International Bible Givers

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From the Chairman

IBG Chairman Chuck Hayes

Ethiopia report

There are times when a ministry leader needs to stop speaking and let the fruit of the ministry speak. This is one of those times. This month, we are highlighting fruit from your significant investment in providing Oromo Bibles to Ethiopia. What follows is a ministry report from the Church Planters in Ethiopia, followed by the testimony of a young Muslim man who found Jesus through one of the Bibles you provided.

I hope you feel encouraged by this harvest story!

Ethiopia - Oromo Bibles Report

Prepared for International Bible Givers

There is nothing more exciting than to hear a new believer say, “For me, having the Word of God in my hands means that my eyes are opened! Without the Word of God, though physical eyes are there, it means I am blind. When I have the Bible in my hand, my eyes begin to open!” – “S”

Ethiopia continues to experience insecurity, particularly in Northern Ethiopia and parts of Oromia Region. Almighty God remains the stronghold for all those who look to Him. And yet, with praise and thanksgiving to God, even during these uncertain times the distribution of the Oromo language Bibles continues!

Significant challenges regarding movement in some of the areas within the Oromia Region with transportation, communication, and security on the roads did not stop the ministry teams from advancing the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Ethiopia. Baptism services are happening, as new believers, including many former Muslims, are coming to faith in Christ. The following testimony is but one of many that demonstrate the difference you are making:

“E” is a church planter in a community in East Central Ethiopia, where the Oromo language is spoken. He is excited to share that his church has been baptizing up to 200 new believers every three months! God is moving in a mighty way despite the many security challenges. Most of the area is dominated by Islam, but even so, many are open to listening during one on one and group discussion meetings. Recently, 250 Bibles were placed with new believers in preparation for the baptismal service. “J”, one of those new believers, has a story that shows the transforming power of God’s Word.

J grew up in Abossa. He moved to Ethiopia’s capital city, Addis Ababa, for work and met a friend and roommate who is from Western Ethiopia. While J was a devout Muslim who read his Qur’an faithfully, his friend was a believer who read the Bible and lived by its teachings. Often J and his friend would engage in discussion about their faith. J says, “I used to vehemently refuse my friend’s assertion that Christ was raised from the dead. Every time we discussed it, I got a headache and discomfort. I finally told my friend not to speak to me about Jesus Christ! However, my friend kept showing me the love of Christ. He often played worship songs, and I began to feel the presence of God. There were songs about how Jesus defeated death and that He is the resurrection and life.

My Qur’an did not speak of Jesus’ resurrection. I left Addis Ababa and came back to my village in Abossa. I started reading my Qur’an even more, and reciting, ‘I bear witness that there is no deity but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammed is the messenger of Allah.’ I started asking questions about the after life, and I couldn’t get satisfactory answers.

It was in one of these days during my search for the truth that “E” gave me a Bible. He knew that God’s Word held the answers to my questions. I started reading. One evening I took a bold step and went to hear “E” preach the Gospel. My heart was ready, and I received Jesus Christ as my Saviour! I continued to read my new Bible and grow in my understanding of Christian life. My wife and I both were baptized with a group of other former Muslims. Though we endure persecution and rejection by family members and Muslim friends, together we are staying strong in Jesus Christ. Thank you, God, for those who provided the Bible for us!”

By God’s grace, you helped make J’s testimony possible!

Give Hope, Give Life, Give Bibles!