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Rafiki Foundation  |  God's Word at Work
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Honegger November 2021

Going on from there, [Jesus] saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him” (Matthew 4:21-22 NIV).

I am writing to you from the Rafiki Village in Tanzania. I had been back at the Village in Ethiopia for about a month when the Home Office asked me to relocate temporarily due to the political and civil conflict in parts of Ethiopia. Lord willing this will be temporary and I can return in the near term to Ethiopia. In the meantime, I am eager to serve in Uganda where I can help with a lot of animal husbandry! Pray for the Rafiki Village, Amy and Tekle, the national staff, and the children in Ethiopia.

Saying goodbye to my family and home in Ethiopia for a time was extremely difficult for me, but I will choose to put my hope in the Lord. Matthew chapter 4 was the focus of the Rafiki Bible Study during the week before I had to leave. I had been teaching the students that responding to Jesus’ call may involve leaving family, home, and work—something I’d done when I moved to Africa. Little did I know that God would also call me to leave my African home and family at the end of the week, yet through that Bible study He was preparing me to respond in faith and obedience.

These lyrics from the lesson’s hymn, Jesus Calls Us, were also meaningful:

In our joys and in our sorrows,
Days of toil and hours of ease,
Still He calls, in cares and pleasures,
“Christian, love Me more than these!”


A joyful reunion—getting to surprise the children with my return on October 5 after two months in the U.S.A. waiting for my passport renewal.

During that precious month in Ethiopia, I had been teaching grade 7 Bible, grades 8 and 9 language arts, and grade 10 math. As an introduction to my language arts classes, I asked the students to consider how words and ideas can change the world and that studying language arts equips them to use their words well. I then assigned a reflection essay for them to think about what kind of impact they wanted to have on the world.

Many students wrote about wanting to improve the country of Ethiopia in ways such as providing access to clean food and water in rural villages, fair treatment of women in society, and caring for poor or orphaned children. Others described their desire to lead people to Christ and share the gospel. Gadissa (Grade 9) said, “As long as I live I

want people to see Christ in me… and to be well-remembered by reconciling people with God.” Natnael (also Grade 9) wants to inspire genuine love in families between children and parents so that they can overcome difficulties together. Read what Meklit (Grade 8) said in the excerpt from his essay at the end of my newsletter.

Wow! I was amazed when I read so many thoughtful responses from my students. What a joy it is to see their soft hearts that love the Lord and want to help others know Christ. As I told them, our words matter because we are made in the image of the Word—Jesus.


Gadissa, Meklit, Natnael

In the coming weeks, please pray:

  • that the situation in Ethiopia stabilizes, that true peace and reconciliation are pursued, and that I can return soon
  • for the safety of all Rafiki Ethiopia children and staff
  • for peace, comfort, and joy for me, and that my trust in God will deepen and that I will wait in humble reliance on Him.
  • that I would serve well in Uganda and learn names quickly
  • for all 250 Rafiki Day Students to have sponsors and be fully funded soon.
  • For generous giving to the Africa Expansion Campaign. Rafiki is entering a season of exponential growth. We anticipate the thousands that Rafiki is currently ministering to across our 10 countries will turn to tens of thousands. To meet these new opportunities, we are asking God for a 25% increase over Rafiki’s current annual budget which could increase Rafiki’s impact 10-fold.

Note : Rafiki is now able to accept non-cash gifts such as real estate or estate bequests. Contact Rafiki@RafikiFoundation.org for more information.

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