Partners in ministry

making a difference

March 2012

Atlanta Director Bill Reichart with Pastor and hospital chaplain Tesfi in Ethiopia

Dear Ministry Partner,
Angrily the man approached with a two-foot machete in his hand screaming, “Why did you bring Jesus to this place? I keep hearing Jesus in my ears—I am going to kill you!”
Gopeeleo, the local witch doctor, was the one screaming and the object of his wrath was Pastor Tesfi, a pastor of one of the local churches in Soddo, Ethiopia, as well as one of the chaplains serving at Soddo Christian Hospital. I had the privilege of working with Tesfi in the hospital during my latest CMDA medical mission trip to Ethiopia. Also with me in Ethiopia were a team of 8, which included 5 surgeons from the Atlanta area. It was during my time in Ethiopia that Tesfi ran into the hospital early one morning, proclaiming that Gopeeleo, that same angry man that had threatened to kill him, was now a believer, and now he’s laid his machete down. Through multiple conversations that Tesfi had with Gopeeleo over the past several years and then culminating with a showing of the Jesus film, Gopeeleo could resist no longer and finally surrendered his life to Jesus. Tesfi recounted to me how Gopeeleo was so anxious to tell him how different he now felt—evidenced by his sparkling eyes and his countenance of peace. As soon as Tesfi heard his testimony, Tesfi prayed over him as Gopeeleo stretched out his hands, sang songs to God and proclaimed his love for Jesus. Immediately Gopeeleo started going to church and repudiated his old ways as a witch doctor. He wanted to be clean physically as well as spiritually, so he cut off his long grey dreadlocks (symbolic of his old craft), asked for a razor to shave off his beard and removed his purple turban (symbolic witchdoctor hat). These gestures were all physical aspects of repentance for him. He no longer wanted to be known by his old clothes or appearance. So Tesfi went to the open air market and bought him two pairs of pants, two shirts, a coat, some socks and shoes. His face lit up when he tried on his new clothes! He said “I feel like I have had a new birth…much better than the first one! Bravo! Bravo!” This is a new beginning for him in every way. As of today, he is done with selling tobacco, alcohol and “traditional medicine” (witchcraft) as well. He told us he does not want to make God angry, because God might pick him up and throw him across a field—a still old mindset referring to what had happened before when he was serving demonic spirits. It will take time for Gopeeleo to learn the love and gentleness of the one true God. This of course will all be a process. This story of Gopeeleo and the ministry of Tesfi is a beautiful example of the extension and impact of Soddo Christian Hospital. The hospital is not only having an impact by treating patients, but it is also building Christ’s church by proclaiming the gospel. Churches planted and the growth and spread of the gospel in Soddo are directly related to the gospel ministry of Soddo Christian Hospital. For me and the CMDA Atlanta team that went, it was an incredible privilege to be a part of that life impacting ministry—as well as serving with incredible men of God like Tesfi.

Serving Him Together,

Please pray for Gopeeleo, as he grows in this new relationship w/ Christ. Pray for his wife, who is not yet a believer and now resents his faith because it has meant a loss of his income. Pray for Tesfi, his church, family and the chaplains that work faithfully and sacrificially at Soddo Christian Hospital.

I think you’ll agree that CMDA Atlanta is making a Kingdom impact through medicine both here in Atlanta and throughout the world. Therefore would you give a gift to CMDA Atlanta this month? Detach the form below and your contribution will be properly earmarked for the CMDA ministry here in Atlanta. Thank you.
(678) 350-

Thank you very much for your faithful support of this CMDA ministry.
    My check is enclosed    Please charge my: Please send information on automatic bank and credit card draft options Please remove me from the monthly Heartchangers update

Bill Reichart Atlanta Area Director


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