These updates are written by our partners in ministry, Kevin and John Ed Clark. For more information about the Ethiopia Gospel Outreach or to find out how you can get involved this ministry, please contact Ian Nickell.
MAKANISSA SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF CONSTRUCTION BEGINS:
The Makanissa Deaf School building on the left was completed and opened in 1963 with 12 deaf children and grew to more than 300 students. Several other classroom and office buildings were added in the years that followed. The Ethiopian Ministry of Education has asked us to update the school and bring it into the required compliance standards. We have delayed, but now we must act if we want to maintain our legal status to preach the gospel of Christ in the country. If you stand on the porch of the building on the left and look across the school yard, there were a group of classroom and office buildings that were constructed using the shipping containers that brought food to the starving in the 1984-1987 famine. Because of the lack of ground space, the container buildings had to be removed and the footprint of the new 4 story building will occupy that space. In the second picture from the left, the containers are being removed and will be loaded on trucks and transported to the School for the Deaf in Santariea, Sidama and will be reassembled for use there. On the right the ground preparation is almost completed. The plans have been approved and building permits issued. It will be a four to five year construction project. There will be no interruption of regular classes at the Makanissa School. A metal fence has been completed to prevent “curious” students and others from getting in harms way. We will keep you informed as progress is made. Please pray for this as it is an expensive, but necessary addition in the progress of the Lord’s work to lift up lives and continue to preach the gospel in Ethiopia.
BIBLE SEMINAR CONDUCTED FOR AND BY THE DEAF IN ADDIS:
Students, former students, teachers and deaf preachers participated in a weekend bible seminar in Addis. Part of the group is pictured on the left. Brother Nebayehu and another deaf preacher are shown teaching. On the right lunch is being served to the participants; this is real authentic Ethiopian food! The Makanissa School for the Deaf is their second home. They were taught the gospel message as students in the school over a 15 year period of their life.
A TOUCHING STORY FROM A CHRISTIAN LADY:
Brother Tesfaye Bogale has been a gospel preacher for more than 40 years and has served as the director of the Santariea School of Preaching since 1991. More than 25 years ago, his wife Ruth had a massive stroke and was confined to her home in Chuko while Tesfaye was away most of the time serving the Lord in various ways. Recently, Tesfaye became the director of the work in Hawassa and they moved there. They live in the director’s home on the School for the Deaf compound. Brother Moges’ sent the following report of his recent visit in Hawassa with Tesfaye and Sister Ruth:
“ With tears in her eyes, she expressed her gratitude by saying this: ‘The last 17 years I had one constant prayer to my dear Lord! My prayer was this, “please Lord, allow me to worship you with the church again before I die,’ She said I never thought that God would bring me to Hawassa and prepare for me a place to stay a next door to the church building. I never dreamed I would see this happen in my Life. With a smile on her face, she continued, ‘my gracious Lord gave me a chance to be with his people every first day of the week and worship Him’, with a smile on her face and thankful heart.
Moges stated, “Let His name glorified! I thank all of you who made this possible for dear Sister Ruth. We all heard her tearful testimony and were very deeply touched. None of us had thought about her deep pain through the years and we did not expect her to be so overwhelmed with happiness. We knew that when she was in Chuko, it was difficult for her to walk outside her home. But now, she is able to attend all the church assemblies and activities!”
ALEMU WARISO: AN ORPHAN FROM THE 84-87 GREAT FAMINE
Alemu Wariso was one of nine young boys left at our Feeding Center in Jido when it closed in 1987. He was a child at the time. We cared for the nine for a few months in Jido, but that was a Muslim area and we moved everything to our compound in Addis Ababa, including the boys. Most of them had never attended school, so we enrolled them in our Makanissa School. All nine of the boys were hearing. They became the “orphanage” that still exists today. After graduating from high school, Alemu enrolled in a Technical School and was trained as a metal worker and a welder and was employed at the Air Force Base in Debre Zeit as a welder and was a founding member of the Debre Zeit congregation for several years. During those years he married one of our former students named Bezunish. He became the first hearing husband of a deaf wife in our ministry with the deaf. Having been in our school for 10 years, he speaks sign language fluently. Eight months ago they decided to move to another town and start their own metal fabricating shop. Their preference was the growing city of Hawassa, but they found the cost of living there was very expensive; however, they had vowed to move only to a town where a congregation of the church was located. Eighteen miles north of Hawassa is a town called Shashamanie and they chose it for two reasons. The first is there is adequate transportation to Hawassa where a strong congregation is located. The second is that they planned to start a church in their home in Shashamanie because the church isn’t yet located there. There are other members of the Lord’s church living in Shashamanie who would love to have a congregation to attend. Alemu serves in the Hawassa congregation as a sign language interpreter as well as other speaking and teaching assignments. He is a great example of the results of attending our Christian School and sitting at the feet of great bible teachers.
Kevin is in Ethiopia at this writing. He will return home at the end of October. Our prayers of thanksgiving are offered to our God each day for all of you who faithfully and prayerfully support this great gospel outreach to the lost. -John Ed Clark