On Sunday, we gathered with over 1,000 Ethiopian believers, and were impacted with the sincere worship and unashamed joy of the African Church. This service gave us a new glimpse of heaven. I could imagine in a new way what heaven will be like with every tribe, and tongue and nation worshipping our great God.
Team Members Arrive
|The team arrives in Addis Ababa|
Our advance team arrived three days early to finalize details of the time in Africa. On Monday night, the final team members arrived and began our journey to orphanages in Ethiopia and Uganda
Leper’s Church & Community
|The Pastor of the Leper’s Church (L)|
Turning off the main road unto unpaved, bumpy, trash-filled streets, we knew that we were headed for a place out of our comfort zone. The leper colony in Addia Ababa is home to 15,000 lepers. Our discomfort was not just physical. It was nearly impossible not to notice the overwhelming smells, the swarming flies, and the staring eyes all around. We walked into a small courtyard with the leper’s community church building. It’s a simple structure made out of blue plastic and large sticks for the walls and ceiling. It has a sackcloth floor, collected from the dump. The pastor beamed as he described the history of the church and the joy at having this beautiful pace to worship. This is the worship center to over 200 members.
Behind the church is a weight room that is used for evangelism ministry using hand-made weights from materials found in the city dump. The innovation and creativity are unbelievable. The Sports Center is a way to build relationships with people to be able to share about the Lord. The lepers are now free from leprosy, but will always be outcasts in society. We were dismayed to hear that many of them cannot get a job or go to the normal places we take for granted. They dig through the dump to find something to eat. For many people this church is their only source of hope.