I grew up in Ethiopia, Africa.

My father was helping to set up a teacher training college to improve the quality of education there. In Ethiopia I saw the heartbreaking effects of poverty and the incredible value of literacy. However, there was a life-changing lesson: In Ethiopia, I learned what it means to be Christian.
Many are surprised to discover that Ethiopia is a predominately Christian country. The Coptic Christian tradition began in the first century in Egypt and spread to Ethiopia. I remember many devoted people who had the Coptic cross tattooed on their foreheads.

When I asked my parents about this, they explained that these people marked themselves with the cross to let everyone know they were Christians.

I said, “Then I want one because I am a Christian too.”

My parents taught me that it is not a cross on your forehead or around your neck that makes you a Christian. It is what is inside—the way you feel, the way you believe, and the way you live—that indicates your relationship with God. Mike McKinley wrote, “Simply saying that you are a Christian doesn’t mean you really are one” (Am I Really a Christian? [Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2011], 16).

Do people know we are Christians?

Do they know it because of a bumper sticker on our cars or a piece of jewelry?

Or do they know it because of the way we live?

Brad Wilcox
Brad Wilcox has lived in Ethiopia, Chile, and New Zealand; he and his family now make their home amid the Rocky Mountains. Brad taught sixth grade before obtaining his PhD in education from the University of Wyoming. His contributions as an author and teacher have been honored by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and his work has appeared in Guideposts magazine and Reader’s Digest. He has served as a member of the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America and has addressed thousands of youth and adults across the United States, Europe, Australia, and Japan. He and his wife, Debi, are the parents of four children. http://7daychristian.com
Brad Wilcox
Brad Wilcox

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