University Student Ministry - May 2018 Update
Background of the Ministry
The Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY) launched University Student Ministry in the early 1960s. Since the beginning, the focus of the ministry has been on making students disciples of Christ regardless of their denominational affiliation. After the fall of the communist regime in Ethiopia, the Church established her own University Student Ministry at the national level under the Department for Mission and Theology of the Church.
A Brief Activity Report
Even though Ethiopia has been under a state of emergency for the past two years, USM has tried hard to reach students at their various campuses. Many campuses are now centers of political instability. However, the unrest hasn’t stopped the students from holding their spiritual gatherings.
To cope with these challenges, in addition to praying for the situation, USM is trying to reach students either by travelling to the campuses or by using different means of communication to keep and continue existing relationships. Although frequent travel to the campuses is restricted, the following campuses were visited recently:
Wolsio is not far from the capital city where over 800 students meet every week for general fellowship, committee meetings and other business. The students have a well-organized discipleship program where new students are welcomed and equipped with knowledge of the scriptures and moral citizenship that is shaped by spiritual ethics. Female students are highly encouraged to take leadership roles in the movement including welcoming and serving guests that come for campus ministry.
The challenge of the campus: There is not a well-trained theologian on campus that can serve as a teacher, counselor or pastor. Further, USM has no female staff at the national level who can reach the deep needs of female students on campus.
Jigjiga University is one of the country’s newer campuses. The EECMY USM had a strong student fellowship here before violence erupted in the area. Because of the political unrest and displacement of the Oromo people from the region, the student fellowship collapsed. The Oromo students moved to other campuses for security reasons. USM aims to connect these displaced students with fellowship groups on their new campuses. We request your prayers for this situation.
Wolayita Sodo Campus
This gathering meets in a building many miles from campus. USM and the synod have partnered to have a shelter built near campus where they can meet and avoid such tiresome travel.
During the unrest, some brutal harassment occurred on several campuses that jeopardized the students’ fellowship. These attacks happened at Wollega University, Jimma University, Adama University, Metu University, Ambo University and others. We need your unfailing prayers so that the country will stabilize politically and the people will exhibit common sense and tolerance for each other.
USM serves over a hundred thousand students with a very limited budget and few human resources. We have only one person at the national level to coordinate this big and important project. This limitation is due to financial constraints. In 2016 and 2017 we were in a deficit of over $4,000. For 2018 the church has allocated some money made by renting rooms at the Central Office, yet we continue to need additional support.
Funds are needed for the following:
1. female students’ capacity building and support
2. additional human resources at the national level as we currently only have one person – a female is greatly needed to address the needs of female students
3. discipleship and leadership development
4. evangelism work on and around campuses to reach the unreached
On behalf of the EECMY University Student Ministry, we extend our thanks and appreciation to those individuals and organizations that contribute to our ministry. We hope and pray that you will continue your support.
With best regards,
USM National Coordinator
Read more about University Student Ministry HERE.
The Outreach Foundation is seeking $15,000 for training events, seminar support, and coordinators’ travel.