2021 Annual Report
As you read this report, you’ll find new reasons to celebrate, new reasons to pray and more evidence than ever that living in light of the Great Commission is truly the best way to live. You’ll see that your investment is helping awaken, train and support followers of Jesus in Ethiopia to make God’s glory known, especially among some of the hardest to reach people and places.
We hope these stories renew your passion to be on mission for Christ through NewLife Ethiopia. We are asking God to do even more in the coming year! We believe that your partnership will not only bring joy to those who are benefitting from your generosity, but also to you as you faithfully invest in eternity.
Food Distribution in a Famine
Momina had been hungry for weeks – she was dizzy and had a constant headache. But what tore her heart apart was seeing her children listless and skeletal. They no longer played or even talked much; they had long since stopped asking her for food. The past two growing cycles had produced no crops as there had been no rain. The government had no resources to alleviate her hunger. The mosque offered her no hope. She didn’t know how long she or her children could survive without help.
Then she heard that a man from the Christian church was registering people for food. She was too weak to run, but as quickly as she could she got in line to make sure she could get something for her family. A kind man from the church carried her bag of corn to her house and prayed a blessing over her. She resolved in her heart to know more about this Jesus the man talked about.
- $100,000 was raised to combat drought and famine!
- NewLife Ethiopia provided food for 2,857 families!
- 286 former Muslims became Christ-followers in the areas of food distribution!
Learning to Read
Marta is a 10-year-old girl who has never been outside her village. Her role until she gets married is to help her mother and her father’s other wives find firewood, haul water and take care of the babies. One day, a friend asked her to come with her to the Christian church where a man was teaching children to read. She was mesmerized with the lessons and was soon given a slate board and chalk to practice writing the letters she was learning. She loved learning letters and sounds and how the letters made words! She also relished the story at the end of class that caused her to ponder what God, very different than Allah, was like.
In 12 rural Muslim villages where children like Marta cannot access education, literacy classes are taught by NewLife Ethiopia missionaries who have started churches. Students come to the church for three hours, three times a week to learn reading and writing. After the academic lesson, a story from the Bible captures their imagination. Over 650 children are learning to read and hearing Good News of a Savior!
Forever Families for Abandoned Babies
When a baby girl only a few days old was left by the gate of the Orthodox church in Shashemene, only God knew her future. Would she be found alive? Would anyone want to take on the responsibility of raising her?
Meanwhile… Alemayehu and Emebet had been thinking a lot about adoption as they had no biological children. A family member attended our adoption seminar in July 2019 and adopted a baby as a result. Alemayehu and Emebet spoke to them often about the process and about how adoption had forever changed the course of their lives. After completing all the required paperwork, they chose to adopt that sweet baby girl abandoned by the church. They named her Kidist—which means “Blessed” and she is blessed indeed. They are praising God who gave them such a gift and we praise God with them!
Kindergarten Brings New Life
Jitu is one of four children in a very impoverished family. Her parents cannot read or write so they are thrilled their daughter is in school at our little kindergarten. They live in a hut made of sticks and mud that is literally falling apart. Food is scarce and Jitu’s mother, Kitabe, feels lucky if she can feed her children two meals a day. She is beyond grateful that Jitu gets a nutritious lunch each school day.
Most everyone living in this village has health problems—headaches, abdominal pain and skin issues—most all stemming from lack of food. When our pastoral staff visits the Muslim families of our students, they check on their living situations and pray for all of these concerns, offering hope found only in Christ. Many generous donors and sponsors are providing food, new houses, bedding and clothes through our Gift Catalog. Having these most basic physical needs met, grateful hearts are opening to the Gospel!
New Believers in Christ
My family and I were slowly starving… There was not enough rain and the crops I planted dried up in the field. When someone told me the new Christian church in my village was giving away food, my wife and I wondered if it could be true. We are Muslims and did not expect to be treated with respect by the Christians who we are taught to hate, but when we arrived everyone there seemed happy they could help us. We received a large bag of corn, enough to last an entire month. This was truly amazing.
Because the missionary was so kind, I started sending my children to the reading classes they offered at the church. They were invited to a children’s gathering at the church and I allowed them to go only if I could supervise. The words the missionary read from his Holy Book startled me. I wanted to know more and began sitting outside the church on Sunday, listening.
When I spoke to the missionary, he explained how to gain right standing with God and have eternal life in Paradise. This is something I have longed for my whole life. As a Muslim, you can never know this for sure. Now my family attends church and Bible study with me – we are learning so much. We are filled with joy, even though many in our family and village say horrible things to us and the mosque leaders are furious. They warned us to stay away from the hated Christians, but I found I could no longer hate the ones feeding us and educating our children. I am amazed to know God loves me and His death on the cross paid for my sins. No matter what happens, I will always follow Jesus.