First Elias searches for answers. Then he decides to start a church!
Ever since accepting Jesus Christ as his Savior, Elias Anjore had served faithfully in the Ethiopian Word of Life Church. “There is no truth outside my church,” he used to say. “It’s the only one teaching the pure Bible doctrine.”
When he read the Scriptures, though, he sometimes felt uneasy. Were his church’s teachings really so infallible? The New Testament told of Jesus and the disciples keeping the Sabbath on the seventh day of the week. True, Jesus had been raised on the first day of the week, but Elias couldn’t see how that had changed the day of worship. Should the Sabbath be kept on Saturday or Sunday? Elias wanted clear, Biblical information.
While he was studying on his own, Elias met a man who had recently converted from the Apostolic Church to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The man tried to explain the truth as he understood it, but Elias still had questions. “Why don’t you visit the Seventh-day Adventist Church?” the man invited him. “There will be someone there who can explain the details about the Sabbath.”
Elias located the nearest Seventh-day Adventist Church, a 2-hour walk from his home. He listened through the service, and after the program ended, he found the church Bible worker and talked to him about the Sabbath. Elias still had many doubts and objections which he had picked up from the leaders in his Sunday keeping church. However, as the Bible worker took him through text after text on the subject, Elias’s doubts disappeared. He had finally received the answers he had been searching for!
For six months, Elias traveled to the Adventist Church on foot every week to worship there. During those months, he learned more from the Bible than he had ever studied in his former church. At length, he decided to discuss the new truth that he found with his family. When he shared the Sabbath with them, the whole family accepted it and began keeping God’s holy day!
Elias started to think that he should start another church in his area, since the church he attended was so far to walk to. And what about all the people in his area who didn’t know the Lord? What about those who had been deceived by the other churches that claimed to have the truth? He was only a farmer, but couldn’t he still do something to share the truth with his neighbors?
Seeking guidance from the church leadership, Elias made a plan to evangelize his own community. The church he had been attending was excited to help him with this new church plant! Alemayehu Dolebo, a Bible worker supported by Mission Projects International, was assigned to the area, and after he worked in Elias’s community for some time, ten souls were baptized. Currently, 22 more people are preparing for baptism, which means the new church plant already has 32 souls worshipping the Lord together each Sabbath!
The Holy Spirit is doing His work in Ethiopia, and the gospel spreads quickly when the workers go in for the harvest. However, in this impoverished part of the world, it is difficult for the church members to pay the salaries of the evangelists and to build places of worship to advance the work of the gospel. If the Holy Spirit impresses you, we invite you to become a partner of the gospel ministry in Ethiopia through your prayers and your gifts. If God can use a farmer to plant a church, He can use any of us to help it grow!
Tesfaye Tadese Hailegnaw is the coordinator of Everlasting Gospel Projects in Awassa, Ethiopia.
How You Can Help
Pray for Elias as he works together with the MPI-sponsored evangelist to reach the lost in his area.
Pray for the 31 Ethiopian Bible workers that your gifts support as they carry the message from village to village.
Give to help reach souls in Ethiopia. Send your donations marked “Ethiopia Churches” or “Ethiopia Workers” to:
Mission Projects International
PO Box 151
Inchelium, WA 99138
To give securely online, visit:
Translated by Daniel Shamebo Sabore, lay worker and coordinator of MPI’s Ethiopian projects.
E-mail: dshamebo [at] yahoo [dot] com