An International

Church Development

What's the big deal about covenant? (Dec 2 '14)

Imagine living in a situation where "whatever works for me" dictates ethics. No business contracts are enforced (except perhaps by fists). Loans get repaid if things work out well, and "it's too bad" if they don't. Conflicts get resolved by intimidation or separation. This legacy from animism, which our friends in western Ethiopia have inherited, blocks peace, community development, and economic progress, to say nothing about Christian maturity and the ability to be a joyful and redemptive community. Among some of our friends in Ethiopia this legacy is now crumbling in the face of covenant,... [more]

We Built It Ourselves! (Oct 6 '14)

In an area of western Ethiopia where people have been poor and dependent as long as they can remember, the village of Rafiso Alenga is tasting the heady wine of self-funded accomplishment. Eight years ago a few villagers heard about Jesus and forsook their witch doctors. Ecstatic at their new freedom from spiritual oppression, they told others. The church that resulted began to grow. Its leaders, trained by our co-workers, formed them into small groups which met in their huts during the week. There everyone had the chance to talk about their lives, discuss what the Bible had to say about... [more]

Thoughts about Church Development in Ethiopia (Oct 1 '14)

THE SITUATION • Evangelism and rapid church growth are taking place in all sectors of Ethiopian society. Most evangelical Ethiopian churches have given these high priority. In fact, thousands of people from many religious backgrounds are coming to identify themselves as followers of Jesus. Outsiders invest heavily in these activities. • There are many seminaries and Bible schools throughout Ethiopia. Therefore, training for Christian leadership is widely available. • While evangelism is going forward, there is also definite, although low-level, persecution from other religious... [more]