In its 15 year history, the AE Ethiopia Student Discipleship Programme (SDP) has seen more than 200,000 students pass through its life changing classrooms. It has been instrumental in changing the spiritual life of children and youth. SDP is Bible centred, youth focussed, age graded, syllabus based, and church partnered. AE Team Leader Mel Mesfin gives this summary:
- Aim: Spiritual formation of the next generation
- Goal: Building a strong and healthy church.
- Focus: Christian students of Grade 5 and upwards
Here are just two of the thousands of lives touched by this Gospel project.
Binyam joined the SDP in 2009 and attended for two consecutive years before going to college. After finishing his studies he joined his church as youth ministry coordinator. These are his reflections:
“The two rounds of discipleship program were like climbing into a new height in life. The courses helped me understand the basics of Christian faith. They have impacted me positively so much so that I have been drawn to church ministry in serving the youth.
After I finished college I wanted to reconnect with AE and start a discipleship programme in my local church. I have been coordinating the program over last three years. In each round we enrolled more than 160 students!
AE is filling the teaching gap that the church has not been able to give enough attention. I have seen Christ at work in this ministry. I am deeply impacted and want to pursue youth discipleship for my whole life.
Fruit bearing trees take a long time to germinate, grow and bear fruit. This AE programme is the same. It may take some time before much fruit is seen – but be assured that it will definitely bear much fruit as it has done in my own life. So, take heart and pursue discipling the next generation in the Way of Christ. May God bless AE.”
Zekarias is one of “the first fruits’ of the students discipleship programme (SDP). He is from Ambo city, 120 km west of Addis.
“When I was in Grade 8, I attended the SDP (some 10 years ago). I am now doing masters degree in university.
I found the lessons such as ‘How to study the Bible’ and ‘Evangelism’ to be very instructive. As a result of attending the SDP, I am now involved in church mission work and regularly travel to various places for evangelistic outreach. In addition, I taught two SDP courses in my church this summer of 2016.
I am grateful to God for such an eye-opening and nurturing programme. I would also like to thank AE for the amazing impact it is making on the future generations. I would like to work with AE to expand the program to many cities in my area.”