As I’ve mentioned previously, I’ve been invited to go to Ethiopia this summer with Dave and BeckyLynn Black. Three other brothers from Messiah Baptist Church have been invited as well. We would be working with some of the churches in a certain region of the country.
Recently, someone asked me, “Why do you want to go to Ethiopia?”
This is a very good question, and I thought I would take time to answer this question here.
First, I’ve been learning from Dave Black for a few years now. He’s currently my PhD mentor, and I’ve enjoyed studying various aspects of Greek, New Testament, Biblical theology, and the church with him. But, this has all been classroom or discussion type learning. I have never had the chance to learn from his example while he is serving others. As I’ve been learning and writing about lately, I think this (example) is a huge part of learning and discipleship. So, I’m interested in serving others with Dave and BeckyLynn Black in order to learn even more from them.
Second, I think I can learn alot from the Ethiopian believers that I’ll be working with. A few years ago, my family went to Nicaragua. That trip changed the way that I viewed the importance of relationships versus events. Going to Nicaragua showed me just how much the church in the US (especially, but perhaps in other places as well) is more concerned with events than with people – in spite of what we might say. In a similar way, I think I can learn alot from my Ethiopian brothers and sisters. What would I learn? I don’t know… that’s make it very exciting!
Finally, according to the Blacks, we can help the Ethiopian churches grow as well. Apparently, then need help learning to read and interpret and apply Scripture. Over the last few years, we have been learning how to study Scripture as a community and to help one another apply and implement what we’re studying. We’re learning how to make discipleship and interpretation less of a mental exercise and more of a complete life exercise.
Of course, there are other obstacles that must be overcome in order for us to go to Ethiopia. Please pray for us, that we would make wise, God-honoring decisions. Pray for our families. Pray for finances to be in place.
If you are interested in helping us in other ways, please send me an email at aknox [at] sebts [dot] edu.