THEOLOGICAL TRAINING IN THE TASK OF MISSIONS
Our primary work in Ethiopia is to train and equip, and then send out Gospel workers into pioneer contexts to preach the Gospel and plant churches where Christ has not yet been named. If you’ve never thought about the necessity of this work, listen to Dr. David Sills’ message from the Desiring God 2011 National Conference, “Pioneer Missions and Theological Education”.
THE ETHIOPIA SCHOOL OF MISSIONS
We are helping equip and train cross-cultural missionaries from Ethiopia, local believers who will be sent out to preach the Gospel plant churches among unreached people groups in and around Ethiopia. We see this as a very strategic use of our resources, to build up these brothers and sisters who have a great passion and faith in God to preach the Gospel, but lack training.
We are working with the national church at the Ethiopia Kaleyhewet School of Missions (EKSM). This school trains Ethiopians and sends them out in Ethiopia and beyond, targeting unreached people groups in the 10-40 window. The school is one branch of the Kaleyhewet denomination, a denomination of churches which is the fruit of many decades of missions work by SIM (see also SIM Ethiopia).
The School of Missions trains nationals for one and half years of classroom studies at a former mission compound in rural Ethiopia (“Durame”) and then 8-9 months of field training. After this, most of our students move to unreached areas in Ethiopia, and some outside Ethiopia to pioneer new Gospel work.
Why is this a “strategic” use of resources? A number of reasons commend this valuable work:
- More “bang for the buck” :: Dollar for dollar, several more Ethiopians can be sent out to do evangelism and church planting than westerners–equipping and deploying them is a great use of resources
- Capitalize on opportunities not open to us :: In many areas, Africans can have greater access to regions and countries wherein white Westerners will attract too much attention and opposition to preach openly or even obtain visas
- Share the wealth :: (Not thinking dollars here) America has a very rich tradition of spiritual and theological heritage. This is one of THE great resources we have to offer the Body of Christ worldwide. This is one opportunity for us to do just that.
- Eager workers :: The Ethiopian church has experienced both God-sent revival and persecution in very recent history. This has uniquely prepared them to do the work of the missionary. They are a very prayerful people, dependent upon the Lord, with great faith in Him. They have seen the Lord work in the midst of opposition and are willing to face it boldly.
Below are some pictures of graduates and some of the people that have come to know Christ through their labors. Praise the Lord!
Here’s a snapshot of what God has done and is doing through these brothers and sisters.
- 155 students graduated from the 6 batches, receiving a diploma.
- Almost all are serving as missionaries among the 14 Least reached & Unreached People Groups.
- 3 families are missionaries at S. Sudan and Pakistan
- Currently they have 57 students (20 2nd year and 20 1st year and 17 degree students for foreign missions)
- Number of churches planted = 191
- Number of people converted to Christ = 9,000+