Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep and lost one. Wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you found it? When found, you can be sure you would put it across your shoulders, rejoicing, and when you got home call in your friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Celebrate with me! I’ve found my lost sheep!’ Count on it—there’s more joy in heaven over one sinner’s rescued life than over ninety-nine good people in no need of rescue.(Luke 15:4–7, The Message)
Our culture has trained us to measure success by masses. The higher the numbers the better the success must be, so the more accolades, support, money to back the project or church or organization are given. But in the Kingdom culture, the upside down one, we read of how heaven measures success, and it ‘s not the large numbers that are celebrated, rather heaven illuminates the one. The Shepherd, time and time again, leaves the 99 and seeks out the 1. This intimate Shepherd knows the one and is desperate for his rescue.
While Mercy Branch Inc. seeks to pursue God’s exact plans for establishment in the country of Ethiopia, we continue to find Him prompting us to not sit still and wait, but to go after the one. One lost sheep – one lost, hurting, hungry, sick soul in desperate need of the mercy of Jesus. No, we are not free to set up an organized program for the masses, but we are able to open our gates to one, and in the Kingdom, Jesus says the one matters and is worth chasing. It won’t bring huge statistics for Mercy Branch Inc.. We cannot boast of large numbers and transformations and huge events, but we can boast of the Jesus who chases and rescues one. He invites us into this work for the one.
This is exactly where we find ourselves in this moment. We are focusing on what we are allowed to do, and we are focusing on one at a time. Right now, the Darling family and Kyle (one of our board members who is in-country with us for several months) are chasing after one little 13 year old boy, named Kirabel, and to be straight forward, we need you to stand with us. Kirabel is a very good buddy of our Habi. He lives in the slums in Addis, his house consisting of two very small rooms, with peeling walls, mud floors, no kitchen, no running water, no bathroom. It is cold and small and dark, and home to six people. God led us to this family some time ago, and then pointed at Kirabel, who we found out has been suffering from a gaping, weeping hole in his neck. We knew immediately that we could not turn our eyes away from this child, but rather had to chase down some answers and medical help. This is no easy feat in Addis Ababa, but God led us to the right hospital and doctors, and we now have a diagnosis and a plan.
Kirabel has always been a sick child. He struggles with regulating his sugar and has convulsions because of this. It was communicated to us that he has diabetes. Yesterday, at the hospital, we learned that Kirabel actually has a congenital condition that has now manifested itself in this fistula on his neck. He was diagnosed with a thyroglossal cyst that has ruptured and formed an open sinus fistula on the midline of his neck that is now oozing. The doctor informed us that Kirabel actually has hypoglycemia, rather than diabetes, and is severely depleted of calcium, and from our understanding this is all connected to the cyst. He must have surgery where a Sistrunk’s Operation will be performed, which should greatly improve Kirabel’s health. At least this is the information that we have been given and know to be true at this time. While Mercy Branch Inc. does not have a specific budget for a surgery of this nature; we are certain of God’s desire for us to give this child a chance to live a healthy, full life. We are also praying that in the future we will be celebrating the rescue of his eternal life as Jesus invites Him into His fold.
Please pray with us how God may be inviting you to pursue this one child. We need to raise approximately $2000 USD to cover the expenses of Kirabel’s medical bills. To donate, please click here. We will update our facebook page often with how the fundraising is progressing and when we have a surgery date in place. We are hopeful that we may find out more information regarding post-op and a surgery date this Friday. We will travel to the hospital anticipating that to be true. Thank you, friends, for standing with us, for knowing how important ONE life is in the Kingdom, and for helping us care for the physical and spiritual needs of Kirabel.