Agarfa is a village in the province of Bale in southern Ethiopia. The government set up an agricultural project in Agarfa, which means workers were brought here and Agarfa grew. But what about spiritual development?
“Raise your eyes and look at the fields, because they are ripe for harvest.” – Joh. 4,35
What the government saw in Agarfa was the fertile fields – ideal for the agricultural project. The village was systematically built up and success proved them right. Agarfa brings rich harvests, because here you can still rely on rain. We also need this view for the mission. Where others only see mosques and rigid Orthodox churches, we have to sow hope, because everywhere there are people who want more. There are not many communities in Bale. The landscape here is partly idyllic, but spiritually it is a rather dark hinterland. In Agarfa, a third of the population belongs to the Orthodox Church, but two thirds profess Islam and therefore also influence the culture of the village. Who brings the gospel to them?
Missionary work begins in Agarfa
We started our missionary work in Agarfa in 2013 from the town of Bale, about 35 km away, where there is a parish. Tadesse was employed here as an evangelist. His advantage was that he comes from the neighboring village of Negele; so he knew his way around. He also speaks both the languages used in Agarfa, Amharic and Oromo. Tadesse went to work courageously and worked hard to spread the gospel, first in Agarfa, but then systematically in the area. Of course, Tadesse was often in his home village Negele. Everywhere people were converted, the community grew, as you can see from the statistics:
Is the job done now?
Agarfa has 124 baptized Christians today, plus only 17 children. The structure of the village is somewhat different due to the plantation camp, here there are not so many large farming families, but more single workers and day laborers who came here for work. You have to keep in mind that one day they will go away – good if they have become believers by then! Therefore, the missionary work continues, of course, even if Agarfa is now an independent community.
In addition to the mission, the internal structure of the community is also one of our tasks. This means training for parishioners through our evangelists. To this end, our evangelists receive regular training themselves, if possible, in courses lasting several days in our Bible Center. There they are strengthened themselves and can grow in faith, but also in their ministry, and then they can pass on their knowledge to the parishioners. So the spiritual structure is solid and based on the Word of God.
Further church plantings are waiting for an evangelist
There are many villages like Agarfa waiting for an evangelist. If you want to get involved in church planting in Ethiopia, we recommend sponsoring an evangelist.