Hello Family and Friends,
I arrived back home from Ethiopia on June 9th. I was gone for about 10 weeks, from early April. The trip was very busy, but went very well.
Our graduation was on May 31st. One hundred and forty one students graduated. It was the 7th graduation for students from our diploma program.
It was also a milestone year in that it was our 1st graduation of students from our degree program.
In addition to teaching in VBC, 5 mornings a week for about 3 hours, teaching in the night school for 90 minutes, 4 nights per week and doing 3 hours of teaching on Saturday afternoons, I also ministered in churches on most Sundays. We now have so many graduates who are pastoring that it is difficult to have time to minister in the other churches that I use to minister in throughout Ethiopia, or for any new church contacts.
Outreaches in a Muslim Village
I had 2 opportunities to visit the rural Muslim area where we have been helping support the outreach work of one of the VBC graduates, named Belicha. She is a former Muslim young lady that started a school for children and youth. She now has 230 students and 7 teachers with her 3 school buildings. She started with 1 small building, 1 teacher and 30 students a few years ago.
Widows and Orphans
Another one of our graduates has had an outreach to widows and their children. I think there are about 150 families, totaling about 350 – 400 people that he ministers to. Last year God enabled our ministry to help 40 of these families start small businesses. All 40 of them are doing well, self-supporting themselves.
We’re still trusting God to help more of them get started in something that will be self-supporting. Last year I was able to help 10 elementary age boys of these families buy shoe shine kits to help them earn money for school uniforms. We were able to help a few more do this during my recent trip.
During my recent Ethiopia trip, we held our second youth conference. We did training for church workers, parents and pastors regarding effective ministry to children and youth. Between the two conferences about 30 churches received the training. We also ministered to the youth in special services for their age group. They were very powerful times in God. Requests have come to do both aspects of the youth ministry mentioned above, more often.
Both conferences were fully funded by donations from within Ethiopia. This provision included church auditoriums, sound and video equipment, advertising via banners, posters, flyers, church invitation letters, television advertising, refreshments, guest singers and various other things. A large percentage of Ethiopia is children and youth, a plentiful harvest for the kingdom of God (43-46% is 14 & under, 53-58% is 19 & under, 70-71% is 29 & under and 77-78% 34 & under).
Church Plants and Expansions of Our VBC Grads
Though there are 15 churches under our Bible school umbrella in Ethiopia, and 2 more churches in Lebanon and Egypt, all of which are under International Ethiopian Evangelical Church, Washington DC, there are many other graduates pastoring churches, not under our ministry umbrella. Some of those churches have doubled to quadrupled in size, at least one is running 300 to 400 attendees. Others now have 2 to 4 branches in other parts of Ethiopia. Of the churches under our umbrella, some are now self-supporting and others have 1 or 2 additional branches. Our graduate from Botswana is now pastoring in his country.
In recent years we have had students come to us from Ghana and Eritrea. We have also had Ethiopians and Eritreans come to our school from the USA, Israel, France and Sudan. Our student who came from France is pastoring there, and there are plans for the couple from Sudan to return there.
My Next Trip
My next Trip to Ethiopia is scheduled for September 17th – November 17th. If you would like to donate to my next mission trip, we can receive donations by mail at the address listed on our Contact page, or by PayPal or Credit Card on our Giving Online page. Please make checks, etc., payable to Turning Point Ministries.
Love & Blessings,
Larry & Yolanda Brown