Gerald Reimer interviews pastor and taxi/Uber driver Molugeta who works in Edmonton and leads an EMC church plant there.
Hello, Molugeta, and thank you for talking to me today about how your family and church has been affected by COVID. What have you faced in your work as a taxi driver that has been tough for you during this time?
Molugeta Kalisho Melore:
It is a hard time for our work. March 2020 was very slow and after March 15 for six months it was totally locked down—I never go out. My wife Marta got a job—not full-time. This is the first time that just me and my son are home all the time. I would drop him off here and I would pick him up there and that was my job for six months.
I started back at my taxi job in mid-August until November. After November the government went to lockdown again. Since that time until last week I couldn’t work. Now I started part-time but still the work and income is very slow. Because of that I started to drive the Uber since last week.
This is a significant problem, but I didn’t feel this was very significant for me because all the time I’m praying that Christ is with us and the Holy Spirit is helping me. I don’t want to say all the time how much I get money, or my money is slow, my money is increasing—I don’t think that way. The good thing is we are safe and healthy.
You know because one day we leave this world, right? And we’re going to heaven so my heart and my mind is most of the time wishing for that address in heaven.
GR: During this time on and off work were there some good things?
MKM: Yeah, I believe I’m getting more understanding about God about going through difficult times, because when you preach the gospel of God, unless you have practical experience in life about these things, someone who hears you—it won’t matter that much. But when you have practical experience and someone hears you they believe you because your words have more power, because I passed through this challenge and the pain of it. Our words have power when you pass through hard things.
GR: You said Marta got a part-time job—you didn’t have work but you had some money coming from the government. Was your trust in the Lord strengthened or did you struggle? How much stress did that cause for you?
MKM: Thanks to God we don’t have any stress really because God is with us all the time—so I really am so happy. I don’t know what to say, God blessed us. When something comes into your life God knows. He knows before COVID-19 because God knows everything. He knows how I’m going to pass this significant time. It is very hard time, I know. We are good and I’m very happy.
GR: Of all the things you’ve learned during this time, is there anything in particular that you will do differently?
MKM: Yes—during this time of COVID-19, I know that God knows everything, he knows the economy, the finances, he knows the spiritual, he knows the congregation is locked down. But I believe Jesus Christ will bless those who believe his words, who depend on God.
God allows us temptations like he did for Abraham. God says, “Abraham I need your son. Can you give him to me, make the memorial sacrifice?” Abraham knows that if God said it, he trusted God and he decided to do that sacrifice. And God sees this, and the result is good. This is a good example for us to trust to do what God has said.
I know of a lot of pastors in Africa who are really struggling. They don’t have any food because the church was locked down and they were receiving support from the church, but no one’s there and so there’s no support available.
Here in Canada, most people have some income every month, and also if you have a business or you lost a business, the government will give you support. In Africa this does not happen. The government doesn’t do anything. I’m glad that right now we’re living in Canada. But sadly, here in Canada so few people depend on God. Everyone is running for alcohol or drugs or for nothing. Even some Christians are struggling during this time. It used to be the husband and wife were busy with work or school or something. But right now, everyone is staying home and they’re fighting.
GR: This is important for us to understand from someone that has lived in another country. Any final thoughts or word of encouragement you want to give to the other churches in the Conference as they come through COVID?
MKM: Number one, my encouragement is for every church even while we are under pressure—we need to believe in God. To believe in his promises for us that whatever you pass through in the fire, whatever the challenge you face, and for some they might feel like they will die from this virus, that Jesus Christ is always with you. He is behind you and will help you.
Number two, is for every church to open eyes and ears to hear the voice of God. When we hear the voice of God, he will help you win the victories in life, including giving you joy and happiness, and blessings that include healing, and his power. When we hear and believe the voice of God, we can receive his promises.
Number three, I believe we need to trust God 100 percent. We need to trust again and again and again.
My final word for Canada is that sometimes, as I’m thinking of those who are leading this country, I think about the next generation, because almost 50 percent of people are addicted to drugs, especially in our cities, and I can see a lot of crime. I can see a lot of people are going to buy the drugs and they use the taxis. They get in the taxi and ask us to go to a place to buy drugs. Sometimes I ask them why they are using drugs. They’ll call it medicine. I told one man, that “I have good news for you.” He asks, “You have good news for me? Like what? I need to hear you.” Okay, so I said, “You already bought the drugs, right? How long does it give you power?” “Maybe for half a day,” he says, “and after that I need it again.” I tell him, “I have good news for you of a power that lasts forever. It is God’s power. God is a healing God and will bless you in your mind, your family, and he will open up opportunities for you.” I told him this and after that he said he’s very interested. He said he believes in God. I asked, “If you believe in God, why are you resisting?”
Even during this time [of COVID], we have a calling as the church. We have a responsibility so we need to preach strongly the gospel in our country of Canada.
GR: Thank you so much MKM for sharing from your heart today.
MKM: You’re welcome.