A team of five people led by Tina from Ireland and the UK recently went on a mission trip to Ethiopia, to the city of Addis Ababa. For two of them it was their first time going on a mission, when for another member he was celebrating his fifth trip with BTBAB. The team was hosted by YWAM Ethiopia and we spent the whole two weeks at their base. Our team project was called “from the ground up”. The “ground” which was represented by the agriculture and soil. And “up” which meant to bring up a community empowering a village through agriculture. The target we hoped to fundraise for this project was £4000. Although this amount was quite high and a few eyebrows were raised, we were delighted and gave praise to God when we found out at the airport that our target was exceeded. The money was raised to help and empower a community and get them out of poverty by investing in an agriculture project. The money will be use for farming, getting soil ready and a water pump to sell vegetables with the hope that in the future they will be able to buy milking cows.

On arrival after a good night’s sleep on the plane, we were taken straight to the church meeting on the Sunday morning. Afterwards we got to experience our first taste of many Ethiopian coffees. Beside the main church, on the second week of our trip we had the chance to visit a local church in a village name called Shoa. Despite us not understanding a single word, the presence of the Holy Spirit was very evident and we felt very blessed listening to the church members singing in their own language “Amharic”. The difference in language was probably one of the main challenges that the team had to face specially when trying to communicate with the kids. However, with smiles, non –verbal communication and an amazing translator called Lydia, it did not stop the team connecting with the kids and love on them.

Our team, in one of the churches were able to minister on the second Sunday morning meeting with song, testimony and a sermon.

During the two weeks, we had the privilege of visiting a few organisations working directly with street kids (Make your Mark), a ministry working with young teenagers and women affected with HIV by facilitating education. Also, the team were very busy playing with the kids from the village and younger kids from the city in an orphanage with young kids affected by HIV (Heaven Orphanages).

In one of the churches, some of the team members were able to pray with church members and bless some of the locals with reading glasses.

We also played games with the children, shared a testimony, taught them a few dance moves and taught them how God was never going to leave them on their own and how much God loved them. We were all individually touched by many stories throughout the trip, but we can all agree that the person God guided us to give the project money to, was one of them. This man (Pastor Tegene) who although at the beginning did not show emotions was quickly moved by how God answered his prayers after 15 years of praying for his village. As a team we were so honoured to be carriers of this good news and be able to hear the vision of hope that this man has for his village. We give thanks to God for His goodness and faithfulness over all this trip.

Editors Note- BTBAB is seriously considering this as a long-term OCT project. As a result the team were only allowed to take a proportion of the funds raised so far. Donations continued after the team returned!