eNews and prayer update October 2017
Training future leaders of the Eritrean Church in exile
For the first time earlier this year, Langham Preaching led training in Northern Ethiopia, an area dominated by the Orthodox church and under-reached by the Gospel. It is also right on the border of Eritrea, where a brutal government persecutes Christians. 100 to 150 Eritreans are risking their lives to cross the border daily. Many of these are evangelical Christians, who are now living in four camps in the area where the Langham Preaching seminar took place. One of the Langham Preaching trainers who led the seminar gave an exclusive interview. He asked not to be named for security reasons.
“At the Langham Preaching seminar, there were about 32 participants, 16 of them came from Northern Ethiopia, and 16 of them were Eritrean refugees who came from four refugee camps. That’s what’s made it very unique. “I was delighted to have participants from these refugee camps because eventually I’m sure God will bring down this brutal regime in Eritrea. I believe these refugees will return to Eritrea, so it’s a great opportunity for Langham Preaching to equip the future leaders of the Eritrean Church. That’s the exciting thing!”
Paying the price
“But these people are paying a price. Some of the seminar participants had been imprisoned for their faith back in Eritrea. There was a young lady, who was 19 or 20—she was imprisoned three times, starting when she was 14 years old. “They put her in prison because of her faith, for the first time when she was just 14, then they released her because she was ‘underage’. Then again, they put her in prison, when she was 17 and again at 18, until finally she escaped the country.
“When the refugees come to Ethiopia, they have to pay a lot of money for guides because they have to lead them through a secluded area and secluded roads. Some of them are making a big sacrifice to come to Ethiopia. That’s what makes this training very unique.
“These refugees are not only future orientated—in these camps there are also churches reaching out. From the four refugee camps there are four evangelical churches. These refugees go back to the camps and minister to many of the believers in the camp.
“We are planning to do Level 2 training next year, we also established preaching clubs for these refugees in the camps. From each camp 3-4 people came, so we encouraged these people from each camp to get together, to encourage one another about their ministry, and about their preaching especially.
“In Level 1 we focus on expository preaching, how to preach from taking a single passage, so we have established three preaching clubs in the refugee camps.
“Please pray for the Lord to give freedom of worship in Eritrea, to bring regime change, for the Gospel to be preached openly, for the Lord to continue to equip leaders. These Eritrean believers are like exiles, they are like the Eritrean Church in exile. In Ethiopia, we were communists from 1974 till 1991, so we’ve gone through the same kind of situation: the church was persecuted, but when the government was overthrown in 1991, we lacked Church leaders.
“Now if we prepare leaders throughout exile, one day when the Lord answers our prayers and brings down the Eritrean regime, if these leaders go back they will be equipped. Otherwise, Christianity will be shallow. In Africa, there is a saying that Christianity is a ‘mile wide and an inch deep’ because there is little discipleship. We are training the ‘disciplers’ of the future. We don’t want the same as what happened in Ethiopia to take place in Eritrea.”
Victoria Marsay, Digital Content Producer, Langham Partnership UK and Ireland
Join us in prayer
UPCOMING LANGHAM PREACHING EVENTS
Please pray for these upcoming events:
- October 15-21 Georgia, Trinidad & Tobago, Liberia, Paraguay
- October 22-28 South Sudan(2), Indonesia, Myanmar, Liberia
- October 29 Oct–Nov 4 Haiti, Spain, DR Congo, Bolivia, Zimbabwe
- November 5-11 Nigeria, Indonesia, Spain, Liberia,
- November 12-18 Uganda, Indonesia, Sweden, SE Asia
Where countries are considered sensitive re: security, the region is mentioned rather than the country.
- Please thank God and pray for the event being held in Nigeria in the same week to mark the 10th anniversary of Langham Preaching there.
- Please pray for those taking part in a Langham Writers’ Workshop in Sri Lanka in early November 2017. Pray also for the Langham Literature Publishing Team in Carlisle UK, particularly Claire Moore who begins maternity leave at the end of October and Esther Newton who has started an apprenticeship in the team.
- Please pray for Ethiopian Scholar Anwar Berhe and his wife Tsigereda and daughter Yididya as Anwar continues to study for his PhD at Melbourne School of Theology and manages a chronic illness. Pray too for our recently accepted Scholar George Bishai from Egypt who is studying for his PhD at Moore Theological College in Sydney; pray also for his wife Mervat and daughters Karin and Emma.
- Please pray for the Langham Leadership and International Council meetings being held in the UK from 15-21 October, for safe travel for all attending and wisdom in all the conversations and decision making.
Langham Australia CEO Gillean Smiley writes…
We are rejoicing here at Langham at the great faithfulness and kindness of our God, as He provides for the work to continue and to grow. Thanks to some very generous gifts from supporters in September, we are now able to support Vuyani Sindo in the next year of his PhD in South Africa, to assist writers and editors to be trained in Sri Lanka, and to make a substantial contribution to the ongoing work in Indonesia.
October sees the gathering of the Langham Partnership International Council in the UK: please pray for wisdom for those tasked with making decisions about future priorities, in the face of greater demand than we can currently meet. Praise God for such hunger around the world for faithful Biblical teaching and preaching!
Thank you for your prayers and support.