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interpreted first from English into
Amharic, the official Ethiopian language,
and then from Amharic into the lan-
guage of the Selale.
On the way into Kuyou, we had
stopped briefly to view the new property
on the edge of town, given to the Harvest
Church by the municipality after some of
us had met with the town’s mayor in late
April in support of the long-standing
request by the church. The plot of two
and a half acres had already been fenced
in, and we were told that the improve-
ments on it will start before the end of
the year. First a water well is to be dug
and then a simple kindergarten building
At the baptismal service
constructed. The well is financed by a
donation from South Carolina and the
kindergarten building by gifts from
people with their handmade drums slung the humble dwelling, like the floor of the Church of God congregations in New
around their sides. A group of 35 new church before, was covered with freshly York and Texas. The local government
converts was ready to be baptized. After a cut grass. The faces of the believers indicated to Overseer Tsige that an equal-
happy time of greeting and an earnest showed their joy and gratitude for this ly large, adjoining piece of property
prayer of committal, we all posed for a extraordinary day. The baptism of the would likely be given to the church once
picture in front of the church and then new converts, the visit by us from afar, they start with the buildings. As funds
headed down through the countryside to and the fellowship with believers from the become available, the Harvest Church
a little creek and watering pond for the other congregations had made it a very hopes to develop the Kuyou property
baptizing. It was a joyous parade, though good day for them . . . and for us too. into a multipurpose ministry and training
guarded by two men from the militia We could stay only for a short time center for the Selale region and for plant-
with guns at the ready. The church had because back in Kuyou another assembly ing churches among yet other people
asked for their presence because at an ear- of Church of God believers was waiting groups in the northern parts of Ethiopia.
lier baptism a riot had broken out and For me, one of the most inspiring
stones had been thrown. moments of our visit with the young
But on this beautiful late afternoon, Selale churches was to meet the young
we sensed no threat or animosity. Out lady from the Darodanisa Church who
there under the azure sky, surrounded by was the first person in town to open her
fields of grain and yellow flowering heart to the Gospel. Some now affection-
oilseed, we rather rejoiced in knowing ately call her “Lydia.” What a joy to
ourselves in the presence of God. Every- watch her worship Jesus, surrounded by
one seemed to be happy, including the young people and children looking up to
men from the militia in their camouflage
Overseer Hiruy Tsige and his wife
her and eager to follow her example.
outfits. Two local pastors did the baptiz- On our long drive back to Addis
ing, and because of the joy of the for us to minister in an open-air service. Ababa through the cold, starlit night, I
moment, several additional individuals When we got there, a couple hundred gratefully reflected on God’s grace and
spontaneously decided to be baptized as people sat on the ground in the yard of the many believers who with their gifts
well. People from the village who had the small building they rent for a church. enable us as a church to reach out and
tagged along and farmers from the near- This being high country, the air turned minister in His love to the people of
by fields watched from a distance but noticeably cool as the sun went down, Ethiopia.
with much interest. and people wrapped themselves more
After the march back to the village, tightly in their traditional white cotton Heinrich C. Scherz, former managing editor
accompanied by singing and drumming, shawls. But neither did their fervor in of the Evangel, missionary, and president of
we briefly stopped for some refreshments worship cool nor their attentiveness lag the European Bible Seminary, now resides in
at one of the elders’ homes. The floor of as Roland Vaughan preached to them, Anderson, South Carolina.
EVANGEL • APR 2009 23
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