By Dave Helfrick
A time for mourning.
I’ve taken 4 trips to Ethiopia now. I would never say I’ve experienced it all, not even close. Today, though, I added a new experience I never expected to have, particularly in Ethiopia. I spoke at the funeral of an Ethiopian grandmother. I’ll call her Betty.
After breakfast this morning, Tom came to my room and said we had an opportunity to speak at a local funeral, and also to present the gospel. Betty died yesterday, and there was to be many, many people coming to the funeral. Betty was a believer, but many of those attending are not. Sharing the gospel here would be a chance to share with more folks than we have the entire week to date.
I wish I could tell you that my heart leapt at the thought, and that I said through Christ I can do all things. If only. I did say yes, however, and I did know that the Holy Spirit would guide me. In fact, after I had prepared on the way, during the service I began to become nervous, maybe even fearful, that I would mix up my notes, or forget them altogether.
And THEN IT HAPPENED. A Scripture came to mind, and I knew the Spirit had given it to me for this very time. Immediately after, I relaxed and knew that “God’s got this.” The Scripture was “when you stand before men, do not worry about what you will say or how to say it. You will be given what to say, and it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit speaking through you.”
While that verse is taken slightly out of context, nonetheless I knew that message was for me at that moment. From then on, I was confident knowing I had prepared as much as I could, and that the Spirit would lead me. During the time I spoke (through an interpreter of course), I forgot to say some things I had planned, and I said some things that I hadn’t even thought of till I began to speak. At the end of this, one man whom I will call Adam, professed his faith in Jesus. I will likely never see Adam again on a trip, but I will see him again one day. One glorious day.