COVID19 PANDEMIC IN ETHIOPIA UPDATE:
Are you tired of pandemic news and updates? I am too! However news is still news and we must continue to report it. As of today there have been 63,888 reported cases in Ethiopia. Nearly 10,000 of these are rated “severe” by the reporting agencies. Addis Ababa is the epicenter of the pandemic and information where the other infections are located isn’t disclosed. Our leading brethren in Addis Ababa speak by cell phone with preachers all over the country on a daily basis and as of this writing they report no infections among the members. We are thankful and pray these good reports will continue. Although the number of infections continue to rise, the government has declared that all schools register students and be ready to open for normal sessions the first week of October. Our Schools for the Deaf are now going forward with the instructions. Things change and we are very used to that! But if the Lord is willing, the schools, along with churches will be allowed to go back to some kind of normal in a few weeks. Please pray for this.
UNREST REPORT FROM THE BARNABAS FUND WEBSITE
“An Ethiopian Christian leader called for an international inquiry into the slaying of hundreds of Christians in the parts of the Oromia regional state, extending south, south-east and east of Addis Ababa, since the end of June. According to reports, more than 500 were killed. The coordinated killings began soon after the alleged assassination of a popular Oromo singer, Hachallu Hundessa, who was shot on 29 June, while driving in the outskirts of the capital. The attackers are (said to be) from an Oromo ethnic group Qeerroo (meaning, “youth””), an Oromo male youth movement. In door-to-door attacks on Christian households the extremists arrived in cars, armed with guns, machetes, swords and spears, sought out and slaughtered Christians. Children were forced to witness their parents being brutally murdered with machetes. Barnabas regional contacts confirmed attacks in numerous towns including Arsi Negele, Ziway, Shashamanie, Gedeb Asasa, Kofele, Dodola, Adaba, Robe, Goba, Bale Agarfa, Chiro, Harar, Dire Dawa, Adama, Dera, Asela and Kembolcha, reaching to the far south-east and east of the country. Oromo ethnic Christians were also targeted. An Oromo Christian was beheaded for refusing to deny his faith by tearing off the thread around his neck (worn by many Ethiopian Christians as a sign of their baptism). Christians’ business premises and houses were burnt down, vandalized or destroyed by the extremists. Billions of dollars of damage was caused to property, including businesses owned by internationally renowned Christian athlete, Haile Gebreselassie, in Ziway and Shashamanie. Thousands of traumatized survivors fled for their lives, including orphaned children, and many are being sheltered in churches and community centers. A regional contact told Barnabas, “Many still live in fear. Christian leaders from all denominations visited the areas. I watched news where priests and pastors physically wept in tears while listening to horrors from the victims’ families.” Thousands of arrests have since been made, according to regional reports. As of 27 August, Barnabas contacts say the “targeted genocide” of Christians by the extremists is continuing in the south, south-east and east of Addis Ababa.” (See the Barnabas Fund Website for the unedited article.)
A VERY ACTIVE PREACHER IN THE COUNTRYSIDE:
Brother Tesfaye Ashamo, left, is a prominent preacher in the countryside of the Soro area. He is the minister of the Moloto congregation that he helped establish 40 years ago. He has two sons, Daniel and Tsegaye, who work with him in that growing church. It has more than 300 members. Tesfaye and both his sons are graduates of the Jajura School of Preaching. Three of his nephews also graduated from the Jajura School. Two more of his nephews also graduated from the Level Two School of Preaching in Addis Ababa. It is interesting that Brother Tesfaye was taught the gospel and baptized by Brother Petros Basore in 1972. Petros was a graduate of the first School of Preaching in Addis Ababa that was conducted by the late Brother John Young in 1968. Tesfaye is 62 years old and travels to many places to preach and teach. He is a mentor to many gospel preachers and church leaders. In the picture, left center, Tesfaye is preaching for a multi-church gathering in Jajura. On the right center, Tesfaye is pictured with two preachers from the Hosana congregation and on the right, Tesfaye is preaching at a preacher’s conference somewhere in the Soro area. As a footnote, Tesfaye reported he baptized three at the Moloto church recently. God has used Brother Tesfaye in a mighty way in His Kingdom!
A LIFE LIFTED UP FOR SERVICE TO OTHERS:
Esayas Yohannes has been with us for 30 years. He is deaf and grew up in our schools and at the feet of some great Christian teachers. He has always been a very gentle young man. We have recently found out he has a brain tumor and its effects are becoming very evident. Brother Moges sent the following report:
“Esayas came to Santariea School for the Deaf the first time in 1990 at the age of 10. The person who brought Esayas to the school told the principal that he was from Shashamanie and he promised to come and visit Esayas, but he never returned. Esayas attended the Santariea school and he lived with three different Christian families. In the year 1996 he moved to our orphan’s home in Addis Ababa. In 2002 he went back to Santariea and is still living there. He became a sign language teacher for the beginning classes. His age is estimated 38 to 40 years by now. His first wife, who was also deaf died and he remarried. He is the father of three children. Pictured on the right he stands with his oldest daughter Tesfanesh.” Moges
Esayas has given his life to serve other deaf children. We don’t know what the future holds for him. Please remember him in your prayers. Thank you for your faithfulness during these troubled times. God is in control and we place the future in His hands!