Soddo Special Delivery    From Dr. Mark and Allison Karnes

This fall we will be supporting a new student in school.  Deborah has been attending my Bible study on Thursdays for about four months.  She is a very outgoing young lady with a quick smile.  On Thursday afternoon she invited Demakech and I to come to her house to meet her family.

Promptly at 3:00 she arrived at my house and we headed out the back gate.  We walked up a steep dirt road near the prison and continued climbing along a heavily rutted mud pathway.  After about 15 minutes of walking we turned left and entered her compound.  The tiny garden was ready for harvest with tall tasseled corn and various vegetables. She lives in a three room rented mud house. The floors are also packed mud. The house was so modest.  There was one bed in the main room and also a table and a few chairs.  They had one light bulb hanging from the ceiling but they informed me that there is not enough power for the bulb to brighten the dim room.  There is just enough power to charge their cell phones.  In Africa people may live in the very poorest conditions but they almost all have cell phones. The sitting room had recently been freshly ‘papered’ with crisp newspaper.  As I sat chatting with the family and waiting for the coffee to roast I could read the various newspapers attached to the wall. They all seemed to be in English!   Deborah had told me that her mother had a gift of prophesy and worked in the church.  Deborah also has a prophetic gifting and has spoken some very uplifting and encouraging words over me.  Addis, her mother, radiated Jesus.  She looked so young to be the mother of a college student and high school children.  She smiled continuously as we chatted, even as she unraveled her life story. 

L-R: Deborah and her family.  Deborah preparing coffee.  The family outside their home.  Deborah pouring coffee and roasting corn.  Deborah posing!  Deborah and her mother, Addis

L-R: Deborah and her family. Deborah preparing coffee. The family outside their home. Deborah pouring coffee and roasting corn. Deborah posing! Deborah and her mother, Addis

In Ethiopia, life stories are like an onion.  They peel off layer by layer.  By asking questions and being patient you sometimes hear the entire story but often what comes out is just the shell.  Many times they tell me just what they think I need to hear.  As her story trickled out I knew there had to be so much more.

Addis was raised in the countryside.  Her parents were poor and they were definitely not believers in Jesus.  Her entire family were nonbelievers.  God, however, was calling her name.  One day she wandered into a church service and accepted Christ as her savior.  Her world would never be the same.  Her parents were angry that she had become a Christian.  Her father‘s anger boiled over and he schemed with another man to have his daughter kidnapped and raped so that she would become his wife.  This is an all too common occurrence in rural Ethiopia.  The government definitely frowns against it and there are laws in place to protect the women, but unfortunately it still happens.  Just today Mark had a patient in the clinic w ho had been forcibly raped two weeks ago so that she would have to become that man’s wife.  She fled the situation but oftentimes the girls are trapped in poverty and tribal prejudices as Addis was.  Addis bore this man three children before she finally left the ‘arranged marriage.’

She never stopped sharing Jesus.  She came to Soddo and attended a church Bible school.  She proudly displayed her certificate of completion to me. Her prayer life is strong and she hears from God on a regular basis.  I asked her how she manages to have quiet time with God when there are always so many people around.  She said she waits until they all go to school and then goes into a room where she can be alone with God and pray. Currently she spends three mornings a week at the government hospital ministering and praying for the patients.   

I never cease to marvel how Ethiopians manage on so little money.  I know they must have ways of creating income that I am unaware of.  They have to, for their expenses always exceed their salary.  She receives a little stipend for her work at the hospital from an Ethiopian surgeon’s wife who was impressed with her ministry. It amounts to $26.00. Her children are clever and they obviously adore their mother.  Once again I was reminded about what is really important; the love of God, the love for God and a family obviously in love with each other.

Goofing off with Deborah in her front yard.

Goofing off with Deborah in her front yard.

One Response to “The Important Things”

  1. Timothy Allen Monroe says:

    That is very inspiring and encouraging about Deborah and her willingness to share the Message of Christ Jesus with other people in Ethiopia. As; always Rebecca and I are keeping Mark and Allison Karnes in our prayers and thank God for your hearts for those in Ethiopia and sharing the Gospel of Christ.

    Timothy and Rebecca Monroe.

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