Faith & Mountains Family,
We have some exciting (and kind of scary) news to share: Brad officially turned in his three-month resignation at his job with Samaritan Health, in order to focus on raising financial support and getting our family ready to move to Ethiopia. We made this decision as a family after a lot of prayer, and we really believe it’s a step of faith we’re supposed to take. We’re taking it without knowing for sure where our financial provision will come from in three months, but we know we’re supposed to trust God for that. It’s important to focus as much of our time as possible on raising support, because once that support is raised, we’ll be ready head to Ethiopia.
There’s a cool story behind this decision, posted below if you’re interested in reading it.
So much is happening at Soddo Christian Hospital right now. We’re itching to get there, and Brad is eager to jump in as the hospital’s chief operating officer and start doing what he can to help (although he thinks he’ll mostly be doing a lot of learning and listening at first). The hospital is getting ready to celebrate its 10th anniversary, and the last year in Soddo was an incredible one. There was a 30-percent increase in the number of patients the hospital was able to treat (a total of 32,251). The hospital delivered 663 babies and performed 4,238 surgeries. Staff are now conducting helicopter outreaches to rural areas and free medical treatment for local prison inmates. And most important, every person touched by the hospital is being told about Jesus Christ.
We can’t wait to get to Soddo and join in what God is doing there. Thank you for being a part of the journey with us!
There’s some brief news on our support raising progress below, in addition to the story about how Oliver helped Brad learn about making decisions in faith.
Support raising news
· We’re officially signed up with Shepherd’s Staff Missions Facilitators, our sending agency, which means we can start accepting financial support. Gifts are processed by Shepherd’s Staff and are 100-percent tax deductible. Signing up for monthly support is an awesome way to be an ongoing part of what we’re doing in Ethiopia. Click here if you’d like to sign up to support us online. Or contact us and we can meet with you personally or via Skype as well. We would love to share with you in person.
· Thank you to all of you who are supporting and encouraging us through friendship, prayer and support!
A story: How Oliver taught me about taking steps of faith (by Brad)
It takes about 36 hours to get from Corvallis, Oregon to Soddo, Ethiopia. When we visited in June, we decided to do the whole thing in one shot – no stopping and sleeping in a hotel. (By the way – we’ll never do it that way again – it’s totally insane). By the time we landed in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, we had been going non-stop for about 30 hours. We were all exhausted, but especially Oliver. Running on almost no sleep, racing through airport after airport on his short legs, all he wanted to do was find a bed and crash.
As we maneuvered through the hot, dusty, crowded, circus-like Addis Ababa airport, Oliver was hanging on to the hope that the journey was almost over. Just a few more moments and he would be in a soft, cool bed – able to shut his eyes and rest. What Oliver didn’t realize was that as soon we made it out of the airport, we’d be climbing into a cargo-van for a five-hour ride over bumpy, winding mountain roads. Our final destination, Soddo Christian Hospital, lay at the end of that road.
When Oliver learned this news, he stopped walking, and his face crumbled. His shoulders drooped, and tears started running down his check. I knelt down beside him and said, “Oliver, I know you’re tired and stressed out. I’m sorry, but we have to get in that van. We don’t really have a choice.”
Oliver looked up and caught my gaze with his intense bluish-green eyes.
“Dad,” he said evenly, “It’s not that I’m tired or stressed out. It’s that I’m discouraged. I’ve used all my energy to get here, and I thought we were done. But we’re not.”
“Okay,” I said, putting my hand on his shoulder. “I totally understand that. Let’s pray for your discouragement. God can do something about that.” And so, in the middle of that loud, bustling African airport, Jackson and I both put our hands on Oliver and prayed that God would encourage him and give him the strength to complete the last leg of the journey.
And then something amazing happened. Oliver lifted his head, with a new look of determination on his face, tightened up his backpack, and started walking again. He climbed into the van, and held on as it flew down the mountain roads at 60 miles an hour, often bouncing him up out of his seat when it rattled over a pot-hole. He did not complain once. He dug deep, found strength in God, and he completed the journey.
God taught me that day, through Oliver, that there comes a point when you have used up everything you have, and the only thing left to do is pray and trust Him. Doing this, and not quitting, is called faith. Pure and simple. As we continue on our journey to get to Ethiopia as full-time hospital missionaries, God has shown us that we now have a new step of faith to take. We need to trust him for our financial provision.
So, I’m ending my ten-year career at Samaritan Health, and then planning to focus on raising support. We’re taking this step of faith without knowing where our income will come from. This isn’t something I would ever do unless I firmly believed God was asking me to do it. We would love your prayers as we tighten up our backpacks, lift our heads, and keep walking toward Ethiopia.
Thank you so much for giving. Thank you for your hearts of encouragement. Thank you for loving the nation of Ethiopia by giving your finances for us to go serve people you have never met. The heart of The Father beats for them, just as it does for you and I. Thank you for hearing His heartbeat.
To give financially please click here and on the form you can select if it is a ONE TIME gift or if you would like to be a part of our MONTHLY SUPPORT team.