Last September, Kathy and I set up a table with our resources at the International Orality Network conference (ION). A man from Africa came by and I said, “Let me guess where you are from . . . Ethiopia!” He said, “How did you know?” A few hours later, we saw him sitting by himself, and we asked him to join us. Then, we had lunch together. God was putting on my heart to spend time with this man and learn about him.
He was born into an Ethiopian Orthodox family, and as he grew up, he was groomed for significant leadership in that Church. Then, he met the living Christ, began boldly proclaiming the Gospel, and was thrown out of his house by his family!
Undaunted, he continued proclaiming Christ, founded a church, and now, 25 years later is the founder and president of Church Multiplication Gospel Mission (CMGM) which is taking the Gospel to every part of Ethiopia, including unreached tribal people.
During the ION conference, we had a private mini-conference. We shared with him about teaching the Bible as a story, using the 6 Cs – Creation, Catastrophe, Covenants, Christ, Church/Commission, and Consummation. We showed him our video, The Renewal of All Things, and God worked deeply in his heart.
350 Attendees, 15 Nations, 1 Goal
On April 27, Mezgebu Tsemru, will officially launch CMGM, and I will be there to help him. This event will be attended by 350 Church, Ministry, and Denomination leaders from 15 African nations. He will share the vision for Ethiopia and beyond.
One key component for his vision is our video – The Renewal of All Things. He said, “Your video is powerful, dramatic, clear, and concise. It is a shortened version of the Jesus film. We can use it to bring many to Christ, quickly, in Ethiopia.” He will show the Amharic version on April 27, explain his vision to use it in his country, and encourage others to translate it for their nations.
Mezgebu has asked me to join him in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for the official inauguration of CMGM and to meet ministry leaders from these countries. We will go, and we have also committed to help with the costs for this great event. Many of those coming are poor, and there is much expense for their travel, food, lodging, and materials.
Will you join me in prayer for this event on April 27 and ask God is he would have you share a financial gift? WGS has committed to raise half the expenses for that evening – about $5000 – which will ensure a successful night of vision casting for all who attend. This night will accelerate the spread of the Gospel in Ethiopia and beyond.
You can mail a gift to WGS – PO Box 90047 – San Antonio, TX 78209. Be sure to mark your check for Ethiopia. You can also give online at www.WGSministries.org/product/partner-with-wgs-ministries/. When you check out, in the Notes box, indicate that your gift is for Ethiopia. We need your help!
A Happy Ending
There is a happy ending to this story. Even though Mezgebu was thrown out of his house, he continued to love his father and mother. Today, with his wife and three children, they live together! God is the God of healing and reconciliation.
We are grateful for this opportunity to help this man who is well-connected with leaders from around the world, and especially African countries. He is committed to and part of the Disciple Making Movement and the Church Planting Movement. Our desire is to assist him as he works with his evangelistic and church planting teams to see such movements take hold in his country and beyond.
Thank you for your prayers and sharing that will help us reach the people of Ethiopia and other countries.
Jonathan Williams – President, WGS Ministries
A few months ago, an Iranian woman was watching the Iran Alive broadcast via satellite in her home in Iran. She was captivated by the message of new life found in Jesus Christ brought by Dr. Hormoz Shariat.
She called the number given on the screen to learn more and over the phone prayed to receive Christ. The ministry sent her a Bible and connected her to an underground church. Every week as she attended church with other believers, she had only one request, “Please pray for the salvation of my brother.”
Several months later, this young Christian woman said, “God is working in my brother! He is now watching the same program I was watching.” Two more months passed and this sister in Christ told her pastor, “I believe my brother is ready to receive Christ. Please, please come and speak with him.” The pastor agreed and this is his story of sharing Jesus with this woman’s brother.
When I came to the house, it was not a regular house. It was more like a mansion. I said to myself, “This man must be extremely rich!” And there I met the brother of the member of my church. He was a respectable and serious man. When we sat down, he told me that he had been watching Christian television and had some questions.
His questions were sincere and after hearing my answers, he looked down and thought quietly for a few moments. Then he lifted his head, looked into my eyes and said, “OK, I am ready. What do I need to do to become a Christian?”
I joyfully led him in a salvation prayer. After the prayer, he asked, “What should I do next?”
I told him, “You need to read your Bible and attend our house church so I can teach you the basics of Christian faith and life.”
With authority he replied, “I cannot and will not do that.”
“Why not?” I asked.
He replied, “Do you know who I am?”
“No,” I said, and then his answer shocked me. He then described his high ranking position in the government and how one of his tasks was to discover Christians and arrest them! I was scared and speechless because he could have ordered my arrest and execution at that moment!
But he said, “I cannot come to your house church because it will cause both of us a great deal of trouble. I will read the Bible and watch the show. However, we shall also do this. You shall come to my home once a week from now on and you shall teach me about the Bible privately. And one more thing, let me make it perfectly clear, if you do not come, I will send after you!”
This high ranking government official is still in his position and the house churches in his area are growing rapidly with minimal persecution.
I learned this story from the ministry of Dr. Hormoz Shariat who has been called “The Billy Graham of Iran.” This is one of thousands of stories of God’s mighty works in this important country that is so much in the news.
It has been our privilege to be on this show twice before and later this Fall we will be on it again to introduce our video – The Renewal of All Things – in Farsi. The video will be beamed via satellite into Iran and will be part of the outreach of Iran Alive to the precious Iranian people.
Do you have Iranian friends? Love them, share Christ with them, and show them this 16-minute presentation of the Gospel in Farsi on You Tube with this link.
Remember to pray for us and we thank you for your donations which make our ministry possible. As soon as we get a firm date when we will be on the show again, we will let you know. – Jonathan & Kathy Williams, Word of God, Speak!