Saturday, June 30

Concerning HIS Church


May his name endure forever;
May his name increase as long as the sun shines;
And let men bless themselves by him;
Let all nations call him blessed.
Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel,
Who alone works wonders.
And blessed be His glorious name forever;
And may the whole earth be filled with His glory
Amen, and Amen. Psalm 72:17-19


Hail to the Lord’s anointed, great David’s greater Son!
Hail in the time appointed, His reign on earth begun!
He comes to break oppression, to set the captive free;
To take away transgression and rule in equity.

He comes in succor speedy to those who suffer wrong;
To help the poor and needy, and bid the weak be strong;
To give them songs for sighing, their darkness turn to light,
Whose souls, condemned and dying, were precious in His sight.

By such shall He be fearèd while sun and moon endure;
Beloved, obeyed, reverèd; for He shall judge the poor
Through changing generations, with justice, mercy, truth,
While stars maintain their stations, or moons renew their youth.

He shall come down like showers upon the fruitful earth;
Love, joy, and hope, like flowers, spring in His path to birth.
Before Him, on the mountains, shall peace, the herald, go,
And righteousness, in fountains, from hill to valley flow.

Arabia’s desert ranger to Him shall bow the knee;
The Ethiopian stranger His glory come to see;
With offerings of devotion ships from the isles shall meet,
To pour the wealth of oceans in tribute at His feet.

Kings shall fall down before Him, and gold and incense bring;
All nations shall adore Him, His praise all people sing;
For He shall have dominion o’er river, sea and shore,
Far as the eagle’s pinion or dove’s light wing can soar.

For Him shall prayer unceasing and daily vows ascend;
His kingdom still increasing, a kingdom without end:
The mountain dews shall nourish a seed in weakness sown,
Whose fruit shall spread and flourish and shake like Lebanon.

O’er every foe victorious, He on His throne shall rest;
From age to age more glorious, all blessing and all blest.
The tide of time shall never His covenant remove;
His Name shall stand forever, His Name to us is Love.
J. Montgomery

Friday, June 29

Prayer Update Added to Sidebar...

However, I will post them here as well each time they are updated for you RSS dependent folks.

* Saturday Night Bible Study - The Pursuit of Holiness, Jerry Bridges

* Training of the AK Church(es)

* Ben & Pipo - Wedding July 8

* Dina - Orthodox Neighbor, 17 year old girl

Addis Kidan and Us

As those of you who have followed our work here this time will recall, most of our effort has been with the Addis Kidan Church(es). We are so grateful to God for this opportunity and prayerful that we have/will use the occasion for an eternally valuable work. As a result of our prior dealings with the church, I requested to attend the monthly board meeting in May in order to make a proposal concerning a more intentional working affiliation.
In this proposal, I put forward our convictions, expectations, and purpose concerning ministry in and through the local church, (which is summarized in the previous post). Also included in the proposal were various specific areas that are lacking and must be a focus if the churches are to be pleasing to God. I discussed how me might go about bringing the needed reform in the existing churches and what must be changed foundationally in order to plant churches in the future that match the biblical description of Christ’s bride. We agreed that through teaching and preaching (the bible), along with patience (yet real expectation), and love (towards God and His people), God will honor His word and raise up churches that accurately portray Him to the world.
The board, which is made up of several leaders from the denomination, held further discussions following my proposal and I attended a follow up meeting the fourth Saturday in June. They were unanimous in their decision that we should/could have liberty within the church(es) to teach and preach and train the ministers along with the people. We have essentially been doing this already, but now we have the green light to continue and to be more deliberate in our efforts. We will spend the coming days attempting to detail, to some degree at least, how we might proceed in this endeavor.
PTI is well underway and will continue in late September or early October with round three of at least eight. But the training within the existing churches must be tantamount to the training of new ministers, therefore it is essential that we devise a method to get the ministers of the existing church(es) grounded in the bible, rooted in Christ, and embedded deep into a commitment to the Glory of God in His church(es).

Thursday, June 28

Our Work

Due to our strong conviction that the (local) church is the primary way of God displaying His glory and His grace to the nations, we expect and hope/pray that churches will be established and/or reformed in order that they will accurately reflect the character of God. Therefore, our primary purpose of service is to cultivate and encourage churches in these crucial (yet not exhaustive) areas:

1. Theology Proper
2. The Gospel
3. Salvation
4. Preaching
5. Prayer
6. Evangelism
7. Church Issues (membership, government, discipline)
8. Discipleship

Based on these areas and where the church stands right now…
Change is necessary.

So, we have given ourselves to preaching, teaching, and training in the local churches. Our chief work is with the Addis Kidan (AK) denomination. They are about 65 churches and 12K members after 26 years of existence. There are many strong foundational points to begin with inside the AK church, and we hope to build on these areas.

Some of the ways we are working:

• Pastor’s Training Institute (PTI)
o 2 year training program covering systematic & biblical theology along with all relevant culturally issues and practical instruction
o Currently 75 ministers enrolled from local churches throughout the country
o Upon completion and clear biblical qualifications the men will be sent to ‘un-reached’ villages/areas to begin a new gospel work with hopes that God will plant a church there

• Antsokia (Antioch)
o Ongoing training and guidance to existing churches with a focus on the leadership of the church (i.e. elders and evangelists)
o Seminars ranging from one day to one week dealing with pertinent issues in the life of the church and it’s members

5 Comments and a Few Emails Too!

Well, if we beg for feedback then we get a bit, huh?

It appears that the way we will proceed from here is to go ahead with the 'Prayer Update', but in a different fashion that previously planned. There is evidently a consensus on placing the 'update' within the main posting section, primarily because many of you, like me, are using Google Reader (GR) to track your daily web sites and blogs.

So, because you have commented concerning this and many of you have asked for it in one way or another...

Watch close (those of you without GR) in the coming days for our first Prayer Post, and an update on some pertinent ministry issues!

Thanks again. And do pray, please.

Wednesday, June 27

Feedback requested

We are considering adding an item to the sidebar that will link you all directly to a daily/weekly list of things we are praying for and items that we are requesting prayer for. In addition to this, we could list pertinent needs for those of you who ask frequently and then you would always know.

So, what do you think? You can comment here or just email me.

Please do let us hear from you! There are about 200 of you reading this, so 2 or 3 comments will just not be sufficient. Tell us the pros, the cons, or other ideas that you have.

Notice the "Prayer Update" link on the top right. It will let you know how it will work.

Thanks so much.

Saturday, June 23

A Much 'kneeded' Update

Well I have done an absolute horrific job of keeping you all informed about life here in Ethiopia. But nonetheless I will offer an update for you all who are aware that one year ago I underwent ACL reconstruction. It is a real blessing to be able to say that I feel as if I am extremely close to the 100% point in my right knee. I am running 4km, riding 15km on a bike, & climbing 160 flights of stairs, and doing each of these twice week. We are praising God still one year after His provision for the surgery and the success He has granted in it.

Tuesday, June 12

Thoughts about PTI...round 2

are available at this link.

Monday, June 11


Three years ago this morning we met Ellie for the first time. She is a blessing, and we praise God for giving her to us.