God is so amazing how he works. Ashenafi, the unofficial leader of the current group of children attending Children’s Home Ethiopia’s (CHE) Drop-In Center, was very emotional during a recent goodbye ceremony for two visitors from America, Tom Ashworth and Kim McCoy. For some reason I really felt like I should pull Ashenafi aside after the ceremony was over. I did pull him aside with Nega Meaza, Director of CHE, even though circumstances were not very conducive to doing so – kids were fighting, the landlord of the Drop-In Center was waiting for Nega, and Tom and Kim were in the middle of it all (I wanted to rescue them).
As soon as Nega and I started to talk to Ashenafi he began to weep. I basically just asked what he was feeling and then God did the rest. Ashenafi was so moved because he could not understand how Tom and Kim, strangers from America, could love him and the other children so much. Nega and I explained that their love for him and the others stemmed from their love of God. It was at that point that Ashenafi expressed his desire to go to church and learn how to love and follow God…
…As soon as Ashenafi said this I knew the Holy Spirit was their working on his soul and I asked what he knew about following God. His response was that he knew very little. As you may know, understanding this is a lifelong process, but Nega and I were able to explain the most important part of what it means to be a follower of God to Ashenafi – trusting in Jesus as Savior and committing to live life for him.
What was so amazing to me is that we never once mentioned heaven or hell until after Ashenafi confessed that he was a sinner and that he believed that Jesus was his Savior and wanted to follow him. So, I told Ashenafi that Jesus had indeed saved him from his sins and then I got to share some of the best news – that he now has a place in heaven because of his faith in Jesus. At that point I asked if he would like to pray to talk to God about his new faith. I offered to say a prayer and let him repeat, but he said he would pray himself…
He put his head between his legs, wept, and prayed to Jesus. It was truly amazing to witness God working on his heart.
Nega took Ashenafi to church on Sunday to get him plugged in and Aserat wanted to come too. The 3 of them went to church together and heard a great sermon. The preacher gave a invitation during the prayer.
When Joe went to the drop-in center this morning Aserat ran to him telling him excitedly in Amharic what had happened on Sunday.
Please pray for Ashenafi, Aserat as they are entering into this new relationship with God. Nega and the CHE staff truly have an important place in their life now as disciplers. The time constraints of running CHE will be a hindrance, as I've seen it be in many other areas, so pray that they will have the time and make the time to spend with Ashenafi and Aserat.