“On the way…” God has brought His Word to life for me over and over again has I have been “on the way” through Addis Ababa Ethiopia. The adventures of Jesus and his band of brothers we call the disciples have become my adventures.
“They came to Jericho. And as He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a large crowd, Bartimaeus (the son of Timaeus), a blind beggar, was sitting by the road. When he heard that it was Jesus the Nazerene,, he began to cry out, “Son of David, Jesus, have mercy on me!” Many people told him to keep quiet, but he was crying out all the more, “Have mercy on me, Son of David!” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called the blind man and said to him, “Have courage! Get up; He’s calling for you.” He threw off his coat, jumped up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus answered him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” Rabbouni,” the blind man told Him, “I want to see!” “Go your way,” Jesus told him. “Your faith has healed you.” Immediately he could see and began to follow Him on the road.” Mark 10:46-52
His name is Abil. He is one of our sponsor children. He is blind with mental disabilities. He lives with his brother, Gomer, who is also blind, and his mother, who is also blind. She has to beg for a living. She saw our van approaching her dirt lane. She began jumping and waving. She wanted to make sure we would not pass her by. She led us to their 8 X 8 mud hut. The hut could only fit two small beds. Abil and Gomer share a bed. They welcomed us into their home. Ethiopian people have the gift of hospitality. The boys stood and greeted us Ethiopian style, a bump to the shoulders. Abil stood with the help of his walking stick. He swayed as if dancing to a melody only he could hear. With the help of our interpreter we presented the good news of Jesus Christ. As soon as the mother heard Jesus’ name she began exclaiming, “Yes, Yes, Yeshua!” Over and Over again she repeated the name Jesus in Amaric, “Yeshua, Yeshua, Yeshua!” She knows my Jesus. We have a kindred spirit. When we had finished praying for her and her two sons, she said she must pray and bless us also. I felt her place her hand upon my shoulder; I reached up and grasped it and clung to it. She prayed. The Glory of the Lord weighed heavily on my countenance in those moments. Tears flowed unabated down my cheeks. The lump in my throat felt as if I had swallowed a baseball. This woman whom I thought I had come to rescue was rescuing me. This woman whom I had thought I had come to bless was blessing me. She who had nothing had everything because she knew the Lord and He was enough for her. When she finished praying, our interpreter translated she had just prayed, “Our Father who art in heaven hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive our trespassers. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Amen” She said simply this is how Jesus said we ought to pray. The harshness of her life could not diminish the blessings of God in her life.
“When He entered Capernaum again after some days, it was reported that He was at home. So many people gathered together that there was no more room, not even in the doorway, and He was speaking the message to them. Then they came to Him brining a paralytic, carried by four men. Since they were not able to bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above where He was. And when they had broken through, they lowered the mat on which the paralytic was lying. Seeing their faith, Jesus told the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”… “But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,” He told the paralytic, “I tell you: get up, pick up your mat, and go home.” Immediately he got up, picked up the mat, and went out in front of everyone. As a result, they were all astounded and gave glory to God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!” Mark 2:1-12
We watched him from the seats in our van. He was no older than four, but you could tell he was very street savvy. The merchants all knew him, but no one seemed to know where he came from or where he lived or who his parents were. We learned he slept in the entrances of the shops most nights. We tried to get into his business, but he would have none of that. He was already the independent street wise kid. We were passing the time waiting on Blaise. We had no idea where he was. We didn’t know, but God knew right where Blaise was. You see God had a divine appointment for Blaise that day. As Blaise was “on his way” though Addis that day, he was making his way down the muddy back trails of the Bole district of Addis. He struck up a conversation with a man who was just leaning against the walls of his fence. He told the man what he was doing in Ethiopia. The man then invited Blaise to come meet his friend. He then led him to his friends house who was crippled. We were told where Blaise was and were also led to this man’s home. We entered as Blaise was reading from the bible to the crippled man. The crippled man was lying on his bed for that was all he could do. His arms and fingers were curled into a ball. Every limb was crooked. He lay in a fetal position. Whatever the disease that caused this devastation was certainly a cruel illness. We each laid hands on him and Blaise prayed. I would love to report to you, “Silver and gold have I none but such as I have I give to you. Now, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” I would love to report to you that the cripple walk in Jesus name, but not now. Not that trip anyway.
I do see a day coming when the body of Christ will go out into the world in the power of the Holy Spirit and healings will flow. I pray for the day when we are “on our way” through Ethiopia and the lame walk, the deaf hear, the mute speak, and the HIV and the lepers are healed IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST OF NAZARETH. All for the Glory of God, so that all mankind will know and recognize that there is a God and He is the only true God. He is the LIVING GOD. He sent his Son into the world because He so loved the world that all who believe in Jesus will be saved. I pray that “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord will be upon us. That He would anoint us to proclaim good news to the poor. I pray that He sends us to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners. To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve. To bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” Isaiah 61
I want to complete the tasks that lay ahead of us as the body of Christ. I want to be a “finisher” for Jesus. I want to say to this three year old beautiful little girl, “Neuroblastoma tumors be thrown into the sea IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST OF NAZARETH!
THAT IS WHAT I PRAY FOR. THIS IS THE FUTURE I SEE COMING FOR THE BODY OF CHRIST!