The first time I saw him, I was drawn to him.
Though I had only been in this country for a few hours, and had no experience with its customs, even I could readily see his Spirit-borne purpose. His demeanor was easy and joyful. He was earnest and peaceful at worship, and even more so with everyone that he met.
From the first time that I saw him, I can honestly say that I thanked the Lord for him.
That was two years ago.
Since then, Orano has been in all three of the groups that I have taught. He has served me as an interpreter in many of those class days.
And I am grateful, in God’s providence, that a friendship has grown between us.
I spoke with him for a while before class this morning. Rather casually, I asked him how his evening was, and what he had done last night.
“Well, I went to teach the Kingdom curriculum with a family here in Awassa last night, and then I went to preach in a church.”
I was stunned.
You see, we are in class from 9 to 5 each day this week. This is a significant commitment for the students, especially since they had homework Monday night - to create an outline of the entire book of Galatians for Tuesday morning; and then they had a 10-minute presentation of an assigned passage due today (Thursday).
But in addition to these things, Orano is spending each night this week, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m., teaching the curriculum that he helped to write, to a pastor and his family of six.
Then, last night, he also went to a church here in town, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., where he had been invited to come and share a message.
Most of us go home at the end of the day pretty tired, having spent the day studying and wrestling together.
He leaves from our teaching site - where he’s usually also been translating back-and-forth all day - and his ministry day is really just getting going.
The best part of it all? He was joyful again this morning, and had I not specifically asked, I would not have known anything of these labors.
In the end, I was humbled to think of the way that many of these students are willingly making sacrifices, just like Orano. And I’m supremely grateful for the daily and weekly sacrifices that are made by many of you; to tirelessly serve your families, to serve the Lord at work, and to seek the Lord in your daily lives.
The grace of God does not simply make us driven, bitter-hard workers. The grace of God changes our soul, so that our work becomes a source and a chance for our joy.
Oh yeah. And did I mention that he did a really nice job on his presentation this morning?
In the comment section tell us which relationships you are grateful for, that the Lord has provided in His providence!
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The One to One Soul Care Conference will be held at MCC November 9-10. Are you interested in biblical counseling? Do you feel you want some training on how to walk with a brother or sister in their dark seasons? Please join us! Click here to register at or contact Elizabeth for more information.
Please note - the Sponsorship Training for the Wood Ministry will be rescheduled for a later date. Please contact Don & Ann Moore with questions.
Pull out your mixers and aprons! SHINE is looking for people who can donate cakes, or other desserts, for A. Montoya’s Fall Festival! Cakes can be dropped off at the church foyer Friday, October 26 between 9:00 am - 3:00 pm. Questions? Click here to sign up to bring a cake!MCC is gearing up for the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child Shoebox drive! The mission of OCC is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Last year MCC collected 230 shoe boxes to be gifted to children around the world! Boxes will be available this Sunday, October 21st, in the foyer and the final drop-off date is November 11th! It is a great time to start gathering items to bless children around the world!
Shine also has a unique food pantry at A. Montoya! Kids often go to bed without dinner, come to school too late for breakfast, and aren't sure if there will be dinner that night. We have been asked to create a small food pantry at the school that would contain items like tuna packets, apples, macaroni and cheese, Ensure or Boost, peanut butter crackers, nuts, and the like. The children could keep these items in their backpacks so that they would always have something to keep them going. We are working on putting together a list of items, including gluten-free ones, that we would like to stock the pantry with. Please pray about whether you would like to donate items or money to help keep the pantry stocked year-round!