Population: 86.5 million (2012)
Capital: Addis Ababa
Official language: Amharic
Major religion: Christianity
IFES movement: Evangelical Students’ and Graduates’ Union of Ethiopia (EvaSUE)
Ethiopia as a political entity dates back more than 3,000 years, making it one of the oldest civilisations in history and the oldest independent nation in Africa. Christianity was introduced to Ethiopia in the 4th century, followed by Islam in the 8th century, and ever since Ethiopia has been a predominantly Christian country (62.8%).
• 119 universities and college fellowships
• 49 full-time and hundreds of volunteers
• largest student group at Hawassa University (3,300 students)
• smallest group has 18 members
EvaSUE is striving to make sure that their students see the need for reaching unreached people groups with the gospel. For the last twelve years, they have mobilised more than 9,200 students for missions in various parts of Ethiopia as well as to neighbouring countries. In the last twelve years, more than 300,000 students heard the Good News and nearly 11,000 of them accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. Among the community more than 300,000 people heard the gospel and some 27,500 people responded by accepting Jesus Christ as their personal saviour through these missions.
More than a thousand student leaders are trained by the movement every year. A study conducted by the Evangelical Churches Union of Ethiopia reported that more than 60% of current church leaders were part of EvaSUE while they were campus students.
View from the inside
Zelalem Abebe is the General Secretary of EvaSUE. He says of his ministry, ‘When I see students, I see tomorrow’s leaders of the nation, I see professionals who determine the destiny of the country and I say it is worthwhile to invest everything in them. This is really my inspiration to serve students for the last 14 years. Seeing more than a thousand students come to Christ is something I can’t take for granted.’
Zelalem adds, ‘2Timothy 2:2 always inspires me to give my best to God by serving students and graduates: “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.”’
- for mission work inside and outside the campuses;
- for new Christian students to become disciples of Christ;
- for more resources (human and financial) to serve students better.