Newsletter

Bridge (https://bridgeglobalforum.org/) is introducing its first Newsletter with the purpose of updating our existing and potential supporters pertaining to our ministry, sharing the challenges we face and celebrating together God’s unlimited grace (ጸጋ) and mercy (ምሕረት). The most important commission of the Church is to fulfill the commandment of Jesus to go to the ends of the earth and to teach all nations to become His disciples (Mathew 28:19-20). In the advent of technological advancement, it is an opportune time for networking, developing partnerships and building churches without walls or borders. One way the Church can realize its high calling is to find avenue of joining people of different backgrounds and talents and providing them training opportunities for advancing the work of the Kingdom. The Church can achieve this both internally within the body o, and externally in the world.  With this in mind we are establishing the digital space called DiasFora or TSEGA, a web-based digital platform to serve as a nodal point for intergenerational dialogue involving, as well as engaging young adults and parents.

The Ethiopian Diaspora church is by and large populated by young adults (65-75%). This is a crucial statistic to be reckoned with compared to the reality of the churches of the host community where the picture is radically different.

The Church should never be left behind in using avenues offered by modern technology for reaching young people where they are.   Though most of the young adults have kept their faith intact and still attend church services, there are those who are struggling, drifting, and quite a few are even turning away from their faith. Even those observing faithfully complain that they are not comfortable with the practices of churches, which they consider a mere reflection of home rituals. They are seeking new paths. Nevertheless, the opportunities have not yet been created for them. The web-based DiasFora is believed to partially address this conundrum.

In the contexts of the Ethiopian Diaspora, the web-based forum seeks to appreciate the challenges of Diaspora life and bridge the intergenerational gaps existing between parents and young adults, through open discussions and the presentation of relevant materials in a holistic manner.

Parent and child dialogues are absolutely necessary for the Ethiopian immigrant communities to function and thrive. We need to have open discussions to learn from one another and keep learning so that those of us who are parents can become better parents, helping our children to be emotionally stable, solid in their faith, and fruitful. The dialogue will also give a chance for our children to share their experiences. In so doing we bridge the gaps and strengthen each other to be good stewards of the gift of being parents and children.

In more concrete terms, DiasFora aims at energizing the church to think afresh on how it can effectively meet its mandate in the Diaspora milieu by creating a dynamic equilibrium between the family life, the church, and the community at large. At the family level the idea is to spark an interest among church leaders to find ways of developing family-oriented gospel and assist the .

requisite for the creation of spiritual communities. The practical dimensions of DiasFora will have the components under the acronym, TSEGA (meaning in Amharic “grace”, ጸጋ), which is also the name of my late beloved son. TSEGA is presented here as Teaching, Sensitization, Empowerment, Guidance and Advocacy. My beloved son is with the Lord now and it is his beautiful humanity that stirred my heart into this ministry. The acronym TSEGA is elaborated as follows:Teaching: It is imperative to educate the diaspora community at various levels to equip them with vital information on conditions of life in the host country and help them with skills necessary to successfully adopt and enhance their capacities. Consequently, they too can support and nurture their children to grow in their faith and become mature citizens.

Sensitization: DiasFora seeks to help parents to learn more about youth culture prevailing in the host community and mitigate the impact of intercultural dissonance. For example, as parents they come from honor and shame culture. This often creates differences between them and their children as their children more quickly adapt to the host culture, which may lead to impaired effective communication in the family.

Empowerment:  DiasFora seeks to provide useful resources to help parents become grounded on issues such as mediating traditional expectations and mainstream US culture, handling issues of racism and helping their kids navigate their identities as they crisscross different sub-cultures, and pass through various phases of life.  The more parents are informed, the better they are prepared to help and handle their children, and the better they are prepared to transmit their Christian faith to the next generation.

Guidance: Children of immigrant parents go through formidable challenges in their lifetimes: meeting parental expectations, negotiating the space between home culture and host culture, peer pressure, etc. Hence, they need guidance on how to maintain healthy relations with their parents, how to make informed decisions concerning carreer choice, and how to stay strong in their faith.  They should be well informed so as not to be easily engulfed by the drug culture or other life altering bad habits. The church and parents must jointly work to enable children to construct a healthy self-esteem and a resilient identity anchored on the truth of the word of God in order to avoid the traps of the enemy. The Bible says: “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.” (II Peter 2: 9)

formation of gospel-oriented family. The two are intertwined phenomenon.

Advocacy: This is a critical component of the DiasFora objectives because it calls for all parties/stake holders to be involved. DiasFora promotes a strength-based advocacy approach in addressing challenges. Outwardly expressed problems are not viewed as shortcomings but as growth areas, especially in school systems where linguistic issues and accents often lead to biases.

Thank you for your prayers and support.

Isaiah 58:12: “Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.”   

Bridge invites all Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopians to participate in this God-given space or platform in sharing and exchanging their   opinions on matters related to our Diaspora life experience across all walks of life and across all disciplines especially concerning life, faith, culture, identity issues, and Diaspora youth encounters.

 TOGETHER STRONGER  BETTER

Bridge Global Forum for Ethiopian Christians is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. All donations are tax deductible.  If you would like to make a donation please go to our Bridge website at Bridgeglobalforum and make your contribution at the designated spot.

 

Welcome to our second Newsletter of Bridge (https://bridgeglobalforum.org/). I thank God for His continuous blessings and the privilege He bestowed on us concerning the Ethiopian Diaspora Youth. I also thank my partners and the board members for their continuous support and prayers for this noble effort.   

The theme for our second newsletter is “Building the Legacy of Faith”. The basic meaning of legacy is a gift of money or other personal property that’s granted by the terms of a will. I am talking about a lasting legacy, Godly legacy what the Bible instructs us to pass on to the generations to come. Proverbs 13:22 (ESV) says, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children”.

Legacy interconnects across time, bridging those who have come before us with those who come after us, while rejoicing and recalibrating what we have now. 

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (ESV) says “you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise”. What a beautiful and lasting legacy!  

Bridge strives to be a mentor where the Ethiopian Diaspora youth can look up to and be a positive force in their lives by encouraging them, empowering them, and equipping them in the word of God so that they can pass on the baton to the next generation.

King David encouraged his son, Solomon to continue the work of the generational project, building the house of the Lord, and tells him in I Chronicles 28:20 (ESV), “Be strong and courageous and do it. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the LORD God, even my God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the LORD is finished”.

 I am one of those who were fortunate enough to learn a little bit concerning the history and the struggles of the Ethiopian Evangelical church. By God’s grace, the Church experienced the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the 1960’s in amazing ways.  The generation that encountered the new revival, went through countless ordeals of imprisonments, persecution, cultural ostracism, and even death.

The word Pente had a derogatory meaning then. In 1967, in Debre- Zeit, followers of the new faith were rampaged, beaten, and their bible was torn apart by a crowd of haters. Even in the Derg period (1974-1991), the church encountered unprecedented suffering of torture, imprisonment, including blackmail. But, the underground movement of the church created new heroes for the Kingdom. After the regime fell, the church grew not only numerically but emerged beautifully and mightily. The dark bouts were the most radiant times for the church. Sacrifices were paid, resulting in many suppressed voices from the margin mushroomednew hymns arose from the depth of suffering and profound spiritual consciences. 

 

The suffering of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church is not unique or an anomaly for believers. In fact, suffering is promised for Christians. We live in a fallen world that hates God. When God came as a man in the person of Jesus Christ, the world responded by murdering him. Jesus promised us that the world would treat us the way it treated him. In John 15:20 (ESV) Jesus says, “A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours”. The history of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church is our lasting legacy. It is a Godly legacy we pass it on to our children and they will pass it on to their children. We thank God for the new generation both in the homeland and in the Diaspora, and the many anointed singers which are the fruits of the persecuted church.

While we are rejoicing and celebrating our legacy we should also be mindful of the threats that are arising: the laxity in holiness, decline in our prayer life, orientation to materialism, uncontrolled charismatic personalities, and division among us.

Looking forward, how or in what manner should we transfer the baton in to the hands of the next generation. They may have several challenges: cultural, secularism and perverted notion of gender to mention but few. At the same time, they are digital savvy, multi-cultural, multilinguistic, and globally minded. So how are we going to fit their needs to meet the challenges at hand? The church should exercise its Biblical mandate which is to share the gospel and witness a transformed life.  We should not be caught up in the church’s seating capacity but instead to focus on leadership development and succession of our faith to our children. This task is never easy. But if we trust in him, the Almighty gives us wisdom and strength and He directs us how to achieve it.

What is your legacy?

All of us have a legacy whether it is intentional or by default. Whatever we say or do to those around us is an imprint that will last for generation. So, what kind of legacy do we want to leave? The choice is up to us. We should strive to be productive doing quality work in earnest, and the Holy Spirit will guide us to completion. The apostle Paul in I Corinthians 3:13 (ESV) says, “Each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done”.

Isaiah 58:12: “Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.”  

 

 

 TOGETHER, STRONGER BETTER!

Bridge Global Forum for Ethiopian Christians is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. All donations are tax deductible.  If you would like to make a donation please go to our Bridge website at Bridgeglobalforum and make your contribution at the designated spot 

Bridge Global Forum for Ethiopian Christians

Dr. Tibebe Eshete

MAILING ADDRESS: MISSIONAL ADVOCATE (DR. TIBEBE ESHETE)
706 Lantern Hill Dr. East Lansing, MI, 48823
BRIDGE GLOBAL FORUM FOR ETHIOPIAN CHRISTIANS Newsletter

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