ETHIOPIA: DAYS OF HONOR
Field Report by Dr. Wayne Wilks, MJBI President
This past July the MJBI celebrated two historic graduations among the Jews of Ethiopia. The first was in Woliso among the Gafat community where 132 graduated. The second was in Gondar among the Beta Israel community where 67 graduated. For these humble people, used to severe persecution and discrimination, this was a great day of celebration, restoration, and honor. Gifts were given to the graduates: tallitot and kippot to the men and shawls to the women. Each also received a yearbook with the students’ pictures and messages from the directors. We celebrated with an Ethiopian feast afterwards in a hall or hotel in their city. Many of the students had never experienced a celebration with such food and such honor! It was so special to rejoice in God’s kindness and love toward them. Thank you for helping make this possible! Some will lead and work in new congregations in Ethiopia, while others will immigrate to Israel. Continue to pray for these 199 graduates as we stand with them and their communities as they take their next steps in Him.
Graduating Student Representative, *Lemuel, says:
“We are very grateful to the MJBI for making such a great investment that enables us reach our prophetic destiny as the people of Israel. Thank you for being committed to equip us in understanding Messianic theology which is very crucial for our spiritual lives and the mission we have as the redeemed people of Israel.”
The *Gebriael Family Testimony
As told to Mezmur ZeMichael, MJBI Ethiopia Director
*Simon was a synagogue leader, long resistant to Yeshua or Messianic medical benevolence. One day, though, his daughter got very sick, and he was unable to obtain medical treatment. Simon had heard people were getting healed at the Gondar Messianic congregation. Desperate, he took his daughter and wife to the service, and his daughter was miraculously delivered and healed during worship! Simon and his wife, too, were touched and all three gave their hearts to Yeshua that night! The Lord gifted Simon mightily to minister, and soon he left the synagogue and became a respected leader in the Messianic congregation.
*Azmera, however, Simon’s teenage son, wouldn’t listen to his parents about Yeshua. He rebelled and drank heavily. One rainy night he passed out and nearly drowned in the gutter. His parents continued to pray and cry out for his salvation. Samuel (the MJBI director) witnessed to him, telling him that only Yeshua could give him the future and the hope for which he longed. Azmera soon began to attend the congregation and also gave his life to the Lord!
The entire Gebriael family decided to enroll in the MJBI program and amazingly, all graduated together. The once-rebellious Azmera was the top graduating student! He feels his future is very bright now, and he wants to lead youth in the local congregation, sharing the hope of the Lord with those who have none.
*Names have been changed.