We had a packed compound as usual on a Saturday afternoon.  The kids were running around and we really had no plans that day.  I was in the kitchen teaching my 19 year old Ethiopian son Yide and my friends son Sisay how to cook.  Someone knocked at the gate.  Gavin raced up the hill to see who it was.  With Gavin being so small he isn't quite BIG BOY enough to open the gate on his own.  He called for his big brother Yide to come help him open the gate.

It wasn't a regular visitor at this time because the person remained outside as Yide continued to talk to him.  Minutes later Yide approached me saying mom there is a man at the gate that needs our help.  I need for you to understand how precious this moment was for me.  See Yide grew up in a government orphanage from the time he was about 8 years old about my daughter Kalkidans age; this could have been her.

God crossed my path with Yidneckachew in 2008 when I came to Ethiopia on a Sports Friend trip.  We went down to Langano for a week and helped serve, cheer and love on about 70 boys that came from all over Addis to enjoy camp for a week.  God strategically placed this then 16 year old in my group with much purpose.  My sweet friend and sister Genet was the Ethiopian leader for our team.  She had noticed instantly that Yide was dealing with an evil spirit.  The reason she could recognize it so easily is because she too had dealt with evil spirits as the chosen one in her family to carry them.

I know CRAZY weird evil spirit stuff it sounded CRAZY to me too at the time.  I began to pray for this kid like crazy.  Every time I was beside him I would have my hand on him praying with out him even knowing.  The harder I began to pray the more darkness caved in on me.  One evening when I was praying for him in a cabin full of women that were mostly sleeping, I began to call out to my FATHER.   I prayed for Yide's salvation and that the demon that was inside of him would be released so that this precious boy could be a living testimony to his Heavenly Father.

After I prayed I lie there in bed not being able to go to sleep.  I could feel this presence of darkness that was hovering over my body.  It got very warm and I was very scared.  This darkness surrounded my entire being as if it were laying on top of me without touching me.  It couldn't touch me, God wouldn't let it touch me.

I turned on my head lamp to bring some light into the darkness. I laid there trembling at what I had just experienced.  I got brave enough after some time had passed to turn my head lamp of again.  I immediately heard footsteps as if someone were walking in our room in the cabin.  I turned the light on again and  I saw nothing.  Turning the light off again I was almost asleep and I sat up in my bed and screamed to the top of my lungs.  I felt that presence of darkness again something was defiantly there.

Before switching my light on again I heard little steps going across the wall where my head lay.  I was terrified.  I began to pray harder for Yideneckachew realizing that this was a spiritual battle and that the enemy wanted this boys soul.

The next morning we had devotions and my friend James told me that Jeff one of our really close friends screamed out Trent's (my husbands) name 4 times in his sleep last night.  I realized again that this was a battle and I must radically engage.

I physically was able to watch the battle within this young boys body.  When we would have worship he would literally cover his head with his hat and look straight down at the ground.  Anytime you would mention Jesus his eyes would do this funny twisting thing.   This was the first time ever that I had experienced anything so black and white dealing with evil spirits.

Every opportunity I had I was laying my hands on him and praying secretly for him.  I remember this happening on August 1, 2008 like it was yesterday.  It was time for the boys to go swimming, something they looked forward to because most of them had never been in the water before.  We were walking and Yide grabs my hand.  How precious it was to hold his hand and walk with him on this exciting journey to swim for the first time ever.

Earlier that morning I had felt direct direction from your Spirit LORD to pray  heavily for him.  As I was experiencing firsts with the darkness in this way I too LORD was experiencing first with you.  You were speaking to me directly about praying specifically for Yideneckachew's life to be forever yours.  I earnestly prayed and begged you crying a few different times for you to have VICTORY in this situation.  I prayed LORD that YOUR SPIRIT would completely take over the evil spirit allowing Yide to feel your LOVE and YOUR presence in JESUS'S name.

After the swimming was over we locked hands again and walked down this beautiful path of trees that hovered over us.  I began to learn more about this precious boy and his story.  We started talking about you GOD and then out of no where he says "I love Jesus".  I responded with "Jesus loves you too" but inside I wanted to jump up an down while screaming and shouting praises to you.

There were moments where GOD revealed HIMSELF to me that outrageously changed my walk with HIM forever through this 16 year old boy that I in just a week had grown to love.  GOD had me on my knees in the strangest places crying and pleading and begging to HIM for Yide's soul. Moments where my heart ached so bad for what ached HIS that I couldn't even speak what I wanted to say in the presence of my FATHER.   My GOD showed me that HE cared about the things that I cared about and HE taught me how to care about the things that mean the most to HIM....peoples souls.

Yideneckachew gave his life to JESUS CHRIST that evening.  I was forever changed by my Father!!!

So getting to share this moment where my son is in my home with me and telling me that there is a guy at the door that needs our help blew my heart away. This is how AMAZING our GOD is.  I walked up the hill and to the gate where I reached this old man who was probably in his 80's.  He was squatted down and began to speak in a soft voice.   He was explaining to me that he had come from the country side about a month ago to Addis in hopes of  getting help to the Dr. for his eyes because he felt he was going blind.

I informed him that we do not give money out to anyone.  I asked him why he came to our door?  His response was "I don't know why I am at your door".   He began to weep which made all of us that were standing around him cry including Yide.   I assured him that we would take him to the doctor and get his eyes checked for him and after all the eye stuff was over we would help him get back home to his daughter.  We asked him to come back the following Wednesday.

Not knowing if he would return all I could think about was the fact that his words were "I do not know why I am at your door".  In my heart I knew he was sent by the power of GODS SPIRIT somehow.  Walking back down the hill with Yide, you could just see in his heart and hear in his voice how happy he was to be able to have been a part of helping someone. I am so grateful to be with my BIG FAMILY of 11 here in Addis where we are able to help serve our FATHER by helping those he brings to our gates.

Wednesday Thomas did show up and went to the eye doctor.  This past Monday he went back and had surgery.  Next Monday we will take him back to see how the surgery went.  During this time spent with Thomas our hearts were once again reminded of our Heavenly Father.  This precious man gets to feel the love of his HEAVENLY FATHER because we were willing, Yidneckachew gets to receive the blessing of being a part of something so much bigger than himself and we get the priveledge and honor to be HIS chosen ones.