I grew up in an area of Ethiopia where they persecute Christians. God led IMB missionaries to my remote village. They walked hours to reach us. In their love for the lost, they left everything to come to us.
I was 12 years old. They gave out bananas and candies after the service. I went every day for those gifts. They told me about Christ, and I immediately accepted Him. I told everyone Jesus saved my life.
My family wasn’t happy, but I had to share. Peace and joy overflowed. I told friends and classmates to join me for Bible study. I was not educated, but I read the Bible to them, and we sang songs. One night, the chairman of that village came and said, “What are you doing?”
“We are praising Jesus,” we told him. He beat us, but we continued our Bible study under a tree or in a river—anywhere we could share the Word. We led so many young people to Christ. They are now ministry leaders in Ethiopia and around the world.
I was not interested in coming to America. I was engaged in church planting in Ethiopia, South Sudan and Uganda. But there are almost 50,000 Ethiopians and Eritreans here in the Denver area.
I saw the need in the Ethiopian population. I went to the IMB website and sent an email. I told them I was a church planter in Ethiopia and I would like to do something in Denver, but I didn’t know how. They connected me with NAMB’s Denver missionary, Dave Howeth. Now, we have planted and sent planters from our congregation multiple times. It’s a challenge to plant a church in America. But we cannot stop. We cannot be silent. The principle is anyways, “go.” We must go and make disciples of all nations. We must go with urgency because people are lost every single day. God is at work. We must come together to reach America.
Learn how you can support Alayu, and other church planters across North America, at AnnieArmstrong.com
Published January 22, 2024