The Bible mentions Ethiopia over 60 times, with Acts 8 giving the clearest picture of God’s desire for this great nation. In this passage, Philip was preaching a miraculous revival in Samaria when God interrupted him to go to a desert road. He obeyed without question, and as a result, he was able to explain Isaiah’s messianic prophecies to an Ethiopian eunuch, who came to believe in Christ. Tradition says that man founded the Ethiopian Church.
Today, God is again interrupting schedules on behalf of Ethiopians. This potentially beautiful land faces a grave challenge. Marxism’s 17-year reign drained her economy. Famine, war, illiteracy and unemployment, coupled with Islam’s strong bid for Ethiopia’s soul, have weakened her people.
AIMS is following Philip’s example, obeying God without question. We are building strategic alliances to take the Gospel to Ethiopia’s Final Frontier. The Evangelical Churches Fellowship of Ethiopia represents 12 denominations (97 percent of the nation’s evangelicals). Working with AIMS, this group recently identified Ethiopia’s 41 remaining unreached people groups.
AIMS is committed to helping these believers reach their brothers with the Gospel. Calvary Temple of Denver, CO, has joined with AIMS to mobilize churches to partner with them. At the Fellowship’s request, AIMS recently trained 286 prospective missionaries specially chosen to penetrate and evangelize these final 41 unreached people groups. The candidates, previously trained by their denominations for local church ministry, received 55 hours of strategic missions training.
Dr. Howard Foltz, AIMS founder and president, and Dr. Charles E. Blair, AIMS board chairman and senior pastor at Calvary Temple in Denver, CO, led the group of teachers for this historic event. Other team members were the Rev. Michael Kelleher; associate pastor of Calvary Temple in Denver; the Rev. Jim Reimer, American/church planter in Portugal and chairman of AIMS Portugal; Dr. Arnold Gauss, Christian Outreach Center missionary/teacher from Columbia, SC; and Nathan Crandall, representative of the Seventh Day Baptist denomination.
AIMS and Calvary Temple have committed to raise partnership support for each of the 286 missionary candidates. A missionary in Ethiopia can rent a house, support his family, and launch a house church with only $50 per month outside support. Ethiopian denominations have also pledged to raise support, but with the per capita monthly income of Ethiopia being only $10, their resources will not be great. The goal of this strategic alliance, which AIMS has named Ethiopia Call, is to penetrate and begin initial evangelization of Ethiopia’s remaining 41 unreached people groups within the next year, by supporting these missionaries with $50 per month.
Dr. Howard Foltz noted, “Never before have I seen a country with such an expression of unity among its churches, with the human resources to complete the Great Commission within its borders. Truly, this is a God-given moment for all of us to seize.” Dr. Charles Blair added, “Everyone in their lifetime looks for an opportunity to do something significant that will last for eternity. I view this as my crowning opportunity of over 50 years of ministry. I am honored to give my life to answering the Ethiopia Call.”
AIMS is offering a videotape and brochure to tell the story of The Ethiopia Call. For further information, please check the appropriate box in the response form on page 15 and return it to AIMS.
Final Frontiers Spring / Summer
Ethiopia Call is fast becoming a model for taking the Gospel to this world’s unreached people groups. This alliance is founded on the principle that Western churches, individuals and ministry organizations can effectively partner with national churches and missionaries to evangelize and plant churches among the unreached. Now, the fruit is starting to appear – and the results are incredibly encouraging.
The People’s Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is a fertile mountain plateau surrounded by the deserts of the Red Sea Coast. It borders Somalia, Kenya and Sudan. Ethiopia is in a state of shock from death, famine and war. These incredible difficulties have caused the nation to lose its corporate sense of identity, so that it remains divided on regional and ethnic lines. Communism left the nation spiritually, economically and agriculturally bankrupt.
Yet, in the midst of such desperation, a spark of hope still glimmers. Ethiopia was one of the first Christian nations, and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church was the state church until the 1974 Marxist Revolution. The Marxist regime targeted the evangelical church for persecution, yet the Church grew by amazing proportions, even in secret.
Now, after Communism’s collapse, the Church is laboring in the open again, and Ethiopia is in the midst of tremendous revival. AIMS has partnered with Calvary Temple in Denver, Colorado, to help fan the revival flames. Recently, representatives traveled to Ethiopia for a short-term ministry trip to train Ethiopian missionaries and pastors to reach the unreached in their own land.
The training event was convened by the Evangelical Fellowship of Churches in Ethiopia (EFCE), which represent 97 percent of the nation’s evangelicals, at the beautiful SIM orphanage just outside of Ethiopia’s capital city, Addis Ababa.
The conference scheduled included reports from almost 300 national missionaries working among the 41 unreached remaining peoples of Ethiopia. Many of the missionaries come from some of the most remote areas of the nation to participate in this conference. The missionaries shared reports of salvations, including many Muslim converts, and churches planted among the unreached.
The Church is in revival. And although the surrounding nations are predominantly Muslim, the Ethiopian Church has maintained its strong Christian witness, despite outside pressure. The EFCE and AIMS are certain the Ethiopian Church will be an effective sending base for future missionaries to neighboring nations.
The EFCE will establish four new training sites within Ethiopia for ministry to the unreached. AIMS will work with Calvary Temple to refine and develop a missionary sending structure within the Ethiopian Church for ministry among the unreached.
AIMS representatives met with leaders of the twelve denominations of the EFCE to assist them in networking and discipleship training among their national missionaries. AIMS expects this alliance to bear much fruit. Ethiopia is home to the fastest growing church in Africa. Though it is the poorest country in the world, its spiritual wealth and revival surpass that of all African nations. AIMS is proud to be part of God’s plan to extend the boundaries of His Kingdom in this great nation.
Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by Aaron Hernandez,
Ethiopia Call alliance coordinator.
AIMS Alliance goes where Christians
haven’t gone before
Ethiopia Call Invades Satan’s Territory
Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from a report presented by Brother Shiferaw Michael, chairman of the Evangelical Fellowship of Churches of Ethiopia, at the recent missionary training event in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Our gracious Lord is a faithful Lord. Our being together this week attests to the fact that He respects His Word. Some five years ago…some of us talked about working in partnership to help the efforts of Evangelical Churches in Ethiopia…In retrospect, we now fully realize that just as it is written in Malachi 3:16, the Lord listened and heard and put Himself into our sincere desires and talks.
When the Lord takes and blesses something, the sure result is that the thing multiplies several fold. That is what happened in the case of the flour and oil of that old woman who served Elijah. That was what happened to the five loaves of bread and two fishes of the little boy that finally landed into the hand of Jesus! Our Lord gave a place to our talk and breathed eternity into it.
Brothers and sisters, what we are witnessing this week is the result of partnership that was woven together nowhere else but in heaven. The weaver is the Holy Spirit Himself. It is the result of a deep commitment and friendship between Calvary Temple and AIMS on the one hand, and the children of God in Ethiopia. This relationship was birthed from nothing but a simple and sincere desire to serve God – to follow the heart of Jesus.
Our beginning was a mustard-seed-beginning. No more. Today, we see the seed…growing and coming to fruition. I feel very proud in the Lord to share with you brothers and sisters that as a result of this Ruth/Naomi type of relationship between Calvary Temple and AIMS and the ECFE:
Ethiopia At A Glance
The Somali people are farmers and nomads who live in northeast Africa. Daily tasks for this group of about 10 million people are well defined. Women and children care for sheep and goats, while young men and boys are responsible for herding the highly esteemed camels.
Since they live in a region with an average annual rainfall of less than four inches, the Somalis’ spend most of their time searching for and finding water and grazing land for livestock.
Children learn history and tradition through poetry. The Somalis have remarkable powers of memory, and they often chant folk tales to entertain themselves on long night walks. Because of this cultural familiarity, the Gospel is most clear to them when it is presented in Biblical poetic stories. Portions of Scripture are available in their language, yet with few Somali being literate, radio broadcasts and taped Christian messages are more useful outreach tools.
In their home country of Somalia, 99 percent of the Somali people are Muslim. They tend to despise Christians. Drought, famine, and war have driven many from their homes to surrounding countries.
Somali refugees in Kenya, where there is complete religious freedom, are showing interest in Christianity. Please pray that AIMS and its alliance partners will see these same results in Ethiopia.
As cultural changes affect the traditional lifestyle espoused by the Somali people, pray also that they will embrace the Gospel, and that God would bring relief to Somali refugees and show them His salvation in a clear way.
As you pray for the Somali people, remember also the 40 other people groups that AIMS is helping to evangelize through its joint effort with Calvary Temple of Denver, CO, and the Evangelical Fellowship of Churches in Ethiopia. For more information about this alliance and its activities in this North African nation, please contact AIMS.
Final Frontiers Fall / Winter ‘97
Recent statistics gathered for the Ethiopia Call alliance demonstrate that this united outreach has born phenomenal fruit since its inception in 1995. Ethiopia Call has trained and launched Ethiopian national missionaries to minister among the unreached people groups in their own country. The eventual goal is to take the Gospel to surrounding regions as well. Already, this alliance has accomplished the following:
Ethiopia Call has set specific goals which include the establishment of a steering committee representing those already participating in this alliance, as well as the churches, mission agencies, business, individuals and professional organizations who will join this united effort. Together they will accomplish common goals with combined resources, prayer and communication. The strategic alliance is a mutual partnership established to facilitate what God is already doing in mobilizing the Ethiopian Church.
In November, the Ethiopia alliance will convene a planning meeting in Dallas, TX. The Ethiopia alliance along with her adopted goals and objectives, will be owned by alliance members.
If you are interested in joining the Ethiopia alliance or would like to receive further information on our work and ministry in Ethiopia, please contact AIMS for details.
AIMS is an organization helping the Church obey the Great Commandment and fulfill the Great Commission by Advancing adoption of unreached people groups and building strategic alliances to target regions and peoples.
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