Fire from Heaven
When local villagers mock God’s people, He intervenes to provide land for a church.
At a place called Hobicho in southern Ethiopia, no Seventh-day Adventists could be found. Then Mrs. Tagesech Birhanu moved there with her non-SDA husband—a drunkard, smoker and narcotic user. Whenever Tagesech’s pastor or other Adventist friends visited, her husband mocked at them. Still, the church pastors continued visiting, for Tagesech had told them of her hope and belief that one day her husband would accept Jesus as his personal Savior, just as she had done.
After quite some time, Pastor Daniel Anito and Pastor Yohannes Adebo decided to conduct 10 days of tent meetings at the marketplace in Hobicho. Tagesech’s husband attended, and, along with other attendees, he accepted Jesus as his personal Savior. His wife’s faith and prayers had been answered!
Now Hobicho had a Seventh-day Adventist congregation, but still no place of worship except Tagesech’s home. The house worked fine for worship services until the congregation’s numbers increased to the point that the building could not accommodate them all! It was time to build a church in Hobicho.
The pastors went to the local government administration to request a plot of land, but the officials did not want a Seventh-day Adventist Church there. With their request for public land denied, the congregation began fundraising to buy private land. The villagers, deciding the Adventists must be wealthy, mocked them by asking a high price for their property.
Among the mockers was a man who sometimes visited magicians. To discourage the Adventists, he asked $8,000 for his land, a huge amount for a rural plot. Then one afternoon around two o’clock, the villagers saw fire flash down from the heavens onto this man’s land. Along with two huts, the fire from heaven burned down the man’s newly built metal-sided house, turning all three buildings and everything in them to ash.
The man went to the nearby sorcerer and asked why the fire had fallen. “It is because you were not willing to sell the plot of land to the Seventh-day Adventists,” the magician told him. “Go and find them and sell your land right away.” Immediately, the unfortunate man went to the Adventist workers to beg them to buy his land—the same land they had pleaded with him to sell. Now, instead of an exorbitant price, he offered them his land for a very small sum. The God of Elijah who answered His servant of old with fire had answered His modern servants in the same way!
Two Ethiopians from South Africa heard of God’s marvelous work and sent $750 for the property. Local church members contributed the remaining money. Now that the Hobicho congregation had land to build a church, building construction began at once. Church members and even common villagers pitched in. Even Muslims helped build the Lord’s house because they had seen the wondrous work that He had done in their midst.
Praise God for the miracles He has done in this generation. God never keeps silent when the Gentiles mock His name and His people. He stands for His people and intervenes for the sake of His name. The God who performs miracles marveled all in Hobicho by His wonders!
Tesfaye Tadese Hailegnaw is the coordinator of the Ethiopian gospel workers funded by MPI. He lives in Shashamanne, Ethiopia.
Daniel Shamebo Sabore is a lay worker who manages MPI’s Ethiopia project. He lives in Federal Way, WA, and can be contacted at info [at] advancedtranslationservices [dot] com.
How You Can Help
Pray for the expanding work in Ethiopia and for the many souls to be reached.
Give to the Ethiopian project to enable more gospel workers to be trained and hired, and more churches to be built. Send your check marked “Ethiopia,” “Ethiopia workers,” or “Ethiopia churches” to:
Mission Projects International
PO Box 151
Inchelium, WA 99138
For online options, visit: