Henock and Selome Tsegaye
Serving in Ethiopia
My name is Henock Tsegaye. I was born, raised and educated in Ethiopia. I was raised by a Christian family and grew up practicing Christian values. It was in that setting that my God given gift (teaching/preaching the word of God) was discovered. At the age of 12, God visited me in a special way to confer on me the duty of preaching/teaching the good news to unreached people. As a young child, I used to preach around my neighborhood and at the school to my friends about the saving power of Jesus Christ.
It was under difficult circumstances that I was telling the good news to my friends. At the time, such activity was forbidden by the government and the churches were closed. The followers of Jesus Christ were forced to go underground to worship their God. And our fellowship took place underground in my parent’s house. During that persecution time, I was involved in underground church ministry and continued ministering openly when the persecution was lifted and the believers were granted freedom to worship God freely. I was consistently praying to the Lord Almighty to see His glory poured out on my beloved people and to use me as an instrument for revival, reformation, and restoration in a land where war, famine, poverty, suffering, persecution, and political unrest have become the norm.
My country Ethiopia is among the ancient nations who have a long standing history. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, among others, had been introduced to Ethiopia respectively. The original Ethiopian people (Cush/Nubian), who were responsible for the early civilization of that area including the ancient civilization of Egypt, were known to practicing traditional belief (an equivalent of the Western’s Animism). Traditional belief continues to be one of the Ethiopian people ways of worshiping their god to-date.
It has been said that Ethiopia was one of the first countries in the world to accept Christianity, and Islam was introduced to the country in the seventh century A.D. Ethiopia is also home of a significant number of followers of Judaism, who have been living in the country for thousands of years. For the most part, those diverse believers have lived in the country amicable for centuries. However, currently there is concern that the elements of radicalism, particularly Islamic fundamentalism is taking root in Ethiopia. As a messenger of Jesus Christ, the best way of encountering such radical movement is by employing Jesus’ way: first and for most showing love for humanity then telling the good news about Jesus Christ. Doing so requires an extraordinary effort. Therefore, the universal Church has to step up to its task: evangelism & discipleship. To that end, producing leaders, including through leadership training, I believe, is a critical component.
Upon graduation from high school, I went straight to Seminary school to work on my diploma in Bible and Theology and continued on to work on my degree in Bible and Christian ministry. After many years of evangelism ministry, God opened the door for me to come to the United States. There was little doubt in my mind when I left Ethiopia for the USA in 2003 as a young man that my journey to the USA would prepare me for a mission work and one day I will return back to where I came from as a missionary of God in which I would have an opportunity to influence hundreds of thousands of my fellow men and women to hear the good news about our savior Jesus Christ and be saved by accepting Jesus Christ as their savior.
Upon my arrival to the USA, I began to serve in the Ethiopian churches in San Diego, CA and continue serving God by traveling to different states and Canada. God poured out His glory and many were saved. It was a powerful beginning to my ministry outside of my home country. As my journey continues in the USA, God led me to enroll in Seminary school. I enrolled in Asbury Theological Seminary at Orlando, FL. In the mean time, I have served the Ethiopian Evangelical Church in Tampa, FL as a pastor and also continue to minister others by traveling to different states. I have graduated from Asbury Theological Seminary in Orlando, FL with a Master’s Degree in Christian Leadership. Upon my completion of Seminary school, I was ordained and licensed as a minister of the gospel by Christian and Missionary Alliance.
As I attained my educational goal, my heart is now burning with a passion to move back to Ethiopia. I already have made several trips to Ethiopia for short ministry (a few weeks at a time), where I conducted outreach programs and taught leadership seminars in various churches. I have written and published several magazines and a book in Amharic, a national language of the country, which is being distributed to the churches in Ethiopia.
In Ethiopia I intend to work with the Ethiopian Evangelical churches in the area of fellowship in evangelism, church planting, training leaders, mercy ministries, supporting indigenous church missionaries, radio broadcasting in Amharic program and publishing bi-monthly magazine. I believe that what I have learned and achieved in ministry over 20 years coupled with my education will help me to carry out the above tasks—the advancement of the kingdom of God. I have had many contacts with the church leaders and evangelists in Ethiopia to that end. It is clear that the advancement of the kingdom of God requires financial strength as well. And I am a firm believer that God will provide the needed finance for the advancement of His kingdom.
Finally, I would like to remind you what Jesus said: “… The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few” (Mathew 9:37). The same is true today! We must not let that happen under our watch! Let us join our hands and help each other for the advancement of the Kingdom of God. Let us “ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field” (Mathew 9:38). Remember what the Apostle Paul had told his ministry partners at Philippi: “…ye all are partakers of my grace” (Philippians 1:5-7). Indeed, there is a release of grace for those who are partner with the missionaries of God’s mission.
Phone: (813) 270-0985