In everything [David] did he had great success, because the Lord was with him. (1 Sam. 18:14)

IF YOU LOOK AT HIM from a human perspective, there are few reasons Alemu Beeftu should be alive, much less successful. Yet “Dr. Alemu” is one of Ethiopia’s most active evangelists and church planters, greeted with great enthusiasm around the world. Beeftu began as a shepherd boy among the Oromo people in rural Ethiopia. The Lord gave him a desire to read that drove him to a mission school. Once there, Beeftu developed a deep relationship with Jesus. He was at the apex of his national ministry to Ethiopian students when church leaders there encouraged him to study abroad to avoid being an easy target of the Communist takeover of their country. God showed himself faithful again and again as Alemu Beeftu completed both undergraduate and doctoral studies in the United States, all the while building the worldwide Ethiopian church in exile.

How did it all happen? “The Lord has been with me,” Beeftu responds gratefully. It isn’t all that different from David’s experience with success. The shepherd boy of old had miraculous success as a child warrior, a leader of men, and finally as a king—all unexpected successes that happened because the Lord was with David.

Today, Dr. Alemu continues his work of building the church and its emerging leaders in dozens of countries. He’s teaching a new generation to appreciate the value of God being with us.

Thank God for three things that happened because He is with you.

Steve Wamberg is a husband, dad, writer, and pastor who loves his wife, kids and their spouses, preaching, teaching, music, coffee, friends, and Nebraska football.