2020 PREVIEW FOR THE LORD’S WORK IN ETHIOPIA:
Welcome to a new year! This year marks the 59th year of ministry in Ethiopia. Many great things are happening in the work, but there are difficulties in the country as the unrest continues. The four Level One Preacher Training Schools will start new sessions in February. The Schools for the Deaf are doing fine. The cost of living for the staff continues to be an ongoing problem that must be faced. The inflation rate within the country is somewhere over 20%. This is something all the people in Ethiopia have to deal with; rising prices, decreasing value of their money and the upward trend of the cost of living for the ordinary people is a seemingly an unanswerable problem. The reports found on the Internet of information do not tell the real story of what is faced in day to day life.
A new water well agreement is in the making for an additional 30 new wells. 20 of these wells will be in the Sidama area and we haven’t drilled in that area for over 10 years. Our three kindergartens have expanded their schools to have the children for three years instead of the two we have had them since the beginning of that ministry. This came as a mandate from the Ministry of Education; probably because of the poor quality of most Kindergartens which relates to “babysitting” more than education. That isn’t the case with ours; they are rated as model schools and our graduates are more capable in basic knowledge and ability than most 1st and 2nd graders in government schools.
One good thing that came out of 2019 was a new government policy that going forward we won’t have to go through the 3 year permitting process; instead we will be required to continue to submit the regular reports to the proper agencies and our legality will remain in place. Preachers assigned to the water well areas continue to have good success in reaching the people with the gospel and establishing new churches. Overall things are very well.
In Acts 28:30-31, Luke reported concerning Paul’s ministry while Paul was under guard in Rome: “And he stayed two full years in his own rented quarters and was welcoming all who came to him, 31 preaching the kingdom of God and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered.” Times were troubling for Paul, but he continued at full speed preaching Jesus to all who would listen. That is a description of what is being done in Ethiopia as 2020 starts! Thank you all for your participation and prayers for the good work being done.
MARK OF A SUCCESSFUL AND MATURE MISSION OUTREACH:
There are more than 900,000 Sudanese refugees living in Ethiopia. Brother Khor Wal has organized a teaching program in the refugee camps along the border with Sudan. The picture on the left is the congregation at the #2 Kule refugee camp; this is one of several in various camps scattered in Western Ethiopia. Brother Khor is a graduate of the Level One and Level Two Schools of preaching in Ethiopia. He had previously returned to South Sudan and was working as a vocational missionary in the Malakal area of that country before the present civil conflict arose. Khor had to flee with the rest of the people. He and other trained Sudanese preachers are now back preaching in Ethiopia. Our Ethiopian brethren have not only concentrated on preparing men to reach their own people with the gospel of Jesus, but have trained many preachers that are now active in many different countries, including Kenya and Uganda.
One mark of a mature work is when the faithful reach out to the people living in new areas and countries. (2 Timothy 2:2) Brother Behailu sent the following information: “Another active student in our preacher training schools in Ethiopia was Peter Tute. Several years ago he was resettled in Calgary, Canada and is now doing a marvelous job reaching out the South Sudanese community in that city. He is in Ethiopia visiting and encouraging the churches in the refugee camps and the church in Gambela.
Bro. Peter said in his letter to me from Ethiopia, “I would like to encourage everyone to pray for the church ministry being led by brother Khor Wal and other preachers at the refugee camps. It has been a great opportunity for me to meet and visit all my brothers and sisters in Christ at Kule 2 on Sunday morning. The work here has inspired me very much. My heart is filled with great joy and love! God has richly blessed me as I visited His Church here in Ethiopia. Please pray for the good work going on in the refugee camps and other places.”
A FAITHFUL AND DETERMINED GOSPEL PREACHER:
Bro. Abeyot Oneba was the first convert in the town of Nejo. He
had graduated from the Nekemte School of Preaching. When he returned to his home he preached the gospel and a new church was planted. Seven years ago he moved to the distant area of Benishangule. The government in that area gave him land to farm and he immediately began to preach the gospel. The language in this area was different so he learned their language. Over the years he helped establish three more congregations in the area around his home. Four men in those congregations went to the Nekemte School of Preaching and are now the preachers in those churches. When the civil disturbances came to that area recently, Abeyot and his family had to flee leaving all their possessions behind and they returned to Nejo. Brother Moges sent a report about this tragic situation and stated that Brother Abeyot has committed to return to his farm in Benishangule and rebuild his life there and to continue to work with the brethren in that area to establish more congregations. Moges stated the Abeyot was not discouraged, but very determined to continue with his life’s ministry of preaching the saving message of Jesus in that distant area. Everyone is encouraged and blessed by his faith.
TO ALL OF YOU WHO FAITHFULLY PRAY FOR AND SUPPORT THESE GREAT MINISTRIES:
We pray that God will continue to bless the mutual opportunities we have been given to serve Him and the Kingdom of His Son and our Savior during this new year.
-Kevin and John Ed Clark