eNews August 2015
eNews August 2015
In this issue:
- Introducing Langham Scholar: Anwar Mehammed Berhe
- Join us in prayer
- LPA CEO Gillean Smiley writes…
eNews August 2015
Anwar Mehammed Berhe
Langham Partnership Australia is pleased to introduce our newest Langham Scholar, an Ethiopian Bible teacher and evangelist, with a passion to reach Muslims for Christ. Anwar arrives in Australia in early September, with his wife Tsigereda and daughter Yididya. He will be studying for his PhD at Melbourne School of Theology.
Anwar Berhe grew up in a conservative Muslim family, studying the Qu’ran from an early age and following the disciplines of Islam in order to be a devout Muslim. Through a dream, God challenged him to consider the claims of Jesus Christ. He then spent three years studying apologetics and other religious books, having discussions with Christians and weighing the cost of conversion until he made a personal commitment to Christ. This decision was followed by rejection and persecution from his family, school friends and community. God enabled him to stand firm in his faith and be a witness for Christ. Now a number of his family have become Christians.
God called me to serve in ministry to Muslims while I was studying at Evangelical theological college in 2001. After graduation, my denomination, the Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church [EKHC – the largest evangelical denomination in Ethiopia], assessed my gifts as a teacher, trainers, and leader and assigned me to start the Muslim outreach department in the head quarter. Then I served in my church as Muslim outreach ministry department director for the last nine years. During these years of ministry, I have been involved in a ministry of church planting among Muslims, training missionaries, evangelists, pastors and church leaders, producing training materials, and teaching Islamic courses in five EKHC theological colleges and 16 EKHC Bible schools. My passion and call is to reach out Muslims with the gospel of Christ and to equip workers.
God has spoken to my heart to spend the rest of my life equipping kingdom workers for Muslim outreach ministry and doing research on the pressing issues that the African churches face in the area of Islam and mission to Muslims. For this cause, I have initiated discussion with Evangelical Theological College of Addis Ababa to develop the graduate program on Christian-Muslim Relations and to establish an Islamic Research Centre. Since Ethiopia is best suited both culturally and geographically to reach out to Muslims of East and North Africa, and the Middle East, I will return to Ethiopia upon the completion of my doctoral studies at Melbourne School of Theology in order to equip African church leaders and missionaries.
Anwar will be studying at the Melbourne School of Theology, commencing September 2015. He and his family will be living in Australia for his first year of study, at home in Ethiopia for his second year and then in Australia again for 6-8 months in his third year. Anwar’s PhD thesis topic will be: Muslims and Christians in Ethiopia since the 16th Century: Interaction, and its effect on the contemporary realities of Christian-Muslim relations.
Please consider what you can do to support Anwar and his family as he is equipped to train African Christians to reach Muslims for Christ.
Join us in prayer…
- Celebrations: As preaching movements reach a maturing stage, the plan now is to gather everyone for a series of thanksgiving events. Pakistan, with 888 (and counting) people having participated in a seminar, will be the first country to celebrate in this way. Pray for the team as they prepare for these events in September.
- Clubs: The Latin Americans know how to place the preaching club, or escuelita, at the heart of a preaching movement. And so in Turkey in October, four of their team will spend a few days with thirty others from across the Preaching world in an effort to make this key strategy to be more effective. Pray for the team as they prepare for this crucial forum.
- Coordinators: Give thanks for the appointment of a new Regional Coordinator for Anglophone Africa (Emeka Egbo, based in Nigeria). And the announcement of a Regional Coordinator for the Pacific is not too far away.
- Publishing: Praise God that we have recently received a number of promising book proposals from African authors. Pray that the authors will be responsive to the feedback they have been given and that the result will be books that bless the church in Africa.
- Asia Bible Commentary Series: Please pray for the final publishing stages of the Psalms by Dr Rico Villanueva, which will be published in November. This is the first volume in the Asia Bible Commentary Series, a series published in partnership with Langham and the Asia Theological Association, that will produce commentaries from an Asian perspective.
- Distribution: Please pray for Literature staff as they prepare for the next year of library book grants and graduate distribution programmes. A great deal of sifting through book information and searching out new books is required, as well as the creation of catalogues and mailers.
- New Scholars: Those who have been selected to receive scholarships this year will commence their studies in September. Please pray for them as they and their families begin this new chapter in their lives.
- Please pray for Qaiser Julius at Melbourne School of Theology as he awaits his results from submitting his PhD thesis. Pray for him as he visits Pakistan in September and for the family as they look to return to Pakistan later this year.
- Please pray for our new scholar in Australia, Anwar Mehammed Berhe as he brings his family to Melbourne and commences his studies.
Langham Australia CEO Gillean Smiley writes…
It is very exciting to welcome Anwar and his family to Australia, and he has already begun to consider outreach to Muslim families in Melbourne, while here in Australia. Unfortunately the family will be living quite a distance from Melbourne School of Theology for the first few months, and a car would make things much easier for them. Would you know of a car that Anwar and his family could borrow until Christmas?
Please also pray for the international team as they plan for the Langham Partnership International Council Meeting at the end of October. This is a crucial time of planning future directions and priorities across the Literature, Preaching and Scholars Programs.