Over the next two months, the Scholar Leaders Prayer Community will be interceding for scholars from Anglophone Africa. Geographically, culturally, and religiously diverse, Anglophone African nations span the continent from Kenya and Tanzania in the east to Sierra Leone and Liberia in the west to South Africa and Botswana in the south. Learn more about this region here.
This week, please pray with us for Ruhama G. Worku in Ethiopia.
Located in the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia is home to over 116 million people from over 80 ethnic groups. Around 67% of Ethiopians identify as Christians (44% Ethiopian Orthodox, 23% Evangelical Protestant) and 31% follow Islam. Although Ethiopia had one of the world’s fastest growing economies before 2019, the pandemic, civil war in the north, drought, and conflict in Ukraine have driven inflation to over 30% and left one-sixth of the population vulnerable to hunger. Pray for Ethiopia as the country navigates the aftermath of the Tigray War, which killed up to 600,000 civilians, displaced and impoverished millions more, left thousands traumatized by rape, and damaged infrastructure costing over $20 billion.
Ruhama is pursuing a PhD in Educational Studies at Biola University’s Talbot School of Theology (California, USA). Her research investigates how education shapes identity in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. Ruhama serves as Registrar and Online Program Director at Evangelical Theological College (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia), where she also teaches courses in Christian education. In addition to sponsoring Ruhama’s research through Leader Studies, Scholar Leaders collaborates with Evangelical Theological College through the Vital Sustainability Initiative.
Ruhama shares the following message:
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I am Ruhama G. Worku from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I have been involved in different forms of Christian Education since my early youth. I have had the pleasure of serving as a Sunday School teacher within my local church, and this has been one of the most defining experiences the Lord has used to shape me and reveal His purpose for my life.
Through these experiences, I have learned the value of Christian education in holistic formation. Harnessing its potential to the utmost can allow the Church to fulfill its Commission of making disciples in Christ’s image (Matt. 28:19-20, Gal. 4:19). So, I am pursuing PhD studies at Talbot School of Theology to see how Christian communities might best utilize education toward identity formation by taking lessons from the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. I am in my third year of coursework, preparing to start my capstone and dissertation work.
Ethiopia has been plagued by internal and external conflict for a long time. However, the last decade has seen one of the worst conflicts yet. Political instability has led to violence and safety issues in the country, further contributing to economic, religious, and social dissonance. The government is still trying to find its footing in peace and security, with several disruptions erupting continually.
Bible schools, such as Evangelical Theological College (ETC), where I serve, are sparse in Ethiopia. And where they are present, local churches don’t look favorably upon them, as they are associated with spiritual dryness. However, it is my firm belief that through proper Christian education, we can form a Christian identity among believers, so reconciliation and peace can permeate toward the healing of the community.
Praise God for His mercy and guidance as I serve His kingdom.
Violence, instability, and communal breakdown are spreading persistently in Ethiopia with little hope of change for the better. Please pray for the Lord’s intervention in my country, wisdom for leaders, a tolerant heart for the people, and overall protection, as many are living without basic sustenance.
Pray for Evangelical churches and Bible schools to be salt and light in Ethiopia, preaching the peace and love of Jesus Christ among communities where hatred runs rampant.
Pray for my studies as well, as I work to identify the direction for relevant and formative Christian Education toward biblical identity formation in Ethiopia.
I am studying while working fulltime. Please pray for strength and wisdom for me.
I want to thank all of you in the Scholar Leaders community. Your support has meant the world to me. It is the only way I can pursue my studies while still serving in the kingdom of God, both at ETC and my local church. Thank you, and may the Lord bless you.
For His Glory,
Ruhama G. Worku