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Showing posts from November, 2008

Ethiopian Cinderella Story?

Ethiopian Cinderella Story? by Mitiku Adisu  A brother Melaku Tesfaye has written an interesting article entitled, "Ethiopia - From Mengistu's Dungeons to Addis Stadium: An Ethiopian Cinderella story." In the article, Mr. Melaku a/ recounts the harsh treatment Ethiopian Protestant Christians received at the hands of the Derg (though he should also have included Emperor Haileselassie's regime to the list) b/ praises God and current authorities for the "miracle" of freedom of worship and c/ gently suggests that "there is so much more to do." Here then is our assessment of the article: 1. As far as we can tell, the opinion contained in the article is solely that of brother Melaku and not those of the Kale Hiwot church or Protestant churches in general. Brother Melaku as a private citizen and as a Christian (if he so wishes to identify himself) is entitled to such an opinion. Readers should resist the temptation of prejudging Ethiopian Protest

"Born Believers"

Children are "born believers" in God and do not simply acquire religious beliefs through indoctrination, according to an academic. Dr Justin Barrett, a senior researcher at the University of Oxford's Centre for Anthropology and Mind, claims that young people have a predisposition to believe in a supreme being because they assume that everything in the world was created with a purpose. He says that young children have faith even when they have not been taught about it by family or at school, and argues that even those raised alone on a desert island would come to believe in God. "The preponderance of scientific evidence for the past 10 years or so has shown that a lot more seems to be built into the natural development of children's minds than we once thought, including a predisposition to see the natural world as designed and purposeful and that some kind of intelligent being is behind that purpose," he told BBC Radio 4's Today prog

Obama Adoption

We've heard enough times that Obama's dad was black and his mom white and that he was raised by his white grandma. Now that Obama has won the US presidency and wants us all not to dwell on our 'blackness' or 'whiteness' [but on our American-ness and our human-ness] how is this going to affect the thorny issue of inter-racial adoption? Will Obama's presidency usher in the heyday for international adoptions? The quick answer is 'we don't know.' However, we do know that it is simply not in human nature to change so fast from institutionalized identities to take on new ones no matter how attractive the rhetoric sounds. So, let us wait until the dust settles. Also, Obama is not only inter-racial but inter-national. Kenya. Kansas. Indonesia. Hawaii. And Kenya borders Ethiopia to the north. Adoption of Ethiopian children has dramatically evolved over the past few years. First, the government of Ethiopia has allowed private agencies to operate such servi

Thanks. AmasagNalau አመሰግናለሁ

Are Ethiopians a thankful lot? How often do we show gratitude? Do we tend to assume we deserve the good in life? The answer to these questions can be vexing. So what do we do? Well, we could sit around and complain. We could also listen to Scripture and be reminded about showing gratitude to God and to fellow humans. There is always room for improvement, of course; and it's never too late. If only we could commit to "live and move and have our being" in God, we certainly would Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. [Psalm 100: 1-5] Go ahead and thank someone. አመሰግናለ

A Good Translator of the Word

credit: OS James William Hammock - or Brother Jim, as he referred to himself -- touched the lives of many around him. From the churches where he ministered for more than 30 years to his missionary work in Nicaragua and Ethiopia, he lived his beliefs through his actions... In 2001, Hammock was the founding pastor of Compass Community Church in Apopka. The church developed a world vision, and Hammock led teams to Nicaragua, to build a mission school, and to Ethiopia, to drill a well for water. He referred to his ministry at Compass as "planting a tree under whose shade you will never sit." More here .

What is it you are looking for?

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. [Gospel of Matthew 13:44-45] What is it you are looking for? Or may be you are running away from God ... Well, stop . Turn around and let him find you. I FLED Him, down the nights and down the days; I fled Him, down the arches of the years; I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears I hid from Him, and under running laughter. Up vistaed hopes I sped; And shot, precipitated, Adown Titanic glooms of chasmèd fears, From those strong Feet that followed, followed after. But with unhurrying chase, And unperturbèd pace, Deliberate speed, majestic instancy, They beat—and a Voice beat More instant than the Feet— ‘All things be


ማራናታ! Maranatha! For those of you who haven't yet heard, it is with great sadness that we share the passing of Evangelist Ato Mesfin Tesfaye this past October. All who knew him remember his boldness and the clarity with which he preached the Gospel, his "Maranatha!" trademark, and his love for books. He was rarely seen without a book in hand. In fact, we are told, he often missed his plane as a result of being totally engrossed in a book. Our deepest condolences and prayers go to the family. And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, "Write, 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!'" "Yes," says the Spirit, "so that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them." [Book of Revelation 14:13] You may read a sketch of his life in the Dictionary of African Christian Biography . We have also dedicated a book review of the Amharic translation of Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life in Eth

To Talk or Not To Talk

By Mitiku Adisu Someone talking and walking behind me. I turn around hoping his words are directed at me. Nope. The fellow is talking on his cell phone to someone over there. The next day, I see a friend walking ahead of me and hasten to catch up. I slow down close behind him not wanting to interrupt his conversation. Apparently, he had seen me before I did and knowing I was close behind was actually talking to me. How am I supposed to know all that?

Do Not Worry

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek fi

Abortion, Adoption

"In almost the entire continent, ending a pregnancy without some extenuating circumstances is illegal. Ethiopia recently liberalized its law, but performing a routine abortion remains a criminal act, punishable by up to three years in prison. Pressure from anti-abortion activists purportedly trained in the United States blocked efforts at further liberalization. A ban on the books is one thing. Reality is another. Women determined to end their pregnancies will find a way, sometimes with devastating consequences ... " Abortion is a sensitive and politically-charged issue. In the US it is tinged by race and political ideology. In a recent interview with Pastor Rick Warren, the responses of the two presidential nominees, Obama and McCain, is instructive. In Ethiopia, however, the boundaries regarding life matters is pretty much clearly defined [marriage is between male and female; terminating life is wrong, etc.] Looked at from this vantage point, there seems to be a complete a