This past Sunday morning, Protestant Ethiopian Pastor Docho Eshete was holding a baptismal service for around 80 people when he was attacked and killed by a crocodile. The service was being held at Lake Abaya in Arba Minch, Ethiopia. The BBC reports,
Pastor Docho died after being bitten on his legs, back and hands. Residents and police told BBC Amharic a crocodile leapt from the water during the baptism and attacked him.
“He baptised the first person and he passed on to another one. All of a sudden, a crocodile jumped out of the lake and grabbed the pastor,” local resident Ketema Kairo told the BBC.
Despite huge efforts, fishermen and residents could not save pastor Docho, policeman Eiwnetu Kanko said.
They used fishing nets to prevent the crocodile from taking the pastor’s body into the lake.
While a tragic story from a human standpoint, Pastor Ocho is in the arms of his Savior now, away from all pain and suffering. It’s a testament to his faithfulness to Jesus that he was willing to obey Jesus’ command to baptize new believers, even knowing that Lake Abaya is filled with crocodiles.
According to the Lonely Planet Travel Guide, Lake Abaya ” has a large population of crocodiles, which are said to be aggressive towards people and animals because the lake has few fish, their preferred food.”
American Christians often forget how materially blessed we are. Shamefully, if the sanctuary’s temperature isn’t to our liking, we whine and complain. If the coffee served in the foyer isn’t the specific brand that we like, we consider finding a new church. We forget that many of our brothers and sisters in Christ are happy to be able to worship God wherever and whenever they can. We forget they are willing to risk their lives in order to obey Jesus.
We would do well to stop and thank God for the many material blessings that He has given us — material blessings that we have done nothing to deserve. We should also praise God for the faithful testimony of Pastor Docho Eshete, while also praying for the Holy Spirit to sustain the faith of his grieving family and congregation.