“If you can be a Christian in Canada, you can be a Christian anywhere.”
The words got my attention. The speaker got my respect.
He was new to North Pointe and relatively new to Canada. Our meeting was so Tesfaye could help me get to know him, his wife and two young daughters. His Ethiopian accent made understanding his words a challenge but there was no misunderstanding his passion.
Tesfaye Debla is a pastor and a church planter in Ethiopia.
Adversity’s Refining Ability
He knows adversity.
“When you become a Christian in Ethiopia, you face opposition and alienation from your family and society. You have to think twice to be a Christian for it comes with lots of cost and life changes dramatically.”
“There is a constant struggle to focus on God and maintain an intimate relationship with Him. Christian fellowship is the only means of hope for survival in the midst of opposition.”
“When you go through this kind of refining fire, you make God your only source of life. When you are committed to that kind of intimate relationship every day, it is much easier to say YES to God.”
The Temptation to Settle
Adversity doesn’t concern Tesfaye as much as complacency. Complacency is the deadly enemy of progress.
His Canadian experience showed him that it’s hard to be a Christian in Canada – yes, harder than living for Jesus in Ethiopia.
“There are so many distractions in Canada that take you away from faith and following Jesus. I found this culture very materialistic and highly influenced by the power of media.”
“The biggest danger for us who live in the west is the temptation to settle. Unlike the developing world, we can easily meet our needs and become self sufficient with our efforts. Every thing looks okay from outside but we are loosing our uniqueness and dying very slowly.”
Tesfaye challenged me think about two things:
1. How will Tesfaye and his family resist the temptation to settle as he becomes more and more Canadian?
2. How settled have I become without knowing it?
Great things never come from comfort zones.
APPLICATION: Please leave a comment below. Thank you.
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