Ms. Elisa Riis, a missionary of the Danish Lutheran Mission and sent out through the Norwegian Lutheran Mission (NLM), she is a qualified health professional working at Jinka Zonal Hospital as midwife for the past 15 years.
She is very happy with her opportunity to minister God’s love to the people of South Omo. It has been very satisfactory and meaningful to be able to see all the help the women from all over the South Omo receive during their pregnancy and delivery. This has reduced child and mother mortality rate to a great extent. At that time women used to come from very far places, carried on makeshift stretchers and literally on the edge of death. Over the past 15 years, the livelihood of the South Omo society has been greatly improved.
As an individual she says she doesn’t feel like she is contributing that much by herself, but she appreciates the great work of many evangelists who work so hard in preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ all throughout South Omo. She said the work accomplished so far is a combination of many people’s hard work and this is God’s blessing in South Omo.
Reflecting back on her stay in South Omo, she remembers experiencing what God is doing to people’s lives through evangelists who visit the hospital, praying for those who are in need of prayer. Many a lost soul has come to know God through this ministry.
The majority of the people in area around Jinka belong to the Ari people. The Lord has brought revival to these people. Even though God is moving among the Ari, Elisa’s heart feels so much for the people of the Low lands in South Omo. She often prays for them so that God bring a spiritual revival to these people too.
This is God’s work and He has made everything beautiful in His time. We can only be instruments when He wants to work in us. We might think that we are so few and we do so little, but God can do more through us.
Now a days, as a missionary Elisa believes that what we should do is support, empower and capacitate the community in the work they do than going up front as preachers like it used to be 30 years ago.
Danish Lutheran Mission came to Ethiopia around 1970s. The mission works under the administration of the Norwegian Lutheran Mission. Currently, there are only a few Danish Missionaries working in different parts of Ethiopia and Ms. Elisa is one of them. She is the last one in Jinka.
Elisa remembers very clearly the first time that God told her she would be a missionary to Ethiopia when she was a young girl. Nevertheless, it took her 20 years to accept and take action. At first, she didn’t know what she would be doing but finally came to Ethiopia as a medical missionary and has been doing serving God since then. “There is no greater happiness in life than serving God and His people” Elisa concluded.