Establishing self-sustaining Samaritan Strategy teams in new areas 

Elly Oliveira
Harvest Global Field Coordinator


“In March 2018, our brother Bob Moffitt visited Ethiopia and his visit coincided with the time when the previous Ethiopian Prime Minister voluntarily stepped down and a new Prime Minister from the same party was installed. The new Prime Minister, Dr. Abiye Ahmed, a born-again Christian from Muslim father and Orthodox mother, became God’s instrument to address the major issues that have rattled the nation for years. He achieved much while paving the road towards national unity, he fought tribalism, corruption, and served as peace maker among ethnic groups that were rivals, freeing thousands of political prisoners.  However, without any involvement of a third-party, his major milestone was a peace agreement with the long years rival, Eritrea.  That rivalry took over 80,000 lives in war. Because of the restoration of peace, Harvest Ethiopia has been able to provide different trainings in different parts of the nation in a very short time.”  Demelash Lemma

Ethiopia has experienced unprecedented changes.  At the same time, Harvest minstry is expanding in that country, where, last month, we welcomed two new associates serving with our Samaritan Startegy program, Mathi Tersite and Rekik Hailu.  Demelash Lemma is Harvest country coordinator, and here he shares about the transitions in Ethiopia and the progress of Harvest work.


Demelash Lemma, Harvest staff and country coordinator for Ethiopia

From 2015 through March 2018, Ethiopia went through a very rough, bloody, and socially turbulent time. If possible, travelling outside the capital, Addis Ababa, was very risky and, once out, getting back home was uncertain, considering the unknown circumstances on the roads. In short, things were out of control for both, the government and the communities.  We praise God for answering our prayers and listening to our grievance and cry for the situation in Ethiopia.  He did it in an unexpected way and time. Praise the Name of the Lord!

On May 28, we had the opportunity to do a one-day vision casting session outside Addis Ababa, nearly fifty kilometers west of the city, to sixty-two Berhan Kirstos Church leaders and professionals. On June 29-July 3, a wholistic training took place in the Gambella region with the Nuwer Christian ethnic group, mentoring fifteen previously trained church leaders from different churches and sharing the vision about wholistic ministry with Christian professionals in positions of leadership in the government.

The major paradox in this region is that it claims to be an Evangelical Christian majority in the nation.  However, at the same time, it remained one of the least developed areas. This region could be a good and live example that unless the biblical wholistic teaching or discipleship is practiced, just having a great number of nominal believers does not bring significant change. My personal prayer for this region is to dedicate more time and resources in training and mobilizing the current Christian population towards practicing what they believe, so that they may reveal the glory of God’s Kingdom among their communities.

As a major milestone in our Harvest ministry this year, I thank God for raising a very energetic and, potentially, a nationwide networked team of trainers from among emerging leaders. Through my long-term training experience (since March 2000), I have prayerfully searched for trainers or institutions that would incorporate the wholistic ministry teaching, so that they would own the vision. I found that the Evangelical Students Union of Ethiopia (EvaSUE) was a great gift from God. Among its seven nationwide branches, on June 7-10, the Southern Region branch held a Training of Trainers (ToT) for fifteen key staff and volunteers. The group has already trained university students in more than seven campuses. Among these, the medical campus has done a seed project with a clinic in a nearby town, where over one hundred people received medical services free of charge and without the traditional preaching that used to come with these services, just as a demonstration of God’s love. As a result, one family with two boys accepted Christ due to the love and care demonstrated by these people.

 On June 22-23, a national ToT was done in Addis Ababa to mentor and nurture emerging leaders from different churches. Most of these groups are coming to a leadership position in their respective churches. In addition, they are professionally trained as medical doctors, lawyers, engineers, pastors, leaders in training institutions and practitioners.

We thank God for your prayers and financial support.

Praises and prayer requests
Praise the Lord for bringing peace to Ethiopia.
Pray for Demelash’s further studies and financial support after eighteen years in ministry.
Pray for the emerging national college students and their financial support.
Pray for the fruitfulness of those training and the seed projects done.

We are grateful to Demelash Lemma, his team, and the participants in each SamS project in Ethiopia.  Their servant spirit and collaboration blessed many people.  We thank the donors who so generously contributed to the ministry in Ethiopia, without their participation we would not be able to go this far.  We praise the Lord for His provision, guidance, and protection, and  pray that this experience may be multiplied in many places for His glory.

Thank you!

One Response

  1. God’s work in Ethiopia reminds us of His faithfulness answering prayers. “I pray that the God who gives hope will fill you with much joy and peace while you trust in him. Then your hope will overflow by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15.13

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