Local Missions Initiatives in Ethiopia

Paulos Djini, who leads CityLife International Church (our church plant in Ethiopia) has a vision for the church to have an impact in the unreached regions of Ethiopia. Recently, he sent us this account of what happens when willing hearts join with God’s purposes and power!

This account begins with a police officer by the name of Dadafo, who comes from a rural region about 220km away from Addis Ababa. Coming from a non-Christian family, he accepted Christ a few years ago and since doing that has had a great passion to share his faith with relatives and friends. However there was a cost to this as he then had to endure persecution and attack from his own people. Through all this, God gave him enormous favour to witness and was able to win a few to the love of Christ. Having been stationed in the city, he had to leave his wife and five children behind as he moved to the city for work.

A number of months ago while working nearby, he was introduced to the church and felt impressed by the Holy Spirit to make CityLife International his home church. After attending for a while, Dadafo felt compelled to share his testimony and burden for his home community. His testimony moved the hearts of the congregation and Paulos decided to send one of the ministry team members and a Life Group Leader (Tamiru Lemu) to go with Dadafo back to his home community to investigate the need and encourage the few Christians in the village.

In September 2010, CityLife International sent its first short term local missions team to this village located 220km from Addis Ababa in the south eastern part of the country.

Tamiru came back with an encouraging report. During the trip, Tamiru preached the good news to the members of the community and the few Christians in that village (who were discouraged in their faith). As a result, fourteen people recommitted their lives to the Lord, and eleven others accepted the Lord for the first time.

Just before their trip, Tamiru’s Life Group prayed for them and the Holy Spirit spoke through a vision to the assistant leader of the Life Group, about a woman who was desperately crying to get the Bible. By faith the Life Group contributed some money, bought a Bible and sent it with Tamiru. Amazingly, at the village and while Tamiru was preaching, he spotted a woman who was constantly crying in the meetings. He asked why the woman was crying and her close friends told Tamiru that she had been desperately asking God to give her the Holy Bible. It was at this time that Tamiru shared how his Life Group had bought a Bible and sent it with him to give it to a woman who desperately wanted to get the Bible. As a church community CityLife International viewed this as a miraculous confirmation from God to pursue a church plant in this community.

On subsequent trips to the community, Tamiru was joined by an assistant Life Group Leader who is also called Tamiru. They passionately preached and taught the basic principles of Christianity, started three Life Groups and raised three local leaders to look after the new Life Groups. The congregation of CityLife International  bought and sent thirty Bibles to the new Christians and encouraged them to read the Word of God regularly.

At the time this account was written, about 32 people regularly gather together on weekends and close to fifty people have heard the Good News of Jesus Christ in that village. Four people have been water baptism, 23 are receiving ongoing instruction in basic Christian principles and several more will be water baptised when the team next visits the village.

When available and sincere hearts collide with the purposes of God, truly amazing things can happen! In this instance, all it took was a couple of Life Group Leaders taking a journey with a person who had a heart to see his home community come to Christ, to see a new community of believers form.