“And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” -Acts 2:47b (NIV)
When many in the DNA family gathered for the Global Forum in South Africa in 2011, Demelash Lemma, an associate of the Harvest Foundation, rejoiced that God had given him opportunities to train 10,000 people across Ethiopia in the Samaritan Strategy Africa material, adapted from DNA teachings.
Who but God alone knows all the stories in such a robust stream of training? Thankfully, one of those 10,000 trainees reported good news to Demelash some 10 years after first being trained in wholistic biblical worldview.
“The results are beyond my imagination,” Demelash says.
“In short, the Central Evangelical Churches Fellowship is now working with 20 denominations among a total population of over 14 million people. This office, in partnership with other organizations, has trained 558 wholistic missionaries and sent them to remote areas [in Ethiopia] to share the wholistic Good News.”
“Wholistic Good News”?
Readers new to the Disciple Nations Alliance may find the term “wholistic Good News” puzzling. In some quarters, a word like “wholism” is suspect. To use it as a descriptor of the gospel could raise eyebrows.
Keep reading from Demelash:
“These missionaries have taught the farmers the whole message of the Good News to grow vegetables, take care of their health and environment, construct private and public pit latrines, care for their children and wives, and to save and invest the little resources they earned. As a result, over a million people came to the knowledge of Christ and gave their lives to Him. In addition, 1,500 rural churches have been established. Praise God!!”
This report is simply one specific dimension of what Demelash sees a general, overall trend in the parts of Africa where he has had the privilege to serve with his teaching and training.
“Wholistic teaching is no longer seen as a heresy or even an alternative in evangelical denominations across Ethiopia. Rather, it is the core, the very DNA of the church of Jesus Christ. Many churches have incorporated wholistic teaching into their constitution and have practiced it.
“As a result, many of these churches now have favor in their communities. By their practicing these truths, the Good News has become very relevant. It has been a healing message for this broken world.”
At the same time, Demelash says, while churches recognize their responsibility to care for their communities, the intentional application of this truth is still limited to a few churches and still considered progressive. Please pray for our Christian brothers and sisters as they put their faith into action and demonstrate God’s love in practical ways!