Earlier this month Jim Leffel, Mike Woods and Dave Glover made a field visit to our Global Partner in Ethiopia. They give us this first-hand report of their visit:
Lou and Genet Kassa, sent by Xenos in the fall of 2013, serve as missionaries working alongside Bethel Church to plant house churches in Northern Ethiopia. We were greatly encouraged to see the work God is doing among the Amharic and Tigray people groups of Northern Ethiopia.
We arrived on Thursday afternoon and went to work on Friday, spending two full days in the book of Philippians with a group of 35 house church leaders from the eight groups in Addis Ababa. We did an inductive of each paragraph in Philippians including how to prepare an expository teaching. These are very sharp dedicated men and women, and we were impressed with their ability to do high quality inductive study.
The elders’ from Bethel Church in Bahir Dar joined us in Addis Ababa as well. We spent several hours with them in the evenings discussing the progress of the ministry. They have a highly motivated workforce and they continue to grow and plant churches. In addition, we were very encouraged to learn the house churches in Addis and Bahir Dar received annual pledges of $18,000 to support additional church planters to reach the Tigray people. This is a substantial commitment both in terms of financial sacrifice and to the vision of planting churches among the unreached.
Sunday, we went to the city of Axum, in the far north. We had the privilege of attending a baptism in the underground church among the Tigray people. There are close to nine million in this people group, which remains substantially unreached. These are amazing believers. Each has counted the cost for their faith, risking expulsion from their communities and families, loss of work and even jail. It is truly incredible to see God at work in their lives!