I was very moved at the Easter production at After School Care this morning. I couldn’t be at the showing of the Jesus movie on Friday, but was told how moved the mothers and children were, so moved that many were crying. Our friend delivered a beautiful Easter message on God’s love. This morning our older kids sung of Jesus’ death and resurrection, a drama performed with the focus of Jesus giving to us so we should give to others. I love this time of year the most in Ethiopia, it is not elaborate with festivals like other times of the year, but the special thing for me, is seeing so many hearts turned to God and the true essence of what being a Christian is, through Jesus’ sacrifice we can have relationship with Him. God’s love in its purist, not tainted with Easter bunnies or commercial overload of chocolates. Don’t get me wrong, we do the chocolate, Easter egg decorating and Easter egg hunt with our kids, it’s part of our culture and it’s fun, our kids have a ball. But life is so raw here, I like that it is hard to not get carried away and forget what Easter is all about.
Ethiopian ‘Fasika’ falls after the break of a 55 day fast. For the 3 days previous many strong orthodox will fast completely from all food and water, preparing their hearts with prayer and meditation on God, and all he has done through Jesus. I can’t help but deeply admire their dedication. For some, it is what has just been taught to them, for many it is a deep conviction to be sold out for God to the fullest.
After this morning’s Easter production, I headed to another showing of the Jesus movie, to our Mums, at Kidist’s house. Again, I sat and just found it to be such a beautiful time, watching these mums be mums and enjoy each other and be touched and moved by Easter. As I sat there I was reminded it was the triplets 2nd birthday. We left the mothers program a bit early and moved onto the next coffee infusion. Many of you may know the triplets, they came to us almost 1.5years, so malnourished, we were so concerned for their lives, they spent many months in the clinic and living at Grace. Today, their mother Aster, looked at me with such pride in her eyes and said “Last year I had nothing and you gave my children a first birthday, this year, because of Grace, I can give my children their second birthday, and you get to come!” It was a beautiful time had.
The next part of my day shocked me and sent me into a spin. I was walking home, when I got a call that one of our mothers was at the police station. She had had a baby, and put the baby in the toilet…
What do you say to that? Tears can only express… to cry for the baby that did not have a chance at life. To wonder why our mother did not feel that she could not come to Grace with this. I feel so deeply sad beyond sad. On this weekend where God offers such hope, she could not find it and felt alone in her time of need. I do know that we can only extend our hand, we cannot force a person to take it. No matter what, God is still God and his plan is perfect. For this mother, Gods plan is perfect and He can still make her life beautiful, even if she has already missed it many times, he never gives up hope, no matter what we have done. So the perfect verse in all things, for this weekend, is “…For while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” Romans 5:8
For confidential reasons related to this mother’s situation, I cannot tell you her name, but please pray for her and her children, and wisdom for us in this as we extend grace and love to this mother, while she receives the consequences of her actions.
On that note, I encourage us all to remember Jesus in our Easter. And extend the same grace that He shows to us, to all we meet. It is not ever as easy to apply as the words on paper are to write, but if it was easy, then we wouldn’t need Him.
Melkam Fasika everyone. Happy Easter.