Efrem comes from a strict Coptic Orthodox background in Ethiopia. “My parents were very much opposed to evangelicals,” he says. When Efrem’s sister took him to an evangelical church, the biblical preaching touched the young man’s heart. “The Word of God convicted me,” he recalls, “and I wanted to know more about it.” A few months later, Efrem received Jesus Christ as his personal Savior.
Meanwhile, Efrem had enrolled at the Ambo University in West Shewa, where Bible League’s Project Philip was running. “Our student’s fellowship coordinator encouraged me to participate in the Bible study program,” Efrem continues. “I joined because I didn’t have a Bible, and I felt that hindered my spiritual maturity.”
The Bible study brought about many changes in Efrem’s life. To begin with, his attitude towards his parents changed. “As a university student, I looked down upon my parents because they had never been to school,” he explains. “Project Philip taught me to respect and honor my parents. Now, I listen to their counsel, even though they are uneducated.”
Furthermore, the Bible study helped Efrem to withstand opposition. “My Coptic society discriminates against born-again believers,” he explains. “For instance, we can’t herd our cattle in the same field with traditional Christians. Or, when an evangelical believer dies, the community denies a plot of land for his burial. Also, peer pressure hinders young people from accepting Christ.”
But God’s Word is empowering youth like Efrem. “Whenever I face challenges in life, I put my trust in God completely,” he confirms. “I live a new life, reading my Bible daily. I also attend church regularly and am actively involved in small group activities. I thank you all for your commitment to serve Ethiopia’s young generation!”