"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." ~ Acts 1:8
Reading that verse in the past, I quickly summed it up saying, "Oh yeah God will take the Gospel to all corners of the earth." I was thinking in a very general sense of the Gospel being preached everywhere to everyone. But did you know there are very specific verses prophesizing the spread of the Gospel to Ethiopia? This gets me very excited! It reveals God's heart for the people of this country.
The first is in Psalm 68:31, "Envoys will come from Egypt. Cush will submit herself to God." Cush refers to the upper Nile region where Ethiopia is now located.
The other is Isaiah 56:4-5: "To the eunuchs who keep my sabbaths, who choose what pleases me and hold fast to my covenant - to them I will give within my temple and its walls a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will not be cut off."
The first recorded occurrance of the Gospel being taken to Ethiopia happens in Acts Chapter 8 when Phillip encounters an Ethiopia eunuch traveling home from Jerusalem who wants to be baptized. A eunuch is a high ranking Ethiopian government official. This official had been to Jerusalem to worship and was studying the prophecy of Isaiah. It makes me wonder if he was reading the passage above where God promises the people "an everlasting name that will not be cut off."
When the rich pass away they can extend the memory of themselves - the very proof of their existence. Libraries, museums and park benches are named after them and on their behalf. When the poor pass away, they pass away and are forgotten. But God does not forget them. When I look into the eyes of these children I want them to be remembered. I want them to know the One who is seeking them. I want them to claim their memorial and their name "better than sons and daughters." A name that will never be cut off.
(A special thanks to Cami Carter who provided me these prophesies when we were studying this Acts passage during Bible Study.)