Dear readers, you have clearly shown your generous spirits and your deep hearts to help those in need. I don’t often have the opportunity to make a requests on the behalf of a specific individual, but today, I do.
Demeke has been our good friend in Addis Ababa and though he writes minimal details to his life story below, there is much he doesn’t share, the parts where tears stream down my cheeks over what he has faced but also fill me with awe over God’s preservation and favor to this dear young man. We thank God for the chance to watch His work in Demeke’s life.
My name is Demeke Geremew. I am 18 years old and currently in 10th grade.
I was born in a rural area of Ethiopia in a small town called Lumame. My family was very poor and could not provide for me; because of this, I had to leave school at the age of 10. I made the long journey to the capital city of Addis Ababa to find work, even though I desperately desired to continue my education to make a better life for myself and my family. Instead, I ended up homeless for many years. Even though I worked as a shoe shine boy, it was not enough to live on. It was a very had time for me being so young with so much responsibility.
I felt hopeless, but knew I had to make a decision-to give up, or to fight with all that was in me for a better life-I decided to choose the former-to fight the world and the circumstances that were against me. Just after I made that decision, several missionaries at the SIM missionary guesthouse noticed me- I became an employee of SIM: washing SIM’s cars, carrying luggage, etc. This was how Jesus came into my life. One of the missionaries gave me a Bible and I began to know God’s word. She spoke of God’s love, hope and peace, telling me that “God has a good plan for you”. I am beginning to see that. He has and is changing my life-I don’t know where I would be without Him. By God’s grace and through very hard work, I am not a fleet manager here at the SIM headquarters.
At Demeke’s baptism last year
Jon had the amazing chance to wrap him up in a towel and a hug afterwards...
I know the only way to physically better my life is to continue my education; I have struggled to reintegrate myself in the school system after many years of not being able to attend school. I work full time at SIM headquarters, and after I finish for the day, I go straight to night school. It has been very difficult, but God has given me strength to do so.
There is a boarding school in the USA that has accepted me after hearing my story; they want to help me, and also want me to help the school as a leader for those with drug addiction and other struggles. There are many troubled youth who go there who also have much to overcome. Because of my testimony, I have been involved in helping many others in need here in Ethiopia, and desire to do the same for the students in North America. The schooling is expensive, but they recently told me they will give me a 50% scholarship. I cannot afford the tuition, but I have witnessed God’s provision continuously and ask that you would consider supporting me in furthering my education for the Kingdom of God. I know I have incredible potential that God has given me to help redeem others for Christ, just as He redeemed me and changed my life. I desire to continue on to university, and will strive to attain scholarships to not only better my life, but to continue in ministry among those who are spiritually and physically in need just as I had been: in North America, Ethiopia, and wherever else God should call me.
Thank you, and God bless you for changing my life through education, and helping me to continue ministering among others in desperate need.
In Christ service,
Demeke’s family lives on the route we take from Addis to Injibara. We had the chance to watch him reunite with his mother after 5 years.
Thanks for taking the time to read Demeke’s story. If you are interested in learning more how to pray or give, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.