Exiting the terminal in Addis Ababa and entering the mayhem of traffic, I never cease to be astounded at the crush of people … everywhere. Of course Addis Ababa is a teeming city of close to 4 million people so sidewalk and street congestion can be expected. But with the country’s total population pressing 108 million, even in the countryside and smaller towns and villages there are masses of people. And 44% of those people are under the age of 14! Another 20% are between the ages of 17 to 25! (*worldpopulationreview)
NewLife Ethiopia and our Ethiopian partner, Watch and Pray, has built a solid foundation for evangelism in 22 villages bringing Christ contextually to three diverse ethnic groups. We have an amazing website and Facebook presence offering teaching materials and apologetics in four languages. 46 missionaries share the Good News, disciple adults and establish churches in villages where there never has been a Christian influence.
But what about the children and youth of those villages who make up 60% of the population?
We have been eye-witnesses to the effectiveness of introducing Jesus to the very young, as seen in a kindergarten we have established in a predominately M*slim village. The 60 children are given three years of kindergarten (equivalent to preschool, pre-K and kindergarten) with a daily hot lunch and Bible stories. The class sizes are small and this free educational beginning is offered to the most disadvantaged in the village – those who would not otherwise begin an education career. Through the kindergarten’s influence, we have seen children and moms and dads turn their lives over to Jesus.
Because the median age in Ethiopia is 17.9, we’ve asked, ‘What is being done to draw them to Christ?’ We are breaking new ground in M*slim dominated areas, but it is the next generation – today’s children and youth – that, if they are grounded, will push the boundaries further than we can dream.
Meet Mikiyas …
NewLife Ethiopia is pleased to introduce the newest addition to our Ethiopian team. Mikiyas (Miki) is 25-years-old and a college graduate with a degree in psychology. His post high school years are defined by active involvement with ministry to street kids and leadership in his church and college youth groups. His passion is to see youth come to know Jesus and grow in their faith through personal time with God and practical outreach to others.
Miki has demonstrated a wonderful rapport with children and teenagers flock to him. He is at ease, friendly and loves a challenge of winning over a shy one. Miki is a born leader with the added qualities of humility and a teachable spirit. This new role will be a challenge for him, as it is breaking new ground in rural areas with no past history of children’s ministry.
Miki will travel to eleven rural villages with recently established churches, bringing Sunday School and youth programs to the 539 children whose parents have become Christ-followers. However, there is no doubt that a vibrant youth outreach will draw many others who will hear God’s Truth for the first time. He will be training church leaders to run these programs, periodically traveling to each site to encourage and problem-solve.
Our new outreach to a people group (children and youth) that is virtually ignored by rural churches, is exciting and challenging. Mikiyas is up to the task. He is busy learning the Oromo language (the tribal language in many of the villages) and receiving training from dynamic leaders that will launch a ministry that will bring many into God’s kingdom and establish the emerging generation on a strong foundation.
We are seeking folks who have big hearts for youth evangelism to support Miki, either monthly or with a one-time donation. His missionary salary will be $300/month but a gift of any amount will help immensely. Contact us if God is moving you to be part of this exciting new effort. firstname.lastname@example.org