Trainers: Ken M and James S.
Many thanks to those who prayed for this visit – we knew God’s blessing and help in so many ways. This was the 11th trip PTI has made to Ethiopia. Mulugeta Ashagre, leader of the Ethiopian Christian Brethren Church (ECBC) was our host and it was a joy to see him again. A road block prevented us from visiting a gathering of church leaders in the countryside west of Addis Ababa on Friday 27th, but the next day we flew down to Jima, 250 Km SW of Addis. This region claims to be the home of coffee and on Sunday morning we both preached at a new ECBC church plant in Jima. The Pastor of this church was one of 54 ‘students’ from 16 evangelical denominations who gathered on Monday 30th October for the first conference. The five days together went very well and those who attended had travelled from up to 100km. The second-year curriculum, with the new focus on constructing sermons was well received and, we think, understood.
We flew back to Addis on the Friday afternoon. The next day we gave teaching to 24 younger leaders from local churches, preached in a church outside Addis on the Sunday and then began our second conference on Monday 6th November. This time, 48 Pastors and full-time Christian workers from 13 evangelical denominations attended. They came from as far as 180 Km. As at Jima, they were keen believers. We had much joy in the Lord and his word and Mulugeta was pleased how the new focus on preaching from the Bible text was received.
We thank the Lord that James and I kept in good health throughout the trip, for the warm welcome we received and for the presence of God in the lectures. Mulugeta, as always, proved to be a good host. Ethiopia is perhaps a little less stable politically than a few years ago but the evangelical church continues to grow, and new churches are being planted each year.
The church is full of young, keen Christians; perhaps 80% are less than 40 years old. The need continues to be for men who can faithfully pastor the flock and feed the people from the word of God. Please pray for Ethiopia.