Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past, See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.Isaiah 43:18-19
Dear Friends and Partners of ETC, we wish you all a Happy and Blessed New Year. We thank God for His bountiful mercy in seeing us through the past year with all its blessings and challenges and bringing us to this Ethiopian New Year. Ethiopia unlike the rest of the world celebrates its New Year (Enkutatash), on September 11, and not on January 1. According to Ethiopian Calendar it will be 2014 on September 11. This is because the Ethiopian Calendar follows the Coptic calendar which was laid down by the Emperor Augustus in the Julian calendar. In the past year our nation has been passing through a lot of turmoil because of the internal war, displacement and the Covid pandemic. Through it all, God has been faithful to us here at ETC and has helped us to achieve a lot. We want to praise Him for His faithfulness.
ETC 2021 Graduation
God has once again given us the favor here at ETC to celebrate the graduation of its 33rd batch of students on July 10th 2021. The graduation ceremony took place in adherence with the Covid 19 protocol. In this academic year, altogether 116 students graduated and received their degrees; 67 students from the Bachelors of Theology, 19 from Master of Arts in Educational leadership, 17 from Master of Arts in Holistic Child Development and 13 students, who for the first time completed their Master of Arts in Youth Ministry. This program is unique and the first of its kind in Ethiopia where 70% of the population is under the age of 30. The Ethiopian churches do not have Youth Pastors that could minister to this number of youth. Therefore, ETC’s graduates will be able to play a significant role in providing trainings to the youth leaders in the churches, who will in turn train others and bring about a significant contribution to this gap in the church of Ethiopia.
Amharic Translation of “God’s Word for Today’s World” by Dr. John R. W. Stott
ETC in partnership with Langham Partnership / Langham Publishing has translated and published Dr. John R. W. Stott’s book “God’s Word for Today’s World” in Amharic under the title “የእግዚአብሔር ቃል ለዘመናችን” (Ye Egziabher Kal Lezemenachen ). We praise God for helping us to have the work of this esteemed pastor and distinguished scholar for all Amharic readers. We also thank Langham Partnership and Langham Publishing for allowing us to have this book for the Langham Preaching Movement work in Ethiopia.
Update on ETC Expansion Site
Though COVID and political unrest in the Northern part of Ethiopia have made life difficult in many ways, steady progress on the building has been made. Realizing the slow progress of the project, the Ethiopian Kale Heywot Church the owner of ETC, in August 2020 took a construction loan from an Ethiopian bank so that construction will resume and be ready for its intended purpose. This loan helped us greatly to finance the project during this difficult year.
With this loan, approximately 60% of the new building is now complete. The main building structural work with all the 13 floors, roof, and sub-ground level parking area are fully completed. Furthermore, work on the front part of the 3 stories building resumed after we received the loan. Right now, all the three floors of the front building are completed and we are also in negotiation with another construction firm to outsource the “Post Tension-Concrete Slab” work on the roof of the three floors building. Once this critical front part of the building is completed, the area will accommodate commercial renting space providing income, which will allow ETC to provide more scholarship to students and also pay the bank loan. It will also help ETC to be self-sustained and less dependent on donors.
More pictures that show the progress of the front part are attached below. We are very grateful for all you have done for us since the start of this building construction and appreciate your continued partnership and support.
Rear view of the building Front view of the building
ETC Alumnus’ Impact and the Kafa Bible
Matewos Gebremariam was born in Kafa region in Chena Woreda. His parents were Ethiopian Orthodox believers. The known Christian Mission organization “Serving in Missions” (SIM) sent Missionaries to Kafa region in Chana Woreda. They shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the community in Chana. Matewos’ mother came to know the Lord through their ministry. Matewos and his siblings started going to church with their mother and they learnt the Word of God in Sunday school. SIM opened a primary school in the area and Matewos and his siblings joined that school.
Derg (socialist regime) and imprisonment
After a few years, the Derg (socialist) regime took over the country. The missionaries left and all of the evangelists who came from other parts of Ethiopia were thrown out. The school was taken by the government. The government started persecuting Christians. Meanwhile, Matewos finished his high school, joined a Health Science College and studied nursing. He was hired in a government hospital where he met other believers and started fellowshipping with them. He also started listening to the word of God on Seychelles radio. One day, while listening to the radio with his colleagues, they heard a familiar gospel song and without any precaution they started singing. Their neighbors called the government authorities and they were surrounded by the police. They were taken to the police station. There, they got interrogated and asked to renounce God. When they refused, they were imprisoned. However, Matewos had favor with the police. He was also needed because of his medical background and he treated patients in prison.
Conviction and Spiritual Growth
One day, one of the revolutionary guards mistreated Matewos and started pushing him around. Matewos fought back and the police that favored him came in-between and sent him back to his room. In his prison room, Matewos felt guilty about what he did. He asked himself a question, “Why was I in prison?” He was actually there for believing in Jesus who forgave the people that crucified him; on the contrary, he realized that he fought back and could not even forgive the prison guard that was harassing him. That really convicted him and he cried out to God. This became the turning point of his life. He asked for forgiveness and continued to study the Word of God.
New Life of Ministry
While he was imprisoned, he was working as a nurse in the prison clinic. The officials in prison told Matewos and his friend they could be free if they renounce their faith; but if they do not, they will have to join the army and go to war. That was one of the scariest news in Matewos’ life. After a while, he was conscripted into the military and sent to the war front. Along the way to the front, God gave him favor with the officer in charge and he was released from the military service. He eventually made his way to the SIM headquarters in Addis Ababa. He had no family or friends in Addis but he remembered Ms. Cremer whom he had met on one of her trips to the Kafa area, along with Mekonen Maageto, one of the translators. Ms. Cremer was an SIM Missionary and she was heading a team working on the Kafa Bible translation. Upon hearing Matewos’ story; she invited him to join the translation team.
Joining ETC and Joining in Holy Matrimony
In between this, the socialist government was overthrown and along with it came religious freedom. Ms. Cremer sent Matewos to ETC to be trained and equipped for the translation work. Matewos did his Bachelor of Theology degree at ETC.
While studying at ETC he met his wife Workinesh and they got married in 1999. They are now proud parents of four lovely children. Matewos graduated in 2001 from ETC and rejoined the translation team at SIM.
In early 2008, Ms. Ruth Cremer was diagnosed with Acute Leukemia, and in March 2008 the LORD took her to her heavenly home. For this reason, Matewos took over the whole responsibility of the project and worked as a project manager and a translator. God provided dedicated missionaries to help in administering the work. The Lord also provided for him to earn his Master’s Degree in a hybrid program of online and face to face at Africa International University in Nairobi, Kenya. He graduated in July 2016.
Tekalign Shiferaw, another ETC graduate joined the translation team for 3 years. They completed the consultant check of the Kafa Old Testament in late 2016. The Latin script was used for the translation to agree with the government’s education system. Kurt Michler another SIM missionary offered to typeset the Kafa Bible.
Finally in August, 2020, typeset copy was sent to the publisher and 10,000 Kafa Bibles were printed and arrived in Addis Ababa on April, 2021. Then the first printed Kafa Bible was dedicated in Bonga town on May 22, 2021. Matewos faithfully dedicated 27 years of his life in translating the Kafa Bible.
Matewos was recollecting the memories of the dedication day and he said, “what brought tears to my eyes on the day of the inauguration was the Kafa people embracing the Bible translated in their own mother tongue.” His next project is joining Wycliffe Ethiopia as a missionary to be a consultant in Bible translation for the people groups of Ethiopia and Eritrea.
We are very grateful to the Lord for enabling ETC to train students like Matewos who bring a visible impact in the Kingdom of God in the area of their calling. We thank you for supporting and partnering with us to produce laborers for the Kingdom work in Ethiopia and beyond.
Praise and Prayers
- We praise God for His protection and sustenance during this past difficult year.
- We Praise Him for the impact that our graduates are making in the areas of their calling.
- We praise God for the progress made on ETC expansion building.
- For the peace & stability of Ethiopia
- For the Lord to control the Covid Pandemic so that we can continue with our teaching and learning activities without any interruption.
- For God’s financial provision to ETC and for the completion of the expansion Project.
Financial Donations Information: Please visit the how you can help page.