The Word Is Alive in Ethiopia

The Word Is Alive in Ethiopia

July 5, 2015

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An outcast brings Scripture home

Years ago, a leader from the Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church’s Hamer district recruited Berki Banko to attend a workshop where he’d learn to tell accurate Bible stories.

Today, cast out by his family and threatened with death by their hands, Berki, a full-time evangelist, dons traditional clothing and rides his bicycle to nearby villages to tell Bible stories.

Watch Berki’s Story

To keep cultural tensions down, Berki typically tells stories one-to-one. But people welcome him. He’s one of them. He’s even growing his beard for credibility, considering his small stature. “To be clean-shaven in the Hamer culture means that you are a kid,” he says.

Berki still visits his family, bringing coffee and telling Bible stories.  They listen, but they still reject his wife, Terefra, and their only son. Speaking of “jumping,” a coming-of-age ritual that Berki refused to observe, his brothers maintain that “until a man jumps, his marriage and children are illegitimate.”

He holds out hope, though, based on the changed lives he sees around him.

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