God's perfect timing on display.
Women across Ethiopia organized a three-day outreach campaign just before COVID-19 hit their country. Our All In Ministries in-country leader, Aster, was among the group of women leaders from Great Commission Ministries to fast and pray for spiritual awakening.
They asked God for 300 courageous women to rise up, receive evangelism training, and spread the good news of Jesus Christ. For those who receive our email updates, you may recall our prayer request for our Ethiopian sisters.
Gods answered your prayers. He provided a team of women—350 women answered the call! In addition, hundreds of people received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Early follow-up results before the COVID-19 lockdown showed:
Like the victory hymn in the book of Psalms declares:
God's Timing is Always Perfect
Think about God’s perfect timing of this evangelism effort for a moment. No one could have anticipated a pandemic. No one could have predicted a global quarantine stopping social gatherings. God knew what was ahead, and He led the women to go to cities and remote villages with His great invitation. Yes, this outreach was God’s perfect timing placed on the calendar. God holds time in His hand (Ps. 31:15).
Interestingly, there was an unusual event as a man began to shout at the All In Ethiopian Disciple-Making Conference. You can read the article here. Now looking back, it’s incredible to see how God’s perfect timing was working at this moment.
Three times in the Old Testament, God is called the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:9, 13, 22). These passages clearly refer to God as the Supreme Being, emphasizing the idea that the LORD is eternal. When God is referred to in this way, He is saying He existed before time began. The expression literally means “before days were.” God knows all our days because He is the Creator of them.
When Jesus arrived, He proclaimed Himself as the Alpha and Omega (Rev. 1:8, 11, 21:6). This expression used by the Greeks of His day referred to the first and last letters of their alphabet. It was a way to denote comprehensiveness. Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our faith. Just as the Old Testament reveals God as “the first and the last” (Isaiah 44:6), Jesus is the beginning and the end—eternally.
God knows our days because He is the originator and the finisher of them. He knows the path that you’re on. He knows the struggles you endure. And you are not alone in them. If you’re in Christ, He is always working for your good (Rom. 8:28-29).
East versus West
In many eastern cultures, hardships and suffering are considered a privilege. They believe suffering draws people to think about essential things. Suffering “shakes us out of short-sighted complacency” (Tim Keller).
Whether or not COVID-19 has helped us manage our priorities is to be determined. Yet, we have seen believers “make the most of this opportunity” (Eph. 5:16) to shake off complacency and share Jesus with others. Which will it be for you?
If God is leading you to rise up, like the Ethiopian women, and share your faith with others, consider downloading our complimentary ebook, 10 Steps to be a Disciple-Maker of Jesus. These teachings were shared on our last missionary journey through southeast Ethiopia and can be applied in every culture and continent.
You may not be able to go and share in large group settings (for now), but you can share Jesus in the spaces with those God entrusts to you. When others struggle, you can show them another way—a greater way to endure suffering, drawing strength and comfort from God.
You can do it, and we’re here to help.