We are here. Being met by our friends Bisrat, Gecho and Eyob at the airport was the best way to begin our time here in Ethiopia. Within one hour of dropping our bags at the guest house, we were in Korah at a local church which Bisrat started 11 years ago. Korah is one of the poorest communities in the capital city of Addis Ababa. The church Bisrat started is constructed of tin, plastic sheeting and stick wall construction. The floors are dirt. The construction of the church is a reflection of Korah and the poverty there.
We saw women with leprosy and fingers mostly gone due to the disease, women who are blind and many, many children with runny noses, eye infections and wearing cloths we would not use for cleaning rags.
Songs were sung for over an hour and the music was made by their voices, their clapping hands and the beat of one drum.
Abject poverty, yes, faith - unbelievable! Although we did not understand anything that was being said, we all felt the genuine and complete faith and joy in their worship and their love for Jesus.
One of the ministers prayed for their Canadian guests and asked God to bless our time while in Ethiopia. The people of the church were very welcoming and many of the elderly women came and cupped our hands in theirs. Some of the wee children came to the row we were sitting and they shook our hands looking right in to our eyes.
To observe the conditions the people of this congregation worship in, to see some of the obvious challenges they face and yet to also see their joy and their love for Jesus was a Sunday experience I will not soon forget.
Thank you Bisrat for starting this ministry and thank you for sharing your church with us.