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Rafiki Foundation  |  Training Africans to Transform Africa for Christ

Honegger May 2021

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country… For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:8-10 NIV).

All ten of the Rafiki Villages in Africa have been studying the book of Genesis in Bible class this year. One of the main focuses has been Abraham’s persistent faith in the Lord, a faith that was sustained through fear of the unknown, the uncertainty of traveling to a new home, and waiting to receive God’s promises.

While teaching the Bible study to my grade nine class, I often assign a written reflection question for homework. I would like to share two student answers to a recent question:

What events in your life has God used to develop your faith in Him?

Manuhe, a day student, wrote, “When I came to Rafiki [in Grade 4] I left all my friends behind. I thought that God didn’t love me because I was separated from my friends. But God was so loving and good, so much that I get the opportunity to learn His Word at school. That helps me to be strong in faith.”

Resident student Mehiret wrote, “Recently, God has used the challenges of the past few months to develop my faith in Him. They have made me stop and think about what stage of faith I was standing in. God has used these situations to draw me closer to Him.”

What joy it brings me as a teacher to see how my students are maturing in faith, persevering through challenges, and responding thoughtfully to insightful questions! I am excited to see how they continue to grow.

Grade nine dressed as characters from The Canterbury Tales prologue (accompanied by their Language Arts teacher, Chaucer). Mehiret is the girl in green; Manuhe is the boy fourth from the right.

Like Abraham and my grade nine students, God has been strengthening my faith in Him through my intermittent journeys in Africa the past 5 years and through uncertainty and waiting this year.

When I first moved to Ethiopia in 2016, I did not know where I was going or who I would meet, but I acted in faith that I was moving where God had directed me. When I again traveled to Ethiopia in February 2020 to serve for three months, I did not know that God had something else in mind: to move me here for over a year as the world dealt with the chaos of COVID. Despite the many overturned plans and ambiguities of the past year, it has been clear that Rafiki Village Ethiopia was the exact place God meant for me to be.

Students celebrate their efforts incorporating thousands of new books into the libraries with a special homemade dinner.

Instead of being isolated in a house in the U.S. I was “isolated” in a Rafiki Village with over 50 children—the perfect opportunity to make an eternal investment in their lives as they prepare to live in the home “whose architect and builder is God.” And though I am still a “stranger in a foreign country,” I have made my home here the past year, and have decided to stay in Ethiopia for at least another year. I will continue teaching, mentoring students, and assisting in the ChildCare Program.

Home—the place and the people.

I would appreciate your partnership with me for another year, as I will need additional funding and your continued prayers. Please pray that God will provide the finances needed and that I will glorify Him in all that I do here.

May you be filled with joy as you remember that you are “born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:3-4).

Melkam Fasika! Happy Easter!

Ethiopian Easter May 2, 2021

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