Hope Through the Word in Ethiopia | Wycliffe Bible Translators


Fall 2019

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Hope Through the Word in Ethiopia

  • September 11, 2019
FrontLines Fall 2019

Believers who speak the Eastern Oromo language in Ethiopia suffer persecution from those who adhere to the majority religion of the area. Churches struggle to find a place to meet, and Christians struggle to find good jobs. “So many churches were burned down,” said a project coordinator. “But Christians remained steadfast and overcame the challenge through trust in God’s providence.”

Anti‑Christian sentiment has run high this year, but the recent translation of the book of Nehemiah gave believers hope and courage. “It has created great joy in the communities because the book contains messages that transform their lives,” said the project coordinator.

In addition to persecution, many struggle with khat, a plant whose leaves are used as a potent drug. Seventy percent of the young people use khat. High rates of HIV and AIDS also plague the Eastern Oromo community. The people need to experience the transforming power of God’s Word in their lives and communities.

Wycliffe Bible Translators is working in partnership with a local team to complete the Eastern Oromo Old Testament and prepare it for publication. The team has already completed translation of the New Testament and the book of Nehemiah. Now, as they complete the Old Testament, the team will also publish the book of Hosea in audio and print formats, as well as Genesis in audio form.

“We are currently challenged by political unrest,” said a local pastor. “We urgently need the book of Hosea that speaks to the people in difficult moments.”

Church leaders plan to use these books in services and small groups to encourage Christians to stand firm in their faith. They also want to use Scripture to confront the khat drug epidemic among the youth.

In addition, Old Testament books will be used in outreach efforts since those who follow the majority religion are somewhat familiar with them. With your help through the 2019 Wycliffe Gift Catalog, the Eastern Oromo translators will continue their work, driven by their faith in God and and eagerness for more of his Word.

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