by Joy Casey
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10
How does the name NewLife Ethiopia embody the ministry in Ethiopia? God is drawing people to Himself and away from the thief that has for centuries permeated and influenced the culture of one of the largest people groups in Ethiopia. Thirty-six indigenous evangelists are sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ and many people are experiencing new life as Christ-followers!
Evangelism … one-on-one
2016 was a challenging year. The drought of 2015-2016 decimated the farms and livestock of people in rural areas who depend on agriculture and animal husbandry for their existence. Ethiopia also experienced violent social upheaval that resulted in the government taking drastic measures to stabilize the nation. People tend to be less willing to entertain new thoughts when starvation is at the door compounded with fear and anger toward their government. Nevertheless, the evangelists lent a helping hand where they could and persistently shared Christ’s love when there was an open door. 3,000 were reached with the gospel resulting in 721 people who now have new life in Jesus!
One ‘good problem’ when making inroads in an unchurched area is how to effectively teach Bible basics and reframe a new convert’s worldview. When there are one or two missionary evangelists in an area and more and more people come to Christ, additional leaders and teachers are a must. The problem? Most everybody is a brand new Christ-follower! Solution? The evangelists select men who demonstrate aptitude and, through several week-long workshops throughout the year, these men are grounded in God’s Word and taught leadership skills that will help them teach and disciple others in their village.
When a village has about 50 Christ-followers, it is time to have a place for corporate teaching and worship. Leaders are being trained, but house churches are not yet a viable option. It is also important in a M*slim culture to have a church building that people can identify with. Meeting corporately gives believers community, no small thing in a tribal culture where Christians experience ostracism, verbal abuse and, in some cases, physical abuse. Followers of Christ are in danger of having their land taken away or their cattle poisoned. The church is a place of refuge, refreshment and encouragement. In 2016, six churches were erected in areas where there has never been a Christian church before!
The acute need is for training seminars. If you would like to help with this,
the evangelist missionaries would be most grateful. The training will exponentially
ignite an explosion of new life! It costs $110 for one leader to attend a workshop.
Could you make this a reality?