Missions Update: Ethiopia (July 2020)

Missions Update July 2020

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SITUATION UPDATES FOR ETHIOPIA:

COVID 19:  As of today, there are over 14,000 cases of the Coronavirus have been reported.  Most of these cases are in the capital city of Addis Ababa and a few other larger towns and villages on the main highways where trucks and buses travel.  The government is enforcing the same measures we have in place trying to control the spread of the disease.  Schools, government offices, churches, sporting and entertainment events continue to be suspended.  A proclamation was issued saying no more than four people can gather in one place.  Our main concern is for the populations in the countryside where there are very limited medical facilities to treat any kind of health issues.  At this time the virus hasn’t migrated to the general populations in the countryside, for which we are very thankful.  Rumors persist that the full story isn’t being reported, but we don’t follow or repeat rumors.  Our brethren in Addis Ababa communicate regularly with brethren all over the country and in distant places and none of them report any problems other than what is normal.  We hope that continues and request your prayers that it will.  

UNREST:  On June 29th, a popular singer from the Oromo ethnic group was killed in Addis Ababa.  He had been an activist and his music is said to have portrayed that sentiment.  Demonstrations all over Ethiopia followed and some of the actions during the protests were copies of the protests being experienced in America.  Government Security Forces have resisted the violence and at this writing the number of people killed is approaching 200.  All media was shut down for a period, eliminating communication between leaders of the protests.  Curfews were initiated and travel restrictions put in place.  None of our people are involved in any way and our ministries haven’t been hindered.  We pray the unrest will subside there, and here, and that peace will return.  We solicit your prayers in this situation also.

CHURCH ASSEMBLIES IN ETHIOPIA:                                              

Congregations in the countryside for the most part are meeting as usual.  But some try to conform to the government social distancing guidelines.  Pictured here are the congregations at Nekemte, Chuko and Chicho.  In many places multiple assemblies are conducted every Lord’s Day to accommodate the number of people wanting to attend. Masks and other personal protective devices are not available in Ethiopia.     

ESTABLISHING NEW CONGREGATIONS:

 These three gospel preachers are from the Soro District in Southern Ethiopia.  L to R they are Elias Molito, Mulato Kesamo and Erbelo Kobe.

Elias (left) has been teaching in a new area called Geldama.  It is a three hour walk from his home.  He goes there every Saturday and conducts a bible class.  On Wednesdays, some from Geldama come to his home to study as Wednesday is a market day and people come from many places.  He also conducts a bible class on Thursdays for high school students.  The schools are closed at this time so there are many opportunities to study with the young people.  

Mulato (center) has been preaching in two new places called Danta and Kashara.  These are villages where the Lord’s church has never been established.  They are an hour and a half walk from his home.  He has a regular schedule to study each week at these two places.  

Erbelo (right) has been studying with four people in a new area called Woloerkeka.  One of them named Delebo Girma obeyed the gospel and has attended the 41st session at the Jajura School of Preaching.  The others will soon follow with their own personal obedience and a new congregation will be established in Woloerkeka.  This area is a one hour walk from Erbelo’s home.  

These three brethren are among the hundreds of preachers in Ethiopia who are busy every day preaching the gospel.  The Ethiopian people love to study God’s word and in areas where new water wells have been completed the opportunity is even greater to preach and teach.  The following information is an example:

 Brothers Elias Eromo and Tesema Sededo are members of the Water Well Evangelists team in the Angacha and Kacha Birra areas.  They are working together in a new place where a water well was drilled  called Serara.  They have eight people from the area studying with them and hope to plant a new congregation there.  Serara is a four hour walk one way from their home area.  They make the trip together.

The seasonal rains started in late May and will last until the end of September.  This will be the growing season and farmers will depend on the rains being adequate.  This is the season when our preachers will be busy spreading the Good News.  Almost all of the preachers are farmers so with the crops “laid by” they will be active in spreading the Kingdom.  All of you who read this brief report and pray for the good work being done by our Ethiopian brothers and sisters need to understand how important your faithful involvement is.  We pray that our loving God will continue to bless all of you and will watch over all of us as we all navigate through these unsettled and difficult times.  God is in control and all our faith and trust must be placed in Him.