Letter from Cody: Ethiopia – July 2013
One of the greatest assurances of Scripture is the promise of a prayer-hearing God. The God of Abraham that agreed to save the city of Sodom for ten righteous souls in answer to Abraham’s bold requests and the God of the apostolic church that delivered Peter from prison is the God who says to us today, “Call upon me, and I will answer.” Psalm 91:15. The God who sent Gabriel in immediate answer to Daniel’s fervent prayer is the God who instructs us “that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.” Luke 18:1. We are told to “tell them that if they will find heart and voice to pray, God will find answers to their prayers.” Prayer, 96. Even before we call or know what to pray for, God is delighting to answers to our prayers. “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” Isaiah 65:24. As we think about the awesome privilege and the amazing power of prayer, do we pray as though we believe it? “We do not value the power and efficacy of prayer as we should. Prayer and faith will do what no power on earth can accomplish.” Ministry of Healing, 509. May we truly realize the tremendous promises of prayer, and may we learn to press them to the throne of Omnipotence!
As I am writing this, we are just finishing a project in Ethiopia, and my heart is praising God for His amazing answers to prayer—before we even knew what to pray for! As we arrived in this rural, agricultural district in Ethiopia’s southern highlands to hold an evangelistic/training program, we were planning on holding the evangelistic meetings in the church building or a tent, but the Lord had other plans. Some of the local church members who work in the local government office thought that they might as well ask if the government would give us permission to hold the program in their multi-purpose hall near the center of town, even though no religious organization had been allowed before. Just as the Lord granted Nehemiah favor with the government leaders in his day, so the Lord worked for us, as well. We were able to use the facilities free of charge. The church (still under construction) holds around one hundred and fifty, but each night the Lord brought out two to three hundred from the community in addition to the church members and trainees. With the rains of the rainy season beginning to fall, the Lord answered our unprayed prayer. On the last Sabbath, churches from all over the mountains and valleys gathered together for a high Sabbath, and even the large meeting hall was too small for the one thousand church members and new interests that met to worship and witness thirty-five souls that the workers had been studying with give their hearts to the Lord through baptism. We are now visiting the churches and seeing firsthand the Lord’s blessings on these dedicated laborers. One volunteer worker had been a youth leader in his previous church, and when he read tracts explaining God’s Sabbath day, he began to ask questions. But the church refused to answer his questions, warned his youth group that he had become a false prophet and instructed his parents not to give him any food. Expelled from his home, he left for several years, but his faith grew even stronger. Around half a year ago, he returned to his village to try to reach his family and community. The Lord has raised up a new church group of around twenty-five worshiping our God each Sabbath day. Please pray for Eyob (Job) and the other faithful workers who are sharing the message of truth amidst hardship and sacrifice (fifty attended the training program). One of the greatest needs is for more workers to permeate the unworked areas. For around $40 a month, you can help send out one of these faithful laborers!
Yours in praying for the finishing of this last work,