There is 100% chance of rain and severe thunder storms today. Spring in North Texas can be rough. The younger girls and I will be out in town for routine doctor appointment, so I am not excited about the potential for bad weather today. We are doing what we can to prepare: rain boots, umbrellas, jackets, etc.
As we look forward to the time of remembrance and celebration of Jesus' death and resurrection, our pastor brings the same question each Sunday. Are you willing to follow Jesus, even unto death? This has really been eating at the pit of my stomach. A year ago, I thought following Him to Africa to take in and love one of His children might have felt a little something like following Him unto death. There were so many unknowns. We knew it would be hard and we knew it would demand sacrifice, but there were still so many emotions we could NEVER have been prepared for.
So why now? Why is this question eating at me? It is so easy to feel like we have checked off that box. Look Lord, you said go and we went. Ta-da! Done! I don't think it works that way. You see there was this guy named Paul.... He was CRAZY for the Lord. He never stopped risking it all so that others could know Jesus. He was beaten and imprisoned more than once, but He didn't stop. I'm pretty sure this means I am not done. There is a whole world out there that needs to hear the Good News of Jesus. This is where it starts to freak me out a little. Unreached people groups are unreached for a reason. They are scary/unsafe.
I just read that there are 30 unevangelized people groups in Ethiopia that account for some 25 million people. The number of Somalis that have fled into Ethiopia is around 4.5 million. Ethiopia is about 45% Islamic! Due to the sheer population size of the country, Ethiopia contains more Muslims than Saudi Arabia! This country that I love is not only in desperate need, but about half of them have been deceived. Sharing the Gospel with these people is risky. They hate Christians, but I'm pretty sure Jesus knew that when He said "... a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me." John 16:2-3. But then He still said "GO and make disciples of ALL nations..." (emphasis mine).
We sponsor a child that lives in an Islamic region of Ethiopia. It's a start, but I feel an electricity in the air. It feels like a storm is coming. I have NO idea what my role will be, but I want to be prepared.