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A letter from John and Gwen Haspels in Ethiopia

May 2000

Dear Friends,

Here is an update on the Baale. God is at work. Three Baale chiefs have come to see me. The first two essentially said, “We have come and we can see that the people living here in Tulegit are living in the light. We are still living in the darkness. Please come and bring the light to us.” They have no understanding of the light of the gospel, yet they were able to see that the light had come to Tulegit, and they wanted that light. Please pray that God would provide a way for the light of Jesus Christ to come to the Baale. Pray too that we would be obedient to any leading of the Holy Spirit in this outreach.

The third Baale chief begged us to come and do something about the yaws (disfiguring sores all over their bodies) found among the Baale. It is much like what you found among the Surma years ago. We are planning a “Zamacha” (a cooperative campaign) together with the Ministry of Health to see if we can’t eradicate the problem.

Another prayer request would be for us and the rest of the team here. You may have heard that there is a severe famine in this part of the world again, and the Surma have also been affected. This has resulted in a steady stream of hungry people — mostly women and children — to our door, begging for food or work in order to buy food. We have been hauling in grain but have not been able to meet all the demands for food. Our vehicles are old and presently broken down. The pressure of trying to meet all these needs as well as trying to respond in a loving way to all their requests makes us feel like Moses when he faced a similar problem in Numbers 11:4 when he said, “the burden is too heavy for me.”

Another problem created by the hunger is theft. I just talked to my wife on the two-way radio and two nights in a row there have been break-ins by hungry people looking for food. Relationships between the Surma and all their neighboring tribes have also caused a lot of strain, resulting in cattle raiding and people being killed.

May God continue to richly bless you. Please continue to pray!

Together in His Service,

John M. Haspels
c/o Martha Adair
216 East 6th Street
Halstead, KS 67056

The 2000 Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 34

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