For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.Ephesians 2:10
One of our students who is currently studying his MA in Youth ministry recounted his recent mission adventures. We knew that this story needed to be told to our ETC’s friends, partners and those who are faithfully praying for us and supporting us. We believe through this story, God will give you the opportunity to see the fruit of your labor.
God’s Call to Ministry
Mulatu Betsegaw is a 30 year old young man who is a Bio-Chemical Engineer by profession. However, God called him to minister to the youth and he started serving as a youth Pastor at his church. The passion that he had for the lost youth made him committed in serving them. Before long, he knew, he needed to equip himself with the Word of God in order to reach the youth effectively. He then joined ETC in 2018 and started his MA in Youth Ministry. Mulatu said, “It is not only my head that learns at ETC but also my heart.” He is very grateful for the way he learned about ministering to the youth by all the professors that came through Youth Ministry International (YMI) to ETC. He affirmed that the knowledge he gained about the youth gave life to his ministry. After he finished his first year, Mulatu was inspired to write his first book on Youth Ministry. He shared this idea with Dr. Frew Tamrat, the Principle of ETC, and he encouraged him to work on it. The title of the book he wrote is ” Fundamentals of Youth Ministry” and it will be published in Amharic the national language of Ethiopia.
Preparation for Mission
Mulatu’s friends who worked with the Ethiopian Youth Mission Movement (EYMM) had traveled to Thailand and participated in a mission training with an organization known as “Global Mission Movement Initiative (GMMI).” Mulatu was interested and applied for the training. He was accepted by GMMI . Then he traveled to Thailand for the training. Mr. Ryan Shaw and his wife Kelly the founders of the organization gave the training. There were many trainees from different countries of the world. Mulatu got introduced to “Rizwan” a brother from Pakistan. “I was surprised that there are Christians in Pakistan,” said Mulatu. He started sharing about his Youth Ministry experience and his classes at ETC with the trainees. Then Rizwan, shared about the need for youth Ministry and invited Mulatu to come and give the training in Pakistan. Mulatu expressed his willingness and told Rizwan to consult with Dr. Chris Davis the President of “Global Lead” so that they could have a structured training. They agreed, and Mulatu wrote to Dr. Chris Davis and told him about the interest of his friends from Pakistan. Dr. Chris spoke to the South East Asia Global Lead office about the trip asking for their involvement which was vital to monitor the work in the way forward. It was agreed to send Pastor Satal from Nepal to go to Pakistan with Mulatu. Through this process the COVID 19 Pandemic had exacerbated and the lockdown has taken place in many countries. Pastor Satal couldn’t go because of the lock -down at his place. Mulatu was left to make a wise decision by himself. He made his decision and left for Pakistan. Mulatu said “It was a difficult and a confusing time.” He felt like the lepers in 2 Kings 7:3-20 who said, “Why sit here until we die…” Mulatu thought to himself “COVID 19 is everywhere. If I die, I might as well die serving. If I live, I have done the good work predestined for me.” In spite of knowing that death was around him, he traveled to Pakistan.
Mission in Islamabad
The day he arrived in Islamabad, the lock -down was already in place. People were not supposed to meet in churches or any other gathering places. The training that was going to take place was cancelled. However, Mulatu told Rizwan (the Islamabad training coordinator), “if you are willing to learn, I will teach you because I have committed myself to teach, even if it is one person. I know God has a purpose with one person.” Mulatu also added, that he will teach if there is another interested member of Rizwan’s family. At the end, Rizwan’s family agreed to have the training at their place. They have three extended families living under one roof but they took the risk to do the training in their house. They said “If you have a space in your heart, you will find a space for everything,” and 13 people took the three days training. This family took care of Mulatu and made him feel at home. Another interesting thing was that an elderly pastor who was curious to see what kind of training was given, got so touched that he stayed through the whole training. He was so absorbed and asked a lot of questions. This Pastor came from a very far place but he came with joy and a ready heart to learn. Mulatu reported that the love and acceptance coupled with respect was very humbling. The Islamabad training was over in success. He saw the harvest was plenty in Pakistan.
Mission in Jhelum
Khuuram, the Jhelum coordinator, and Mulatu had planned to hold another training in Jhelum. When they heard about the lock-down, Mulatu got discouraged but decided to use the same principle again ,”teach even if one person is willing.” Khuram found five interested people but one of them had a COVID symptom so he trained only four people. On the second day, there was a heavy rain so the trainees couldn’t come. Khuram shared his vision to start a Youth Center in Jhelum with Mulatu. As they spoke, Khuram’s vision started taking shape. Within a few days, Khuram made a decision to open the youth center at his own house because he had extra rooms. He was very encouraged.
Only through Prayer and the Holy Spirit
It was time for Mulatu to return home. Three consecutive flights got canceled. Mulatu was disappointed. He didn’t want to be a burden on Khuram’s family. He started praying and asking God why he was still there. He prayed “God what do you want me to do? Please align me with your will.” The next day Khuram and Mulatu realized the youth ministry will materialize only through prayer and the work of the Holy Spirit. Khuram’s mother in law, who was a woman of God, had an open heart for the word of God. The Holy Spirit was working in her heart as she was watching the training. Mulatu shared with her the importance of mothers’ prayer. He shared how the prayer of mothers helped his ministry at home and how these mothers are still praying for him. She was touched and invited six other mothers along with her husband and an intercessory prayer group started. The lockdown was lifted and God continued to work. His plan was unfolding every day. A few days later, Khuram reached out to some young people and asked them if they are interested in taking the training. They were willing and Mulatu was able to train seven of them. He expressed ” when I was in Pakistan, I thought I was doing God’s work and God was helping me. Now, I realized that God was actually doing the Work in the heart of His people and I was there to witness it.” The training was over successfully. God’s work for the season was fulfilled. Mulatu finally found a flight to go back home.
The Final Miracle
The flight God prepared for him was a chartered plane flying ninety eighty Tablighi Muslims journeying from Pakistan to their home countries in Africa after taking part in religious ceremony. There was only one spot left in the airplane. He became the 99th passenger and arrived home safely.
Your seed came to fruition
Dear friends and Partners of ETC, God has helped us to train students like Mulatu who have a heart for cross-cultural missions beyond the boarders of Ethiopia. We are very grateful for your partnership and investment on ETC so that it would continue to train kingdom workers. Especially, in these difficult and challenging times of the COVID 19 pandemic, we appreciate your prayers and financial assistance as we embark on the new academic year.
Financial Donations Information: Please visit the how you can help page.