ETHIOPIA EDUCATION AID POST-VISIT NEWSLETTER
Maurice made a 12 day visit in March to Addis and Lalibela. The purpose of the visit was to check on student progress and to ensure the funding we receive and send out is being used wisely. Our students and contacts also feel encouraged by our visits. It was a very busy time and Maurice met up with a total of 21 current and past students plus pastors, evangelists and friends.
Ethiopia is now peaceful although a State of Emergency was declared just a week before his departure as the Prime Minister had resigned and there was potential for political unrest. Maurice’s plans were not affected except that the internet was and still is restricted. Here are some reports and stories from Maurice’s visit:
Ethiopian Airlines has a generous weight limit so over 40kg of clothes were taken out to give away. Here Fraser is receiving clothes from our friend Yohannes, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Addis. She has recently completed a one year IT design course and now works in a Photoshop designing t-shirts, banners etc
This is Fraser’s home in
a very poor area near
Solomon and Wondmnew
Solomon is in his final year of Computer Science at university. EEA gave him a reconditioned laptop so he could complete the project part of his course.
We have supported Wondmnew, an orphan from Lalibela, for many years. He is now in his 3rd year of a Public Health degree course in Addis.
Tizita and Pastor Zewdu
Maurice visited Zewdu at Debre Zeit 40km from Addis where there are several lakes formed in volcanic craters. He is on a Bible study course. Tizita was en route from Lalibela returning to Gambela in the far west of Ethiopia. She is in the 1st year of a Computer Science degree.
Lalibela with its 12th century rock hewn churches is the centre of the Orthodox faith in Ethiopia.
The Full Gospel Church, Lalibela continues to be persecuted and the members boycotted by the strong Orthodox community. The church building is still closed and the 30 to 40 members squeeze into a small room for their Sunday worship. The congregation are always encouraged by visitors.
Haleluya, yes that is her name and it is appropriate! Maurice had taken two reconditioned laptops to Ethiopia; one had been earmarked for Solomon, in his final year of Computer Science at University. We had been praying about a recipient for the second laptop! We have supported Haleluya for several years and she is now in the 1st year of a Medical Anaesthetics course. In discussion about her course she said she was the only student in her class of 15 who did not have a computer. We knew then our prayers were answered and she was delighted when Maurice produced a laptop from his rucksack.
Haile Mariam and his family have been part of EEA from the beginning by providing a home for local orphans. Haile gives us help and advice and always a very warm welcome. Here he is with Sadie, an orphan, and his daughter Hannah, aged 11, born just after our first visit.
Birtucan was supported by us several years ago in hotel reception work. She is now employed at a new luxury hotel in Lalibela. Maurice visited her for dinner and here she is talking to Susan in England via his IPad.
Tadesse, Rural Evangelist.
One part of EEA’s mission statement is to “Share the good news of Jesus”. Our dear friend Tadesse, whom we have known since 2007, has a wonderful gift of evangelism. We support him as he faithfully travels out into rural areas of Ethiopia and leads a team of unpaid evangelists. It reminds us of Jesus sending out his 12 disciples to preach the good news, without money, bag or extra clothes (Matthew 10:9). Tadesse was tortured for his faith in the communist era, yet is always cheerful and enthusiastic and carries such Godly wisdom. He enjoys a shared breakfast in the Ghion Hotel, Addis, and like most Ethiopians as the day starts early he is making good use of the daylight.
We would love to give more support to Tadesse and his team. He prays for a vehicle - sadly due to high import taxes, even old ones, are very expensive.
Life is tough for many in Ethiopia. Inflation is high, the population is increasing rapidly and jobs are hard to find even with the right qualifications.
We are so grateful for everyone’s financial support and encouragement and for God’s provision and the support we receive to help us educate these young people. Thank you and God bless.
Maurice & Susan Clarke
Oakfield, Dartington, Totnes, TQ9 6DH