Author Archives: truthloveandcoffee

About truthloveandcoffee

I am a friend. I am your neighbor, your sister, or someone at your church. I love to study God’s Word and share it with you. Come here to witness my excited “A-ha!” moments, as well as some pretty mundane stuff. I have a distinct disdain for emotionally driven bible studies, so you won’t see any of that here. Why? ”The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9 ESV) That’s why. We are not taught by Scripture to “follow our hearts” but to follow Jesus Christ. Emotions can be easily manipulated by crafty teachers, and when that happens we forget to look at Bible verses in their proper context. My prayer is that you find the writings here helpful, edifying, and encouraging.

Retreats – A Highly Subjective Review (Part Four-Kill the Alter Ego and Other Stuff)

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Ladies, who is that older Christian woman you admire?  You know the one.  The one who is a picture of grace. The one who has it all together, and not only is it all together, but it’s tied up in a neat little raffia bow with wildflowers in it, and pine cones hot-glued to the center!

The last message at the retreat was a heart question: What if God wants to use me just as I am?  Could I handle that, or do I need to fix God’s work?  Now, this does not mean that I/we don’t have sins and behaviors that need addressing.  What it means is, your alter-ego needs to die.  You know what I mean—that person you pretend to be when you are trying to impress people.  That person mentioned above who is usually a sweet older lady, and in your mind you believe she is perfect, and the most spiritual woman you know.  And so you try to be her and not you when you are around your Christian friends.

It’s completely futile and exhausting.  Stop it.

God gave you a personality, and He’s not necessarily going to change that just because you’re a Christian.  He changes your heart, and He changes your desires, but that doesn’t mean He will change your boldness, your passion for bikes, or your whatever.  Name the personality trait that you think is bothersome to people.  You don’t have to stop being bold, for example, just because you are a Christian now.  What if God put that quality in you so that He could use it for His purposes?  Will you allow Him?

This is a freeing message, and although I am pretty sure I have long ago murdered that phony on the inside of me, it is still a comforting message to hear, and a wonderful reminder that I don’t need to try and resurrect the alter ego.

 

There was a lot of other stuff I liked about this weekend:

One thing I really appreciated was that all women were invited.  Nursing moms with infants, relatives from other towns, and friends from other churches.

The schedule included plenty of free time, including time for shopping, which if you know where I live (small town with nothing but Walmart), you know how important that is.  And a great touch by one of the organizers–she had name tags made for everyone that were laminated, and they included the entire weekend schedule on the back.  These were on lanyards for us when we arrived.  And we got t-shirts and lots of other gifts and prizes!  What woman doesn’t like gifts?  We also had time for hiking, swimming, relaxing, and playing games as well.

But what was the absolute, hands-down, best thing about this retreat?

We had a chef.  Oh, my.  A chef.  Nobody who attended had to cook at any time.  Ever.  And wow, did they feed us like royalty.  If anyone went hungry, it was her own fault.

I hope I get to attend the next one!

 

–TLC

 

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Retreats – A Highly Subjective Review (Part Three-Testimony Time)

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Oh, my.  The testimony we heard on the second night was nothing short of ah-mazing!  No names are used and some details may be changed to protect true identity, and also because my memory is faulty.  You are reading the Extreme Reader’s Digest version, by the way.

What you are about to read is not so much a conversion story, but a life story filled with ups and downs, and ultimately a story that points to the faithfulness of God.

Picture this: A dynamic, sweet looking older woman walks up to the front of the room and tells you she is going to share her testimony.  What immediately goes through your head if you’re like me?  I’m thinking, “Her story is probably really boring, she probably returned a couple of library books late, and had a speeding ticket and then realized she needed Jesus.”

Isn’t that what we all do?  Judge people by who they are now, after God has grown them for many years.  While secretly on the inside, every one of us is saying, “If you only knew me then. If you only knew what I went through to get to this point.”

By the time this woman finished with her testimony, every woman in America could have identified with a part of her story.  Here goes:

As a young girl, her family went to church and had a normal life.  Her father dearly loved her and she always felt safe and secure with him, but he died young.  After he died, her mentally ill mother kicked her to the curb as a young teen.  Her mother didn’t even want her to live with friends, she wanted to see her on the streets suffering, and she never knew why.

She wasn’t able to finish high school, and in order to create distance from her mother, she moved to a new city where she thought a friend was living. She had no money, couldn’t locate the friend, and didn’t know what to do, so she asked her cab driver to take her to an inexpensive hotel.  Turns out this particular hotel was affordable because of the business that went on there in the night time.  She needed the money and so joined the ranks of the call girls at that hotel.  She feared she had hit the bottom, and she tried to commit suicide, but God wouldn’t let her go yet. Her recovery was lengthy.

After that, she got out of that lifestyle and married a nice man.  At least he seemed like a nice man.  Turns out he belonged to the Mob.  Yes, that Mob.

So, one failed marriage behind her, she set out for something new. She went to get a GED at the local college, and aced the test without even taking a class for it. The counselor told her she needed to go to college.

Somewhere along the way she met another seemingly nice man and they married.  She had her first beautiful baby girl, and all was right with the world.  She suddenly understood what unconditional love was about, as she adored this little baby girl.  She grew closer to God during this time, but her husband began to get abusive with her.

She stayed in the marriage and soon he had a debilitating event.  Suddenly he had become disabled and couldn’t work any longer.  He allowed his wife to go to college because she would now have to support the family.  She loved children and wanted to become a child therapist, and so completed her degree in that field.  It was always touch and go in the home, but her husband seemed to be mellowing because of his disability.  He had a reputation all over town as a mean man though.

One day she found out her brother had died and she desperately wanted to go back to her hometown for the funeral.  Her husband told her that her doctor forbade it because she was 8 months pregnant.  She defied him and went to say goodbye to her dear brother.  When she returned home she saw her doctor and he told her he never told her husband she shouldn’t go, but to the contrary he advised she should go.

The couple had their second beautiful daughter not long after that.  Another example of God’s faithfulness, she was a source of joy.

The years went on, long and hard.  Her mother fell ill, and she went to see her.  She got to talk with her and have the assurance that her mother had repented and was now trusting Christ for her salvation.  Her mother died not long after that.

Her husband continued to try to control her, but she was finally in a place where she was able to leave, and she did for a while.  He came to the realization that he needed to change, and he was changed by God as he trusted Christ as his savior. Everyone who knew him before noticed the night and day change in his life.

More years passed.  The mental illness that haunted her mother turned out to be hereditary, and she learned that her oldest daughter had it as well.  She did well on her medications, but didn’t like to take them. She died very young (in her 30’s) from a drug overdose as a result of the illness, and her husband died a few years later. But they were both reconciled to God.

The moral to this story?  Life is hard.  Being a Christian doesn’t make it any easier; bad things still happen.  But God is faithful to the end.

This woman’s testimony (and I know I’ve left out a lot of it, my memory is not what it used to be) produced such fruit!  She was so brave for sharing, and it affected everyone in the room.  We witnessed TRUE broken and contrite hearts, REAL confession and heartfelt prayer.  We strengthened relationships, renewed trust in the Lord to heal us rather than our trying to do it ourselves. So many tears were shed, but none of us would have traded that evening for anything.

 

TLC

Retreats – A Highly Subjective Review (Part Two-Idol Busting)

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Yesterday I was raving about the retreat I attended over the past weekend, and I want to continue that today.

We had a speaker who talked to us about the things in our life that hurt.  I’m talking real hurt here.  Things like sexual abuse, assault, neglect, divorce, and such.  When these things happen, we have guilt, pain, and other emotions we need to resolve.  And we have anger we hold onto over these things—anger that causes us to realize we want to murder.  What does it mean to surrender something like this to God?  And what if I don’t want to?

Sometimes a person begins to allow their pain to define them, and that’s not healthy.  When you realize you have been holding onto your pain because it’s the only thing that comforts you, it’s the first step to letting it go. Right now you’re saying to yourself, “What are you talking about—pain that comforts me?”

You have allowed your pain to comfort you when you create scenarios in your mind that run like movies, and in these movies you exact your revenge.  And it feels good.  When you are unwilling to give up running these revenge movies in your head because they give you an emotional release, you know you’ve made an idol in your heart.

Who is our Comforter?  Who says, “Revenge is mine?”

You know you’ve made your movie into an idol because God wants first position in your heart, and instead you have given your heart to the feeling you get when you run your movie in your head.  It feels good to get revenge.  But a clear conscience feels better.

So, how do we give this up when we’ve been hurt so deeply?

I’m going to tell you what our speaker told us, and I’m also going to confess that I’m not much of a ‘visualization’ person.  I just don’t go for that kind of stuff, because usually when people are talking about visualization they are trying to create something in their minds and they think they can actually create something real, something tangible (like getting a new car), just by thinking about it.  And that’s stupid, and that’s not what I’m talking about here, just so we’re clear.

Remember, this is not a therapy exercise, but an act of faith!!  Here’s what you do:  Picture your hurt.  Make it look like whatever it looks like in your mind – someone’s face, a house, whatever.  But picture it, and then place it in your hands.  Now take your hands and lift them up to God, and place your hurt at the foot of the cross of Christ.  Give it up to Him.  Pray and tell Him you are letting Him deal with it from now on. Now let Him handle it.  Easier said than done, right?

Do this as many times as necessary.  Each time you start playing that movie, make it stop and turn it over to Christ.  A thousand times a day if you have to until that movie becomes boring and stops trying to invade your privacy.

It may sound simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.  And now you’ve got a new weapon in your arsenal to bust those idols!

–TLC

Retreats – A Highly Subjective Review (Part One)

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I think I may have just attended the best women’s retreat ever, but I don’t have anything to compare it to so you’ll have to decide for yourself.  I need to rave about it though.  You see, I have always been highly suspect of women’s retreats and how much makeup and nail polish may or may not be involved in said women’s retreats.

Therefore, the following review segments will be a description of what I really enjoyed about our weekend, and will not include a comparison to any other retreat.  I do, however, reserve the right to compare it to known stereotypes if I so desire.  I have already realized that this review will be far too long for one blog post, so here comes the first of…I don’t know.

First off, I really appreciated both the style and content of the teaching, along with the complete absence of pricey fill-in-the-blank style workbooks.  I dearly appreciated being treated like an adult who can bring a Bible and a notebook, and take notes on the things that strike me as important, forming my own opinions on the heart work God may be doing on the inside.  Of me.

Message number one dealt with the Christian’s propensity to easily become a works-driven people, and especially the Christian woman’s particular bent toward this. It was a wonderful reminder that God doesn’t need us. For anything.  If I completely fail at every appointed task in my lifetime, God would still be God.  That takes a lot of pressure off, doesn’t it?

Performance-based Christianity is a dangerous bird.  We act as though God doesn’t see inside our dark, dark heart.  Like He only sees the show we put on for others.  Like we can fool Him.  The speaker put it this way:

“We attempt to impress God with our performance while
we are shielding our hearts from Him at the same time.”

It’s unfortunate, because there is a better way.  God wants to give me His grace, He doesn’t want my best.  He doesn’t want me to clean myself up and present myself all pretty and clean, doing good deeds in order to make myself acceptable to Him.  God does not need my sacrifice.  He wants my heart. Even the ugly, dirty, angry parts of my heart.  David knew there was nothing he could do (sacrifice) in order to appease God after what he’d done:

 

“O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.

For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”

(Psalm 51:15-17 ESV)

 

There is another danger—if I move from being self-righteous right on over to the other ditch and become self-loathing, I have completely missed the point. Satan wins, because either way I am self-centered.  What happens when I instead surrender myself and those sins (idols) that I hold onto so tightly?  I can finally focus on Christ!  I can allow Him to be my Advocate!

The only real gift I can give to God is my sinful heart.  I surrender it to God at the cross and he accepts that dark, black rock that I have been holding onto like it was a treasure, and He turns it into something that can be seen in the light.

More to come.

–TLC

 

 

Sunday

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I totally admit to being exhausted Sunday morning and skipping church.  What can I say, I caved in to peer pressure.  Only one of us decided to go to church.  So for breakfast we had arranged to meet with Pastor A (I can tell you a little more since there will be no names), who we had met yesterday, to ask again if he needed anything, even though yesterday he said nothing.

We found out he really needs a solid house through Pastor Z, who had been praying with his wife before the conference that Pastor A and his family might be able to get a better roof.  Pastor A lives in a city of about 20,000, but his house is built of sticks and has a plastic roof.  His parents and siblings are okay now with him being a Christian because it’s been 11 years, but others in town are not.  He worries that someone will burn down his house because people walk by and throw lit matches.

It was settled.  We needed to build him a house. We asked how much money it would cost to build Pastor A a cement home with a proper roof that would withstand the rainy seasons and also be a better defense against people throwing fire on his house.  So we started talking about fundraisers and how to logistically get money to this man, perhaps through the ministry.

God always seems to orchestrate things perfectly, doesn’t He?

We were worried that our hotel bill was going to be quite a bit more than we had budgeted, but it turned out to be a misunderstanding.  Our room bills were half of what we were expecting to pay.  All of a sudden all of us had a lot of extra cash on our hands.  Without a word or a thought, we all knew what we would do with our extra money.  We gathered the cash together to pay our hotel bill, then put together the rest we had budgeted and gave it to Pastor A.  Our translator explained to him that this was for his house, and you could see the shock on his face.  It was so wonderful to see the disbelief turn to joy on his face, and to know that his family will be safer soon.  Pastor Z promised to send us pictures because he has email and Pastor A does not.

Pastor Zerugirma and Pastor Awel

If this story has touched you, maybe you could find the funds to send him a small laptop.  We now have a way to send things to him through our contact here in Ethiopia.

What a fruitful trip!  As I write, we are preparing to drive to Addis to catch our flight, but I’m hoping that sometime during a layover I can catch the internet to tell you about our party on Sunday night.  It was a hoot.

Coffee-wallpaper TLC

 

Conference Day Two

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On the second conference day they started 15 minutes early.  Whaaaat?

Something you may not know about Ethiopian culture is that there is almost no such thing as volunteerism.  People don’t do things if they are not getting something in return.  Even this conference is opposite land from America.  In America when you hold a training conference the attendees pay money to go, and they would maybe get some materials for their money, but it usually just pays admission.  In Ethiopia, nobody will come unless you pay them per diem, feed them and give them materials.  Again, it’s just how they roll.

So imagine our delight when Meseret told us that she had given a presentation at her church about Living Hope Ethiopia and what was going to be taught at this conference, and a handful of people came to her and asked her if they could help.  Just because they wanted to.  They took care of all the check-ins each day, handed out the bags, and served everywhere they were needed, whether it was fetching water and coffee, or carrying bags, etc.

Here are some of the wonderful volunteers:

Volunteers

One of the messages today was about the necessity of having a Biblical worldview, and Pastor Samson gave that talk.  He explained that a lot of Africans want to bring their old worldview into their newly found Christianity and how that is not right.  He then went through all of the wrong thinking and taught the right thinking.  I could not understand the words, but he had shared with us beforehand what he was teaching. One of their wrong ways of thinking is that there can be many gods, and another wrong view teaches that ancestors can curse you.

Next was Dr. Seyoum again, and this time he spoke on the homosexual agenda and showed how it is related to the abortion industry.  Each wants their issue to be considered a human rights issue. He played a video that was a news report in English so obviously we could understand that, and it essentially was reporting on him speaking to the government and there being agreement that the homosexual agenda would not be advanced in Ethiopia (currently homosexual behavior is illegal here).  They are very aware that Ethiopia would be the gateway for all of Africa, and if it gained a foothold here, it would surely spread throughout the continent. The news report stated (not sure whose words these were): “Ethiopia will be the burial ground for homosexuality, not the breeding ground.”

We met a pastor who used to be an imam.  Yes, really.  His story is amazing.  I can’t put a lot of details online because he doesn’t want certain things to be public, but ask me or Randy about him sometime.  He is working on translating his bible into the dialect he speaks because there isn’t one available.  One of the amazing things about him is how genuine he is in Christ.  He is one of 13 former Muslims where he lives, and the Muslims are actively trying to destroy him and his church.  He speaks very matter of fact about being under constant threat and he says he will proclaim the gospel until he dies.  When asked about what his needs are, he said none.  The only prayer request he has is for his father to trust in Christ because he is very ill.  He was blown away by the conference.  He had no idea there were people standing up against abortion pushers.

The grand finale was the testimony of the parents who had graduated and their children who were saved from abortion thanks to God allowing Living Hope Ethiopia to become a reality.  Sorry for a dark photo, but that was the only complaint about the whole conference–bad lighting.  Don’t get Mike started.

Graduates

What a great way to wrap up the day.

Oh!  And by the way–all of the pastors that were local decided not to ask for their per diem.

Coffee-wallpaper TLC

Ethiopian Time for the Conference

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Just like we have Mountain Time, where all the guys work when they feel like it, here they have Ethiopian Time, and everybody is on it.

Electricity, water, and phone are not guaranteed, and are certainly not reliable in Ethiopia.  They roll with it.  The internet has only been here for 3 years, and is only allowed in businesses.  No homes have internet.  Time management in Ethiopia is not a ‘thing’ either.  If something is scheduled to begin at 9:00 that means roughly within the hour after 9:00.

So last night, Meseret and Ebise went to get their hair done for today’s event, and while they were at the hair salon the power went out and was out for 45 minutes, so they decided to finish up their hair this morning.

Ebise

However, Mike and Randy needed to be at the hotel where the conference was to be held by 7:00 to set up video and sound.  People were to start arriving for registration at 8:00, and the conference was to begin at 9:00.  These two extremely schedule-minded men learned about Ethiopian time.  Mike and Randy were out in the hotel lobby ready for pickup by Ebise at 6:45 sharp.  Little did they know Ebise was at the salon.  They finally got ahold of her and got to the hotel by about 7:30.  People started filtering in a little after 8:00 and Mike breathed a sigh of relief.  Attendance was about 150 by 10:00.  Relief.

Sound Check Camera

One more hurdle to jump over.  The Keynote Speaker, Dr. Seyoum, called earlier and said he’d be late because he had taken his kids to school and there was a traffic jam, but he would leave Addis soon.  The conference began with introductions and a time of prayer, and then Dinah told her story about how Living Hope got started in Ethiopia.  Abebe spoke for a few minutes and then it was time for a coffee break.  During the break we got word that Dr. Seyoum was here.  Whew!

Dinah speaks, Abebe translatesDr Seyoum

The entire conference is in Amharic, so we can’t really pay attention, but it is electric just being here and seeing the attitude of the attendees.  Dr. Seyoum also had a slide presentation so we could follow along a little bit. One thing I did catch him saying as he read a published document is that the UN is pushing “quality, safe abortion services” which includes training more people who can perform abortions including nurses and midwives.  They consider this a matter of human rights.  Are the babies not human?

He spoke for about 2 hours when the power went out.  He kept speaking without a microphone, and then took questions from attendees off the cuff while we waited for the electricity to come back.  It’s how they roll.

After Dr. Seyoum spoke we had lunch, then it was his wife’s turn to speak. I didn’t understand a word, but her slide presentation was horrific.  The abortion procedure is barbaric, as well as people who deal in the selling of the “products” of abortion.  These products are baby parts.

The last message ended with prayer and a call to repentance, and about 15 people went to the front for counseling, but SO many in the crowd were crying and even wailing at the regret and horror of abortion.

Prayer Prayer2

This first day can definitely be categorized as a success.  Good attendance, good messages, good reception.  People motivated to take this message to others.

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Visiting the Orphanage

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Thursday morning we went with an escort to visit an orphanage—the same one I got to visit in 2011.  It was very nice to see the progress that had been made on the building, however small.  More murals had been painted on the two finished floors, and the upper floors of the building had been finished on the outside, but no windows yet.  Last visit it had 3 unfinished floors that were floors with no walls, so now there are walls up and openings for windows, but no windows yet.

It was really cool to see a photo collage on the wall with children that we know and love!

collage

We visited with 5 younger babies (including a set of twins named Maranatha and Amen!) and 4 toddlers still under 2.  Only one child was not available for adoption, and the rest are placed or waiting for referral with a family in mind.  There is one baby who is HIV positive, and is being adopted, and one who originally tested positive but now is one year old and is free of HIV.

We got to hold most of the babies, and I even got to rock a little one to sleep.  <<<Love>>>

Holding baby

Can’t show his face.

The toddlers have an appropriate “stranger danger” response right now, so we didn’t hold them, but after we had been there a while they would play ball with us.  There was one American there who was taking photos as the other was assessing the development of the children, and he made a sudden move to capture a photo, and one of the toddler boys screamed in terror!  It was actually really funny at the time, but probably doesn’t translate well to words on a screen.  You had to be there.

It is very comforting to know that there are no children at that particular orphanage who have been waiting for many years.  But UNICEF has just announced that all children in orphanages that take their money must turn out all children over the age of 13!!  How is that compassionate?  There is one boy who is almost 15 (at another orphanage) whose mother gave him up because she went to prison. In Ethiopia if a woman goes to prison her children come with her.  So she gave her kids to an orphanage and they waited for many years to find their forever family together but it never happened.  His sister aged out and is on her own now.  She is not able to care for him, so he was forced to go back and live with his mom, who he has not lived with since he was 6. She is out of prison now, but is very poor and cannot provide for him.  He is educated and is well liked among his peers.

If you or anyone you know is looking to adopt a teenage boy and able to fast-track, contact me ASAP.

Be sure and pray for African orphans who are older.  The UNICEF announcement was a surprise, and we don’t know how far-reaching this mandate is, but today there are a lot more young people on the streets than there were last week.

Coffee-wallpaper TLC

 

You Decide

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Ugh.  The internet here has been so spotty the last couple of days, I can’t communicate like I’d like to.  Finally getting connected, I am rushed for time this morning, so I did a little googling (funny how that’s an acceptable verb now) and found a few articles on Okongo Samson and am sharing someone else’s writing instead of my own today.  We were so amazed by the life story we heard from Mr. Samson that it seems difficult to believe.  I promised to give you the gory details, and this first story will certainly deliver:

http://hisforlife.com/2010/12/21/abundant/

So, what is your first impression?  We were amazed at his candor about his struggles with belief and healing, but wondering if he spoke with hyperbole.  We certainly didn’t ask to see scars.  That would be tacky–he exuded genuineness.  Here’s another article about some of his work:

http://hisforlife.com/2011/03/31/what-we-have-is-what-we-give/

And finally, his ministry website:

http://unite4africa.org/

Today we get to go and visit some orphanages.  It’s a good thing it’s difficult and time-consuming to adopt otherwise we may end up coming home with one.

Coffee-wallpaper TLC

 

It’s a Small World

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Monday was a prep day.  We unloaded all of the suitcases that we brought—they were full of goodies for the ladies, babies, and staff at the home.  Everything was sorted through by size for the babies so that it can be stored until it’s needed. We got some diapers for the current babies sorted out, and some put away for future babies.  There was so much other stuff:  pots, lotions, soaps, toothpaste, feminine pads, baby toys, candy, and on and on it goes.

Then came all of the literature for the conference.  Oh, my.  DVD’s had to be packaged, bookmarks stacked after they moved all around in the suitcases, and then a few of us took the glamorous job of folding brochures.  We finished 1,500 of those.  Only 3,500 to go…

Brochures

 Tuesday we started another day finishing sorting the baby clothes and folding more brochures.  It was a lot like Monday.  Until after lunch.

One of the men who is speaking at the conference this weekend came by to introduce a friend of his to the ministry.  They are both named Samson—one’s first name is Samson, and the other’s last name is Samson, so I will differentiate by calling the conference speaker Pastor Samson and the ministry friend Mr. Samson.

Mr. Samson wanted to visit Living Hope Ethiopia because he had heard about it and he ministers to people who have been affected by abortion.  He speaks to huge groups of pastors and asks them how many have aided a woman in getting an abortion.  It never ceases to amaze him at the high percentage of men who raise their hands.  He then teaches them about the realities of abortion, the reality that there is a life inside the mother, not just a ‘blob’ like they are taught.  The presentation is much more involved, of course, but for the sake of time…after he is finished with his talks, he asks the men if they have changed their minds, and they break down.  So many of the men experience true brokenness over what they have done.  They confess and repent, and are sorry they had been bad examples to their families and congregations, and sometimes their wives will confess and repent to having had a secret abortion as well.  He has even been allowed to give his message in Mosques!

Mr. Samson quickly found that he needed a way to counsel these people after they left the conference and went back to their regular lives, and this is what Meseret does for women here,  post-abortive counseling.  So there is a possibility of future training opportunities.

He then proceeded to tell us a lot about his past, and we were completely enthralled for over an hour.

First, the happy, amazing parts:

Mr. Samson is from Kenya, but married an American.  They moved to Arizona, and he still lives in Tucson.  He knows the pastors from the church we used to attend there!  He attends the church that Randy attended in his childhood.  How amazing is that, to go to Ethiopia and meet someone who knows people you know?!!  He knows quite a few people that are friends of Mike and Dinah as well, because of the pro-life connection.  He planned to visit here not knowing that Mike and Dinah would be here visiting too.  God knew.

The awful parts will have to be a cliffhanger, because I’m keeping this post on a happy note.

Tonight was spa night for the girls.  They enjoyed facial masks and a manicure, and lots and lots of laughter.

Beauty Masks Painting Nails

It is so nice to give these girls a little treat after all the heartache and trouble they have had in their young lives.

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about all the trouble and heartache that refined Mr. Samson by fire.

 

Coffee-wallpaper TLC