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Ethiopia (Bishoftu) May 2017

Bishoftu, Ethiopia May 11-21, 2017

We are partnering with a national church denomination to start a training center for pastors in southern Ethiopia. Ethiopia has had Christianity for almost two millennia, possibly since Acts 8 after Philip led the Ethiopian to faith in Christ. Many evangelical pastors in this region have no theological training which has a direct effect upon their church's spiritual maturity. The first training center in Ethiopia was established in the city of Awassa in May 2015 and where we are continuing to send teams. Debre Zeyit (currently known as Bishoftu) is site of a new training center, located about one to one-and-a-half hours drive south of the capital, Addis Ababa. We are expecting 35-40 national pastors who are anxious about being equipped in the Scriptures. Please pray for this pivotal opportunity to strengthen the churches in Ethiopia. Curriculum to be taught: Ruth/Jonah

Follow along as teachers in the field offer their experiences as they share theological training with local church leaders.

May  17th,  2017Grieving and Worshiping

Last Sunday morning we took the opportunity to worship with our brothers and sisters at the International Evangelical Church (IEC) in Addis Ababa (the capitol).  It was great to see the Lord's blessing on this church as we worshipped with them in English.  After the main service we attended a Sunday School class in which we studied Revelation 21.  The class kindly prayed for us, and one sister wrote down our names promising to pray for our ministry in Bishoftu.
Later in the day, Pastor Tesfaye joined us and we traveled together to Bishoftu.  Pastor Tesfaye's mother had died. We learned that in Ethiopia there is a two-week grieving process when someone dies; people come from all over the country to grieve with the family.  Pastor Tesfaye is not only mourning, but is needed at home, to host those guests. Yet he sacrificially came to make sure our transportation, housing and meals were taken care of.  So we have the opportunity to grieve with this brother as he receives phone calls from many others who are grieving with him.
We are looking forward to studying the books of Ruth and Jonah this week, thank you for all your prayers!
Mircea "Buni" Ionescu 


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May  15th,  2017Day One

We began our first day teaching in the text of Ruth. As we drilled into the narrative the question came up as to the cause of death of Naomi's husband and two sons. Currently, less than 10% of the pastor's could affirm that God was ultimately the cause of their death, even with Naomi's confession that "the Lord...the Almighty has brought calamity upon me." We will learn through these studies of God's Providence that he brings about his purpose in all things (even in Christ's unjust death and miraculous resurrection).

It is foundational to know at least these two things about God:
1) He alone is the ultimate authority: the triune God-head in total, eternal unity.

2) And the Word is God's delegated authority: his objective revelation written for us.

This means the preacher and listener must be responsible to know and trust the truth being revealed in the text.  "Should we not believe someone who brings a fresh revelation?" "Why should we change the way we've been preaching?"  The answers to these questions and more are being brought into the light of God's Word as we study. I look forward to seeing the "the glory of The Lord" transforming us together "from one degree of glory to another."

By His Grace,
Bob Klint

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May  13th,  2017On the Ground in Addis Ababa


Today most of our TLI Bishoftu team arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I say “most” because one member of our team has already been in Addis Ababa one month. Let me introduce the rest of us.


1. Dr. Rusty Osborne is a professor of Biblical Studies at College of the Ozarks. He has been to Cameroon and Kenya with TLI but this is his first trip to Ethiopia.

2. Bob Klint is a retired electrician in Michigan, who has taught under TLI in Romania, Philippines, and twice before in Bishoftu.

3. Mircea “Buni” Ionescu is a violin teacher in Louisville, KY, studying at Southern Seminary. He too has taught with TLI in Romania and Bishoftu.

4. I, Gil Zinke, live near Wheaton, IL, am on TLI staff, and train wherever I’m sent.


Bob, Rusty and I met up in Chicago. After an uneventful flight to rainy Washington DC, Remus, a friend of Bob picked us up, took us to our hotels and spent the evening with us. Buni joined us for supper when he arrived in DC.  After a good night’s rest we got on the 13-hour flight from Washington DC to Addis.  It was fairly smooth. There were a few babies who howled much of the trip.


We expected our in-country coordinator, Pastor Tesfaye Nenko Edema to meet us in Addis Ababa. Instead we received the sad news that his mother had died on Monday. She was buried on Wednesday, and he was still at home comforting his family. He will meet us after church tomorrow. We will go to Bishoftu then, not this afternoon as planned earlier.


Taking Pastor Tesfaye’s place was Pastor Gezahegn (ge ZAI en), a man who discipled Pastor Tesfaye when he was a young adult. Pastor Gezahegn took us to the University of Addis Ababa’s Museum of Ethiopian Ethnological Studies, then got us to our hotel and arranged for our transportation to church tomorrow. We spent the rest of the day relaxing and napping. The time zone change has really wiped us out!


You are welcome to pray that we will all quickly adjust to this time change and be ready to start the training on a strong note Monday morning. We teach the two little books of Ruth and Jonah, and how to preach from them.


The fifth member of our training team is Tesfaye Tesfaye Robele Sede, an Ethiopian man (no relation to Tesfaye Nenko) who has completed both a Th. M degree and a Doctorate of Ministry in the USA. He is now on TLI staff and this will be his first training with us. His specialty is apologetics (giving reasons for belief in Christ). We are looking forward to getting to know him!


Thank you for your partnership in the Gospel and your prayers! Worship well tomorrow! Good night


Gil Zinke, for the team

International Trainer, TLI

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