A leadership training center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, has started training national Christians to take the gospel into one of the most unreached areas of Addis Ababa, the country's capital and a strategic location for evangelization. The unreached area has only six churches but a million Ethiopians.
"We found that the church followed immigration patterns," says David Emmert, the Southern Baptist worker in Ethiopia who heads the Leadership Training Center project. "As people migrated from the highly evangelized south, the church followed them."
But they migrated only to the edges of Addis Ababa, leaving the center of the city virtually unreached. Addis has been designated by the AD2000 movement as one of 100 important cities for taking the gospel into the 10/40 window encompassing western Africa to eastern Asia.
Unlike most other 10/40 countries, Ethiopia has relatively few restrictions upon evangelical Christianity.
Emmert says, "This church has real potential for doing some great things throughout the horn of Africa." Only 3 percent of Addis Ababa residents are evangelical Christians, and most are from unevangelized groups such as the Oromo.
The training center will be operated by Southern Baptists for at least three years. Afterward, they hope national Christians will be ready to take over the project. "We're not looking to build an institution here," Emmert says. Initially, the center is focusing on training 28 evangelists.1