W I reflected on my personal testimony, my enthusiasm began to wane. There were two reasons for this. First, I knew the powerful inclination in me towards hypocrisy and self-deception. “The human heart is deceitful above all things; it is desperately sick; who can understand it?” But, we are fallen human beings who have been called to grow to the fullness of Christ. The Lord desires truth in our inner most being. I didn’t want to disappoint Him. Second, I wondered how I would be able to communicate in a language that I have only known in the classroom. So, I shall try to be honest in what I say in this testimony. As far as my English ability is concerned, I don’t have any solution but just to do my best.

I was born on April 16, 1969 in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia. Tragedy came in to my life early when my father was killed in a car accident. I was only six-months old at that time. My family continued living in Addis Ababa and that is where I was raised.

As a young boy in Addis Ababa, I was restless and desperately unhappy. Not only did I not have a father, brother, or sister, but, my mother was unable to provide many of the essentials of life. She didn’t have any means to improve our situation. So when I was ten, I began to work in a garage to earn money for food, clothing, and school fees. Academically, things were going badly as well. Teachers kept telling me that I had the ability, but I never could seem to muster enough interest in my classes to try very hard. I also began to adopt many bad moral habits from the people at the garage.

Nobody meets Jesus and remained the same as before. By the time I entered high school my desperation with life was as bad as it had ever been. Things were going from bad to worse. However, five months into ninth grade, my situation changed completely. I met a girl classmate who had extraordinary character. She (her name was Kebenesh Argaw) was a model of perfection and excellence for everyone who knew her. As we began to talk with each other, she shared her own personal story about her life. She told me about her former life. It was just like mine! But Jesus had changed her life. In Him she had found abundant life, peace, and love. Her testimony touched my heart. I wept as I made the decision to receive Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour and Lord. When she realized that I had decided to follow Jesus, she encouraged me to go to a church near my home, Bethel Mekane Yesus Church. I went early in the morning, as they began their program before nine o’clock. The church’s program was incredibly interesting for me. The songs touched my heart and the preaching challenged me very much. It was an irresistible power. At the end of the sermon, the preacher gave the invitation for those wanting to accept Jesus as their personal Saviour and Lord. I went forward and stood with others as we confessed our sin and decided to follow Jesus through all our lives (that was in 1988). I was also baptized in that very year.

When my mother and other immediate family heard of my conversion, they were shocked and horrified. They tried everything to get me to recant my decision, including arguments, threats, and other devious schemes. When they realized that I was so serious, they disowned me. “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” (Matt.10: 37-38). These verses have great impact on my life. I was once on a wrong path that was leading nowhere but to sloth, inertia, self-pity, self-centeredness, self-indulgence and destruction. In Christ, I found everything I was looking for.

Within four years, I began to feel that God was calling me to fulltime ministry. I was graduated from high school with a 3.4 GPA, near the top of my class. It was more than enough to get into university. But I decided instead to enter Bible school. It was a great disappointment to my mother, even more than my conversion. She had hopes that I would graduate from university, get a good job with a good salary, and help her as other “good” sons do in our area. She knew that ministers in the church were unable to do that.

With God’s help, I was able to enter a Bible school. While there I began to awaken academically. Taking classes that were challenging, and discovering the joy of thinking and learning. At the Bible School I met the most gifted, godly teachers who had a great impact on my life and ministry. I admire and appreciate them still to this day. They taught me that Christ is the Alpha and Omega of life and thought. After graduation, my home church, Kolfe Kale Heywet Church ordained me as a bible teacher, preacher, and the bible school director. The end of the story is that it is the history of the Living God that works in my life. Hallelujah!!!

Tesfaye Robele and Family

Tefaye Robele and Family

I was the head of the Literature Department and the chief editor of the denominational magazine, “Kale Heywet”, for the Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church (EKHC). [EKHC has more than 7 million members and is the partner church with the Society of International Missionaries (SIM), from which it was birthed over 78 years ago]. I am also the chief editor of "The Amharic Version of Bible League Topical Study Bible" (i.e. a translation project between The Bible League International and the Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church). For two years I served as a Bible translator and reviewer at the Northeast Africa Region of the International Bible Society.

I am also the founder and director of SFA (The Society For Apologetics). The Society For Apologetics is an indigenous Evangelical organization in Ethiopia. It has been granted a license by the Ethiopian government. This license allows the society to publish, organize conferences, and carry on other kinds of activities.

I wrote 16 books on the area of Christian doctrine, cult-apologetics, ethics, and children. Some of these books are the standard textbooks, for Amharic Bible schools, in almost all Evangelical denominations in the country.

In Christ Our Hope
Tesfaye Robele Sede
1Cor. 1:26-31; 15:10

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Cast your cares upon the Lord, for he cares about you.

I Peter 5:7

© - Tesfaye Robele