As ministers of reconciliation, we seek to bring people to God and into community with God’s people by building bridges between people groups, healing brokenness, confronting systemic evils, and speaking truth to power that we might influence the secular towards the sacred.
The story of the Good Samaritan, found in Luke 10:25-37, is a great picture of the ministry for the new Center for Cultural Engagement. In this story, we see a servant leader going out of his way to care for someone in need. Like the Good Samaritan, the Center for Cultural Engagement is meeting needs, showing Christ’s love and sharing the Good News of Jesus.
The Texas Baptists Hunger Offering (TBHO) is one way the center meets needs and shares Christ’s love. One of the ministries they support, Restore Hope Ethiopia helps provide clean water and discipleship to those in need in Ethiopia.
Approximately 80% of rural communities in Ethiopia lack access to clean water. They have hand-dug wells exposed to contaminants, or, most often, they get their water from the river. If they have access to clean water, it is usually through a state-installed water pump, sometimes miles from their home.
Restore Hope Ethiopia drills wells in these communities and then does 4-6 months of building relationships by checking in on the well’s function and how the community is doing.
An elder in the community said, “We were like the walking dead, and you have brought the light. Our children were always sick. How can you get better when you’re drinking dirty water?”
Local Restore Hope Ethiopia staff has also conducted research in villages with extreme water needs where the people are also receptive to the Gospel. The team has spent time with young people in larger villages, where young people receive 11th and 12th-grade education or go to trade school. The staff disciples young people who carry the Gospel back to their rural communities.