Seven-year ministry brings amazing results in southwest Ethiopia

Ethiopia, Ted, Jennifer, Bertleson, South Omo Valley, literacy, church planting

For the past seven years God has been working in the most remote part of southwest Ethiopia near the South Sudan border in incredible ways, according to CMF team members Ted and Jennifer Bertleson.

“When Lowoton (a national church planter) and I first started working with the Nyangatom people in the little villages of Kengaten and Cheldete in the South Omo Valley in 2012, only about eight percent of them were Christians or had ever heard of God,” said Ted. “Lowoton has been continuing the ministry over the years, with our assistance, and today nearly half of the Nyangatom people know Jesus, and the numbers are growing every year.”

Ted recently revisited the first church plant in the remote and isolated area of Cheldete.

Ethiopia, Ted, Jennifer, Bertleson, South Omo Valley, literacy, church planting

  Lowoton preaches at one of the earliest church services in Cheldete.  

Ethiopia, Ted, Jennifer, Bertleson, South Omo Valley, literacy, church planting

  The old Cheldete church building is on the right. The logs stacked teepee style on the left were used for the new church building.  

“It is hot and dusty there; it’s hard to understand how people can survive,” he said. “But the church has grown so much they needed a new meeting space, so we took the supplies needed to build a new facility that will seat more than 500 people!

“We were welcomed with so much love and generosity that it was hard to leave,” Ted said. “Over a meal of roasted goat, pasta and honey, the people of Cheldete told us of their plans to cross into South Sudan, just nine miles away, to continue spreading the gospel. Before leaving we spent time in thanksgiving for all that is being accomplished.”

Ethiopia, Ted, Jennifer, Bertleson, South Omo Valley, literacy, church planting

About 90 percent of the Nyangatom people can’t read or write. A new literacy program has been initiated to change that statistic.

Over the past seven years:

  • More than 4,000 people have been baptized.
  • 25 pastors have been trained.
  • A new medical clinic was started.
  • A physician is being trained to serve in this clinic.
  • A new church has been built.
  • A new literacy program has been initiated.
  • An income generating self-sustainability project has been funded.

Ninety percent of the Nyangatom cannot read or write! While the literacy program is underway, Ted and Jennifer are raising funds to purchase solar-powered audio Bibles for $27 each so the Nyangatom will be able to study the Bible now! If you would like to be a part of this ministry, go here to give.

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