Two New Churches Following Jesus' Command to Make Disciples
The heart and soul of Great Concerns Ethiopia ministry is to help the local churches share the Gospel with the unreached, plant new churches full of newly saved people, and make disciples who make disciples. We do many things to facilitate the churches accomplishing these tasks, and often do not see the direct results of the work. Today, we have had the opportunity to see success through the efforts of the churches we assist.
We drove a long way into the countryside. Often there was but a dirt trail to follow. At times, the dust was so bad that it reminded me of movie "Fargo" (one of my least favorite movies of all time) where they were driving through deep snow and the snow would billow over the car to make the headlights disappear. We didn't have headlights on, as it was daytime, but the light still disappeared. The area is going through a multi-year drought and the land has gotten so dry it is like a sandy desert. The car was covered with dust, inside and out, when we got home.
As we approached the first church, we could see nothing but flat, dry ground. No sign of grass or other vegetation, save a few acacia trees that are very hardy. The houses were the typical stick and mud variety of rural Ethiopia. But the church was different. It had a metal roof – gratis "Great Concerns Ethiopia" to keep the rain out if and when it comes again.
This little church, the Cheleba Addis Kidan Church,
probably has about 500 sq. ft. of room, with no windows and benches made from split logs that provide seats 6 inches off the floor, is the worship place for 35 to 45 people now. 7 months before, there were no Christians within many miles of the place. The dominant religious effort was animism, dominated by a few witch doctors.
The founding evangelist, Debu, is one of our discipleship students. He continues to lead this church and is actively discipling his flock. They start early Sunday morning at 7 AM with a teaching time for all the adults. This lasts until the morning service starts at 9AM. They pray, sing and worship until around noon. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday they have a prayer meeting from 6 AM to 9 AM where they pray for their community and the ability to reach their friends, family and neighbors. And they have another teaching time Thursday evening. The whole church is involved in sharing the Gospel in their village and the surrounding area.
Praise God for Debu and his helpers. They have successfully reached 3-4 dozen people with the Gospel and are actively discipling them. There is a keen interest in the local people, but it takes time to shed their witch doctor beliefs.
The Adulala Addis Kidan church is newer and smaller than Cheleba, but it demonstrates the
same fervor and desire to share the Gospel with its neighbors. It was founded only 2 months ago, but already has about 25 worshipping adults. It all started with one believer who met the evangelist, donated the land for the church and helped evangelize the new believers. The leader, Birra, also one of our discipleship students, is on the same discipleship path as Debu at Cheleba. They have regular teaching, prayer and worship time in a small 8 ft. by 10 ft. windbreaker with a tattered cloth roof. They have only enough room for about 12 people to sit in the shack. One of their most urgent needs is to provide protection and seating for the many people from their village who have expressed an interest in learning more about "this Jesus".
These churches' efforts are excellent opportunities for you to share with your prayer team, church and family. They have almost nothing in the physical sense, but are rich in the Lord. Pray for them as they need to strengthen the new disciples before the certain attacks begin. We are certain Satan will not allow them to take his people – and up until now, they were all his people.