Ethiopia has a very special place in my heart. My family is there. Not family that is connected by blood, but family that is connected through Jesus Christ. These are my brothers and sisters. We are one body of believers. I have visited here the past 4 years. This last time was the “rainy season” and with that comes mud. I saw a lot of mud! But, the Ethiopians are rejoicing in the rain because it represents a renewal. Their crops are benefitting from the rain which will bring a great harvest. I did see a need for the Pastors and Evangelists who visit the surrounding communities spreading the hope and love of our Savior Jesus Christ. They only have their “everyday” shoes. They need boots! To be able to trek through the mud and do what they are called to do. Our next trip is in February 2016 and I am taking my 10 year old daughter, Illianna, along to experience the mission field and to meet her extended family. I would also love to be able to bring these incredible followers a gift from their brothers and sisters in America. I would be so thankful if you would consider donating for this need. There are 17 Pastors and Evangelists.
I am so THRILLED!! We were able to raise enough to purchase all of the boots needed for our Pastors and Evangelists. They are packed and ready to go. I can’t wait to see their faces when they receive them. I also want to share with you, what my mom sent me. She did not know at the time that I was planning this fundraiser. However, after receiving her note, it was a confirmation to follow my HEART. I would bring back these boots for my brother and sisters.
Following is a blog that my Mom, Loretta Cooley, wrote about the yellow boots I bought to take on my last trip:
I first saw “The Boots” in Las Vegas, New Mexico, June 2015. I actually thought my daughter had lost it! She had on these yellow rain boots, in 90 degree weather, not a cloud in the sky, doing her happy dance with her 14 year old daughter, who was returning from a three week stay in Texas. After eatting lunch, Shanna explained that it was rainy season in Ethiopia and Tim bought her these boots to take on her mission trip #4 to Ethiopia, Africa.
Strange that she was wearing them that day. At that time, I didn’t know God had blessed those “boots”. I didn’t know those boots were special. My heart was pounding that day. I told her I loved her, be careful, follow God’s Plan and to open her heart to her other “family” across the continent. Share the Word! Tell the Good News! Jesus is Lord!
I felt different that day we said good bye. Not sad but kind of empty. I was watching God at work in My Daughter! Realizing immediately that Shanna Rachelle was His on loan to me, Not mine on loan to God! I did a lot of soul searching on that ride home to Denver City. Shanna was leaving in a few days, thousands of miles away from her physical home. Alone. I thought! Oh she had her Compassion friends and missionary friends, but none of her family.
She had our support, our love, our blessings but nothing materialistic, except those “yellow rain boots”. What was so important about those “boots”. It was rainy season in Ethiopia, meaning those boots would walk everyday. They would see serenity, peace, comfort, and the Shadow of the Holy Spirit. Those boots walked over ground that was Blessed by our Almighty God. They walked in places that I could only dream about but never walk there. They knew sorrow, hardship, hunger and even death. They also saw Joy, Prosperity, New crops for food and money, water to drink, They saw Life! Happiness and Hope rose out of the ground.
Those “yellow rain boots” witnessed God working. And God did not waste time. Lives changing, grasping for a better life, finding Jesus and an eternity of everlasting life was shared by many. Hopefully those Yellow Boots will walk in other places experiencing the greatest Gift of all—-LOVE! Loretta Cooley
Thank you Lord for giving me the desires and passion to LOVE OTHERS!! SERVE OTHERS!!