by Joy Casey
In Mark 16:15 Jesus told us, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.” I am inspired by 36 Ethiopian men who are preaching the Good News in places where doing so could cost them dearly.
There are large areas of Ethiopia where Isl*m dominates the culture and the people have never been exposed to the Christian faith. These are the areas that are targeted by the brave evangelists I know, most of whom are former M*slim believers.
The evangelism scene is ever changing, ever challenging. We are waging spiritual battles, for Satan has an assignment on Ethiopia. Thus, the work must begin and end with prayer. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit in one rural village began after two evangelists prayed for seven years. Today, the first Christian church in that village stands firm and outreach from there has resulted in two new church plants in neighboring villages!
In another extremely remote, highly populated area, I met ten men who hold positions of importance in their mosques and are using the Qur’an to preach the Gospel message. Thousands are coming to Christ and there are underground Bible studies popping up all over. A church in Kansas City has provided funding for three church plants to begin in that area to accommodate the new believers.
From another established church in a predominately M*slim town, evangelists have been sent out two-by-two to live in three neighboring areas. Sharing faith in these places sometimes brings violent push-back, yet people are coming to know and accept Jesus as their Savior. The M*slim-dominated local government makes it very difficult for the evangelists to work and live. In one village, landlords were told they cannot rent to any Christian and the evangelists were commanded to leave and never come back. The result? The evangelists refused to give up and a group of U.S. businessmen pooled their money to buy some property and construct a church! Today, despite societal pressure, people are turning to Jesus and the church plant is growing.
Just last month, a new convert in a village gave property to the church with a house on it where they could meet for worship, study and prayer. The M*slims were so angry about this they crept up to the family’s house at 3 o’clock in the morning while husband, wife and three children were sleeping and torched their thatched roof, burning the house instantly to the ground. The people escaped with their lives, but lost everything. A church in Kansas and other individuals gave so the converts could reconstruct their home. Used clothing left by mission teams replaced their clothes and Christian neighbors helped with food. God took this seeming disaster and turned it for good! The couple is building a much better house and the people of their village are astounded at the help and love lavished on them and more and more are coming to Christ.
I am proud to know the men whose passion is leading their neighbors into the freedom of Christ’s mercy and forgiveness. Many evangelists have expressed they feel it is inevitable that they will be killed as a result of their activity. That does not stop them. Their deep love for Jesus and the people they have known all their lives compels them to pray and be alert for divine appointments where they can tell an unbeliever about Jesus. Working alongside these men causes me to be bolder sharing my faith with the people I live among. I am humbled to be aligned with these incredible men and thankful that I can do my part, with the support of other individuals and churches, to expand the capacity for Christ to be shared with the unreached in Ethiopia.
PRAYER NEEDED! Please pray for the evangelism work and other life-saving work God has led us to do in Ethiopia. We have a team of praying people from all over the United States. If you would like to be part of this and receive a monthly prayer guide, please let us know. firstname.lastname@example.org We need the underpinning of prayer to boldly and effectively do this work in Ethiopia.