universities, but the have NO PLAN for discipleship. The chuckle seemed to be out of a sense of satisfaction that the training was causing these leaders to consider their strategy as pastors and teachers and what is the purpose of their roles.

It is pretty common that the translators that assist us with these conferences are among the first and most profoundly impacted by our message. This week has been no exception. Our translator is a pastor and teacher at a local Bible college. He appears to be very strong in his faith and a committed pastor and leader. You can tell his heart is in the right place and after each session he has been coming to us asking us questions, seeking clarification, and confessing that he has gotten too busy and distracted. There are some very faithful men serving here. We firmly believe they will be powerful witnesses and disciple makers in this city and hope to support them to the best of our ability.

Tomorrow we will teach two more sessions on the Biblical and practical aspects of discipleship. Steve and I are especially excited about tomorrow afternoon because we are going to lead a discussion and question and answer session with the pastors at their request. They want to learn from one another and share thoughts and ideas about the best approach for them to make disciples and teach others to do the same.


Team Fellowship

Written by Nicci Feathers

Tonight, we enjoyed great fellowship as a team at Yod Abbyssinia, a traditional Ethiopian restaurant. The food was delicious and the entertainment was even better. At the restaurant, they have traditional Ethiopian dancing. We enjoyed watching this unique style of dance for some time. But, the best part was mid-show, when the dancer on stage singled Shad and Karly out from the back of the room and pulled them on stage. They did their best to keep up with this very fast paced dancing and they did a great job of entertaining the full crowd.

Again, thank you for all of your prayers. They are carrying us throughout each day! We pray that God will continue to use us to do His will and His work.

God Bless!