In our last letter, we shared about the tens of thousands who gathered where we had served for years in Ethiopia to celebrate the Lord Jesus Christ and to visually witness the fruit of ministry. Now, here is the rest of the story of my visit.
Three generations of Hardings seeking to bring the Spring of Life, the Lord Jesus Christ to the Gedeo people of southern Ethiopia and beyond. (Drew, Bill IV and Bill III) Dad turns 94 on September 13th this year!
Clean drinking water for thousands of Ethiopians!
You may remember that it was through water developement that Grace and I got into Ethiopia under a communist regime in 1983. That baton has been passed on to Drew, our son, and his Senai water team. How great to witness the installation of two major solar pump wells distributing clean water to tens of thousands of people. The need is still great! https://www.senaiglobal.org/water-is-life
Reaching out to the Muslim world
Never have we witnessed so many Muslims coming to faith in Jesus Christ in Ethiopia! Over 90 were baptized while we were still in Ethiopia. For years we have been supporting and teaching in a training center for new authentic followers coming out of Islam. Pray for this strategic ministry in southern Ethiopia that has captured our hearts and changed many lives. When there is a movement of spiritual freedom found in the person and work of Jesus, there is intense spiritual warfare including persecution and the burning of churches. Please pray!
Former student of mine, Desta Heliso, launches a book depicting the entrance of the gospel to the Hadiya people of southern Ethiopia.
While in Addis Ababa, I heard on Friday that Desta was in town. The following day, Saturday, I went by to see him. Upon arrival, standing at the back of this huge gathering room, Desta looked back and saw me. He got up from his position on the front row and led me down to sit beside him . Video cameras were rolling, lots of flashes for this historic event of the launching of this book. He asked me to share a few words in the Amharic language to the room filled with hundreds of dignitaries and church leaders from all over the country. First, I recognized Desta as the brightest student that I had ever taught. Nothing but A+s! I went on to share that i knew most of the SIM missionaries that first brought the gospel to the Hadiya people for I went to boarding school with their children as a young boy. A strong emotional connection! Desta went on to get his PhD and was President of the Ethiopia Graduate School of Theology. He now resides with in London with his family still writing books and articles.
What a privilege to be available for the transformational work God has done and is continuing to do not only in our lives but in the lives of many others in our circle of influence.
May you know the peace of God in a fresh way in these turbulent times and in whatever challenges are in your personal context. John 14:27 ” Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you…Let not your heart be troubled…”
With lots of love and blessing!
Bill and Grace
Home address: 7412 Mockingbird Lane, Waxhaw, NC 28173