2022: THE PAST YEAR
2022 brought relief from the Covid restrictions and made it possible to openly preach and teach the gospel message. It also allowed the Schools for the Deaf and our Kindergartens to return to normal. Bible seminars and conferences were once again held throughout the regions where our brethren are located. Forty new water wells were completed in the Sidama Region. Hundreds of conversions were experienced all over the southern regions and Wollega in the west. Many new congregations were planted and the spirits of our brethren were once again lifted. There were some obstacles faced. Unrest prevented travel on main highways and activities in the urban areas and especially in the western region of Wollega. The inflation rate in November was over 35%. Early crop failures in some regions caused food shortages and food cost inflation was over 100% in some areas, which was devastating to the already desperate financial condition of many people. With your help we are now distributing basic food products to our brethren where the regional governments allow it to be done. We have done and are doing everything possible to provide help for all our destitute brethren. Food products are available in the markets, but many cannot afford to purchase them. You have blessed the benevolent work with sufficient funds that should last until the present crises fades. Thanks to everyone for your generosity!
2023: THE PROMISE OF BETTER TIMES
A new two-year advanced School of Preaching will open within the next three months. Twenty of our brightest younger men; all graduates from Ethiopian Universities, will be the students in this new school. Because our leaders in Ethiopia are aging and many have passed to their eternal reward, we must prepare men to replace them. This school will be taught in English, which will permit teachers from American training schools to go teach without having to use interpreters. We will answer the need for trained preachers for the new congregations in the countryside through a series of seminars and short term (3 weeks or so) bible teaching programs. Our present Preacher Training staff will be used in this program.
We have encountered several delays in taking possession of the new water well drilling rig, but we believe the delays will end shortly. Drilling on a new 40 well agreement will start soon using our old rig that will be upgraded by Brother Monte Hininger in January; providing the unrest in Hawassa subsides. We look forward to receiving the new rig and to enjoy having a “backup”rig in case of a breakdown. These new wells will provide opportunities to plant many new churches. Pray that 2023 will be a great year for preaching the gospel and winning many precious souls.
THE DEAF MINISTRY IN ADDIS ABABA:
The students at the School for the Deaf in Addis Ababa have moved into the new building. There are some construction details remaining to be completed. The children are happy and excited and the school is filled to capacity.
Each day begins with chapel. One of the preachers of the Addis Ababa church presents the lesson each morning. Chapel is followed by a raising of the flag and the Ethiopian pledge of allegiance. The classrooms are spacious and bright and the furniture is new. This is a wonderful ministry and the lives of all our students are lifted up and prepared educationally and spiritually for the future.
ADVANCED PREACHER TRAINING SCHOOL CONFERENCE:
Twenty seven brethren from the Southern and Western Regions of the country gathered in Addis Ababa to discuss plans for the new Advanced Preacher Training School (PTS) scheduled to start in early 2023. Brother Habtu Zemech led the conference. The brethren who attended have been very active in the four Preacher Training Schools for more than 30 years. The flight of the young, educated Ethiopians into the urban areas have made it a challenge to find students and to fill the classrooms of the present schools. Our brethren in Ethiopia face the same problems we face in American brethren willing to be trained as preachers. Please pray for God to bless this effort as well as all the wonderful ministries in Ethiopia.
Kevin and John Ed Clark