Miracles Abound: The Ethiopia Update

JOY: Welcome to God’s Church on the Move, the podcast that takes you to the spiritual hotspots where God is doing some pretty incredible things. With me in the studio today are Ron and Charis Pierce. Welcome guys. 

RON AND CHARIS: Hi, Joy. Hello, Joy. 

JOY: Hi. So, Ron, you have recently been away, and I’d love to hear the update, as would all of our listeners.

RON: Well, I was in Ethiopia — that’s what we’re going to cover today — and it is amazing. I know I say these sort of things over and over and over again, and people tell me that, but when I went in and I sat with the workers that came in from all over Ethiopia, it was just like I was sitting and hearing people in the book of Acts, or I was walking through the Gospels, or I was watching Jesus go down by the pool and heal somebody. And then it was just miracle upon miracle, opening of spiritual eyes in large numbers. It was really something else this time. Every time it looks like when I go over every year, it rises about one more notch on the Richter scale of what God is doing. And this time, it was overwhelming. It really was. I left there thinking, this is a different planet I’m on. It was like I got on an airplane, went the other side of the world, got off, and I was on Mars. It was that much different. Wow. From the last time you went, even. Well, even the last time we went, yes, which was last year at this exact same time. But everything’s just growing, growing, growing, growing, and expanding. The work there that is in Ethiopia has now gone to five other countries this year, spreading the gospel with all these evangelists that we support. Last year, there were about 10,500 evangelists that went out. Five countries plus Ethiopia as the centerpiece. Now it’s gone, well, they went everywhere. They’re going down to Mozambique. They’re all down the east side of Africa.

JOY: Where is Mozambique? 

RON: Way down in Africa, on the east side. And so it’s way, way down there. And then they’ve just going everywhere, up in the northern part, into Saudi Arabia, Yemen, all of those areas. So this was really something. And some of these fellows came in. I’m just going to center on one area of this broadcast. And it was down in the southern region by a place called Hawassa, okay? Shashoumani’s there, et cetera, et cetera. And it’s a city. And it’s very rural outside of that. This one group that we interviewed, the leader had 100 church planters, evangelists that are working in this little area. And so he brought in eight of these fellows, and this was the story as to what I heard, okay? It’s a matter that, and people listening, you’re going to hear about miracles because I do. In other words, I can’t leave them out of the discussion, because it’s what they talk about all day long. And therefore, when I start on these things, everybody’s going to say, oh, here we go again. Yeah, here we go again. It’s one of those. So anyway, the leader of the entire operation said, we just went into this area, and it is an area where the tribe there are outcasts, and they have separated over the centuries from everyone else. Nobody loves them. Nobody wants them. Nobody visits them. In other words, they’re isolated, totally isolated, socially, culturally, and everything like that. These three evangelists that went in, and probably others now, but when they made an outreach, they were the first ones to visit them in recorded history. In other words, there was no bridge to get to them. The river that surrounds them, et cetera, was full. They had to walk across it holding their clothes high, and many of the people there don’t wear clothes in this part of the world. They were amazed that the Christians would come to them, because they had never seen this before. Nobody came to them, and they just felt everybody hates us, and that’s the way it is. No other tribes ate with them, and eating a meal is a form of friendship and respect and all those sorts of things. Well, the Christians went in, and they did that. Then they shared the gospel with them, and on first hearing of the gospel, 30 believers were born again. 

JOY: Wow.

RON: New Christians on the first reading. After that, they kept on going, and the latest is, after a couple of months of work, now it’s 60. And therefore, all these people have been baptized. The government knows about what’s going on there, and they’re amazed. And the people are starting to dress more modestly, shall we say, various things like that, but that’s not the key to what’s happening. But they have fellowship now with the missionaries. They’re invited in, and they are just going now and reaching out to these people in this tribal group. And as he said to me, he said this one church planter who’s actually going in and doing it, he says, they were surprised. They thought they’d never heard of this message, and they never saw these type of people before ever. They didn’t think they existed on earth, and therefore, the reception was good. That’s just one story, all right? Now, it’s not a miracle, but it’s a bridging, shall we say, of a cultural area. 

JOY: You don’t hear very much anymore about people who have really sequestered themselves away and haven’t really been part of the world. And an important distinction there is that they thought no one loved them and wanted them, where some people would assume, oh, they want to be left alone. 

RON: Yeah, exactly. Okay, another one. Next worker. He comes on, and he’s talking about six years he’s been planting churches. I think he was about 28, 29 years of age. He’s now planted four churches, and he’s now on his fifth one, he says. The way that these got started, the very first one was this. There was a lady who was sick and went to different hospitals, different witch doctors, different situations, and nothing could cure her. Spent a lot of money on this. The family did, et cetera. One day, 17 people brought her to him as the Christian who can pray for the sick and watch them get healed. That’s the way it was advertised. And 17 people carried her, brought her, whatever, and doing like that. She couldn’t hold anything. Her body was deteriorating so that she could not hold a glass. She could not stand. All the muscles and the nerves, and I’m not a doctor, but she was just not able to function physically at all.

She couldn’t do anything with her hands and feet. So, they didn’t know what to do. And so, she had been dabbling into the occult, into witchcraft, and the further she got into witchcraft, the worse her condition got. So, first thing he did, he prayed over her, cast out the demons, because as he said, they were there, obviously. And immediately, immediately she started to get her strength back. This wasn’t a matter of over days. Immediately, it started to come back, and she could now hold a glass after a few minutes. She was able to stand again. She couldn’t walk very well, apparently, because it had been a long time since she walked. But all of a sudden, everything was coming back, and the husband began to cry. And the husband began to cry, and they asked him, why are you crying? Are you happy? No, he said, I sold all our goods, all our oxen, everything. We’re poor. And he says, where were you at the beginning of this? In other words, why didn’t we come to you rather than going to all the hospitals that took all our money, all the witch doctors, the 17 people there? All of them accepted Christ. Every one of them. And he says, that was church number one. 

And then he goes on after that. Then he talks about church number two. And he said, he was going with another fellow one day, and they were walking through the countryside. And all of a sudden, a big milk cow rolled down a mountain, shall we say. Like right in front of them? A cliff right there, and it rolled down, and it landed at the bottom, and it didn’t move. 

CHARIS: That must have been a sight to see. I know. You know, it’s raining cows. It’s rolling downhill. And the thing rolls down the hill. It’s actually really sad. And it just stops. Well, the village saw this. This was the village cow for milk and everything like that. 

JOY: Right. Important.

RON: Oh, yeah. Very, very important. So, okay. So, cow comes down, lays flat on the ground. They thought it was dead. Village would take up an offering, they said, to go and buy another cow or get another cow because that was the milk source for that little village. So the guy goes over, and they had their knives out. They were going to cut it up, you know, sort of like McDonald’s on the run, and they were going to cut it up and take it home, and that was supper that night. But he says, no, don’t do that. Don’t do that. Let me pray first. So he goes over and prays for the cow. And the pastor says, he says, after a couple of minutes, cow started to move again. Cow got up. Whether it was dead or not, I don’t know. 

JOY: Right.

RON: It’s a matter of the cow just didn’t move, and now it was moving. It was getting up, trying to get up, but it had a broken leg. So he says, okay, we can fix that, too. So he went over and prayed for the leg, and the leg was healed immediately. Cow was standing up, walking around, and everything was fine. 

JOY: Church number two? 

RON: Church number two. There were 80 people there watching. Wow. I’m looking at my notes here. Out of the 80, 38 accepted Christ. Church number two. Wow. Now, we’re going to skip the third one because it’s too long a story for this. It’s really long. I’ll do it some other time when we have a full — it was very involved. We’re going to go to the fourth church. So— There was a little boy, and he was six years old. Both his kidneys had failed. He was puffing up. He was swelling up for three days from what we were told. They tried to take him to the local hospitals, and they said, not going to work. Can’t go to Awassa. Can’t go here. Take him to Addis. They were going to take him there, but it was a holiday. It was a religious holiday in the area. Couldn’t go for whatever reason. So, what they did, they said, okay, we’re going to take him over to the Christian. And therefore, they took him over there. The little boy was prayed for. Child, when they were praying — now, get this. This is what the pastor said. When they were praying for the little boy, the little boy fell down. And he was on the ground for about 30 minutes, and they were really concerned, I guess. Sort of like, what did we do? Or what happened here? Et cetera. Like that. And he was not dead or anything. He was still alive. And so, they just gathered around and prayed for him for 30 minutes. And then he gets up, and he goes over, and he urinates. No blood. No pain. No problem. And everything was fine. He was healed. Well, this was in sight of a lot of the villagers. Bottom line, they celebrated that miracle. And now, according to my notes, started a church, and now there are 330 believers. All because of the little boy, and he the remote. Totally remote. Totally remote. This is out there in the nowhere lands. I just got this stat. There are 83% of all of Ethiopia — 83%, which comes to — Ethiopia is about 126 million, so it’s about 105 million people — are not hooked up to the internet. They have no phone. They have way of getting out. This is pretty out there. In the cities like the Addis, the Hawassas, and everything like that, you’ve got, you know, phones and cell towers and everything like that. But this is out in the countryside. So these people are not primitive, but they’re backwards when it comes to technology. So these sorts of things happening to them, this is really eye 1800s right now, okay? And think about where we are over here. That would be the environment. There’s no getting on the internet and checking anything out of that. This is way, way back. So this is big. 

CHARIS: That stat is interesting because quite often we get people asking, why do we print Bibles? Everybody can just get it on their phone, but that’s such a high number. That’s why we still print Bibles, because in so many parts of the world, you just can’t get it on your app, along for many other reasons. 

RON: No, Charis, you’re reading my notes now. That’s exactly what I was going to bring out, because even the people in the big cities, they’ve got phones like ours. Sort of, well, I don’t know what they call those phones when they’re… 

CHARIS: Smartphones.

RON: Smartphones, thank you. I’m the dumb technology guy, but I have a smartphone. So here we are, most of the people in the city would have that. But in the countryside, for those 17% that are able to get on a phone call, they’ve got flip phones. So they’re not going to get a Bible on the flip phone that I know of. It’s pretty small to read it. And therefore, even probably another 7% to 8% or 9% of those people can’t get it. So if you’re in the city, it’s not much. Now in the cities, there are people coming to the Lord, but not at the rate of the countryside. And therefore, we’re dealing here with people that are hungry to know who God is, and they’re finding it that way. Oh man, I’m going to end this with one more, okay? And people get the idea. I could go on here, but I probably have about 30 stories here that I can tell you about various things, but here’s one. It was worker number eight. He was a missionary for eight years. He’s now coordinator of the entire region. When there’s mission work, he says, and when there is evangelism, and when people are accepting the Lord, and when we are out there unashamedly proclaiming the gospel, there are miracles. In the areas where everybody are quiet, huddled within their little churches, not reaching out to their neighbors, not sharing their faith, he says, basically, there are no miracles. I said, well then, what are you trying to tell me? He says, God is opening the eyes of people. He is illuminating the word of God. He’s illuminating his presence within their lives. The lights are coming on. We call it illumination when God opens the eyes, spiritual eyes of people. And he says, that’s what’s going on right now all over Ethiopia. He says, the lights are coming on. And he says, this is something that is non-explainable. He says, it’s just happening. He says, when the lights come on, there’s a miracle.

And the people will pray, and they will ask God for something, and he will confirm both his presence and the message via a supernatural event. And he says, that’s why we’re seeing all these people come to the Lord. And it’s either before the gospel is presented, like the cow on the hill, or after when the people accept the Lord, and then it strengthens them to know that God is a supernatural God and loves them. So he says, somewhere in the process of evangelism, church planting, and everything like that, there are these occurrences, supernatural occurrences that are taking place. And he says, that’s why it’s happening. And that’s why it took me back to the Gospels, and Jesus, you know, sending out the 70. And you’ve got all the times that Jesus is walking around healing people, and it opened their eyes.

It’s sort of like God is with us. We’re recording this one just before Christmas. And that’s Emmanuel, God is with us. That’s what it’s about. And people over here are sort of like, why can’t we have these miracles here? Maybe it’d be a good idea if we started to do evangelism in our churches like we used to. And some churches are very, very good at this, and they’re really aggressive, and they’re doing a wonderful job, and God is moving in their midst over here. But a lot of churches are not. And it’s sort of a sad commentary on where we were and where we are. And what I’m not trying to do is throw dirt or cast dispersions on anybody or anything. But our situation over here in the West is not very positive right now as far as people coming to know Jesus. The stats show that. Over there, I hope something like these stories make people jealous for what God is doing around the world, because this is normal according to worker number eight. Miracles and evangelism, church planting, people accepting Christ, are tied together with crazy glue, all right? And there’s no separation. 

JOY: What a great title for this episode. Crazy glue that ties us all together. That’s great. Thanks. Did you know that on our website, rompeacre​.org, we have podcasts, teachings, devotionals, situation reports, and so much more. For more information, please visit ron​pearce​.org.

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