Join in on how God is working in Ethiopia!
Last fall, we were led to pray for the people in the area (Adulala) where several of our students were ministering. These people were starving as result of a 3 year drought. Their reserves had been exhausted and the government was overwhelmed with the immensity of the problem. These people were desperate and on their own.
We had visited the area and, as a team, had agreed that we needed to do something, even though relief activities are not part of our vision. We agreed to pray about it and decide soon what to do.
God in His goodness had already been working ahead of us, as always. That very night we received an email with news that one of our partner churches, St Charles Methodist from Louisiana, was aware of the need and was sending us $1500 to be used for drought relief.
Our team chose to add $500 to it and through our partner denomination, we purchased $2000 worth of grain. The local church invited the 70 most-needy families in the area to receive some of the needed grain.
They heard the Gospel!
They received about a month’s need of grain!
In all, 70 families, totaling 273 people were provided for, including a whole bunch of people who had not eaten for days. We know there were at least two pregnant women who had not eaten for 4 days.
Three families became believers and joined the church that day. Over the next 3 weeks, dozens of families did the same. The church grew.
The existing church building (see pix) could not hold the influx. They needed to build. One family donated a plot of land. Others donated the wood. Others – Donated nails, rope and cloth.
The Old Building
They worked together to build the foundation and put up the walls. We, Great Concerns Ethiopia, provided the metal roof material. They worked together to build their new church building that could hold all the members, old and new, and the many more who came later.
THE NEW BUILDING
Question?? Can all this be attributed to the food distribution activity? Certainly not. The evangelists had been working hard before this event, but it was a catalyst – a start from which the church grew and thrived.
Today, 8 months later, this church has 5 daughter churches, partially seeded with members from the mother church.
Similar stories could be told of 2 additional churches in the area, Cheleba and Meki. When we returned to the States in October of 2016, due to the political unrest in Ethiopia, we heard from Mark Rollins, a representative and leader of Christ for Humanity (CFH). He had learned about the success of the first drought relief action, and told us CFH desired to help in such a situation. CFH agreed to provide funds to continue the assistance. So, along with donations from several individuals, we were able to have food distributions at the two other churches mentioned, both of which are led by students in our discipleship training class.
For Meki church, oddly enough, the weather would not allow the grain truck to reach the church, so the distribution took place in a nearby village of Mojo - but, the Gospel was still shared with many people and some became believers. We do not have and accurate record of the number of participants, but it was about 200 people served.
Following this distribution, the reports from the church show it to be growing, many people being baptized and a new daughter church planted. Praise God!!
BAPTISM AT MEKI
The third church, Cheleba, was the focus of a story last year about it being planted immediately next to a witch doctor’s compound and about it winning the spiritual battles, causing the witch doctor to move after exclaiming that he felt like he was burning inside his body. But it continues to grow in numbers and influence in the village. 39 families, including 133 individuals were served.
The drought has been broken, often resulting in floods. The community is hopeful of a crop this coming December. Until then, the problem, though somewhat mitigated, will continue.
How do we measure the impact of assisting these people?
It helped approximately 700 people survive
Dozens of families (hundreds of individuals) became believers and members of the churches.
New churches have been planted. (partially as a result of the feedings)
The churches influence and acceptance in the villages has grown tremendously
Government officials appreciate and recognize the church’s work – less hindrance for future works.
Christ for Humanity, St Charles Methodist and individuals got to participate in what God is doing in Ethiopia.
Its not too late for you to join in on what God is doing in Ethiopia. Funds are still being accepted by Great Concerns Ethiopia to do more. If you would like to participate, go to our web site – http://www.greatconcernsethiopia.org and donate through Paypal or mail a donation to us at
Great Concerns Ethiopia, 2732 E 13th St, Tulsa, OK 74104