Responding to the Ethiopian conflict: a former Crosslinks study partner speaks up

Bekele Deboch

Today our headlines read: ‘Ethiopia crisis: Government army advances in Tigray as rebels vow to unleash hell.’ How should we respond?

Bekele and his family

Bekele, a long-standing Ethiopian missionary to the region, shared with Crosslinks today, 

‘The saints in Tigray are crying out to our God. I am from the southern part of the country and a very different tribe but many of the evangelical believers in Tigray have come to the Lord through my ministry. I have been worrying about them because they always cry to me asking me to pray.’

Earlier this year, before most of us had even heard about the troubles in Tigray, Bekele wrote, 

‘I believe that if I love the people of Tigray, I am on the right track as a follower of Jesus. I do not have any religious, racial or political relationship to these people except that we all are Ethiopians. I want to continue to love them because Jesus didn’t teach me to hate anyone but to love all. That is what our Lord Jesus did to his enemies, including a criminal during his crucifixion. Please pray for me.’

Pray that amidst conflicting loyalties, both tribal and political, Christians like Bekele would stand firm and faithfully proclaim the Lord Jesus Christ – who by his own sacrifice unites enemies and brings peace.

Bekele studied Theology at George Whitfield College, Cape Town thanks to a Crosslinks bursary. He is currently training others Ethiopians for gospel ministry at a bible college, whilst praying for God to open the door so that he can go to Tigray again. 

‘30 years ago the Lord touched my heart through the testimony of Hudson Taylor. Since then, I started to pray that the Lord would lead me in his way to somewhere unreached. The Lord sent me to the northern section of Ethiopia. In my first journey there eight people decided to follow Jesus. In the second, 35 and in the third, 20 people. Ever since, I have remained an evangelist and church planter in northern Ethiopia. By God’s grace, more than 23 churches have been planted.’

We know that people like Bekele are the best placed to take the gospel to places such as Tigray. 

His knowledge of the culture, language and context mean that he can share the good news relevantly and clearly. That’s why we’re committed to providing bursaries so that gospel workers who can’t afford to do so can receive the theological or ministry training they need to do the job well. 

Play your part in grassroots mission by sponsoring a pastor like Bekele as they train at bible college. Find out more.

Read more about Bekele.