Stories Open Mic An update from our mission partner in North East Africa Originally posted on 1st December 2020 There are lines of concern etched on his face - apparent even over the Zoom call. He has a weariness about him, and the customary bright smile seems strained. Dawit* (Feba’s regional coordinator for the ministries in NE Africa) is understandably worried. Ethiopia seems to be teetering on the brink of civil war. Reports from the north of the country are bleak and tell of a build-up of military forces surrounding the city of Mekelle, where rebel militants are hunkering down and forbidding civilians from leaving; effectively holding them as a human shield. Christians involved in Bible translation, programme production, church leadership and relief work in the refugee camps in the north - known personally to Dawit - are cut off from the rest of the country. Internet and phones are down, so social media platforms are too. The news filtering down from the north comes from government news channels. None of it seems very promising. "Tariq* is incredibly worried. He does not know if his family has food and shelter, or if they are even safe." Dawit expresses his concern for one of his colleagues, who was visiting the capital city for meetings and now is unable to get back to his home in the north, where his wife and two children are waiting: "Tariq* is incredibly worried. He does not know if his family has food and shelter, or if they are even safe." The latest developments in the NE Africa region only add to the challenges already faced by God’s people, and those who seek to live for Jesus and make Him known in that area of the world. The environment is naturally hostile to Christians: large populations of Muslims, some of whom have been radicalized, destabilize governments which then provides opportunities for those who want to split and divide countries based on religion or ethnicity or tribal affiliation. This has caused millions to flee to neighbouring countries and settle in massive refugee camps - where food is scarce, water even scarcer, and health care and education only a dream. Dawit shakes his head and asks for prayer for his children. He says he fears they are giving up hope. First Covid-19 robbed them of their education and now this unrest has forced further school closures. He refers to Jeremiah 33 and concludes that he knows the Lord promises to give His people a future and a hope and that God has plans for our good - but sometimes that is hard to hang on to. Prayer Focus, Feba's daily prayer notes are focusing on the situation in Ethiopia this week. Click here to download this week's page. *Pseudonyms have been used for security reasons.