Meet Demeke! He is another one of our Hawassa graduates, and one who will be co-teaching with us this week. Over my visits in the last four years, he has become a friend.
Since I was arriving later than the rest of our TLI training team, Demeke was dispatched to the airport to come and receive me. His was the first friendly face that I had seen in many long, harrowing, and weary hours of traveling.
After a rich welcome, we began the bumpy crawl of a drive back towards Shashemene. In the front seat of the van, as we sat nearly on top of one another, I learned a new part of his story.
You see, Demeke has a great sense of humor; but also a fierce seriousness about the things of God. In part, that’s because he used to think that he was serving the Lord, when really he was working on the other side.
Demeke grew up in a family that was Ethiopian Orthodox, a church that has deep roots here. To this day, his elderly mother is an Orthodox monk.
Demeke was zealous in his faith as a young man, and even persecuted evangelical Christians. He led others to do the same, and they followed. At one time, he was responsible for the burning of the homes of 35 Christian families, and the dispersal of their belongings.
This man has since been won to Christ, and been in his service for many years. He now pastors, and mentors missionaries. In fact, he currently supports our four native MCC missionaries - Epheson, Beyene, Tesfaye, and Henoke.
Demeke continues to grow as a faithful teacher of God’s Word. He is an integral part of God’s church here in Africa.Please pray for Demeke, and all of the Ethiopian graduates who will be co-teaching next week. They are learning quickly, and we are also learning a great deal from them.