This week, we conclude our prayer series featuring seminary leaders who work with ScholarLeaders through the Vital SustainAbility Initiative. Thank you for joining us in prayer for Dr. Bruk Ayele, President of Mekane Yesus Seminary in Ethiopia.
The second most populous country in Africa, Ethiopia wields tremendous cultural and economic influence in East Africa. Christianity has a long history in Ethiopia, possibly since the first-century conversion of the unnamed courtier in Acts 8. Today, 63% of Ethiopia’s 118 million people are Christians and 34% are Muslims. Following contested elections last fall, civil war broke out in northern Ethiopia between regional Tigray leaders and the federal government, aided by Eritrean soldiers. Please pray for the hundreds of thousands who are facing massacres, rape, and starvation. Pray for those suffering in the aftermath of a recent airstrike, which killed over 60 and injured 180 people in a Tigray market. Pray for the two million Ethiopians who remain displaced. Last week, the Ethiopian government declared a unilateral cease-fire in Tigray, sparking hope for the conflict to end soon.
Bruk completed his PhD at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa) with support from ScholarLeaders (LeaderStudies) and Langham Partnership. After returning to Ethiopia in 2017, he was invited to lead the Mekane Yesus Seminary (MYS) in Addis Ababa, the primary seminary for the largest Protestant denomination in Ethiopia. Ethiopia’s Evangelical Church has continued to grow even as the nation faces ongoing political and economic upheaval. Bruk leads MYS with a deep conviction that the Evangelical Church will shape the future of Ethiopia, and that theological education can help to transform the nation.
In the video below, Bruk discusses Christian influence on society through education, and reflects on youth in the Church.
Bruk shares the following prayer requests:
1) Pray for me and my family, as my position as MYS’s president is very demanding and challenging.
2) Pray for MYS. The need in Ethiopia for trained pastors is intense. The Ethiopian Church is very fast-growing and the Ethiopian population is also very fast-growing, so the demand is high.
3) Pray for MYS to have strong faculty. Pray for us to develop pastors in quality and quantity more quickly so that we can address the Church’s intense need.
4) Pray for my work of raising funds for MYS’s faculty. ScholarLeaders prepares leaders who will serve in their home countries. One challenge faced by leaders when they return to Africa after their studies is the low living standards. To support good faculty, we need to provide good income. We engage in local revenue-generating projects to meet this need.
5) Pray for my work of raising funds for scholarships. Many passionate young pastors who want training cannot come to MYS due to a lack of scholarships. My vision is to have sustainable, reliable income so that we can give scholarships and receive more students.
6) Pray for Ethiopia as there have been several conflicts, mostly ethnic-based, that have taken the lives of many innocent people, left millions displaced, and significantly challenged the country’s peace.
7) There was a national election on June 21. Pray for peace, fairness, and freedom to prevail. Many fear unrest and instability.
Give thanks with me that the last four years have been extremely good. God has surprised me, and behind all that is prayer – the prayers of my local church, of several other prayer groups, and of ScholarLeaders.