This Thursday, New Covenant Foundation leadership, Mike Stemm and Erik Laursen and some of our board members will be taking a team to discover the unique partnership model for missions that NCF has developed with the people of Ethiopia.
You might say it’s a God Hunt – a really big God Hunt crossing ten time zones and thousands of miles and two weeks’ time (October 31- November 15).
Why a Vision Trip?
Why is a vision trip or God Hunt of this proportion necessary? Indeed, many people who travel to other parts of the world with the intent of discovering the combined vast and intimate ways God works are faced with this first of a salvo of questions. Most vision trip members question themselves and then hear it from others. Aren’t you capable of catching glimpses of God right here in your hometown? Aren’t there needs you can meet, ministries you can be involved in, just down the street?
Yes, and they are important. Most people who’ve travelled, toured, lived, worked or ministered in developing nations gain a greater sense of compassion for all humankind and usually return to their own communities with a stronger sense of purpose and a passion for loving their fellow man.
However, there are benefits for everyone involved by taking the God Hunt on the road. All parties come away with a greater awareness of our common need for our Savior, Jesus, and for us to link arms with one another, despite cultural, social, material or language differences and together, do the good works that God has prepared for us ahead of time (Ephesians 2:10).
Seeing is Beginning
A vision trip to Ethiopia first gives us the opportunity to take in through our senses all that is different and all that is the same between cultures. When the common denominator is the name of Jesus Christ, we can see instantly that the love and joy of a life transformed by the power of Jesus Christ immediately unites with like-hearted people regardless of culture or country. On this trip our team will:
- See the coffee production process and have many, many opportunities to drink coffees in the micro-origin in which they are grown.
- Observe the vast rural populace and their dependence on farming;
- Witness the contrasts of wealth and poverty in the cities and the influence of modern western culture on an ancient traditional landscape;
- Celebrate the effectiveness of the Community Health Evangelism on individual communities’ resources and families;
- Participate in helping a local church’s food outreach program assisting the poorest of the poor in the Soddo, Wolaitta area.
- Meet Ethiopian Church planters and participate in sending them into the field in prayer
- Hear the stories, first hand, of lives changed by the unique partnership ministries of NCF.
- Worship together with Ethiopians, singing and praying to our One God who hears us, unifies us and sends us out in the name of Jesus.
Spending fourteen days and nights with anyone might give you a glimpse into their inner world. Spending that much time in airplanes, buses, Land Rovers and hiking up hills into mountain villages, sharing every meal and absorbing the beautiful, the sad, the confusing and the miraculous together builds life-long friendships.
It’s this kind of relationship with one another and our Ethiopian friends and partners that give NCF a unique advantage in relationship building. We want our vision trip participants to know there is always a place for them in this ministry and that God led us to one another so that we can all do more together.
We believe that people are people the world over. We all have the same needs, dreams, desires. Over-arching all that, we share a universal need to be reconciled to our Creator God. Those who are seeking the Lord Jesus through prayer and studying the word begin to understand our purpose not only to be reconciled but also to offer and facilitate this reconciliation to others. (2 Corinthians 5:18). Our relationships grow and ultimately they point to the most necessary and meaningful relationship of all.
Keep the Fire Burning
Our Ethiopian partners who have committed their time and resources to reaching their communities for Christ, to making disciples, to training in better health, family and money-management practices, receive encouragement from us when we choose to travel across the globe to say, “You are valuable. Your work is valuable to us and we want to link arms with you.”
It isn’t only about the money, although our financial blessings are meant to be shared (Romans 15:27), but it’s about meeting together to encourage one another in love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:25). It’s about living out the good word of the gospel and sharing in the joy and burden, sorrow and praise together. Our involvement helps them keep doing the good that so changes lives and transforms communities. As a bonus, we get to become invested emotionally and spiritually in relationships that cross borders in love that runs deep.
Please pray for our trip participants, for safety and good health and travel mercies. Pray for them to find the mysteries and the prizes that await them on this most amazing God Hunt.