The Cushite Bride

Have we stopped to consider?

Today, I stumbled across a video reminding me of the orphan crisis in Ethiopia.  It is a significant issue, one in which I am deeply invested.  Frame after frame, the statistics were presented—the number of Ethiopian orphans; the percentage of the world population living on less than one dollar a day; the number of children who will die from malnourishment or a preventable disease.  Then the payoff—do you know how much a Starbucks latte costs?  How big is your television?  Have you shopped for a new pair of shoes lately? Did you know you can sponsor a child, donate to this new orphanage, do x, y, or z?

I get it.

But there are too many people too afraid to say this—statistics move me only to unsustainable reaction.

Statistics make for good marketing, package well.  Statistics may make me think that my forty dollars a month will “make a difference.”

But have we stopped to consider?

A packaged crisis imputes necessity.  “Immediate action is needed, donate now.”  And the more quickly we act the less we think.  About what?

About the dignity of the global church. What if the Ethiopian church could solve its own crisis?  What if we were to support them by prayer, fasting, and funding?  What if they don’t need our videos, our marketing, our physical presence?  What if living out sainthood means living lives of quiet humility, without non-profits, videos, or blog posts—without a movement to pimp?  What if our names are never known?

Ethiopian Church is the descendant of Zipporah, the Cushite bride of Moses who saved her children from fatherlessness by consummating covenant with the living God.  She was bold and beautiful.  And we give her too little credit.

Have we stopped to consider?

________

Will you join me for a few days of prayer for the Ethiopian church?  They are a beautiful representation of the body of Christ and they do have a crisis on their hands.  There is a quiet way to support a revolution of dignity. For more information, visit Kidmia.

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2 Responses to The Cushite Bride

  1. Arianne says:

    You speak what we’ve been feeling God move in us for a year now – not Ethiopia specifically, but on prayer and fasting and giving in different ways. The specific power behind prayer and fasting and how they make real change – change that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. It’s one of those revelation/epiphany/a-ha things.

    This is confirmation for so many things. Thank you.

    • sethhaines says:

      Arianne,

      This is a difficult wrestling. To be clear, we are so proud of those who have reached out, adopted beautiful children from Ethiopia. We are proud to call them friends and grateful that their children are in our lives.

      My broader question is whether we are so busy “doing” (forming non-profits, creating new orphanages, making new shoe brands) that we have not stopped to ask whether we are stripping the people of dignity. I wonder whether we are so busy “doing” that we have forgotten to root our work in true gospel redemption. Have we grabbed hold of organizational buzzwords that lack meaning and thrown those out there to fund “orphan care” without really knowing what we are funding?

      I think we need to measure response more, trust the Ethiopian church (and other international churches) to tell us the best way to be involved in their work. This takes time because you have to vet the particular contact. It takes prayer, because there’s not one voice for the Ethiopian church. It takes trust. I’m just not sure you can identify a problem and begin to act on it within twenty four hours. I think a lot of harm can occur that way.

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