The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. (Matthew 4:16)
Barren land, skeletal livestock, starving children. Is that what you see when you think about Ethiopia?
Or do you see sons and daughters of God sitting in darkness waiting to see the Light of these last days?
Ethiopia is a land of spiritual darkness. It is hidden behind a great wall known as a language barrier. The general population harbors a great suspicion of foreigners which further isolates them. Together with the national religion of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, this has created a darkness through which the Light of the End Time Message has only begun to penetrate.
Yet, as we look with the clear vision of the last commission (Mark 16:15) and with a revelation that the Bride of Jesus Christ must come from every people, we see sons and daughters of God hungry for the one Message what will clothe the Bride for the Marriage of the Lamb.
Brother Tim Dodd just returned from Ethiopia and says that all he saw was opportunity! Natural opportunity and spiritual opportunity. On March 8th, Brother Tim, accompanied by his son, Andrew (also a minister), stepped out of the airplane in Addis Ababa onto Ethiopian soil for the first time in their lives. On the drive to the hotel, unexpected sites streamed past their eyes. Here was a modern city in the midst of robust economic growth.
The economic boom coincides with the spread of the Message into Ethiopia under the guidance of Brother Talemwa Busobozi, an evangelist from Uganda. There have been others in the past try to introduce the Message into Ethiopia, yet now at a time when the country is flourishing economically, the End Time Gospel is going forth with great results. To-date there have been over 30 souls receive true Christian baptism. With the translation progress and the establishment of the local church in its own premises, a lot has been accomplished in just over two years. Yet, there remains much to be done.
The believers in Ethiopia have just moved into a ground floor location in a high rise building, in the city of Addis Ababa, for worship with room for over 100 believers in services. The premises also has room for offices for translation. There the Message is being translated into Afan Oromo and Amharic. As previously mentioned, the people of Ethiopia have never been colonized, and therefore do not understand any languages except their own. Though 11 translations are completed, or in the progress of proofreading, along with the Church Age Book begun in both languages, there remains much work to be done.
There are new Believers like Sister Maritu who does not speak English, yet needs to feed on the Message of the Hour. She was a Muslim for whom God recently opened her eyes. As Brother Busobozi notes: “We are celebrating a Muslim girl who has recently believed the Message. It was after a long time of learning by sitting in a corner whenever Sunday meetings were going on. It should be noted that this girl is an orphan and deserted her living Orthodox relatives for trying to make her Orthodox by force. She couldn’t leave her Muslim faith. But over time, she has seen that we are different from the Orthodox and all other religious institutions she knows in Ethiopia. God visited her. The devil was tormenting her in her dreams and she asked me to pray for her to remove this but I told her it would come back and the only way would be cutting the tree from the root. That way, I led her to the Lord and soon when we have the church ready, she should be the first candidate for baptism.”
As it turned out, Brother Girmay was the first person baptized in the new church. Brother Busobozi says about him, “He was introduced to the Message while fellowshipping with a Pentecostal Church. Brother Girmay was a friend of Sister Yodit, with whom one day he was fellowshipping about the things that he had heard amongst the Apostolic church on baptism. While he had heard that there was a correct water baptism, he was amazed to hear about the Seven Church Ages and other things that Sister Yodit was able to witness to him. He gladly received the Exposition of the Seven Church Ages and the Revelation of the Seven Seals, and read through both books in one month. The Lord opened his eyes to see that denomination was not of God and he immediately left the former church and embraced the Message of the Hour.”
During the first service Brother Dodd preached in Ethiopia, the Lord answered the last lingering question Brother Girmay had in his mind. He was baptized during the first service in the new church building.
Just a few weeks after being baptised, while Brother Girmay walked with another believer, God sovereignly led him to Sister Hewot. At the time she was suffering and labouring with many problems. They encouraged her and led her to come and meet Brother Busobozi at church. This Sister was Orthodox but she confessed that God has visited her and after sharing the Word with her for four hours, she said she had never seen the Word that way. She was baptised in the Name of her Lord Jesus the following Sunday.
Since our last report the Lord has definitely shown His blessing upon the establishment of the work in Ethiopia. Brother Busobozi has finally obtained residency and work permits which allows him to stay in the country long term. His family has just joined him there, which we all are rejoicing over. In addition to sponsoring the monthly rent on the church, we were able to send a print station to allow the Believers to print the translations off the Message Hub as much as the Ethiopian work demands.
Everywhere in Ethiopia there are spiritually hungry children of God who have not had an opportunity to see the Light that God has sent in these last days. Through your support, we are able to be a part of this great end time work.
Hungry souls have fed on the Message and were illuminated by it when they could read English. If the Word had such an impact on these souls, just because they were blessed with the ability to read English, how many more souls are waiting for these books in their own language?
Progress is being made, translations are being done, a church premises has been set up for worship, yet it is not enough. We need to approach the spiritual famine in Ethiopia with the same zeal and energy that we would if we were the only resource that stood between the population and natural starvation. We have to muster all our energy to reach out to these people. By God’s grace and blessing, together we will accomplish much for the Kingdom of God.