A video released today shows the death of 30 Ethiopian Christians at the hands of ISIS operatives. I grieve with my brothers and sisters in Christ of the Ethiopian church that I visited last year. Combined with the attacks on Ethiopians in South Africa, this has been an unbearable week for our friends.
Jimmy Tesfakiros, who took us through the southern part of the Omo valley in Ethiopia, with whom I emailed just this week, my heart goes out to you. Johannes Wassie, who guides our people with Water to Thrive and Acts of Mercy, my love and prayers for you. To my brave and vocal friend Sabah, pictured below, who spoke her mind, my prayers. To my friends in the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus, the largest Lutheran Church body in Africa, your 23 synods, 2,061 pastors, 2,728 evangelists, millions of faithful followers of Christ, Bishop Luchiesee of the Central Gibe Synod in Ambo, with whom I broke bread, and to all Ethiopians, we grieve with you. This week we are all Ethiopians.
Like the execution of the Coptic Christians earlier this year, we must condemn in the strongest possible terms this senseless violence. We must also call upon Muslims everywhere to denounce terrorists who use Islam as their cover. We must unite to end the bloodshed. We grieve also with Muslims in the Middle East who have been the greatest victims. Only 12% of Al Qaida victims are Westerners. The vast majority are Muslims. The Jordanian pilot burned alive was Muslim. Last year ISIS executed over 4,000 Muslims. We condemn terrorists everywhere. We must call upon our government to focus efforts on this evil.
But today, we pray for the families of the 30 Ethiopian Christians, for all who are grieving, and for all victims of hatred and violence. This week we are Ethiopians.
If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together with it.
—1 Corinthians 12:26
Yohannes, 2nd from the left.
Dick Moeller (Water to Thrive) and Bishop Luchiesee (right)
The community together, removing rocks from a field to build a fence around the new well. Young and old join in.