[06.17.08] An Ethiopian evangelist now based in the U.S. will concentrate his missions efforts on an event in Washington, D.C., later this month, when tens of thousands of Ethiopian-Americans are expected at RFK Stadium for a week of sports and cultural festivities.
Daniel Tassew Haile, founder of International Revival Ministry, told Charisma he has networked with 17 ethnic churches in the D.C. area to coordinate evangelistic outreaches at the 25th annual Ethiopian Sports Federation in North America (ESFNA), a soccer-based celebration of Ethiopian culture that takes place June 29 through July 5.
“We want to invade the RFK Stadium with the glory of God and proclaim Jesus Christ as the only Savior of the world,” said Haile, who meets in Maryland this week with 50 Ethiopian pastors and leaders from the U.S. and Canada to pray.
He said nearly 5,000 Christians from D.C.-area churches are expected to participate in the weeklong outreach. They will be trained in intercessory prayer and personal evangelism and will be dispatched with more than 40,000 tracts to disseminate in the crowds.
Haile said many Ethiopians live scattered across the globe because of economic and political hardships in their homeland, adding that outside of the east African nation, Washington, D.C., has one of the highest Ethiopian-born populations—about 200,000 people.
Aside from outreaches in the U.S. and miracle crusades in dozens of nations, Haile is progressively involved in Ethiopia, where he is currently preparing to send millions of four-page tracts throughout the country. “It may be the largest evangelistic effort in the history of the Ethiopian church,” he said.
The ESFNA events in North America are perfect for evangelizing Ethiopians now residing in the West since most attending the festivities are Muslims or nominal Christians, according to Haile. In addition, the events are ostensibly one of the largest Ethiopian gatherings to take place outside Ethiopia each year.
At the last ESFNA event held in Washington, Haile said his team, along with local churches, witnessed to 20,000 attendees and 600 made decisions for Christ. One hundred people were reportedly saved at the ESFNA event in Dallas last year.
“Can you imagine when 5,000 Christians storm the stadium with the message of Jesus?” said Haile of this year’s event. “We believe the glory of God will manifest in the stadium.” —Paul Steven Ghiringhelli