Dear readers and supporters,
To launch the Give Me Hope curriculum and train the teachers that would use it, Kim and Teresa, directors for Acts 8, flew to Ethiopia this last January. They began the trip by visiting a friend’s “Sunday School.” Such a large amount of children attend the church lessons, cramming the rooms beyond capacity, that it is necessary to hold Sunday School – on Saturdays! Many of the youth are involved with Compassion International, which requires its sponsored children to attend church.
On Sunday Kim and Teresa were joined by Greg Baird, curriculum trainer from the David C. Cook organization, the ministry that first provided the material for Give Me Hope that we then translated and contextualized.
Teaching the Teachers
The training took place over the next several days in the city of Debra Zeit, about an hour and a half drive from Addis Ababa. Over 60 teachers attended, representing 35 churches local to Debra Zeit and Addis Ababa, the nation’s capital. Greg lead the first day of training, building a foundation for the days to come as he talked about Jesus’ heart for children and why we should teach and disciple them. He spoke to the teachers about some of the issues they would encounter as they mentored at-risk youth.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Kim and Teresa continued the training by discussing what makes a good children’s lesson, giving examples, and having the teachers practice creating their own. Give Me Hope is meant to be a resource to the Ethiopian teachers not just in itself, but also in being an example and model for them to design other curriculums and begin to produce their own resources in country. Unlike America, which is inundated with numerous curriculums and resources, Ethiopia has had little to nothing that works for their children & situation!
Every day of the training would begin with group worship and singing, then move into the morning session. After a lunch break, an afternoon session would close out a full day of learning. Kim and Teresa were sure to include several ice breaking activities, as well, since the teachers came from so many different churches that few knew each other.
Every one that came was eager to learn, and soaked in the training with the focus of returning and passing on the material to the teachers at their home church.
Blessing beyond GMH
Kim and Teresa were also thrown a bit of a curve ball on the trip – on Tuesday they were asked to lead a women’s retreat that Friday. As soon as they finished the Give Me Hope training on Wednesday, they had only a handful of hours to plan for the retreat. Praying and using material from their home church, they blessed the women with an all-day retreat focusing on the subjects of effective Christian living and transformation.
The trip wrapped up with several days of visiting friends, an open air market, a Vision Leadership Institute class, and a recent church plant on Sunday.
Before Kim and Teresa left on Monday, the Acts 8 field coordinator Yinagu gathered her prayer group to prophetically pray over the two and anoint them.
So what are the next steps for Give Me Hope? The program spans three years, but only the first year has been completely translated and provided to the Ethiopian churches.Kim and Teresa will continue to be involved in future training sessions in other cities, but ultimately foresee passing on the baton to Ethiopian locals. They are equipping teachers that can then teach others, as a true picture of 2 Timothy 2:2: “You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.” (NLT)
As we continue to work with our Christian brothers across the world to equip teachers to disciple the children of Ethiopia, stay tuned for updates and information on how you can help!