Ethiopia is a rugged, land-locked country, rich in ancient history.
Home to the powerful Aksumite trading empire for over 800 years, the region is littered with the ruins of rock-cut churches from the 12th and 13th centuries. Currently, nearly half of Ethiopia’s population are members of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.
In order to empower the Christian leaders of the future, African Enterprise once again hosted their Students Discipleship Program (SDP) in schools during 2019, offering young people a chance to gain a better understanding of the Bible and the Christian faith. Over the last two years, tens of thousands of students have taken part in the Program, and the results have been encouraging.
Dawit attended the program as an 18-year-old and described how “the SDP has helped me grow as a young Christian believer. In the consecutive years of my attendance, I learnt that God is the creator of the universe, that Jesus Christ died for me and I am saved through faith in Him… Because of this program I now am able to explain the Biblical worldview to my classmates.”
16-year-old attendee Eden said, “One of the most important lessons I have learnt through SDP is reading and understanding the Bible. Though I have the Bible I was not reading it. But now I have learnt the ‘keys’ of studying the Bible. Now I have started to read daily. I have also started to share what I have read to my friends in school. I have also become a youth fellowship leader in my church. I want to go deeper and higher.”
Not only does the course offer students confidence in their school years, it imparts life skills that serve them well into adulthood as well. Marine Engineer Anteneh Demissie was among thousands of attendees who took the course in 2003. Now spending most of his time on the high seas of Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean, Anteneh expressed that: “The training was a ‘turning point’ in my life. Though I was a young boy with Christian orientation I had many spiritual questions for which I was seeking convincing answers. In the SDP training, all my questions were sufficiently answered. I consider that moment as a ‘Reference Point’ in my life. For me, the training was like a city gate – a doorway to abundance. Because of it I have entered into an abundant life in Jesus that is full of joy and enthusiasm. I am so happy.
One of the many benefits of the program was helping me understand the worth of the Bible as the word of God and igniting the love of reading it. Since then I have developed the practice of reading the Bible on a daily basis. The program has also made me become passionate about Christian spiritual matters.
I am now a marine engineer travelling around the world staying in high seas for many days and weeks. But my inner-self stays cool and tranquil even when the outside is extremely violent. This is because of the Rock Jesus, the foundation of my faith, whom I came to know better through the SDP training.”