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
Ten years ago Kathy and I celebrated our anniversary in the beautiful seaside city of Mazatlán, Mexico. We had no idea what a life-changing experience it would be. We met a young Mexican man, Jesus Antonio Samano Garay.
Antonio was a member of the very dangerous Sinaloa drug cartel. When we met him, we did not know it, but he was carrying a gun! He was also still involved in using and selling drugs, but he was very open to the Gospel and committed his life to Christ.
Now ten years later, Antonio is known as Pastor Antonio! That’s right. He is a pastor of a church in Mazatlán. Kathy and I visited him and his family recently. We attended church on Sunday where I shared the story, “The Prodigal Son and His Prodigal Father.” Later that night, Antonio preached it himself!
On the Sunday we were in Mazatlán, before I preached my sermon, Pastor Antonio shared a story with the children. After the sermon, he led the entire church in the Lord’s Supper. Think of it – a former gun-carrying, drug cartel member now speaking gently to children about Jesus and leading the congregation in remembering the sacrifice of our Lord!
Only God could do such a work of grace!
It is a work he does in all of us and a work he wishes to do in multitudes more. We rejoice in the privilege to share the Gospel around the world and with those next to us – in our neighborhood, at work, on vacation – wherever and whenever!
We are also delighted to announce that the Spanish version of The Renewal of All Things is now online. Please click here, then scroll to images and place your cursor over them and select Spanish. Please tell your Spanish speaking friends to watch. In addition, for those churches with outreach to Spanish speakers, this video is a great resource to introduce them to Christ as they hear the story unfold with dramatic video and music. We will also soon have the follow up booklet for download to be used for personal reflection or small group study in Spanish.
Please keep us in your prayers and in your giving to continue spreading the Gospel around the world! If you would like to contribute to WGS, click here. Thanks so much in working with us to advance the Gospel. – Jonathan & Kathy Williams