Jesus-followers in America can engage the Near Frontiers right in our own cities when we share the ministry vision of an immigrant. This is a strategic mission opportunity which is hidden in plain sight.
I met Girma Desalegn several years ago in Seattle. We both showed up at a local conference attended by people of different ethnicities. In such settings, I gravitate toward those who are of different background than myself (I am caucasian).
Girma and I talked for a couple of years about different ways we could partner together. Early in the process he began sharing his vision to bring practical Biblical training to church leaders in his homeland. His concept was a “mobile Bible school” that would take the training to leaders who could not afford one of the in-country Bible schools. He would bring mature believers from the States once a year to cities in different regions, closer to where the pastors, elders, and women’s leaders lived. There would be no charge for the training, but high demands for faithfulness were required for graduation from the two year program which Girma designed. The vision captured me.
But it wasn’t just the vision. I had been able to get to know Girma as a man of integrity and passion for Ethiopia. And he had a network of friends and leaders in Ethiopia ready to partner with him. In God’s planning, the diaspora which exists today makes possible this convergence of invaluable factors: Vision, Integrity, Passion.
The diaspora which exists today makes possible the convergence of Vision, Integrity, Passion.#nearfrontiersTREK
Recently we had a fund-raising dinner to bring together friends of Ethiopia to celebrate what God has done over the last five years of training. Hundreds have graduated from the program. We made the financial need known, and many people shared of their resources.
One of the most important aspects of what Girma has called the Vision Leadership Institute is that every Saturday local, trusted Ethiopian leaders with more training meet with all the trainees and take the subjects deeper. They require assignments, score results, and keep attendance.
At the end of the two years there is a graduation that is a high point in their ministries.
This is yet another way in which God is making mission available to more believers today. God gives vision and brings resource to fulfill it. May I encourage you to pray that God would bring such visionaries into your sphere of influence that you might partner with them!
Share strategic mission by coming alongside a visionary immigrant leader. #NearFrontiersTREK #Ethiopia