Greetings to you and the whole congregation in our Lord’s blessed name!
It has been quite some time since I last communicated. The past four months have been both trying and enriching. Despite the various challenges we have been experiencing, God’s mercy has been sufficiently bestowed upon us and His work that is committed to our trust. We are aware of and thankful for your constant prayers. I want to share some of the major blessings God has poured upon His work these past months.
By God’s blessing and guidance, fifteen new full-time students (13 men and 2 ladies) joined GBI when the new year’s term commenced on September 22, 2014. Now we are conducting three classes: one for the new students (15), one for the seniors (3), and one for the part-time students (4) coming in the evening. By God’s enabling grace, we are able to take the additional workload. What a joy to see young men and women from different parts of Ethiopia coming to study His Word and receive sound biblical training for the work of the ministry! Nothing is as rewarding as investing our lives in the training of these called ones. Praise God for the great part that you have in this work! Pray that this “mustard seed” will grow to bring mighty spiritual blessings to our land.
Out of the 18 full-time students, 15 are supported by our church. Each month, we spend about USD350 for their support. The trainees are very thankful to God for the golden opportunity they got in receiving biblically sound instruction and training in GBI. Pray that God may add more called ones in the years to come, and also mightily provide for the needs of His work.
God has strengthened us to start Gethsemane Children’s Ministry to reach out to children of the poor and disadvantaged in the community around our church at Alem Gena. We now have 13 such children coming to learn how to read and write. Sister Gete is carrying the full load of the teaching work. She is being assisted by a volunteer named Sisay. We are praying that God may provide more godly men and women to help in this ministry.
Executing the drilling project has been a trying one. The first round of bidding, done in mid-July, was fraught with problems. The contractor who initially won the bid could not take the job because of some issues with the renewal of his permit. We then started to negotiate with the contractor of the next best bid in line. After a month of negotiations, however, when that contractor was not willing to reduce the price, we decided to call for a second round of bidding. This time, by God’s mercy, we obtained a reasonable quotation of Ethiopian Birr 449,981.25 for drilling a borehole to a depth of 150 metres. We hired a qualified geologist to supervise the work at Birr 20,000. The contractor has begun the work on Thursday, and the work is progressing well. God willing, the work will be completed in one month’s time. Praise God for His mercy and provision!
The Lord has been sustaining and blessing His work both in Addis Ababa and Alem Gena. Attendance in both congregations is slowly growing through new people who confess their faith in Christ. All those who serve are committed to give their best to the service of the LORD. God willing, we are praying to start one mission station in the suburb of Addis Ababa, through one of our students who will finish his studies in March 2015.
The vehicles which the Lord has provided are working well and in good condition. We bless the Lord for all His benefits. Thank God for enabling me to pass both the theory and practical exams for my driving licence. Although I failed the practical exam in the first round, God helped me in the second round which I took just last Saturday. Now, I am waiting for the issue of the licence. Incidentally, Dn Imane Dola has also started to take driving lessons. Pray that God will prosper his efforts too.
“Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered” (Psalm 40:5).
Once again, I would like to praise God and express my deepest gratitude for all the works of love you have been doing in supporting God’s work here in Ethiopia. May the LORD bless you mightily! Please convey our greetings and gratitude to God’s people.
Yours in Christ,
Rev Ephrem Chiracho
On behalf of Gethsemane BPC and GBI Ethiopia