One year ago, I had just returned from a two week trip to Ethiopia. The trip was amazing, and I met some wonder brothers and sisters in Christ. One of the men that I met was named Nigusse.
A few months ago, the vehicle that Nigusse and a few other Christians were riding in was attacked. The vehicle was damaged and several of the people were injured. If I remember correctly, one of the brothers ended up with a concussion.
Over the next few weeks and months, Nigusse was constantly in danger. People followed him in order to harm him. They would follow him around his city, and they would follow him to other cities.
We new about the harassment, persecution, and violence, and we were praying for Nigusse and others.
Last Friday, Nigusse flew from Ethiopia to Raleigh, North Carolina. He is planning to work on a degree here before returning to his home. My family was among a group of about 30 or so who met him at the airport, then had dinner with him afterwards.
During dinner, Nigusse brought us greetings and encouragement from the church in his city in Ethiopia. While he said many things, one thing stuck out in particular.
He said (and I’m paraphrasing), “Thank you for sharing in our suffering.”
I have heard that we can share in other people’s sufferings, but this is the first time that I’ve heard it from someone who actually suffered for the cause of Christ. This first hand account truly changes the way that I think about praying for and partnering with those who are suffering.