Ethiopia, Africa

ETH02a - Leadership Development

Partnership Ref.:



Worku Tafete



Funding Status:

Completed - Self-sustaining

Partnership Type:

Training / Education, Evangelism / Church Planting

Funding Size:

$0 - $2,999

Annual Budget:

US$ 0

Connected To:

ETH02b , ETH02c , ETH02d , ETH02k , ETH02l , ETH02m , ETH03


Population: 85.0 million

Life Expectancy: 54.7 years

GDP: US$333 per capita

Unemployed: 50.0%

77.6% earn less than US$2/day

Partnership Overview

local Ethiopian peopleThere are a number of key people involved in the development of new churches in Northern Ethiopia. It is important to continue developing and encouraging them so 3 to 4 training sessions per year are organised for the church planters and for existing and emerging church leaders. These give them new skills and develop them so they can be more effective in the difficult circumstances in which they live. 

It is really important that the current church planters and the exisiting and emerging leaders of the church receive ongoing training. None of these people have been Christians very long. Few, if any, have received any sort of theological training, many have not done a lot of schooling and some can barely read and write. They work in difficult circumstances and face a lot of persecution.

Getting them together regularly to encourage them and train them is vitally important. In fact, it is vital for the existing work and for the ongoing development of new people. 

History Of Partnership

In 2003 BHW personnel met a church leader in Auckland, New Zealand. He came to live in Auckland as a refugee from Ethiopia. While a refugee he came to believe in Jesus Christ. Now he was training to be a pastor and was very interested in returning to Northern Ethiopia to become involved in church planting.

In 2005 BHW and Worku Tafete went to Ethiopia. For Worku it was the first time back there for 21 years. It became very obvious that there were tremendous needs and opportunities in Northern Ethiopia. Worku introduced us to leaders of the evangelical churches in the North. They had developed strategies to reach their people but lacked resources. They had structures and vision but no funds. 

Soon after leaving Ethiopia BHW commenced supporting 4 church planters and this grew to 19 over subsequent months.

Since 2005 much prayer and thinking went on and a plan emerged that required the funding of training and the funding of more church planters. A large church in the USA approached BHW about becoming involved in a large partnership and their profile matched the opportunity. Therefore in 2007 that church came to visit and decided to fund the training of potential and existing church planters.

In 2008 around 70 people were selected as church planters, trained for 3 months and then sent out into rural towns and villages. Many churches were planted and a church planting movement began. The number of church planters being supported by the program diminished over subsequent years and the focus shifted to the Gumuz area.

From the beginning the ongoing training of the church planters has been an essential part of the program. Four times a year the key people are brought together for specific training and development.

Learning hardBeneficiaries

The primary beneficiaries are the existing church planters and church leaders in these developing and growing churches.

What We Like About The Partnership
The people on the ground in Ethiopia and those leading the work are fully committed to the work and have shown a large degree of initiative and leadership already.

These people suffer a great deal of hardship and need as much help, encouragement and training as possible 

There is a great harvest going on now as a result of these initiatives. 


Vision and Annual Strategy

The vision is to give the key people ongoing training so they become more effective in their work.

The key strategy is to provide a five day training seminar 3 or 4 times a year. The first three days are for the church planters and then on the final two days, a weekend, all church leaders and some church members come into the training.  

This training is now focused in the Gumuz area. This training is for leadership, Biblical information and pracitical skills based arounf farming and self sustainability. 

Personal Testimony
Real "Life Change" Stories
training sessionHere is the testimony of one of the current church planters to give you an idea of the type of person the training will cater for and the type of situation they will minister in. The name and location have been concealed for security reasons.

My name is YD, I minister in a place called east B....., in the Gondar area. I am sent by the Full Gospel Church to G.... The total member of the fellowship at the moment is 29 and I am discipling them. There are eight others who have left the place and three others have given up their faith. 

I have witnessed to more than 300 people in that place. The problem in that area is that the community hates me. They accuse me and prevent people from approaching me or relating with me. They also force new believers to leave their beliefs and go back to their old life. 

Most of the time the place is in a drought. The people just expect support and they expect help only. To reach the other towns and villages there is a problem of transport. There is also spiritual warfare and demonic activity in the area. I am also lonely and need a friend who can work with me. 

Despite all of these things I pray for them and love them. I am privileged that the governor is on my side and supports me. Even though there is a transport problem I try my best to reach the other place far from G... where there are some believers. 

There is a shortage of water in the area. It would be a good thing for us to provide them with water so that we can minimise persecution and help them. There is also no clinic in the area so it would be good to help with this also.

I am newly married and my wife is going to have a child. Apart from that I am happy with what I am doing being a minister of the Lord. Even though there are a lot of problems and obstacles I am happy to do this work.