ZAY PEOPLE :: An amazing report

First a little background: Some of you know that our two youngest kids are from Ethiopia. Through the adoption process we discovered that they were born on an island in the middle of Lake Zway. We also discovered that they are part of a particular tribal group called the Zay People. There are about 6000-8000 Zay People and they primarily inhabit the three islands that are clustered together on the eastern side of Lake Zway. The Zay people have been listed as an unreached people group – meaning they have no consistent gospel presence in their language or living among them. There are many physical needs that the Zay people have, and we have sought to meet those needs over the past two years. A few months after we adopted Tia and Garrett, some friends of ours began an organization called Garrett’s Heart to raise money to help the Zay People. It was formed primarily because of Garrett’s true heartfelt, consistent concern for his family and their living conditions. In the first year we installed three clean water wells on the island, which are providing clean water each day for the people on Zadecha Island. When we met with the elders of the island, they listed clean water as their top priority, with a medical clinic being second on the list and an irrigation system as their third desire. Another group has recently built a new medical clinic on the largest island, Debra Tsion. I am looking forward to seeing how this clinic can also serve the needs of all three islands so that we can turn our main attention toward installing an irrigation system that will triple their ability to produce crops. Now for the good part: But there is a deeper need that the Zay People have. They need to be able to hear the good news of Jesus Christ in their own language so that they can have the opportunity to respond to the hope found in Him. 12 months ago through a contact at E3 Partners (The “I Am Second” people), I met Joseph Menna who is a native Ethiopian and works for E3 Partners in Ethiopia. I traveled with Joseph out to the islands and watched as he led Tia and Garrett’s birth-mom and their oldest sister to put their faith in Jesus. I also met with a group of pastors that work with Joseph and we began planning a larger strategy to get the gospel to the Zay people consistently. I told them that if they would figure out the best way to spread the gospel throughout the Zway region and focus specifically on the Zay People then I would help them fund it. They sent me a three year plan and began preparing for the first event – a training retreat for 70 pastors in the region. E3 Partners is an incredible mission organization that knows what they are doing and does it well by contextualizing the gospel for the various settings that they are in worldwide. A few weeks ago this training event happened. The email I received was a short report of the training event and a few pictures of the event. I know this training will lead to many people in and around the Zay People hearing the gospel and receiving a chance to respond to it. This picture is part of the group that took part of their day to go to the lake and pray for the people in the islands.
There are a lot of organizations that seek to make a difference through all kinds of good projects that improve the lives of people all over the world. So many of these organizations have great intentions, but they only address the physical needs and ignore the more vital spiritual needs of desperate people. I am certainly not advocating doing only one or the other, instead I am pushing for a BOTH AND approach. Garrett’s Heart is committed to forming local partnerships that address the physical, spiritual and emotional needs of the Zay People. We are well on our way to equipping many local servants to share the gospel daily. Please pray for this group of 70 men and women who have been equipped and have a vision for reaching this region with the gospel of Jesus. I will be leaving on Sunday afternoon for travel to Ethiopia to bring our 7th child home (4 biological and 3 adopted). Our newest son is 8 years old and grew up on the same island as Tia and Garrett and was sent to the orphanage at the same time almost 4 years ago. I look forward to checking up on the work in and around Zway while I am there. Please pray for us that our presence would be a huge encouragement to the people who God is using to reach these amazing Zay people.

1 comment:

Ekahdaka Seyatan said...

what u said is correct expect for few but don't forget that “The Ark of the Covenant,” believed to shelter the 10 Commandments given to Moses, remained safe among the Zay people on the southern Ethiopian island". the Zay people will pay all the sucrifies if needed to preserve their religion and they paid also a lot. they don't care about your help which tied up with changing their religion as its not more than their faith. beyond that their religion is a matter of their identify. so they prefer to live with all their problems hoping that the almighty will never let them down. and is was Jesus the son of saint marry along with the shepherd of angels who were protecting them till now and for the future. thus, your religion based aid is not important as they were not stay alive because of your help. so stay where you are.