Monday, June 27, 2016

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Enough to Eat

Meet Olana.  He is married to Tadelu and they have two beautiful daughters still living at home with them, Mabirat and Obse.

Olana rounded up some of his neighbors to help him build a little one room house made of sticks and mud for his family to live in, way out in the Western part of Ethiopia near Dembidollo.

Olana has dangerously high blood pressure which means he often cannot work and is in and out of the hospital.   The effects of many years of malnutrition have left Tadelu very weak.  Thankfully, the girls are going to school - Mabirat is 18 years old in the 9th grade and Obse is 14 and attends 7th grade.  These two walk a great distance each day to get water from the river as their house has no running water - or electricity for that matter.  

We are seeking a sponsor for this family, assuring them of enough food to eat each day.  Imagine that... only $50/month to meet this most basic of needs.  Your help will be received with so much gratitude!

To sponsor Olana and Tadelu, or another family in similar need, please visit our website here. THANK YOU for partnering with us in feeding the poor!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Relationships Build Churches

by Joy Casey
Mission 1:27 supports indigenous, same-culture missionaries in thirteen villages throughout Ethiopia. The men serving come from M*slim backgrounds and are tireless in sharing the good news. The villages are patriarchal tribal communities and family and community relationships are highly valued. The villages have no books or libraries, no internet, few cell phones, no electricity and no place to go, so social outlets involve each other.
Jesus framed the first mission very simply… “The one who receives you receives Me.” It was more critical that His messengers were received than believed. The gospel has always been more than a message; it is an introduction to life under Christ’s lordship. When His messengers have connected with others in significant relationships, Christ can be introduced in powerful ways. (Perspectives)

Because we are working in tribal societies, the key to sharing the gospel is forging personal relationships. Same-culture missionaries purposefully move to a village where Christianity has never been presented in truth and love and where less than 1% of the population are Christ-followers. Several villages boasted zero Christ-followers until the missionary moved there. They begin integrating their families into village life by inviting neighbors over for traditional coffee ceremony and helping neighbors with projects. The women visit and lend a hand with chores such as hauling water. They build friendships by sharing in the day-to-day life of procuring and preparing food and caring for children.

The evangelist will find a person of peace and, after building a friendship relationship, will begin talking to him about what the Q*ran says about Isa. A dialogue using the familiar Q*ranic “voice” breaks down barriers and biblical truth can then be sensitively introduced. If the person of peace is an influential man in the community, it is doubly good if he accepts Christ. Because of the group mentality of the people, a leader can impact his family and neighbors and can more easily win over groups of people.

When someone shows interest in learning more about Jesus, there are several booklets available to confirm initial conversations and to give more in-depth information. One is a discipleship book called Following Jesus and the others explain the origins and contradictions of the M*slim religion and M*hammad along with a testimony of a M*slim man who came to Christ. There is also the Jesus film available in their language, and battery-run projectors can be made available to show the film, which is very effective. Because illiteracy runs high, solar-powered audio bibles are available in every church plant and can be listened to individually with ear buds or groups can hear God’s word spoken through the amazingly good speakers.

When a person or a family group comes to know the Lord, personal discipleship is essential. The evangelist initiates prayer times and holds Bible studies for all the new Christians and has the great privilege of baptizing them in a nearby lake. In the smaller villages, converts meet in each other’s homes until they outgrow the available room. In M*slim-dominated areas the recent climate has become much more intolerant of allowing Christian churches to be built anywhere. To solve this problem, converts in the outlying areas are donating their own land as a place to build a center for worship when they outgrow the house church. Leaders from the converts are selected for special teaching and taught strategies to reach their people. The results are spectacular in some settings and agonizingly slow in others. When it is impossible to create a central worship center, house churches begat house churches and the church is multiplied in this way. It is not ideal, though, because corporate worship and Bible teaching is effective in this culture to build community and also to offer group encouragement when converts are initially ostracized or experience overt persecution. However, the new Christ-followers remain in their village and eventually find acceptance as before.

In a few days I leave for Ethiopia and will be visiting many of the church plants. I am especially eager to visit one town where 250 villagers have decided to follow Jesus and two generous donors have provided for a church to be built. In another area, family groups are coming to the Lord and they are receiving in-depth instruction for one week followed by baptism. They are then sent back to their homes with Jesus’ instructions, “Make disciples.” We are hoping to experience spontaneous multiplication of churches as these individuals reach out to their extended family and neighbors. We are working in areas where we are wonderfully over our head and anything that is accomplished for the kingdom is because of the Holy Spirit in partnership with obedient people. It is an exciting time!

If you would like to help us in reaching many more people with the Truth of the Jesus Christ, you can donate to support his work here.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Melkam Fasika!

Today is Easter Sunday in Ethiopia - called Fasika in Amharic -  celebrating the day Jesus Christ rose from the dead.  During the 56 days of Lent in Ethiopia, Orthodox Christians don't eat or buy any animal products. On Palm Sunday, people wear head bands and rings made of palm leaves with crosses marked on them.

The first Easter Orthodox church service actually starts at 8.00pm on Easter Saturday night and lasts until 3.00 am on Easter Sunday morning! Most people go to the whole service and wear their best clothes. These are often white and are called 'Yabesha Libs'.

After Easter services in all Christian churches, people go back to their homes for a breakfast to celebrate the end of Lent with a bread or dabo. It is traditional that the bread is cut by a priest or by the head man in the family.

The main Easter meal is eaten in the afternoon. The meal normally consists of injera and, for those who can afford it, it is eaten with a mutton or lamb stew called 'beg wot'.
Ethiopia 2008 Lindsey 434

We know that our staff in Ethiopia are celebrating Christ’s resurrection on this Sunday and we wish them and you a very blessed Resurrection Day!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The 'John Deere' of Dembidollo

Originally posted November 2014

Dembidollo is a rural area in Ethiopia where most people make a living by farming or raising livestock. Three very poor families were given a pair of oxen to cultivate their land, resulting in successful harvests that have set them on the path of self-sufficiency.


dd-0031 (2)Mikiyas, his brother, two sisters plus two children live together in one room on a lush piece of property in the countryside that they could not farm because they did not have oxen. Their poverty was deep. The walls of their house were just sticks that let in the wind and the rain, and they all slept under tarps on the dirt floor. Mikiyas and his brother wanted desperately to improve their situation and provide for their sisters, niece and nephew but their earning power was low and without oxen, their property was worthless.


A year-and-a-half ago the couple who “adopted” this family raised $700 to buy a pair of oxen, the yoke, and hand plow so the brothers could cultivate their land. Gratefully, they worked hard planting maize (corn), sorghum, barley and onions. The men also plowed their neighbor’s land, sharing 50/50  in that harvest. Their trusty oxen plowed seven acres, and the profit from the first harvest allowed them to mud the walls of their house and replace the broken door, but most profit went back into their second planting. After harvest in 2014, their profits were ensured and they no longer needed monthly help from Mission 1:27.


DD-0053 C Debela was one of Etana’s 10 children who, for awhile, was farmed out as a servant because his father did not have enough food for his large family. After Etana’s family was identified for help through Mission 1:27, Debela was reunited with his family, but school was out of reach for the eight school-aged children. Etana’s family lives quite a distance from Dembidollo town in a beautiful valley on a fertile piece of property, but Etana had no way to plow it. He had a few sheep that he sold for a little profit, but without the supplement of monthly food that M1:27 gave him, his large family would be hungry most of the time.

It was a gift almost beyond Etana’s comprehension when their sponsor offered to buy him the equivalent of a John Deere: a set of oxen. As is often done in Ethiopia, Etana cultivated his land and also a neighbor’s property to share 50/50 in that harvest. He planted maize, sorghum, wheat, teff and chickpeas. After the first harvest Etana bought a pregnant cow and the eight older children were enrolled in school. After a successful second harvest, it was determined that his family no longer needed outside help. The boost of oxen was just what was needed to set this hard-working man on his feet to proudly provide for his family.


dd-0064Galalcha and Sanaye have three children, and their son, Fedesa, is a strong young man who, with the help of his mother, has the responsibility of doing the hard labor required to be a farmer in Ethiopia. Galalcha is a personable older man who has been significantly weakened with leprosy. Before Galalcha contracted leprosy, he was a laboratory technician in a hospital and through his good salary bought a nice piece of property. However, life after leprosy has not been easy for him or his family.

Eighteen months ago, Galalcha’s family received a set of oxen, a gift from their Mission 1:27 sponsor. Fedesa was ecstatic and promised to work hard to farm their property.  He made plans to hire his oxen out to plow neighboring property as well. The farm has produced brilliantly under the competent hard work of Fedesa and Sanaye. The daughters are going to school and they now have a milk cow. We join Galalcha and his family in rejoicing over the amazing provision of oxen that has made the difference between dependency and self-sufficiency.

Read more stories of people like these - families who someone just like you invested in and who are now operating successful businesses - on our website here!  

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Out of the King’s Storehouse

by Joy Casey

How sweet are your words to my taste,
Sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Psalm 119:103

There are a lot of good people in the world and I think I have been ultra-blessed to have a lion’s share of them in my life. Nice people. Kind people. Thoughtful people.
Bob-and-Pat WarrenThen there is a smaller sub-category of good people whose lives focus on Kingdom work and everything about them reflects a worldview that God is in charge, God is our provider, and God receives all glory. Bob Warren and his wife Pat are a couple that shine as an example of people in this category.

Bob’s organization is called The King’s Storehouse and his focus is God’s Word and clean water. He provides high quality solar-powered personal audio Bibles in many different languages to Christian organizations who will get them out to indigenous churches and pastors.
For years, Bob has provided Mission 1:27 with audio Bibles in the Orominya and Amharic languages. I have 20 sitting in my office right now that will go to Ethiopia with a team next month. These precious tools are used in places where illiteracy is high or it is dangerous to carry around a bible. The audio bibles look like an iPod or some other innocuous device with ear buds. Our goal is to have one or two audio bibles available in all the new church plants so anyone can come to the church and listen to God’s word whenever they can. I cannot overstate what an invaluable tool these solar powered Bibles are!

sawyer 1
The King’s Storehouse has also provided us with Sawyer Point One water filters that are effective, portable, and easy to put together and to keep up. We have given out hundreds of these and have seen waterborne illnesses drop dramatically when people use them.
As people purchase portable water filters and audio bibles through our gift catalog, we send Bob a check, but he typically doesn’t wait for the money. He calls and asks me, “Can you take God’s Word to Africa any time soon?” And then he sends me what he can in the languages we need. If I can reimburse him at some point, fine. If I cannot, he is unconcerned because God will provide another way.
Bob and Pat keep their eyes on the goal: serving God well until they are with Jesus for eternity. They are the genuine deal and we are so grateful to partner with them!

If you would like to help us deliver clean water and the Good News to many in Ethiopia, each costs only $50 and can be donated with a click below…

Image 7 / 34   iPhone-sized MegaVoice Envoy. Solar powered, light weight, inconspicuous       water filter

Monday, April 4, 2016

HerStory videos

Last year, the US Embassy in Addis Ababa invited people to submit a 3 minute film about women and girls' issues in Ethiopia. All were made by Ethiopians and all of them highlighted the extreme challenges faced by women there - access to education, violence and the burden of domestic work.  Many are difficult to watch but they reflect a reality that can't be ignored.

Here are several of the top ten winners...

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