I have just finished teaching a 5 week, 2 part course at the Bible college. The first part was to help incoming students pass the English exam required to attend the school. For that part, I had help, LOTS of help. In fact, I was more of the assistant. I don’t remember the English rules…past participle, present perfect, etc… So, an Ethiopian taught that part. Talk about feeling dumb. 🙂 The second part of the class was all me. It was just conversational English. The point was to get the students talking. This part of the class was fun. Some of the assignments were writing assignments, but most were oral presentations. I learned a lot about the incoming students through these two classes and I was reassured that teaching at a Bible college, even just teaching English, is a mission field.
A little background…the government here requires all accredited college courses to be taught in English. Kids are instructed in English from an early age, but they are rarely encouraged to speak English. So, they can understand most of what is read by them, some of what is spoken to them, but most are quite uncomfortable speaking themselves. If you want a college degree, you need to understand most of what is spoken to you and be able to speak confidently. So, the purpose of the courses I just taught was to gauge their English comprehension and understanding and to get them talking more confidently. Over the five weeks, I believe this goal was accomplished.
Through the process, I heard some amazing stories of what these students have been through and what they hope to accomplish for the Kingdom. Being a part of training them leaves me feeling very blessed. They are an amazing group with loads of potential to take the Gospel further than I could ever take it myself, so I definitely see the value of teaching in the Bible college and it is an honor to be a part of their process.
Here are some of the things I learned about the incoming students. Some of them just amaze me.
“I came to know Jesus as my Savior at the age of 14. I started serving the Lord at age 15 because my family did not want me to serve the Lord. They forced me to leave their home.”
This man went on to become a missionary to unreached people groups in Ethiopia and this is some of what he experienced:
“Challenges being faced in the course of my ministry: shortages of money, being beaten by persecutors, stigmatization, going without food for days, jailed and taken to court, threatened by the authorities. With all this, God has given me His grace and mercy. I am victorious and happy to serve God. I give praise to the Lord Jesus.”
Another of my students was in jail for 3 years for killing a man in a fight. He met God in a very real way and has such a sweet spirit that it is difficult to imagine him any other way. He will do great things for God.
Comments about the Orthodox church:
- I had no hope.
- I heard about the resurrection of Jesus for the first time at the age of 30.
- I was not delivered from my evil spirit in my church.
Every day life is tough here, folks. Ethiopians face challenges that we can only begin to imagine. Ethiopia is called a Christian nation, but the Orthodox church is about as far from true Christianity as you can get (for the most part). People don’t know the truth. If we can have a small part in training up another generation of Gospel preaching, spirit filled pastors and missionaries, it is we who are blessed by this. And, their willingness to follow wherever God leads is refreshing. I pray for them, please join me, that God will lead and that they will follow to the ends of the Earth, going places I can’t even access to teach people who have never heard the Gospel about a God who loves them and offers hope.
To all our supporters, you have a hand in this, too. God is using your generosity of finances and/or time spent in prayer to keep us here and sustain us. Without you, we could not do this thing that God has called us to do. Thank you for your support!