12 May 2010

Refugee Missionary...

This week has been more hectic than most... I've been filling in in the Registrar's office during our 2-week holiday term...

On Monday I had one of those extremely geographically-challenged moments as I was registering a student from Eritrea... for the life of me I couldn't figure out which town in Uganda he was referring to... but his light skin, curly hair and slight Hebrew-ish accent caused me to think that Eritrea might be a country...

Fortunately, when there is no knowledge wikipedia is there to stand in the gap... for those who are as confused as I was... the State of Eritrea is located East of Sudan and North of Ethiopia...

Brhane is an amazing man of God who was kind enough to share his testimony with me... he is a businessman who was forced to leave Eritrea due to religious persecution and is now living in Uganda as a refugee... he is a shoemaker with shops throughout Eritrea and now Uganda...

I asked him directly if he was a pastor and he insisted he was not... rather he is a man called by God to fund his evangelism and preaching ministry through his business...

The second question I asked was if he was at GBI to get a Diploma... he confidently said no but that his hope was to learn the Bible completely so he can share it with others...

Knowing that he was not interested in religious titles and credentials only got me more interested in hearing his story... he shared about the persecution he faced (all with a smile of joy on his face)... his church  of 250 Eritrean refugees in Uganda that he is a member of and the opportunities he has had to lead other refugees to the Lord and disciple them... then he showed me a number of interesting websites about Eritrea... seriously google "Christian Persecution Eritrea" if you want to learn more...

Wanting him to stay longer I tried to register him for classes through 2020... but he insisted that he did not know how long he would stay... his wife whom he married in 2007 has been a refugee in Canada for the last 2 years and they both have a calling to return to Eritrea to preach the gospel as soon as they can... GBI is great but we can't compete with that type of calling so I simply assured him that we would teach him all we could while he was around...

Stories like Brhane's remind me what a privilege it is to train African leaders...

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