In 1986, Bill heard that church leaders were being imprisoned in a community located on a mountain in an area of Ethiopia far from his home. On a dark, rainy day he decided to visit them, pray for them and seek their release. That’s all he remembers.

Thirty-two years later, Bill was traveling in Ethiopia when he met a church leader from that same community. He told Bill that the local church had waited 32 years to celebrate what happened shortly after Bill left many years earlier…


The church invited Bill, his wife, and their friends to a celebration with hundreds of people singing, dancing, sharing testimonies, and praising God. An elder and former prisoner told Bill the rest of the story:

“We were charged for worshiping a ‘white man’s religion’ instead of the ideology of the government. After beating us, they threw us in prison, ridiculing and cursing us. We heard the guards say, ‘No white guy has ever been in here, and none will ever come here.’

“Then one day this young, white man showed up tired, covered in mud, and soaked from rain. He did nothing except lift his arms and pray out loud to God Almighty for his grace and for our release. He then went back down the mountain. We have not seen him again until today!

“When the guards looked at us, they saw us as dressed in white, like angels. They were ashamed of what they had done and released all of us after Bill left. We have waiting 32 years for Bill to come back to us to celebrate what God did – setting the captives free through the power of prayer and a brave demonstration of love.”


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