And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up (Galatians 6:9).
Some stories are encouraging precisely because, at other points in the storyline, they weren’t so encouraging at all. Such is the case with Mesay, a sixteen year-old girl in Covenant Mercies’ program in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (pictured above with Program Coordinator, Hilina Atlabachew).
About this time last year, Mesay’s sponsors contacted us to inquire about her profile update, and ask how they could pray for her. It was a timely request. At that moment, Mesay was in the midst of a great struggle. After a major fight with her mother, Mesay had dropped out of school and turned to living on the streets with a group of friends. While such behavior would result in the discontinuation of her sponsorship if it persisted, we hoped that Mesay might still be guided back onto the right path. Hilina Atlabachew, Covenant Mercies Program Coordinator in Addis, tried in vain to counsel Mesay on multiple occasions. We asked Mesay’s sponsors to pray, especially when we learned that Hilina had another meeting scheduled.
The meeting did not begin well. Mesay came to the meeting with the intention of telling Hilina she would not return to school, she would not move back in with her mother, and she would be perfectly happy to discontinue her sponsorship and live on the street with her friends. After encountering such strong resistance in the first half of their meeting, Hilina decided to pray with Mesay. Hilina concluded her prayer and began to discuss the same issues again. Miraculously, it was as if Hilina was talking to an entirely different person. God had softened Mesay’s heart. By the conclusion of the meeting, Mesay wrote goals about reconciling with her mother, returning to school, and saying goodbye permanently to her friends on the street.
It has now been more than nine months since that meeting. The transformation in Mesay’s heart has stood the test of time. Her relationships with her mother and siblings are strong. She is enrolled in school for both academics and vocational studies, where she is learning to be a hairstylist. She has stayed away from the temptations of the street. She is now attending church regularly, is taking a discipleship class, and professes faith in Christ. Through the faithful, patient, and prayerful support of her Covenant Mercies sponsors combined with Hilina’s persevering, loving counsel, the Lord has transformed Mesay’s life.