2011 Ethiopia Focus Points
As we begin this new year, the Lord has guided us and the Ethiopia Leadership Team to the following focus points. The verse on our hearts is 1 Corinthians 15:58:
So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.
We might be in the third year of a recession here in America, but the Kingdom work continues, and we are still much better off than our brothers and sisters elsewhere. Let us be strong and immovable, focused, diligent....faithful to the work at hand!
1. Bibles... Even as I write this essay, more Ethiopians in southern Ethiopia are memorizing the 9 passages required to earn a free Bible. These Bibles are very precious to them. Thousands have been distributed in the past 5 years, and this year we expect another 1500 to have completed the program. These Bibles are the cost of a Big Mac Meal ($5) for us...pocket change...but for these rural believers, they are unaffordable. Will you help fund $7,000 for this?
2. Persecution Assistance... For the past 6 months, there has been severe persecution of our brothers and sisters. This persecution includes beatings, stabbings, ambush, murder, threats, robberies, and destruction of property. The church in Ethiopia is trying to help their suffering brethren, but inflation has been so strong that each family is struggling already. Here in America, God has seen fit to give us relative calm, but we can easily help fund medical care, restoration of property, repair of vehicles, etc. We have asked God to supply $10,000 this year towards this need.
3. Clinic subsidy and development...We are in year 3 of a 5-year commitment to the rural clinic in Burji. The goal is that the clinic be self-supporting in operating costs, and they are well on their way to that goal. This year we will supplement some of the costs, and we will sponsor development of the pharmacy services through schooling. The estimated cost for this is $5,000.
4. Zobechame church building... We have been waiting for several years for the government in Alaba to approve the building of a church. First a witchdoctor opposed it, then the zoning ordinances changed, then others opposed. Now all approvals have been given, but in the meantime inflation has run rampant. For example, when we were there in July, the cost of gas was 9 birr/liter...now it is 18-20 birr/liter! How would you react if our gas prices were suddenly $6-7/gallon? Inflation has affected everything from food to construction supplies. We are asking God to give the Alaba church through us at least $30,000 towards the building of a church that is very well positioned. The acreage is across from a new hospital and in the middle of a nice Muslim area. Currently the church meets in the open air on the land; if the building is not built soon, the government will likely take away the property. This request is urgent.
5. Misc.... We are estimating about $10,000 is needed for miscellaneous things, like salaries for the evangelists in northern Ethiopia, medical charity, a motorbike for the director of the rural Bible teaching program, etc.
As always, the expenses of any trips and all administrative costs are borne by us, so that 100% of what is given goes to Ethiopia. Checks should be made payable to Bethel Hill Baptist Church, where a designated account is maintained for this work. Mail checks to Becky Lynn Black, Rosewood Farm, 2691 White House Rd., Nelson, VA 24580.
January 24, 2011