Benishangul-Gumuz, Ethiopia, Africa - Ethiopian president, YaregalAysheshim, has appealed to the Charles E. Blair Foundation in Denver,Colorado, to send 1,000 Ethiopian missionaries to canvas the 19,000 squaremiles of Benishangul-Gumuz to evangelize and help lift over half a millionpeople in his state from their spiritual and social poverty.Benishangul-Gumuz is truly a land abandoned by time; a people whose standardof living is 1,000 years behind fellow countrymen, and nearly 2,000 yearsbehind that of the average American. Education, health care - even the mostprimitive farming strategies - are virtually unknown. Its unclothed peopleworship nature and animals - a culture type that historically receives thegospel eagerly - whatever "gospel" presents itself first.
Following his inauguration two years ago, President Aysheshim, a born-againbeliever, began crying out for help from the denominational leaders ofEthiopia. But due to their own financial limitations, they have been unableto answer his urgent call. "But," says President Aysheshim, "in his search,the name of the Blair Foundation surfaced repeatedly."
Since the fall of communism in 1990, the Charles E. Blair Foundation (CEBF)has worked with the Evangelical Churches Fellowship of Ethiopia (ECFE) whichrepresents 18 denominations and 97% of all evangelical believers inEthiopia. Together the CEBF and ECFE have trained 400 Ethiopian missionariesand planted 800 new churches resulting in the baptizing of over 50,000 newconverts.
Now with just two years and four months remaining in his administration inwhich to lend his official support, President Aysheshim has issued a finalappeal to the Blair Foundation.
The impassioned plea has been heard, and together the CEBF and ECFE haveformulated a plan to respond with immediate and massive church-plantingefforts in the unreached villages of his region, many of which have nevereven heard the name of Jesus.
The project, "Ethiopian Call," named after the unique and successfulMacedonian Call in Acts 16, is in need of committed prayer support as itlaunches April 1, 2003.
Dr. Charles Blair reports the goal is to plant 1,000 churches. Toaccomplish that, we need:* 1,000 intercessors - members of an Ethiopian Presidential Prayer Guard,who will "stand in the gap for the land" (Ezekiel 22:30). * Sponsors/donors willing to invest $1,850 to plant a church, provideBibles, construct a building and support a missionary pastor for one year.
Each intercessor and sponsor will receive acknowledgment of theircommitment, weekly emailed progress reports, and a monthly newsletter citingup-to-the-minute prayer requests as well as answers to the ongoingintercession. Sponsors will also receive Field Reports every few monthsdetailing their planted churches progress.
To learn more about this 21st century opportunity or to join with us inreaching Ethiopia, contact:
The Blair Foundation
Foreign Missions Office
2265 Fraser Road
Kawkawlin, MI 48631
By Albert H. Lee