The Name of Jesus is being declared to the West Shewa Zone of Ethiopia! The preaching of the Good News of the gospel, accompanied with miracles and signs of Jesus, draws people to him in incredible numbers. The gospel is bringing community transformation and life-style change to every village into which we have sent missionaries!
A year and a half ago, we sent a church planter (missionary) by the name of Wondemu Kebeta to a very spiritually dark and witchdoctor-dominant area. There was not a single believer in this village. His newness to the village, and the act of the witchdoctors frustrated him, and he asked if he could change to another village. We promised him our prayer support and he continued to courageously present Christ to that village.
The local witchdoctor learned that Wondemu was preaching the gospel and taking the people from his “rule.” The witchdoctor told the people, “No one can preach to his people and no can live under my rule if he refuses me.” The people feared the witchdoctor, even bowing down for his horse when the horse ate or destroyed their harvest. But, Wondemu kept preaching. The witchdoctor grew more angry and sent out an edict that if someone would kill the preacher, he would pay $5000 birr. A local gunman agreed to receive the money and kill the man of God. He went to the missionary’s house and waited outside the home the entire day to kill him. Meanwhile, the missionary was praying inside the house. At the end of the day, the gunman confronted our missionary and told him that he came to kill him. Wondemu said “God will not allow you to kill me.” And the gunman left. Then, two other men came and started to beat our missionary, even then Wondemu was spared and he escaped that day. Frustrated, the witchdoctor ordered the local government officials to imprison Wondemu, but the officials refused!
At the end of the day, the gunman confronted our missionary and told him that he came to kill him. Wondemu said “God will not allow you to kill me.” And the gunman left.
Wondemu continued to present the gospel message from home to home and the new converts increased every day. He was allowed to build a church by the local government when they saw the tremendous growth of the church. But the witchdoctor sent people to burn the newly started building. The missionary announced to the people to fast and pray, and the local government found favor with the church and defended them.
Wandemu conducted a conference in his village in October, which lead to the establishment of his second church: A father came on horse back to the conference and brought a young paralytic man who had been in bed for a year and half. His father had already spent about 1000 USD dollars for witchdoctors and hospitals. The missionary prayed for this young man and his paralytic leg was filled with flesh in front of hundreds of people. Upon his healing, the young man began running around the building. His father was very excited and ran to his village announcing, “My son is healed!” The missionary followed the father to the village and presented the gospel message to the people who came to see the miracle. Thirty-seven people gave their lives to Christ right there and the second church was born.
The story does not end there. The missionary went back to the conference and while he was preaching, a paralytic woman, who watched the healing of the boy, cried out and asked ‘’Can I stand up and walk?” The missionary with loud voice said “Yes, stand up and run in the mighty name of Jesus”. She stood and ran. Twenty people accepted Christ at that service. Within a year and a half of ministry, 273 people joined the first church and 46 people joined the second church. The first church has constructed their building and they are praying for a building for the second church. Because of the move of God in the first village, the power of the witchdoctors has been weakened and people are refusing to follow them. God’s name is being glorified and His power is being made known to the people.
Pray for God’s continual blessings on the community.