The Vulnerable Among Us
Watch and listen as Pastor Rex teaches the importance of us ministering to and compassionately meeting the needs of immigrants in our community from the Book of Ruth.
Watch his message here.
A Child of a King
Ever wonder what it would be like to be the “child of a king”? Let me introduce you to Ashtor Nanuc. Her dad is the chief of one of the clans of the Dasenech tribe in the Omo Valley in southern Ethiopia. So, that makes her the child of a king! Her grandfather was the chief until his death and then her father, Peter, became the chief.
Peter is an amazing visionary leader. He became a believer in Jesus about 8 years ago. He wanted the hope of the gospel for his people. So he began to be taught the stories of the Bible. His clan of approximately 10,000, is comprised of primarily oral learners. They do not read. They learn by stories; stories about a God who created them, and loves them, and came into the world to save them.
Peter began making disciples of Jesus. These would be people committed to following Jesus’ ways of living. When we first met Peter about 5 years ago, there were about 100 believers in his clan. A couple of years later, there were about 450. Last week, we learned that there were about 650 believers and 65 trained, active storytelling evangelists. They visit other villages to help their people to learn the good news of Jesus. Lives are being transformed by the power of God’s healing word.
Ashtor is somewhere around 10 years old (they don’t have birth certificates). She has come to the “peaceful generation” school a couple of hours away from her home to learn numbers, to learn to read, to live peacefully with other children from other tribes (tribes with a history of warring with each other) and to learn to follow the ways of Jesus. She is doing great.
We can fully anticipate that one day Ashtor will be helping to lead the Dasenech tribe to a better future. That’s just part of what it means to be a child of a king.
Key Afar Bible Training Center
“Key Afar” is the name of the town where the new Bible training center is located in southwest Ethiopia. It means “red dirt”.  I thought that name was simply descriptive of the color of the soil.  But, there is a lot more to the story.

It is called Key Afar because of the blood of the martyrs that was shed there.  It was just a  few years ago, between 1980 and 2000, on three separate occasions, evangelists were killed in Key Afar.  They lost their lives to Banna tribesmen who were pastoralists (nomadic cattlemen)  who did not want the gospel coming into the lives of their people. So, they took the evangelists out to the outskirts of town and killed them.  This mud building (pictured) with the tin roof was built as a reminder of this troubled history.

Because of this history, the land was considered cursed. Eventually, the village elders gave the unwanted land to the evangelicals.  For nearly a decade, the Christian leaders prayed for a training center to be built for the spread of the gospel.  Today it is the home of KBTC (Key Afar Bible Training Center). And, once again, as throughout history, “the blood of the martyrs has become the seed of the church.”

Last month, on the dedication day at KBTC, 4 missionaries were commissioned to carry the gospel to the tribes of the Omo Valley. Kneeling in the red dirt reminded us all of the price that has been paid.
Graduating Goats!

“shepherding this goat will teach you a lot about shepherding people”

There was a grand celebration last week in Key Afar, Ethiopia.  It was graduation  day at the Key Afar Bible Training Center. 49 men and women completed the one-year oral storytelling program. It was glorious! They received a gift at graduation.
They all received a female goat!
It was explained to them this way.  “You are going to learn a lot about shepherding people by shepherding this goat.  Every day you need to keep their care and nourishment in mind.  As you care for them, eventually they will give return for that caring investment.”
Among the Banna tribe (where the school is located)  the custom is that you do not eat the female goats. You raise them for reproduction. So these goats are all going to have two or three baby goats in less than 6 months. The reproduction cycle has already begun.
This week, 53 new church planters have assembled to learn the stories of the Bible in order to take them to their tribes. The reproduction has begun again.
Thanks for helping UP Global Network make this school available for the Omo Valley of Ethiopia.