I was born into a Jewish and Christian family in Ethiopia. My father, a Jewish police man, met my mother—a police woman—at work. When they married, they agreed to raise their family as Jewish. But six years later, my mother received Jesus as her personal Savior. She practiced her Christianity quite openly and encouraged me to believe in Jesus.
We moved to Gonder, where most of the Jews in Ethiopia live. I became part of a group of teenagers in an Orthodox church. I began to question the difference between this church and the evangelical one my mother attended. Four of us from the Orthodox church were assigned to explore the evangelical church so that we could return and explain the difference to the others. At that time (April 1986), Ethiopia was governed by communists, and the church we visited was underground.” The day I went to “explore the difference,” I heard a powerful gospel message and received Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. I had been in many Sunday School classes before, and my mother had read the Bible to me. But that day, I gave my life to the Lord and the Holy Spirit confirmed in my heart that I was born again. I was 13 years old.
When I gave my life to Jesus, I tried to persuade my Jewish father, but he would not believe. While I was praying for his salvation, the Lord spoke to my heart: “I am calling you to be My witness to a people who have hardened their hearts to My Word.” I understood that God was calling me to witness to my father’s nation, the Jewish people. I couldn’t resist the call on my life. I studied and obtained a bachelor’s degree in theology from the Evangelical Theological Bible College. I graduated in June 1998, with majors in evangelism and church planting.
My first full-time assignment was given to me by my local church. I was deployed to Southwest Ethiopia as a Bible school teacher. After five months in full-time service, I sensed the Lord telling me to leave the country for a short time. I felt that He would do something very special for me during this brief time of travel. Soon after, I received an invitation from Campus Crusade for Christ International to attend an international youth outreach in South Africa. While I was in Johannesburg, I met Jews for Jesus missionaries handing out gospel tracts on the street where I happened to be walking. I could not believe my eyes! I volunteered to help them with their January outreach in Johannesburg and spent the next two weeks serving the Lord with them. It was amazing.
After I returned to Ethiopia, Jews for Jesus in South Africa sent me an application for the 1999 New York City Summer Witnessing Campaign. I prayed and fasted about my application for eight days, filled it out and returned it. It was a great experience and blessing to be part of the Campaign. I saw many Jewish people come to the Lord. During the Campaign, I was able to share my vision with David Brickner, Jews for Jesus’ executive director. I filled out an application for full-time service with Jews for Jesus, then went to South Africa, where I volunteered with the branch for two months. Next, I went with Jews for Jesus to explore possibilities for evangelism in Ethiopia. Through all of these experiences, I was blessed to see Jewish people come to know Messiah Jesus.
Now, by God’s grace, I am part of the full-time training group. As I look back, I see clearly how God has worked in my life, enabling me to heed His call to witness to my Jewish people. I hope you will pray for me, that God will grant me strength, wisdom and a fruitful ministry during training. And…I am a single missionary!