Frustration Leads to Change: Meet Abraham from Ethiopia
Frustration Leads to Change: Meet Abraham from Ethiopia

Frustration Leads to Change: Meet Abraham from Ethiopia

At our training in Addis Ababa last week, we heard the following testimony from Abraham, who lives in Jinka, Ethiopia and travelled 600 km to attend this training.  

“My father was an evangelist and he was paid almost nothing. We were so poor growing up.  Yet the church structure did not allow evangelists or missionaries to do business to supplement their income as it was considered secular.  As I grew up, I was so angry at our poverty and how he was treated.  It felt like no one cared if we lived or died.”  

Abraham in the center.

So Abraham decided that he would not merely survive, and went into business for himself.  From his business, he put himself through college and worked hard.  

Then in 2019, he heard the message of Discipling Marketplace Leaders through his denomination (the Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church – EKHC) and he saw an opportunity to take his anger and turn it into something productive.  He heard that work is a good and holy calling.  He heard that it is not “secular.”  He heard that most people in the Bible were also working in the marketplace.  

So, he started an association called “Christian Professionals Association” which encourages the providing of local things to meet economic needs.  They now have 30,000 members and are growing rapidly.  They specifically target motivating missionaries and evangelists to be co-vocational – something his father was not given the encouragement to do.  They have given trainings in 314 churches in southern Ethiopia and have trained three trainers in each of these local churches to continue this work.  They have fourteen centers now, and in addition to teaching a healthy theology of work and basic business principles, they also teach about healthy marriages, ethics, and having a healthy relationship with God.  

One of their major projects has been to use the natural resources around them and they have secured 51 hectares of land, with a nursery of 480,000 coffee plants, which they sell to members to help them in their own production.  They also have a banana and apple nursery, and are in the process of adding value addition machinery to begin processing in that area as well.

But he was so happy to report that attitudes toward evangelists is changing and things are becoming much healthier.  This association has also planted sixteen EKHC churches and have sent (and are supporting) missionaries to the Tigray region of Ethiopia, and to Eritrea and South Sudan.  They hope to plant 30 more churches in the next three months!

This is how just one person who heard the message of “work as worship” channeled his frustration into positive change.  And we are hearing this message over and again.  As people are released to see that all things, when done unto the Lord, are sacred, there is an unleashing of potential.  We thank God for this!

The leaders for the Christian Professionals Association.
The beautiful and fertile land in Jinka – a gift from God!
The coffee nursery.
The year of coffee planting!