by Joy Casey
NewLife Ethiopia has been privileged to witness a Disciple Making Movement (DMM) that generates a Church Planting Movement (CPM). These are missiological terms that simply mean God’s Word is organically spreading among unreached people resulting in Christian communities where there has never been one before.
It is exciting! It is also intense work birthed from concentrated prayer.
There are challenges with growth. Who will lead the new churches when most everybody except the missionary is a new Christ-follower? Leaders must be recognized and trained. Evangelism is a natural by-product of salvation and people need to be grounded in God’s Word and equipped to disciple those they lead to Christ.
For years our Director of Evangelism, Pastor Zerihun, has had a vision of a Field Bible School where leaders would come to school for two weeks, four times a year, for two years to receive theological training coupled with hands-on, practical application. A school structured like this is inexpensive to operate compared to traditional bible colleges, it does not take the person away from their home for long time periods and the knowledge gained can be immediately implemented on the field. We are in desperate need of trained pastors whose main focus is evangelism with intense discipleship. Missionaries and skilled teachers need to be equipped and launched into “fields ripe for harvest”.
The center will also be used for groups of converts who need to step away, get questions answered, and to pray and worship with others before making the critical decision to be baptized. The training center will provide a peaceful setting where faith can be explored with no pressure or expectations. At the end of five days a meaningful and joyous baptismal service will launch those who have decided for Christ back to their villages and families.
With the help of generous individuals, Lighthouse Church in Washington and Voice of the Martyrs-Canada, construction is underway for a training center that will include a kitchen, bathrooms, a classroom and dormitories for both men and women.
Our current challenges: We are facing a shortage of cement that could slow down construction. The Coronavirus has depressed the economy significantly with the price of everything steadily increasing and scarcity a fact of life. It is unlikely the Field Bible School will open this Fall as hoped, but we are thrilled to see progress on the building. With God’s help and provision, perhaps January could be a reasonable start date.
NEEDS: bibles, sheets, pillows, blankets, towels and mattresses. We are hoping you can help us with these basic needs to equip the training center!