Wednesday, January 31

Pastors Training Institute

Pastor’s Training Institute

The Lord has been so incredibly gracious to us in such a short time here in Ethiopia. After only one month on the ground we have a training program (PTI) implemented and set to begin mid-April. The Institute will train men for the work of the ministry by teaching them systematically though the major Biblical doctrines. We are eager to begin this work and see what the Lord’s pleasure will be in this opportunity.
In the initial stages of the Institute the men receiving the training will be men who were chosen to be sent out of their local churches to plant churches in areas previously un-reached by the gospel. Our prayer is that the Institute will eventually also be available to those presently serving as a pastor or minister but lack the adequate training to do the work of the ministry.
In order for this to come to fruition, we are dependent upon the Lord for His provision in many areas. First, we are reliant on God to continue to raise up men who are called to the work of ministry and gift them accordingly. Then, there is the clear need for God to send men to Ethiopia to assist in the training of these pastors. He is providing for this even now in these early days of preparation. Kurt Strassner and Scott Duley are planning to travel to Addis Ababa in mid-April to inaugurate the Institute, by expounding for two weeks on the Doctrine of God. While here, Kurt will also teach a class in the Baptist Bible College on Christian Ethics. Many other men have expressed interest in aiding in the work of PTI. From pastors in the USA, to seminary students and professors, to other pastors and church leaders throughout Africa, we have had remarkable interest in this chance to train Ethiopian pastors.
One other significant need is the financial provision for the men receiving the training. In order for the men to travel into the city, lodge for two weeks, and eat it will cost about $50 per person.  Please pray that God will provide this for the 70+ ministers who are planning to attend. If you plan to invest in the Kingdom by giving, then notify me by email <>  for specific details.
It is impossible for us to sufficiently express the gratitude we have for you all and for your continued prayers. We have completed most of the preliminary requirements for the adoption and now must gather some necessary documents and play the waiting game for a bit. Thank you all for your interest and encouragement regarding our desire to grow as a family.
We would love to hear from some of you that we have yet to hear from since our arrival. We love you and are praying for you.

Thursday, January 25

January 25, 2007

During the last two weeks I have been working on the curriculum for the
training of the Addis Kidan pastors/churchplanters. Today I met with Ermais
to go over the curriculum and to discuss the plans. It is an in-depth
curriculum beginning with God then moving on to man, sin, and salvation.
Under the appropriate topics I have included cultural issues that need to be
addressed such as angels and practical evangelism for Muslims and Orthodox.
Ermais was beyond pleased with the curriculum and had no changes to make.
Later Alem, one of the other denominational leaders, called me to say that
Ermais had shown the curriculum outline to him and that he is so happy with
the theology that is lined out there. We are delighted that the leaders
seem to be in agreement with all.

It also seems that God is planning to add to our family. After the
frustrations we encountered on our last trip here, we had given up on the
possibility of adoption while living in Addis. We have continued to ask the
Lord to add in His timing, but adoption seemed impossible. However, recently
I was helping a friend of mine look for a car. The owner of the car is a
man who runs an orphanage for a US agency that we met with previously
concerning adoption. He told me that a social worker from the US would be
in the city within two days if we wanted to meet with her. During our
meeting with her we found out that adoption while living here is a
possibility and that her agency is willing to help us. She put us in
contact with a social worker that is living here but is licensed in the
states, which is the requirement. Christ Church has given us their support
and encouragement to continue in the process so we plan to meet with the
social worker for our home study this weekend, trusting that the Lord will
provide the necessary finances.

The worker plans to finish the home study report within two weeks. We also
have to go to the American Embassy to be fingerprinted and to have an FBI
background check run. This usually takes about a month to come back. In the
meantime we will try to gather the necessary documents for our dossier.
When everything is together our file will be sent to Kenya for approval,
which takes approximately three months. Any time after that a child can be
placed with us. Lord willing, we will return to the states in August with a
new Mathenia where we will complete the other necessary legal processes to
declare the child a US citizen. We are surprised and excited by this
opportunity. We do ask for your prayers in this process.

Over the last week we have hosted a couple, Doug and Meseret, from the
northern part of Ethiopia called McKele. They came into Addis for the IOI
Bible conference and needed a place to stay. Their visit was an incredible
blessing to us as we enjoyed real fellowship around God¹s Word. Meseret is
an Ethiopian who was physically persecuted by her own family when she turned
to Christ alone for salvation. She and Doug have been faithfully sharing
the gospel with her family and praying for their conversions. They are
like-minded believers who are praying for God¹s direction in where he would
have them to minister. Please join them in their prayers, that they would
be used for the spread of God¹s glory in Ethiopia. (The area where they
live is one of the places that the Addis Kidan plans to send church

We thank God for youŠfor your concern and prayers. Let us press on.

Tuesday, January 9

The Results from...

The meeting on Monday with the denominational leaders far exceeded our
expectations. After sharing about our desire to see churches planted
among the masses of un-reached/un-evangelized in Ethiopia, I was shown
a document that outlined a detailed plan for reaching the un-reached
peoples in 8 of the 9 regions of the country. Not only that, they
have identified men that are willing and ready for this task...72 of
them. The plan includes sending them out by twos to plant churches in
these 36 remote areas. The reason they have not pushed forward with
this plan is because they lack the ability to facilitate the training
and they lack the finances to support these ministers. There is money
pouring in for humanitarian/development efforts, but a minuscule
amount for this purpose...for the spread of the gospel.

I was given freedom and flexibility in the method and manner of the
training of these church planters. At this point I thought, "OK...we
have 8 months to plan and then maybe we can begin when we return."
However, when I asked what kind of time frame we were looking at, I
was informed that these men are ready to begin as soon as training is
provided. They have the facilities to lodge the ministers, feed them,
and hold the sessions when they come into the city.

Another encouraging aspect is that these men are already ministering
in their local church and will be sent by their church to the village
of the new church plant. The denomination has built in expectations of
the ministers. They have to be called by God to do the work of the
ministry and to show evidence of the gifts of that calling. They have
to be presently active in the ministry at their local churches, in
good standing with the elders and church leaders.

We, as you may imagine, were already in complete amazement at all
these things. Then we read from the Daily Light this morning...
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His
might."-"Falsehood and not truth has grown strong in the land."-"Fight
the Lord's battles."-"Be strong, all you people of the land, declares
the Lord. Work...Fear not."-"Lift up your eyes and see that the
fields are white for harvest."-"Yet a little while, and the coming One
will come, and will not delay."

What can we say to these things? It seems that God has gone before us
and prepared a path for us to tread.

This is really more than we could have ever expected, and we feel that
temptation to look for the fallout or the reality lurking that it may
not be so. It is really more of doubting self rather than God.
However, lack of believing God is still at the root. Please pray the
God will bring this to fruition and honor His Son among the

We imagined training ministers in the city and maybe seeing some
reform in them, and possibly of few of them going among the
un-reached, but to consider the opportunity of training men to go into
un-reached areas, to risk their physical lives, and to preach the
gospel is more than we could have ever dreamed up. It is so serious
and weighty for us. It ought to be for us all. We must pray
fervently and consistently for these men...even though we don't know
them. Also, please pray the God would send men with hearts burdened
for this aspect of His kingdom work to pour out their lives into these
ministers of the gospel.

May God make this the burning passion of our hearts (yours and ours)
and grant us grace to pour out spetitions to Him...That we would love
His glory and long for the spread of His kingdom across this land.

Monday, January 8


Well, here is the first attempt at keeping in contact. I cannot open
any blogs here right now for some reason, but I am attempting to
update via email.

We are doing well. God is as always amazingly faithful. Having Steven,
Lauren, and Justin here for a week was a superior blessing than we
could have imagined. Lauren helped Amber get unpacked, organized, and
settled as much as possible in a week's time. Steven and Justin were
able to go with me to the IOI prayer time and other ministry
opportunities that God is apparently opening up. We were able to all
have fellowship together during their time here which is what Amber
and I miss the most while here.

I have a follow up meeting today, Monday Jan. 8, in the afternoon with
some denominational leaders about specific ways to train ministers,
especially those willing to go among the 88% un-evangelized in this
country. Also, we plan on Saturday night, to begin a weekly meeting
and dinner at our home for our friends here. This is really a
continuation from before, however we are planning to implement an
expositional bible study. (First Peter of course)

Our neighbor directly across the street is a believer and came by to
welcome us back earlier in the week. He suggested we begin a bible
study for the believers in the village here. So, please pray with us
concerning this. His wife will give birth within the month and we want
to take advantage of this opportunity from the Lord as soon as
possible after her delivery.

We attended church on Sunday at a place where we had really high
expectations based on a connection that this church has with one
denomination in the USA. We were disappointed to put it mildly. Over
an hour of concert style music, followed by half an hour of stand-up
comedy/TV preaching with a dozen rounds of applause and a score of
outbursts of laughter. This is a concern for us as you may imagine.
Please pray that God would grant clear guidance as far as where we
should gather corporately each week. We want to plant ourselves
somewhere, we long for that. But it is extremely difficult to just
'settle' when we imagine that there is somewhere that would be most
pleasing to God for us to attend regularly.

Thank you all for praying for us in all these things.
We have the utmost confidence that we serve a God who cares and hears.
So, beat down a path to the mercy seat, and petition Him on our behalf.


Many of you have asked for information about contacting us in various
ways. I will attempt to answer all these inquiries via this medium.

By phone: 011-2519-11-672-775
Or 011-251-11-653-4978

By E-mail:

By Post in USA: PO Box 795, New Albany MS 38652

By Post in Ethiopia: Anthony Mathenia, PO Box 70848, Addis Ababa Ethiopia