Unexpected Worship

I sat at my computer looking over some pictures that were sent to me…and worshiped. Two years ago in November will mark the anniversary of a trip I made to Addis Ababa Ethiopia. I arrived at the gate of Bright Hope School in an area of the country’s capital called “The Leper Colony.” The area was set apart by the city several decades before at the request of some who asked the city for an area for the poorest of the poor and disabled (including those with leprosy) could live apart from the better-off of the city. The Colony was cordoned off and forgotten. We had just visited the Leper home just across the street from Bright Hope School and saw the sick and disabled living in open sewage and kitchens that were more rustic than most campsite fire pits. 

As we walked into the school we were greeted with brightly dressed kids, lots of them (over 2,300), Kindergarten through 6th grade. We met the Principle & Vice Principle who took us to their office where they described the living conditions of the children who attended school there. This is a public school, but the city has forgotten them, so they are under-funded and left to themselves. We were wrecked by what we heard and in shock I asked, “What can we do to help?” The principle began to describe a vision he had to bring water in to the school (2,300 kids attend all-day with no water), then he wanted to build a chicken and agricultural farm to provide food for the kids and teach them a skill that would help them survive on their own. Then they would build a more secure wall around the school, without which the neighbors would come and steal any improvements they made. We loved the vision and impossible thinking. I went home with a dream to share with Harvest. The idea caught on  and we began raising funds and putting together work teams. 35  other Churches around the country heard what we were doing and caught the vision as well and contributed and sent teams. 

Today, I sit at my computer and look at the pictures: Kids covered in abundant, clean water! A crop planted and growing. Chicken Houses built. A security wall surrounding the 13 acre school property. This is worship, to be part of a Church where pure and genuine religion in God’s sight is happening through caring for orphans in their distress (James 1:27).

~ Pastor Tim


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