Help in need

Ethiopia – this is a country of stark contrasts. While the country is blossoming spiritually and many people are coming to faith, Ethiopia is severely tested by crises on the other side. One of these crises is the current civil war in the north, which is taking serious shape. The faithful president Dr. Abiy has been trying for a long time to find a peaceful solution, unfortunately in vain. And so now you see trucks with young soldiers driving through the country, gunmen everywhere, and the weapons look used and worn – which makes the picture all the more frightening. Many of the young soldiers are farmers’ sons who are being called up. Their families worry a lot about their sons, because after just a few weeks of basic training, the young men are sent off to fight. Whether they will return is questionable. But these young people are actually needed in the fields. Agriculture is still practiced as it was a hundred years ago, the fields are plowed with oxen and tended with hoes. Every hand is important, but now the strong young farmers are missing in the fields. But the war has another consequence: The UN, the EU, the USA and the Red Cross have withdrawn from Ethiopia and refuse humanitarian aid. Suffering, however, is the ordinary population, including our dear brothers and sisters in faith. At the same time Ethiopia has to deal with Corona. The Corona measures were the bigger problem than the disease itself. In the meantime, these have been reduced to face masks, because the other restrictions led to great unemployment and plunged many families into deep distress. Families who had led simple but orderly lives suddenly could not pay their rent and became homeless. Yes, a country like Ethiopia has no social safety net to catch such people – the spiral downward has no end.

As if all this were not bad enough, other disasters came along. Large swarms of locusts invaded several provinces and destroyed crops. The fields were stripped bare, and when the locusts moved on, no green was left behind. Our Bible center is located in a steppe; there is nothing here for the locusts. Nevertheless, individual animals came into our house again and again. Suddenly they were sitting on the walls, large green insects. So isolated they are harmless, but for me they were a warning sign and reminded of the giant swarm from which they had come. That’s when the images of the destroyed fields came alive for me. In other provinces, it was not locusts but droughts that caused crops to fail. This, of course, caused food prices to rise steadily. Our co-worker, who is responsible for the food purchases for the Bible Center, shook his head in despair. His entire plan no longer worked. Even onions, an inexpensive product, became really expensive. I had already heard that locusts had eaten up whole fields of them: first the green, then the insides of the tubers as well.

Then came serious news from communities in the countryside. Brothers called from Shone Province, urgently asking for help. The community had done its utmost to distribute food, but the number of families who had nothing was steadily increasing. The brothers were pressing, because some of the hungry were already very weak and in precarious condition. Here we had to act immediately. We were able to organize several bags of corn for the community so that at least the most affected families could be helped. Corn is a staple food, you can grind this grain and bake bread with it, but you can also make it into porridge or a kind of pancake. When our staff brought the corn, the hungry brothers and sisters from the community were already standing there waiting. How long they had been standing there, I don’t know, but they had hope for something to eat. Much too weakened for great joy, but with deep gratitude, they took their corn home.

Dear brothers and sisters, actually it was planned that I should be back in Germany now. But in this emergency situation it is impossible for me to leave everything here. I have decided to stay and take care of the need of the people, as far as the Lord gives me means. Together with two co-workers, I travel through affected provinces and visit communities there that need help. In each province, I want to help the ten worst-affected communities, and fifteen families in each community. I know this is little relief, but I just want to do what I can. The feeding of the 5,000 began with five loaves and two fish. I feel similarly now. We consistently help people in need, providing daily food as much as we can. Therefore, our means are limited – and that in the face of a boundless need… But the Lord is greater than the worst need, His arm is not too short that He cannot help. He alone can give blessings, but the Lord also wants to include us in these blessings, just like the boy who brought loaves and fishes. The boy brought what he had, but the Lord blessed and multiplied that very thing. Please, pray about this, and if the Lord puts it on your heart, help our brothers and sisters in Ethiopia. Some of you have already heard about this need and responded, so now I can begin the emergency relief. Now we can distribute more than just a few bags of corn. In these days my journey starts to the first province. I am so grateful that it is possible to help the people here, that the Lord has given the necessary means for this. I am looking forward to distributing flour and corn and thus giving hope to the people – until the next harvest comes. Last year I did the same thing. At that time, many people asked me where I was from. I told them that I was from Germany and explained to the people that what I had brought for them came from German brothers and sisters in faith who had thought of them. There I experienced many a tear of joy! The poor people felt forgotten, but no, there were believers in a foreign country who thought of them – what a wonderful connection in the Lord. This thought was so good for the people, it was soothing for their soul, and the food was for their body.

I greet you warmly from Ethiopia, the Lord bless you!

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Help with a donation ...

Helping is something great. In terms of supporting evangelists and other needy people in Ethiopia, demand exceeds our financial capabilities. That’s why we need help. We are happy about every little donation.

Evangeliums-Mission Äthiopien e.V.