Monday, September 14, 2009

meyer misson news

Abounding in the Work of the Lord
September, 2009

Dear Friends:
"Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you.
Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you
know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." 1
Corinthians15:58. With these encouraging words Rev. Claude Houge
greeted the students, instructors and pastors assembled at the
training centers in Ethiopia.

In fact as we traveled with Rev. Claude and Rhoda, we were the ones
encouraged day after day as we witnessed how our Lord is using the
Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus to reach the lost. Those
gathered told of difficulties the church and individuals have
overcome to win souls and how many who come to Christ must suffer.
One lady said, "We are inspired to respond to open doors for the
Gospel. In the past people lost their property if they became

A Christian man went to market one day. While he was away, others
came who beat, stripped naked and abused his pregnant wife. Even
though she was pregnant, suffering and humiliated, she would not deny
her Lord Jesus. Later she died in her husband's arms. Rev. Abraham
said, "Many Christians died for Jesus; we are inspired to follow Him
wholeheartedly. Stand firm. Some missionaries came who didn't live
long enough to carry out their vision. We live in uncertain times;
we are prepared to sacrifice whatever is required."

One student who is a recent convert said, "I received so many new
insights, how the Gospel reached us, I was weeping as I was
reading." "I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power
of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew,
then for the Gentile." Romans 1: 16

Agriculture in East Africa is different in many ways from that in
West Africa. We have not seen such vast numbers of horses, cattle,
sheep, goats, donkeys and camels before in Africa! There were many
men plowing and cultivating the fields with teams of oxen. It was
refreshing to see such use of animal power to aid the farming.
Horses, donkeys and camels are used to carry people and goods.

The rains had been falling for several weeks when we arrived and so
many areas were green and lush looking; yet the pastures and road
ditches looked like a Minnesota home owner's closely mowed yard!
Most animals looked thin and the pastures looked overgrazed.

We appreciated hearing from DVM Fred Van Gorkom of Christian
Veterinary Mission, a 25 year veteran of service in Ethiopia, who
also shared with us that Ethiopia has not had normal rains in the
past years. When the grasslands can not regain their growth, the
result is desertification; when the grasslands degenerate toward
becoming a desert rather than regain their cover of grasses. DVM Van
Gorkom went on to say, "I know that we taught about overgrazing and
deforestation and erosion control and rotating grazing lands... but
this is even harder for pastoralists on common grazing areas."

Dr. Kebede, an agriculturalist working with the South Central
Ethiopian Synod of EECMY, gave us many helpful insights on why areas
of Ethiopia are struggling with decreasing soil fertility. Fields
and pastures are grazed very short year after year, straw and stalks
are used for animal feed, and no crop residue is returned to the
soil. Often even the animal manure is burned for fuel so there is no
replenishment of nutrients to the soil.

As we traveled together, Dr. Kebede pointed out the major crops being
grown; being corn, wheat and teff. Teff grows similar to wheat and
produces small, fine seed used in making injura, a flat bread with a
spongy texture.

A major cash crop is chat or qat - an addictive stimulant. Along the
road 200 miles east of Addis Ababa, we saw bags of the green leafy
plants that would soon be shipped out of the region. In some case
wives work very hard supporting the family because their husbands are
addicted to chat and not motivated or able to work for the support of
the family. A church leader told us he had been addicted to chat
since he was 10 years old. He had tried to quit many times and he
only became free of it when he became a Christian. What a testimony
to the saving power of Jesus Christ! II Cor. 5:17, If any one is in
Christ, he is a new creation."

Being among dedicated and gifted African leaders was a highlight for
us. We could sense their dedication and Christian love for us, for
those they serve and for those not yet reached with the Gospel. The
Central Ethiopia Synod has as its goals: being a missionary church,
united regardless of ethnicity and having a strong economic
capacity. With a focus on prayer and several prayer meetings held
each week, the Tabor congregation is growing in members. Their stated
values are: Thinking outside of the box, excellence in knowledge and
living, and submission to the will of God!

We have just begun to learn about agriculture and Christianity in
Ethiopia. We hope we will have an opportunity to return and do work
with the EECMY in the future, Lord willing.

Thank God for safety, strength and health during our trip to
Ethiopia. Pray for guidance as the Lutheran Church Mission Uganda
considers the possibility of us doing training with them in the future.

Praise God for dynamic growth of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church
Mekane Yesus. May our Lord strengthen and direct their efforts.

Pray for blessings on future teaching in Sierra Leone, Guinea and

Thank you to all who have contributed gifts "for the support of
Delano and Linda Meyer." Address (without our name on envelope) to:
LCMS World Mission, 1333 S. Kirkwood Road, St. Louis, MO 63122-7295.
Inside the envelope designate your gift for us on the check or in a

To contribute to our LCMS World Relief & Human Care project,
"Agricultural Training in West Africa", designate & send checks to
LCMS World Relief and Human Care, 1333 S. Kirkwood Rd, St. Louis, MO

Your friends in Christ, Delano and Linda Meyer
C/O Travis Torblaa, LCMS World Mission
1333 S. Kirkwood Road, St. Louis, MO 63122-7295


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