Solar Update - November 2020
ETHIOPIAN MAN BAPTIZED HUNDREDS AND PLANTED 20 CONGREGATIONS USING HIS SOLAR PLAYER
Brother Bezuneh Kelbago was converted to Christ in 1994 and began his studies at Jajura Preacher Training School (a partner school of Sunset in Ethiopia) the same year. When he graduated, he started a congregation in his home village with 12 members. That congregation now numbers over 450. The Solar Mission has been a part of growing his faith and his ministry. He wrote, “The preacher training I received and the solar player have aided me to further my Biblical knowledge. I listen to the audio every morning and evening. It has become my training apparatus and encourager. It is my library, and I treasure it very much.”
A few years ago, because of his burning desire to reach the lost, Bezuneh was selected to join a group of evangelists who share the good news about the “water of life” in villages where our brethren have recently drilled clean water wells. This ministry has not only saved lives but has also saved thousands of souls and planted hundreds of congregations. Brother Bezuneh said, “Everywhere I go from village to village, I open the solar player loud so that people would listen to the message of the Gospel. The device has helped me to plant 20 congregations in the water well sites.”
BEHAILU ABEBE, A LEADER’S LEADER IN ETHIOPIA
Since 1968, brother Behailu has been one of the most respected leaders in the Lord’s Church in Ethiopia. Mentored by John Ed Clark, one of the early missionaries to Ethiopia, Behailu has helped to lead the growth of the church in that nation from a handful of small churches to 215,600 baptized disciples in 2,200 congregations. All the congregations in Ethiopia are independent of American support and almost 100 have elders. Several congregations have 1,000 members or more. Behailu has translated Sunset’s preacher training curriculum into Amharic, the language of Ethiopia. The Sunset curriculum is not only a printed resource for the six branch training campuses in the country, but is also available on the solar players which are used by church leaders to evangelize the lost and equip church members. He said this about the Solar Mission: “Since the distribution of solar players in Ethiopia, it has been a great tool. The result has been splendid because hundreds of lost souls were saved.”
THE INDIAN SOLAR MISSION - TELUGU LANGUAGE TRANSLATION PROJECT
Funding is needed to produce a solar player for India in the Telugu language, which is spoken by 100 million people in the southeastern region including Andhra Pradesh, one of the most receptive provinces of that great nation. There are over 16,000 small villages in Andhra Pradesh. One-third of the population cannot read their own language and, in some villages, there are still many homes without electricity. The Solar Mission was developed to provide gospel access to people in these living conditions. The teaching content of Solar Players is powered by sunlight and delivered in audio.
Vijaya Kumar, long-time business man and church leader in India has been translating the Sunset curriculum into Telugu. The written translation still needs to be completed and then 40 courses, over 400 hours of teaching, must be recorded in audio. Princeton Palmer, our new Dean of Asian Studies, being of Indian descent, is helping to facilitate this massive project. Princeton graduated from SIBI first through AIM and later with a Bachelor of Biblical Studies and served for several years as a missionary in Mexico. Princeton will be working closely with Vijaya Kumar and with his father who is a leader in India. Their goal is to complete the professional audio recording of the Sunset curriculum and prepare to launch the Telugu Solar Mission, perhaps as early as 2022-23, in a region that desperately needs the gospel.