"Ethiopia will quickly stretch out her hands to God" (Ps. 68:31 NKJV).
Although the words of Psalm 68:31 may have a prophetic application, God is blessing Ethiopia today as never before.
Robert & Sheena Revie arrived in Ethiopia in 1969 believing they would be there for many years. Sadly after only 5 years in the country Emperor Haile Selasse was arrested and a communist government came to power. The Revie’s found it impossible to continue working in Ethiopia and they left with all the other missionaries in 1978 leaving behind three small assemblies with about 30 believers in each assembly.
When the communist government was overthrown in 1991 the Revie’s returned to Ethiopia in 1993 to find that the small assembly in Addis Ababa of around 30 in 1978 had grown to over 300 believers. The Revie’s have been visiting Ethiopia every year for three months during the last twenty years mainly to give Bible teaching to a first generation church.
Sheena had a heart by-pass over three years ago and then she developed cancer over two years ago and this prevented Robert from going to Ethiopia for the past three years. However at the end of February Robert was able to revisit Ethiopia for one month and this coincided with a conference at Ginchi to celebrate the work done in the Oromo speaking area west of Addis Ababa during the past25 years. Robert was asked to give an overview of Paul’s first and second missionary journeys especially with an emphasis on the reaching out to new areas.
During this time they have seen an encouraging development in the work of the Lord in Ethiopia. In 1993 there were 8 assemblies and 6 evangelists and these evangelists are all locally supported. There are now over 200 evangelists many of whom are working in fairly remote areas. Robert was able to be at a few of the area conferences where large numbers attended from the surrounding districts and the ministry given seemed to be greatly appreciated.
There is an encouraging work being done among children with all assemblies having large Sunday schools. A number of years ago a camp site was built to accommodate around 250 children. In the past few years they have also been conducting a DVBS in each assembly twice a year.
A number of books have been translated including three concordances, the most recent translations being the 5 books produced by Precious Seed on an overview of the New Testament.
Many of the evangelists have been converted from animism and demon worship. Before conversion, because they had no knowledge of the Bible, some of the more mature brethren in Addis who had a reasonable knowledge of the scriptures wanted to help in this matter. Because the work developed so quickly in the countryside the brethren in Addis decided to conduct a small Bible School in a place called Chobi. About 35 evangelists or elders will go to the Bible school for 6 weeks each year for three years and during that time will learn a good overview of the scriptures.
Recently they have commenced courses on discipleship which concentrates on ‘fulfilling the great commission of making disciples’ ‘learning how to work in pioneer areas’ ‘learning how to church plant’ ‘learning how to study the Bible’ ‘teaching what they have been taught’. This has produced a maturity among the evangelists and elders and the courses are multiplying all the time. This is so important as they seek to help and encourage in over 200 assemblies.