It was hot and sunny while I sat in the busy intercity bus station in Wichita, Kansas.
As I waited for my bus, I saw a man standing by the vending machine struggling to get the machine to work.
His name was Kibrom, and he came to the U.S. from Ethiopia about a month ago. He was surprised to meet me, a fellow Ethiopian. I was surprised because Kibrom was from one of the most rural and unreached people groups in northern Ethiopia where the number of evangelical believers is less than 0.1%. There are no known churches where he is from in Africa.
“I haven’t had a drink or food for almost 24 hours,” Kibrom said. Because he didn’t yet have a credit card, he wasn’t able to use the machine so I bought him snacks and water.
Kibrom came to the U.S. expecting to live the American dream. Kansas was just a stop on a long bus trip from Las Vegas to Iowa. He was traveling to find a better contact in Iowa because his sponsor family in Las Vegas failed to help him. He didn’t know the U.S. was so big that the bus ride would take him two days.
We talked about life in America while we sat in the bus station. Kibrom told me about his one-year-old daughter in Ethiopia. He said he missed his family.
After we boarded the bus, we sat together in blue leather seats. Kibrom asked me to help him configure his new Android phone. As I helped, I asked him if I could show him the JESUS Film in his own language. He seemed surprised by my question.
“Have you heard how to know God?” I asked.
“No,” he said, and seemed eager to hear from me.
I shared the gospel using my phone. When we reached the prayer section to invite Jesus as his Lord and Saviour, he paused and asked me the meaning of “accepting.” I explained to him from John 1:12 what it meant and summarised the gospel for him again.
In the Ethiopian language, Jesus’ name means “World Saviour.” He wondered what I meant by inviting Jesus to be his personal Saviour. I compared it to headache medicine, which is good for everyone. Once you take it, you experience it for yourself.
Again I asked him if he was willing to pray the prayer to follow Jesus Christ. This time Kibron said yes and prayed with me on the bus.
For about two minutes, he spoke in his own tribal language joyfully. I just listened. After he shared, I said “Now tell me in a language I understand.” He laughed and told me.
I didn’t expect to meet someone from one of Ethiopia’s unreached people groups on a bus ride in the U.S. I’m grateful for this divine appointment. Kibrom was very happy to get the JESUS Film App and GodTools App on his mobile phone in a language he can understand. I pray that the gospel will bear fruit in his life.
By Miheret Tilahun Eshete. First published January 23, 2017 on the Cru website
About the author: Miheret Tilahun Eshete lives in Orlando, Florida., where he is a digital strategist for Cru. Originally from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Miheret spent eight years in Ethiopia leading 24 countries in Southern and Eastern Africa in digital strategies before moving to Florida in May 2016. He is passionate about making Jesus known to all cultures and people groups in the world. He and his team help people around the world use digital tools, such as websites, video, mobile apps and more to advance the gospel. In his free time, Miheret enjoys walking, watching movies and watching soccer (especially when his favorite team, Chelsea, is playing).