Missions Wednesday: Ethiopia

It would be hard to talk about missions without talking about the plight of orphans throughout the world. Today there are estimated 143 million orphans in the world. An orphan is defined as a child having lost one or both parents. And the number is staggering. 143 million children who have faced the traumatic experience of losing a parent. 143 million children who, in many cases, need a home.

Ethiopia, in 2008, had an estimated 5.5 million orphans largely due to the spread of AIDS there. One in 6 Ethiopians either has AIDS or has been infected with HIV, leaving 1 million children orphaned by the disease. Nearly 250,000 children have been infected with the disease as well.

There are over 79 million people living in Ethiopia. North Ethiopia was one of the first Christian nations. And while Islam has grown into a prominent religion there, 65% of people would still claim Christianity (though the majority of that number would be apart of the Ethiopian Orthodox church). Due to persecution in the earlier parts of the 20th century, Protestantism grew in larger numbers.

Even though some would claim allegiance to Christianity, there seems to be a strong disconnect between the high percentage of AIDS and the high percentage of children orphaned by the crisis.

Ways to pray:

  1. Pray that those who claim Christ would live a life of purity, especially the men. Pray that the men of Ethiopia would lead by remaining pure with one woman—their wives.
  2. Pray that Christians would feel called to lead in orphan care in this country—whether through adoption, helping in orphanages, giving money, or praying.
  3. Pray for the Bible translation work in Ethiopia. There are 10-15 with a translation, and 24 left to be surveyed.

For further reading:

Operation World: Ethiopia

Hope Adoption Agency (Ethiopian adoption and orphanage)