This is Pastor Getahun Shume and his family. The sponsorship program at Merkato is the product of his passion, prayer, and hard work over the last several years. He and his wife are rock stars in my book. Here is a little bit more about his story:
17 years ago he began attending a small Ethiopian Orthodox church (the predominant religion in Ethiopia). Gradually Getahun began taking on increasing leadership roles, eventually coming to lead the church. Over the next couple of years the church grew. However, as they prayed and studied together they became increasingly devoted to Jesus and less devoted to the traditional theology of the Orthodox church. Because of this, the church came under sharp criticism and persecution from other Orthodox churches. Eventually, they were completely cut off from the Orthodox church.
Undeterred and driven by passion for the Word and for orphans and widows, Getahun and his wife planted an Evangelical church in the middle of the roughest part of Addis Ababa - the Merkato area. The church there is comprised of some of the most vulnerable people in Ethiopia. The economic hardships that they face are indescribable, and the church, compelled by Jesus' love, has a burden to care for the many orphans in that area.
We first met Pastor Getahun two years ago. He told us how his church members, though in poverty themselves, were giving to fund the care of 25 orphans. They were providing food, clothing, and education to these kids. They were also personally involved in their lives, mentoring them and teaching them about Jesus. Getahun saw the difference that they were able to make in the lives of these 25 children, and he desperately wanted to expand the program to include more children.
Pastor G and several of the sponsored children
Would you consider making a difference in the life of a child today? Click here to view the profiles of children who are waiting to be sponsored.