The rain drops fell hard onto the dry and cracked soil. My Dad and I tilled the soil, watched as we uncovered new, soft black, ready for this rain. It’s how I felt. Since leaving Ethiopia, our roots had been pulled out of the bright orange mud and transplanted to this foreign place. The dry season has been long and I need the rain. I have stood in the beating intense sun of this beautiful place grieving where I used to be planted and wondering what God could grow in this new one.
In Ethiopia, I planted these giant sunflowers that grew and towered above me. Glorious and strong, they sang to my heart of His goodness and Life and promises in our lives. My husband worked hard in that small town in Southern Ethiopia, but even more, once a month he would climb aboard a helicopter, back pack strapped on tight. He would turn to wave and I was overcome with this reality… “He goes to the Nations…He draws them to Himself…He loves to the uttermost…” He had called us to the unreached and Dave would faithfully board this bird and fly south. His partners also were faithful and precious men called to these people and villages. The helicopter (a mission called helimission) would land in Soddo’s soccer field, attracting a crowd of patients in their gowns, people in wheelchairs and children from the nearby streets in town…they would perch on the cement walls around our compound, and find strong branches in trees. The blast from the helicopter would blow orange dust into eyes and we were all blinded for a moment. Then all would join in a wild cheer. Yes, we were cheering Him on. We all felt the thrill, even if not everyone knew what this powerful tool was doing for the Kingdom.
So here and now, I see what has had to die. I see what we had to lay down. I see some of what needed to be pruned or uprooted in our lives…the ground has laid barren and my heart has cried out for the lost, but also for our loss. But there in the garden, the first bright green shoots are rising up out of this new, black soil, and I smile. I know He is here. I know He is planting us. I know there are people who need to hear of His love here. We have left Ethiopia. The helicopter no longer flies over those beautiful people. But they received the Gospel. They heard and believed. There was a harvest, and it will spread and grow and bring LIFE. Because that is how his love works. The work of the Holy Spirit blew through the T’ara tribe like a strong and life-changing wind. We were called to that season for that harvest…and now He has called us forward.
We fix our eyes…we dig deep and plant again. We are washed in His love and goodness. He truly makes all things new. I feel the dirt between my toes and know it is well with my soul.