The Privilege of Preaching in Ethiopia
In his nearly 10 years as youth pastor at Mekanisa Kale Heywet Church, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Pastor Misgana has seen a thing or two about the power of God’s Word to transform.
When he first starting working with the youth, their knowledge of the Bible was not strong. So, he started a Bible a study with them to strengthen their understanding of God’s Word.
“It changed their lives,” he says. “Today, some of them go to Bible college, some work in evangelism, and they follow Christ.”
But in a country where false teaching is rampant and the vast majority of pastors and lay leaders lack any sort of formal biblical training, what prepared Misgana to be able to lead and disciple these young lives?
In part, it was his attendance at Evangelical Theological College, one of the largest in Addis Ababa, where he was mentored by Dr. Frew Tamrat—who coordinates Langham’s pastor training seminars for Ethiopia. Frew invited Misgana to the trainings, and it has transformed his ministry.
Misgana says, “Langham’s training helped me to progress my Bible knowledge and study the Word of God. . . It helped me apply the Bible in my own life, and in my family, and in society.”
And today—another transformation for Misgana. Though he was born and has been ministering in Ethiopia’s capital city—God is drawing his heart into the rural parts of his country.
Misgana recalls how God opened an opportunity for him to go to the countryside after graduating from college. He says he has since witnessed 300 people getting baptized.
“It was a good privilege for me to proclaim the Word to them,” he says. “Nowadays, their hearts are open to the Gospel . . . The people are thirsty and they want to know the truth.”
For example, during a leadership training in an ethnic village where people speak Oromiffa, Misgana says 150 people came to Christ.
But opportunities come with challenges. Misgana explains, “There are a lot of needs when you go into a rural place. They need discipleship training, youth training, children training.”
He emphasizes that most pastors in the rural areas don’t have good chances to go to a Bible school. That’s why Misgana is thankful to Langham for the training he received and the opportunity to pass on the same training to rural pastors. He says his knowledge of the Bible – and its application – increased because of his training.
“I had this privilege, it helps me very much,” he says.
Misgana hopes that with biblical training, pastors in the rural areas can also see how God’s truth can impact them personally and the society as a whole. This is what brings him much joy—to see people know and accept Christ and become a light in their community.
“You know the goal of preaching is life change,” says Misgana, “so when people say ‘God spoke to me, and I changed my life,’ when I hear this, it is joyful for me.”
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