There are nearly 11 million ethnic Somalis in Somalia. They are a very individualistic people, sharply divided into clans, and fights often occur between the clans, resulting in many deaths. Somalis enjoy telling stories and learning history through their poetry. Pray that many Somalis will come to know Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life. And ask God to grant favour and wisdom to mission agencies focusing on the Somalis.
For some time, WEC has had a goal of establishing work among the peoples of the Horn of Africa, particularly Somalis. Initially, workers would be seconded to other organisations. We long for the Lord to send us people with a calling to this part of the world. Please ask the Lord of the harvest to raise up workers.
Please pray for the many women who have been raped, divorced and left by their husbands, and the many children who have been smuggled out of Somalia and into exploitation or abandonment. Many of them are in camps in other parts of the Horn of Africa and are in desperate need of hope.
Ask God to touch the hearts of Christians in northern Ethiopia so that they will be willing to share God’s love with the Somalis in the southern provinces. Pray that his love will break down any cultural divisions.
Pray for WEC’s leaders in Africa as they seek to see the work advance among Somalis. Pray for tools for mobilising new workers and for highlighting the needs of the region. Thank the Lord for the work already being done among Somalis in the UK and the USA, and pray that these initiatives will be the first fruit of a mighty harvest.
There are very small believing communities in various cities and towns in Yemen. Pray for God to knit these communities together in Christ as they care for one another in practical ways. Pray for God’s protection upon them.
Years of war in Yemen have created a nation of people who have buried loved ones, been injured physically and suffered extreme psychological trauma. Pray that God will stabilise the situation in Yemen, and bring peace to any Christians there who are living in the midst of huge upheaval. Pray for the people of Yemen to hear God’s word and come to follow Jesus.
Please pray for Somalis in the UK: that they will come into contact with the gospel while there. Pray for Christians in the UK to be good witnesses and to show God’s love towards all in their communities. Pray that this witness will provide opportunities for good conversations about faith.
The ‘cooking stoves project’ has been a success: five co-operatives from leprosy-affected communities have produced energy-efficient cooking stoves which provide an income, improves health and makes cooking safer, and has also improved the attitude of the general community towards people affected by leprosy. Pray for more innovative ideas and opportunities for communities.
The Amhara inhabit the northern and western highlands of Ethiopia. A traditionally orthodox people group, AIM and Serving In Mission are seeking to put a team together to live among them, working with local evangelical churches to share the news of Jesus with those who have yet to fully understand it. Please pray that Orthodox believers of Bahir Dar would encounter Christ in all his fullness and not only grow in personal relationship with him but also in sharing their faith with others.
Please pray for Ethiopia during a season of organised public protest and political instability, especially for wisdom for the government of Ethiopia. Also for God’s favour and positive, mutually beneficial relationships with government officials and The Leprosy Mission—Ethiopia. Please pray for the safety and protection of people affected by leprosy, and the wider community and staff in the capital Addis Ababa and Amhara Region where much of our work continues.
Give thanks for the renewed energy in the Ethiopian Ministry of Health to tackle leprosy, following the recent publication of a health report mapping cases across the country. NGOs, including TLM, are working with the Ministry of Health to intensify leprosy control in the disease hotspots that the survey identified. TLM partners with a Christian community organisation, Life in Abundance, which works in some of the shanty towns surrounding Ethiopia. Give thanks for the amazing work the organisation’s social workers are doing, by making house-to-house visits to people affected by leprosy, to give health education and to provide livelihood support. Please pray for the TLM team in Ethiopia: Tanny (Acting Country Director), Wogene (Programmes Officer) and Berihun (Administrator), as the office is in the midst of staff changes.
Muslim-background believers in Keranso village, Ethiopia, are increasingly being targeted by Muslim extremists. In January, three believers lost their houses in an arson attack. Thank God that no one was injured and ask Him to provide for those who have suffered loss. Pray that believers in Keranso will stand firm in the face of growing opposition to Christianity.
EvaSUE, the Christian student (IFES) movement in Ethiopia, has experienced dramatic growth in the last 10 years. Since 2002 almost 280,000 people have heard the gospel through them and an astonishing 23,000 people have come to Christ. In addition, more than 1,000 student leaders are trained by the movement every year. Praise God for this important ministry of evangelism and discipleship and for the impact that its graduates are making.
The number of new cases of leprosy is rising in Ethiopia. Pray that the government there will recognise this issue and work with organisations to ensure health professionals and community health workers are better able to diagnose and treat the disease. Pray for the community affected by leprosy living in the slum near to ALERT (All Africa Leprosy, Tuberculosis, Rehabilitation and Research Training Centre) hospital in Addis Ababa. Also ask God for people and funding for a new initiative, in partnership with TLM Ethiopia, aiming to address health, sanitation and livelihood issues in this community.
It’s estimated that 10 million people are suffering in a crisis that is mainly affecting parts of Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia. UNICEF is warning that 2 million children are malnourished in the Horn of Africa, and half a million could soon die or suffer long-lasting mental or physical damage. The changing climate in East Africa over recent years has had an adverse impact on livestock herders, who have seen the value of their animals drop and their markets collapse, resulting in dwindling food-purchasing power. This has come at a time when staple food prices around the world have risen massively: for example the price of white maize at one Kenyan market has risen by 58 per cent in a year. The Kenyan government has declared a national disaster in the north of the country, where several years of poor rains have left 3.5 million people vulnerable. Pray for a concerted international response to the crisis that prevents it escalating and for God’s strength to fortify those experiencing severe hunger, particularly children.
In Ethiopia the Church is playing a central role in putting ordinary people in charge of their own lives and giving them a new sense of direction. More than 7,000 local churches are being encouraged to reach out to their communities and address poverty issues by assisting in the setup of Self-Help Groups (SHGs) made up of 15-20 local people. Members of these groups are encouraged to start saving their money with the intention of providing loans to each other for small scale business ventures. Worku Gollie, from EKHC, the organisation behind the initiative, explains: “During the coffee harvest, people earn money from harvesting and selling coffee beans but tend to spend all they earn and then go hungry. The SHG approach is changing this culture and this is making a difference.” Pray that SHGs continue to have a positive impact within communities and that these changes are a beacon of hope to others.
Population: 102,374,044 (2017)
Official languages: Amharic
GDP (PPP) per capita: $2,104 (2017 est.)
Life expectancy: 59 years
Religions: 43% Ethiopian Orthodox, 34% Muslim, 19% Protestant, 3% indigenous beliefs, 1% other religions