January 12, 2014 – Addis Abba

A note from Ethiopia:
I trust all are well.  I am thankful to be staying in good health.  As usual, I am busy most every day with teaching, as I continue to work here in Addis and in other places.
Part of this week was spent in Debre Zeit, a smaller, resort city, some 35 miles south of Addis.  My trusted friend Elias arrived early at my guesthouse. From there we made our way out of a slumbering Addis, past Kality (a huge bus, taxi area), through Dukem (an area known for its good raw beef), and then into DZ.  After an early breakfast, Elias dropped me at the school where some 40 preachers had gathered (actually they came on Sunday night).  It was good to see  old friends and good to make new ones.  One preacher, Meluku, I met on my first visit to Ethiopia in 2001.  I lost track of him; it was good to know that he is still faithfully preaching (he also has a job with an NGO).
       David Curry and Mickey Otwell are in Ethiopia to teach for 2 weeks.  They were delayed coming from Addis (they didn’t leave as early as Elias and I did). So, I taught the first 2 classes, bringing lessons from Psalm 119 and Ephesians 4.  As always there were spirited questions and friendly exchanges.  When David and Mickey arrived, I turned the reins over to them.  I was able to hear both men teach some lessons; they are really gifted; having been in Ethiopia before, they were quite adept at having their lessons translated, etc.  It is always good to see folks from the USA.
     I have made plans to travel to Adama/Nazaret (a city of nearly 1 million, located 100k south of Addis).  I will go next week and work with Maru and the church that meets in his house.  The church in Nazaret has a checkered history; I think now, though, that a good effort is being made to teach and ground those who are a part of this new work.  There is another congregation in the infant stage in Nazaret; a quite capable brother, Mesfin,  is working to establish this group.  He has asked that I come whenever possible.
The week of the 24th will see David Holder and Pat Underwood come to Ethiopia.  These are two are dear friends; too, they are greatly loved by all here in Ethiopia.  I will work with them some in the Hosanna area.  On my way to the Hidaya region, I have made plans to stop and teach for most of a day at Ziway, a city on the way to Hosanna.  Maru has been working in Ziway to establish a church there.  Some of these folks have used and benefited from Ferrell Jenkin’s The Early Church (translated of course into Amharic).  I have wanted to visit this group in Ziway, having met some of these folks before in Nazaret.
So, the gospel goes forth.  I am blessed to have a small part in this great work.  I understand perfectly well that many of you reading these words are making my work possible.  For that I thank you.
More later.  Greetings to all who might like to hear from me.  Randy Harshbarger