Saturday, August 2, 2008

Back in Kenya after Ethiopia

Praise the Lord! Egziabher yimesgin (Amharic)! Bwana Asafiwe (Swahili)! What a joy to be able to reconnect with you all! I have missed you and the opportunity to share with you the things that God is doing. I just returned to Kenya last night after spending the past two weeks in Ethiopia. For some reason, I could not access blogspot from any of the places that we were in Ethiopia. Many thanks to my friend Stephanie for making a post for me.

What a busy two weeks it was! The first week we spent in a small city called Nazareth, maybe you’ve heard of it. Ok, it’s a different Nazareth than where Jesus grew up, but it was still really cool for me to be teaching in Nazareth, Ethiopia. Truly, there are some very good things coming out of Nazareth. Rev trained 16 pastors to train local, lay church-planters, and I had the very unique privilege of training their wives. It was a great opportunity and a very unique set-up to be able to interact with pastors and their wives at the same time!

The women were incredible to get to know, and powerful prayer warriors! Seriously, have you ever heard prayer time that absolutely sounded like a battle cry? These women were ready for war, and when they stood and spoke with all the power and authority of the Holy Spirit in them, I know beyond all doubt that the prince of this world was not only furious, but scared. Seriously, y’all, power.

There was really fantastic feedback from both the pastors and the wives when the training was finished, and some very exciting actions plans of how it will all be used, so we are lifting them up before the Lord to see what He will do with it all.

We then traveled back to Addis Ababa so that I could do another training session for women. This was incredible training time that started out with 25 women and ended with 30 ladies fired up to return to their areas of ministry. For me, this was particularly exciting because all of the ladies came from very different regions around Ethiopia, and worked in more rural areas. Several of the ladies are from strongly Islamic regions, and several others are from areas that are engrossed in traditional cultures, such as witchcraft, adolescent (or younger) arranged marriages, prostitution, and much, much more. As I sat with the women and talked with them about the issues that they face on a regular basis, my heart was broken all over the floor. To hear the ladies say that rape was one of the biggest issues in their communities was just so sad. According to them, it is more common than not. Prostitution was the next most common issue. I can testify to this one, as my husband was approached several times during our short two weeks in Ethiopia by prostitutes. We stayed at a guesthouse one night, only to discover that it was more of a one-hour type of place rather than an all-night-rest-for-the-family kind of place. There was much activity all night long.

The Coptic Church is the overwhelming majority in Ethiopia (~50%), and have imposed a generous amount of persecution for the growing evangelical churches. Islam is the second largest religion in Ethiopia (~40%), and the Evangelical Church is around 5-7%, according to the people we spoke with. The Church is standing strong, though, and not only soaking up the trainings and discipleship that is offered to them, but they are very quick to put it into action. The majority of the pastors that we met with were all very young and shepherding very large flocks. For the most part, though, what we saw was such a humble spirit of simply wanting to know God, and know more of Him. For a country that is recuperating from many years of communist rule that disallowed the church altogether, we saw a strong, emerging Church, concerned to address the welfare and issues of the local communities, desiring to see the people fed (spiritually and physically) and grown.

In your conversations with our Lord, please lift up the country of Ethiopia. They have some very serious hurdles ahead, that truly are impossible without the divine intervention of Jesus Christ. The good thing, though, is that we know that all things are possible for him who believes in Jesus.

There are other adventures that I will share with you, and some huge lessons that God was teaching me in that time that I would love to share with you, but I will start with this so that you know that we are alive and well. Grace and peace to you!! Love you!


  1. Great to hear the update Shauna... Alex had also sent a brief e-mail about Bridges for Women in Ethiopia. Exciting times!

    Praying for you as you continued to travel.



  2. Wow, it sounds like you had an amazing trip to Ethiopia Shauna. Thank you for telling us all about it. I will definitely put this on my prayer list. Glad to hear that you are all well!

    April :0)

  3. Thanks for the update and the exciting news about you and the Rev and your presentations. What you have seen and witnessed is also a testimony to how alive and well Satan is there as well as everywhere in this world. But, that is why he has you there. Praise God for what you guys are doing with Christ at your side.

    Randy & Nancy


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