Dear Pr-Air Force—
Thanks so much for praying for our Ethiopia trip. Sorry I wasn’t able to send updates as I generally do. One day I went in to the internet café and it kept disconnecting me. I went in a second day and they said their network was down. When I asked where another café was, they said “no, the network is down in this whole region.” My third try a couple days later? The electricity was off in the whole region! Ah, what we take for granted here in the US!
Internet problems aside, God showed up in a mighty way! And I’d much, much rather have His connection than an internet connection! Here are some glimpses of His glory—
370 people attended our leadership conference! Most were from our primary partner there—the Kale Heywet (Word of Life) denomination. Please pray for God to effectively use them to train the 6500+ churches of Kale Heywet how to use the EvangeCube and how to plant churches using our First Steps curriculum. Picture above is everyone saying "thanks for these First Steps manuals."
Also attending were leaders from 18 other denominations and ministries. All are interested in using our tools and training to plant new churches. Ask the Head of the Church, the Lord Jesus, to give us strong partnerships with all who are focused on planting new churches. Here’s what one of those denominational leaders said: “Most of the teaching that comes in from the outside is not relevant for us. But this training is helpful for us here.”
During the week we met with the Kale Heywet top leaders. They confirmed their desire for e3 to continue to help training their 6500+ churches in evangelism and church planting. We joyfully signed a new partnership agreement at the end of our week together. Picture above is us praying over the new agreement.
Mike Congrove led a team of 12 on a church planting campaign at the same time as we were doing the leadership conference. In spite of the heavy resistance in that area, over 490 people prayed to receive Christ as Savior! And 10 new churches were planted. Click here to read the amazing stories from that campaign he’s posting on his blog. Pray for 30, 60 and 100 fold multiplying Christians to grow as the Ethiopian believers follow-up the new believers.
Rick Eisemann led a campaign to the northern part of Ethiopia the week before our leadership conference. The north has been closed to the Gospel for centuries . . . yes, centuries. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church persecutes evangelicals harshly. Three legends indicate the depths of this religious stronghold. First, they believe that the Queen of Sheba mentioned in the Old Testament had a son by Solomon after she visited Jerusalem. They believe their leaders are descendants of that “royal son.” Second, since their church was founded by the Ethiopian eunuch mentioned in Acts 8, everyone else is a heretic. Third, they say they have the actual Old Testament Ark of the Covenant in the basement of a church.
But this changed when Rick’s team arrived. They did an eye glass clinic. The provincial officials were so happy about this that they sent government vehicles to pick them up at the airport and transport them all week. They wanted to have a dinner for the team, but it conflicted with their flight schedule back to Addis Ababa. So the president of the region called the Chairman of the Board and he had Ethiopian Air send another plane for them! At that dinner Rick was able to share the gospel with those officials as he presented each with an EvangeCube. The local officials called the national TV station—so they were on the Ethiopian equivalent of CNN several times!
Bottom line: the door is wide open for more evangelism and church planting there. The local officials, who are closely tied with the Orthodox church, pleaded with them to return with more teams, and gave the OK for evangelism. God holds the hearts of kings in His hands. Pray for these doors to stay open, and for protection from the father of lies.
Thanks so much for praying, Pr-Air Force. God answered in powerful ways.