The 4/14 Window
Children from age four to fourteen years old are the most open and receptive to every form of spiritual and developmental input. Yet many of these children around the world face many evils and dangers such as poverty, sexual violence, neglect, physical and emotional abuse, and forced labor, making them at-risk.
Ethiopia is no exception.
Ethiopia, one of the oldest civilizations, is a young nation, literally. Nearly 50% of its 100+ million people are children under the age of 18!
We have visited churches in Addis Ababa that had more than 50 children in a single classroom, and had to hold ‘Sunday School’ on Sunday and Saturday, to accommodate all of the children that come.
The churches in Ethiopia know the future of their country will depend on their children and children’s children. They also recognize that the Ethiopian body of Christ needs resources and request our assistance.
“For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth. (Psalm 71.5)
Give Me Hope
Give Me Hope is a collaborative program of Acts 8 Ministries with David C Cook, that focuses on equipping Ethiopian teachers and leaders to disciple the children.
David C Cook is a Colorado Springs, CO-based international Christian publisher of curriculum, books, music and ministry resources. Known for children’s ministry resources like Rio and Truseries, David C Cook also publishes books by authors like Francis Chan, Reggie Joiner, Nancy Rue and Warren Wiersbe, and music by artists like Matt Redman (Blessed Be The Name), Brenton Brown (Everlasting God) and Tim Hughes (Here I am to Worship).
David C Cook developed a discipleship curriculum for at-risk children as a gift to the children of the world. It has already has been contextualized and successfully used in several countries like India and Uganda. Acts 8 Ministries created Give Me Hope, a ministry team comprised of Americans and Ethiopians, which translates the curriculum into Amharic and adapts it to create a training resource specifically designed for the children of Ethiopia.
Maintaining an age-appropriate approach, the program brings the love of God and the truth about who they are to their lives for healing, nurture, and instruction. This 3-year program consists of 52 units per year. Each unit contains 4-5 lessons, focusing on Character Building, Spiritual Formation, and Life Skills.
- The Character Building unit helps children learn healthy trust and develop other essential values.
- The core of this program is Spiritual Formation. This unit provides life-giving stories that teach children there is a good God who has their well-being in mind.
- The third unit covers Life Skills. These lessons teach children skills needed for the most ordinary aspects of life such as learning self-respect, developing relationship skills, and honoring God and others every day.
In January 2016, the first year of Give Me Hope was launched, and the three-year cycle training began. It was the very first training in country that was dedicated to children’s ministry. In Spring 2017, the Evangelical Church Fellowship of Ethiopia – Debre Zeyit (Bishoftu) invited Acts 8 Ministries to expand its training program to all the churches in the region.
Goal of a Self-Sustaining Movement
The goal of Give Me Hope is to help build a movement led by men and women of Ethiopia committed to educating and equipping their next generation. For this reason, Give Me Hope continues to seek opportunities for collaboration with all organizations educating and ministering to children.