Today I want to talk about Yabi, only that is not his name any more. And I guess I should start my story out there.
His real name isn’t actually Yabi, it is Yabibal, which is an old traditional name from the north of Ethiopia, a name that has long since been shortened to simply Yabi by foreigners who tongues were tied up in knots.
The name Yabibal was given to him by his father, Abebaw, a man who fought in the Ethiopian army as a soldier, he named his son after a fellow soldier who saved his life during battle.
It’s a war that looms over this country as a dark and perilous time.
A war that few want to remember.
And so, in recent months Yabi has decided to chance his name for good, to move away from the past and towards the future.
He is now called Thomas.
In a way there is a deep significance to this change, not just for Thomas personally but also for the culture that he comes from. It is a choice to make a stand that the future is not going to be anything like the past and that the hope that we stand on comes only from the Bible.
I admire Thomas so much, he has been a friend to me like no one has ever been, ours is a friendship that has endured the hardest of times, each of us have seen each other’s weakest and worse, times that could have broken us to pieces only served to pull us together.
Thomas is a man of God, one who we often say is what is most needed in Ethiopia. We even joke that our project’s goal is to create more “little Thomas’s” who will lead this country in the future. Men who are not bent on leaving but rather settled in to this place and focused on building a better future for the people here.
We are proud of Thomas, and today we want to just stop and say thank you to him and all that he does here with Bring Love In. He is the local director, but also the soul behind the work that happens on this side of the operation, he is passionate about helping his people, and works tirelessly behind the scenes to make everything come together.
I could go on for pages here about Thomas! He is just one of this incredible people who shines in the darkness. His faith is inspiring. And he makes me want to strive for more of God in my life.
Thank you Thomas for all that you do here! We love you and are blessed to be your friends.