Phil and Chris's prayer letter April 2018
Thank you for continuing to pray for us. Since I last wrote the political situation in Ethiopia has ameliorated significantly. The appointment of a new Prime Minister, Dr Abiy Ahmed from the Oromo region, has calmed the protests around the country.
Since appointment he has been much more in the public eye than his predecessor (who was generally regarded as a puppet politician) and appears to be keen to widen democracy in the country and to address the issues around representation that have caused the widespread civil unrest of recent years. There is an air of optimism in the city which is a great relief after the tensions of the last couple of years.
The "State of Emergency" is still in place - it was imposed in February for 6 months. We wait to see if it will continue for that long. It has little impact on us - we have only been stopped and searched twice.
Dr Abiy is a protestant Christian believer. As long as he is also a good politician, that is a great answer to prayer.
So please praise and thank God with us for answered prayer and for the current peaceful situation.
We are also thankful that all SIM missionaries around the country are safe and have been able to continue their work. Travel restrictions have now been lifted.
We had a visit from James (our eldest son) and Dominic (Hannah's husband) over the mid-semester break at the end of March and had a lovely time including a trip to the north of the country to see some of the rock-hewn churches of Tigray. Watch out for some blogging about this trip in the near future. Praise God for occasional times of fun and rest!
We have 9 weeks of term left before we head to the UK for our "rainy season" break. We will be in the UK from 18th June to 3rd August.
- I have just started a 6-week series in our Sunday morning "Adult Bible Fellowship" on the book of Ecclesiastes. Each session is an hour long. Please pray for my preparation and delivery.
- My senior nurse at the clinic has left and we have found Sister Elsabet to replace her. Please pray for Elsabet and the team as we settle in together into new ways of working.
- Bingham is in need of teachers for next year (starting in August) especially high school teachers. This is always the case at this time of year and it is amazing how faithful God is in filling those places before the new school year starts.
- I am now on the Bingham board of governors. This is a challenging time of reorganisation and I would value your prayers for wisdom in this role.
- SIM Ethiopia is going through some difficult times at the moment with some significant departures and few arrivals. Our country Director, Dr Trent Cox, has a lot to cope with at the moment. Please pray for him and the whole organisation, that the work of getting the Gospel to people who have never heard of Jesus will continue and that God will bless the work.
Thank you again.
Phil and Chris.