Updated: Dec 27, 2022
By Dinah Monahan
Have you ever seen the back of a tapestry. While the front is woven into beautiful images of many colors and hues, the back is a tangle of threads with no apparent rhyme or reason. Coming away from Ethiopia this time, I feel like I have been walking in a real life tapestry. People, who by their birth circumstances are poor, illiterate and hopeless have been transformed by the Weaver’s hand into a masterpiece. Those who do not know the Father, the Weaver, may look at their lives and still see the tangled, ugly back. But those of us who measure value by His standards, see the beauty and purpose of the design!
Abi is a beautiful example of the Weaver’s masterpiece. He was born into a poor family. His mother died at two and his father at twelve. Abandonment and worthlessness defined his existence. As a teen, he decided to end the pain through suicide. He was looking at the sky wondering which method he should use and instead of an answer he received THE answer – a supernatural infusion of God’s pure love. One moment he was empty and desperate, the next he was full of wonder and joy! Later he was introduced to the the incarnation of that love – Jesus Christ. He was hired by a Christian man as a grounds keeper. In Abi’s words, “He had no children, I had no parents and God brought us together.” This man brought him to the U.S. and sent him to a Christian college in North Carolina.
During that time, Abi was listening to a radio program on abortion. He had never even thought of it before. The words pierced his soul and he pulled over and wept. Immediately he went to a local Planned Parenthood and joined the others he found there praying outside the clinic while offering help to the women going in. He saw the horror of abortion in America and he wondered if it was so in Ethiopia. After researching he found that the European counterpart of Planned Parenthood, Marie Stopes Clinics were indeed spilling the blood of the unborn in Ethiopia (and all of Africa). He knew then that God was calling him back to Ethiopia to wage a battle of love against the forces of death. After settling, he found the Marie Stopes clinics and started sharing life to the women going in. The Weaver was adding threads to the beautiful image and he found Meseret who is our Ethiopian outreach of Psalm 51. She was implementing our program providing housing and living expenses for expectant mothers who intended to abort but chose life for their babies. These women are destitute and alone. We rent rooms (very small humble rooms) and give them a small food allowance. But housing and expenses are not enough. These moms need to also hear about Jesus, be taught life skills and earn money. Our purpose this trip was to create this program. Imagine the Weaver pulling all of these colorful threads together from across the oceans to create beauty. The women will come together twice a week and be taught the Bible through story (they can’t read) by a Ruth, a woman who exudes love. They will then hand sew simple dresses and shorts under the guidance of Wubet, a woman who knows sewing from her tailor father. They will be paid per piece, which goes into savings for when their year is up. Then the finished clothes will go to the very poor children of the indigenous missionaries (all former Mus!ims) in the New Life Ethiopia network of rural churches. Finally, Meseret will teach them life skills and infant care. Jesus in the morning, sewing in the middle and life skills in the evening. It will be a wonderful time for them to come together and laugh, talk, earn money and hear about Jesus.
Abi, Meseret and so many others are starting a Pro-Life movement in Ethiopia. Abi is opening a coffee shop right next to the clinic to connect with the girls before they go in. Meseret is caring for the mamas when they change their mind. So many others are coming alongside educating and sharing truth. Each thread in this tapestry has a different purpose but the beauty of the finished piece is God’s masterpiece.