It is Saturday and I am doing some housekeeping on my computer, ordering and cleaning up my drives. I stumbled on this update meant for you that I never sent or posted. Not so smart, right (don't answer)? The story is as good today as it was in June. So I am posting it. I hope you love it. You make stories like this happen as you partner with this mission through us. Thank you.
I met Tariku (Ta ree coo) at our Global Leadership Conference this past June. He captivated my attention when I heard that he had more than 5,000 students in his discipleship chain. It also piqued my interest when I found out he was from Ethiopia, lived in a small village as a child, was treated poorly by his family, lived in fields and later the streets of the city, put himself through school and then college. He now gives leadership for Cru to several countries in Africa. I visited with Tariku and found similarities between his past and our girls' beginnings.
Recently my new team pulled together a report where Tariku shared how our ministry held a training event in Sudan (our girls lived close to the Sudan/Ethiopia border). Forty-seven students and staff came from all over the country to the capital of Juba for eight days of training. They were taught how to build spiritual movements, and provide spiritual and strategic leadership. They prayed and fasted for eight hours on one of the days. The students reported that this was a highlight for them. After learning to share their faith they went out to share the gospel. During the five days of outreach, 276 students gave their lives to Jesus.
In addition, we were able to launch student-led ministries on six universities and establish student leadership teams that can sustain and grow these ministries into movements.
Back to Tariku. His story filled me with awe. God pursued a boy who grew up in harsh circumstances and relational loss, drew Tariku to Himself, and placed a significant call upon His life resulting in thousands being brought to Christ through Him. An additional part of his story is that he advocates the principles our team is teaching, one of which is that every indigenous leader must embrace personal fund development despite challenging circumstances. He not only raises his own support in nations fiscally challenged at best, but encourages all the staff in his African countries to do the same. When he was asked to leave his ministry in Ethiopia, which had grown to more than 5,000 students entering into a relationship with Christ, to give greater ministry leadership, his supporters wanted to keep their support in Ethiopia. Saying "yes" to a new role required him to raise his support fresh once again in a different country in which he knew no one. As Tariku shared his story, his faith rang loud
His faith inspires us as we continue to believe God for full funding. Thank you for supporting this ministry. Thank you for releasing us to serve. May God be pleased to use our leadership, influence, finances and experience to expand his kingdom and help fulfill the Great Commission.