Counting Stars

I met a man today named Shiferaw, a Ghandi look alike in business casual.  He was once the Minister of Justice in Ethiopia, when the communists ran the country.  He is a Christian they kept around because they could trust him and he was good at his job.  When the curtain fell on Ethiopia and the Church went underground, Shiferaw worked from inside the government to protect as many Christians as he could – alerting them to raids before they happened, foiling government plans to arrest Church leaders.  Wess first met him in those dark days.

When the curtain rose, Shiferaw was elected the first President of the Ethiopian Evangelical Alliance – a coalition of churches working together, sharing resources and wisdom across denominational and geographic boundaries.  Then Compassion International arrived in Ethiopia and Shiferaw went to work for them as president over East Africa – Ephriam’s job today.

image He no longer gets paid by Compassion International but he works for them still in a sense.  He works for their cause from the outside.  He took us to a building project he’s just begun – a research and training center where people can learn holistic child development.  That’s the fancy title given to what Compassion does.  They develop the mind, body, social skills, economic condition and spirit of children, believing that all parts are affected by poverty and must be attended to to end it.  We walked the dirt grounds of what will someday educate people from all over the world on how to apply Compassion’s holistic development model in their own churches and communities.  Compassion taught Shiferaw and now he’s planning to teach others so that children all over the world will be rescued from poverty.

Over breakfast Wess remarked to Shiferaw that his is a big dream.  And then Shiferaw said the most amazingly profound thing – I wrote it down.

Abraham was asking God for just one child – just one – and God asked Abraham to count the stars.

(There’s a song in that.  Don’t steal it from me.)