The Student Discipleship Program run by AEE Ethiopia is a forward-looking spiritual investment on the next generation. The objective of the program is “Building the Church of Tomorrow, Today”. It primarily focuses on the next-generation, Christian students of grade 5 and upwards to high school and university. It is a Bible teaching undertaking, an age-graded; curriculum-based with seven rounds of training.
The discipleship program started by enrolling 794 students in 9 cities in 2003. Currently, it reaches more than 20,000 students in 100+ cities all over Ethiopia each year. The program is done in partnership with the local church.
Program impact over the years has shown that the youth now:
- have a better grasp of the Christian faith
- are more equipped to read and study the Bible.
- encouraged to share the faith with their peers in schools
- come to their local church services more regularly.
- the teachings had helped them overcome challenges and temptations the youth are facing.
- the program is fostering unity among churches
For 2022, the plan is to enroll 20,000 students in 100+ cities. Accordingly 50,000 textbooks have been made ready for the school holidays (July & August).
Nazrawit was a student in the Discipleship program as a senior high school student in 2007 & 2008.
She says “I grew up in a Christian family and had a general orientation to Christianity. But I did not have a personal relationship with God and was not used to reading the Bible on my own.
I am so happy that I was able to pass through the Discipleship Program. The courses were very basic and very helpful. I have learned how to read the Bible and have personal quiet time. I have also benefited from the Christian fellowship among students and teachers. As I was in my formative years it has helped me to get prepared for life’s realities.
After high school, I did 2 doctorates; a doctorate in vet medicine and a doctorate in human medicine.
I am one of those who have greatly benefited from the program and now have volunteered to teach students, whenever I have the time. I wish the program could expand extensively and reaches more youth.
AE’s participation in Ethiopia’s Emergency Response Program and the Sewing Project for Vulnerable Women has been an answer to prayer and a genuine blessing. The benefits of both are being felt by entire communities.
Our first round of graduates from the sewing program are already in the process of establishing their own businesses! The AEI Team was able to visit to provide valuable mentoring advice, and focused on assessing the success of this Community Transformation Group (CTG) program.
It was heart-warming to see how skills development coupled with the love of Christ can change the lives of vulnerable women. In the last 4 months, the graduates have even progressed to marketing their products.
Young orphan, Lemlem Tibebu has benefited greatly from the project. “It is a miracle that I joined this training program,” she says. “I have hope for my life now. I know there is someone who cares for me. My goal is to help myself and others who are like me.”
AE was also part of the emergency response targeted at displaced people currently in camps in an area called Azezo. The support focused on 598 women as direct beneficiaries. 12 kilograms of wheat flour, 2 liters of cooking oil, and one bar of soap were supplied to each woman.
Donations were distributed with love and messages of encouragement, and the majority of the 1,654 people in the camp were indirect beneficiaries. The emergency response was implemented in partnership with the Azezo Mulu Wongel Church.
Thanks to a previous working relationship with AEE, the church was able to facilitate discussions with local government and camp administration. They also gathered several donations that were distributed throughout the camp.
The Government’s Head of Gondar City Administration Emergency and Food Security Office made a plea for the continued support of displaced people. Due to ongoing fighting between groups, the numbers arriving at the camp continue to grow.
AEE is grateful to Barnabas Fund UK, who supported us through AEI. We also want to thank the AEI staff from Nairobi who led the distribution of emergency aid on the ground. This outpouring of love and care is a huge help to people who are desperate at a time when they need it the most.
Ministry Update – March 2022
Thanks to your ongoing support, our AE teams have enjoyed some wonderful success in our outreach programs across Africa. By the grace of God, our Togo farming project has begun, with participants preparing the land ready for seed planting. They are also being educated on the correct way to grow vegetables for sustainability.
In Kenya, the local church leaders are helping to train up missionaries to reach even more people with the good news of Jesus. The Foxfire program has also had great success, with high schools now participating in forums to expand and continue the harvest. One young student, Boaz, says that he ‘feels strengthened to keep pure and serve God and His people.’
Our sewing school in Malawi has seen many graduates become trained in tailoring and professional dressmaking. These skills enable people to generate an income to meet their basic needs, and some have even gone on to open their own businesses.
The Hope for Girls Project will also soon launch in Malawi, with the aim of providing essential re-useable sanitary products to young girls aged 10 and over. This will be incorporated into the needlework program to ensure the sustainability of the program.
AE Ethiopia continues integrating new believers from the Kotebe mission into the mainstream church. New believer Gelan Megersa says she was met by someone on the street who told her about Jesus. “I was convinced and became a believer, and have been attending discipleship classes for the past 3 months. I have seen such a transformation in my life.”
In Uganda, the Omoo Youth Skilling and Production Centre has been training young people to bake cakes, mandazi, samosas, chapatis and buns to sell to the local market. They were able to raise more than 200,000 Uganda Shillings (approximately AUD 73.74) through the sale of their products.
Once again, AE has been able to outreach successfully in South Africa. In partnership with other ministries, we have been able to bring food relief to those who continue to suffer from unemployment, the ravages of the pandemic and the aftermath of recent unrest.
One recipient said that she had been praying for God’s intervention after both her mother and sister succumbed to COVID leaving her with the responsibility of caring for her brothers, all of whom are unemployed. Her response to our outreach was, “I feel I have hope now.”
Your prayers and support are invaluable to AE, and we give thanks to God for enabling us to bring some relief and minister to communities in desperate need. Please continue to pray with us that those whose hearts are moved by the Holy Spirit may grow in their journey of faith and be a witness to others.
The Mombasa West Mission in Kenya is the first one to be conducted in the year 2021. The mission is scheduled for 1st to 11th July. The mobilization of missioners and preservation facilitators took place in the month of May. The AEE Kenya team intends to host 300 visiting missioners in 9 zones. The rest of the missioners will come from within Mombasa. This month, there has been a series of continued mobilization and trainings.
The Kayonza Mission in Rwanda was scheduled for 20th – 27th June but following the Volcanic eruption in the neighboring DRC, the mission was postponed to 15th – 22nd August. Preparations for the same are ongoing. At least 127 homes are targeted to be trained to conduct Home Based Evangelism (HBE). Though this is an ongoing activity, 42 households were reached in May this year using HBE and 9 people accepted to follow Christ.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), preparations for the Mont-Amba Mission, which is set for 16th to 24th October, are ongoing. Mont-Amba is located South East Kinshasa in DRC. AE DRC Team conducted School of evangelism in the targeted location of the Matete, Ngaba, Kisenso and Lemba districts and a total of 276 participants from 99 local churches were trained. Currently, the team is mobilizing for prayer and funds for the mission. Earlier, 19 different local churches were equipped for further church members’ mobilization in the target area.
AEE Tanzania is set to have its mission between 22nd and 29th August in the capital city, Dar es Salaam. The team has been meeting the Pastors, equipping them through trainings towards the mission and conducting prayer for the 2021 Mission. Mobilization of evangelists and partners to participate in Dar Back-to-God Mission has as well been ongoing. In the month of May, a group of intercessors from different Churches gathered to purposely pray for the mission preparation and all programs at AEE-Tanzania.
In September, AE Uganda will have a mission in Jinja from 19th to 26th. The AE Team conducted a Vision Casting seminar for the mission where 52 leaders from Jinja City attended. This meeting brought together both the Anglican church leaders and Pentecostal church leaders in one house for the same purpose bridging the gap and dealing with misunderstandings that have always been there. Mobilization teams have been established and tasked to draft their strategies to aid achieving the mission targets. An overall steering committee with 18 members was constituted in May to help oversee the preparations. AE Uganda facilitated a training held in Entebbe for 120 evangelists by our partners in ministry who are planning a citywide mission in that city. The training was organized by the Joint Pastors Network in Entebbe city.
AE Southern Africa Region (AESAR) which is comprised of the Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe teams is set to hold a mission from 19th – 25th September in Zomba, Malawi. AE Malawi held three training sessions in Zomba ahead of the mission where 85 people were trained. The second phase of training the same group was set for the month of June. In April this year, task team leaders for the Zomba Leadership Mission were successfully appointed and a meeting with Church leaders in Zomba to review mission plans was held.
The AE Zambia team continues to go through the AE Manuals to adequately prepare for both the Kitwe and Lusaka mission scheduled for this year and next year respectively. The AE Zambia team visited Kitwe at the invitation of the Maranatha Pentecostal Assemblies of God church to help with the mobilization of the church for evangelism. Close to about 100 church members turned out for the evangelism outreach in Kalulushi.
In Ghana, the AE team is preparing to have a mission in Lome, Togo from the 15th to the 25th of October. An online meeting with the leaders in Togo was held earlier to aid preparations. The leaders were also able to meet the working committees in person. A HBE online training is scheduled for 30th June.
Preparation is ongoing for AE Ethiopia’s mission scheduled for 22nd – 26th December in Kotebe, North East of Addis Ababa. Last month, the AE team held a Home Based Evangelism training as part of the preparations steps for the mission.
In October last year, we shared with you AE Ethiopia’s vision of starting a sewing project for vulnerable women. The team identified ladies who were collecting firewood to sell in the Arba Minch area. With no other options for earning an income, these women walked vast distances every day, collecting firewood and then making their way back to the market where they can sell or going back home. Often they would be attacked and abused on their journey back and their firewood taken from them.
AE Ethiopia heard their cry for help and enrolled 15 ladies (pictured above) in their new sewing program called “Life Transformation of Vulnerable Firewood Collecting Women”. One of our partnering churches in Ethiopia has kindly offered their facilities for the program. The ladies are being trained in sewing, tailoring and embroidery for 6 months and then they will be divided into smaller work groups. AE Ethiopia wishes to equip each group with a sewing machine and help them to open a small shop where they can sell their items.
Amarach Wolka is one of the trainees in the sewing project. She has 4 children. She resorted to firewood collection after the death of her husband some 8 years ago.
She says “With firewood collection, I am really tired of life. I was eagerly waiting to the days I quit gathering firewood and engage in some other productive enterprise.
This training is like seeing light at the end of the tunnel. I am now filled with hope. I want to take the training seriously and work hard to transform my life and feed my children.”
Your support to Aid & Development Programs have enabled Ethiopia to start this program and to transform the lives of 15 vulnerable women. Thank you for your prayers, encouragement and gifts to enable life-changing transformation for these ladies.
Click here to read the project proposal article: Hear my cry, 28 October 2020
A quick turn of the knob and the pot starts heating up. A few seconds of luxury, completely taken for granted. Somewhere in Ethiopia a mother is also heating up a pot for her family with fire created from wood, leaves, animal dung and crop residues.
Most households in Ethiopia still make use of traditional biomass energy as they lack stoves that can make use of other fuel sources. Often it is the women who needs to fetch the firewood, not only for their own families, but also to sell. This is the only income many of these families have. Most women get up before sunrise and cover vast distances to go and collect enough wood to sell. They then make the trip back to the markets carrying nearly 20kg of firewood on their backs.
Going to collect firewood might seem like an everyday task, but not for these ladies. For them it causes much distress. Their wood often gets confiscated by guards and they are often mistreated and raped. Aregash is but one of the many women who have such heartbreaking stories.
“One day, about a year ago the forest guards confiscated my wood and I had to come back home empty-handed. As my children were waiting for food, I had nothing to give them. So I got extremely distressed and went to the backside of my house, took a rope, and hung myself on the roof. As I was struggling to die, an anonymous child saw me and shouted aloud. Those who heard her cry came immediately to my rescue. They cut the rope and carried me down. I was hurt but came down alive.”
Aregash is only 36 years old, she has 6 children and have been collecting and selling firewood for 20 years. Her husband earns very little, not enough to provide food for their kids.
AE Ethiopia has heard the cry for help and identified 30 women in the Arba Minch district to enroll in a new program called ‘Life Transformation of Vulnerable Firewood Collecting Women’. These ladies will be trained in sewing, tailoring and embroidery for 6 months and then divided into smaller work groups, each with 3 ladies. AE Ethiopia wishes to equip each group with a sewing machine and help them to open a small shop where they can sell their items.
Our sewing programs in Kenya, Malawi and South Africa has transformed the lives of many women and their families, but in due course their transformation also spills over into their communities.
Annie Kachali, a post graduate from AE Malawi reflects on her training:
“With the skills which I acquired from AE sewing school, I have been able to make my family’s living standard to be easier than before. Through this activity, I am able to generate income of about MK15, 000.00 (U$20.00) a week which helps me to meet my family’s basic needs. I am able to buy fabrics from part of the generated money while a certain part of the money, I contribute to the church activities. I am glad to state that I have managed to pass my skills on to my neighbour’s daughter who can now manage to do recommendable work.”
AE Ethiopia has partnered with local churches to run this program and one of them has kindly offered their church as a venue for the training to take place.
Pray with our team in Ethiopia and the partner churches as they prepare to launch this project. No one should go through what these ladies have been through, pray for their protection, for true transformation to take place in their lives and for doors to open so they can start their own businesses.