Giving Away Bibles In Ethiopia To Pastors Who Don’t Have Them

by | August 13, 2013 | Mars Hill Global, Timeline


Right now, Pastor Sutton and a member of our video team are en route to Ethiopia to hand out 1,000 Bibles in the local language of Amharic. Please be in prayer for them, as well as for the Ethiopian pastors who are arriving for the pastors conference.

Here in the U.S., it’s easy to believe that the Bible is the most-printed book in the world: there are a couple dozen versions in any Barnes & Noble you walk into, they’re tucked in hotel nightstands, and people literally hand them to us for free sometimes. To some in the States, Bibles are so ubiquitous it’s annoying.

The opposite is true in Ethiopia.

Bibles in Amharic are rare—so rare, in fact, that some Ethiopian pastors don’t even own full copies of the Bible! Instead, they each have copies of individual books of the Bible that they study and preach through, one at a time. So when one pastor is done with Luke, for example, he’ll pass it on to another pastor or trade with him for the copy of Romans he’s been using.

One pastor had to wait at the airport in Addis Ababa last week for a shipment of Bibles because his name wasn’t spelled on the shipment manifest the exact way it was spelled on his I.D. (English spellings of Amharic names are rarely consistent), and so the airline wouldn’t release the Bibles to him, even though he was in the intended recipient. So the pastor waited for three days at the airport. Bottom line, he was not going to leave without the Bibles.

Suffice it to say, the Bible in Ethiopia is a treasured item. So we decided to print 1,000 of them in Amharic.


This week, we get to hand out these Bibles in Amharic to Ethiopian pastors at a conference. The pastoral conference will be held in Dilla, in southern Ethiopia, and hosted by Mars Hill. We are really excited for this.

Please pray for the pastors who’ll be coming to this conference, since this marks the first time in three years these pastors have been able to gather for training, healthy food, and encouragement. Pastor Sutton and the video team will be doing more interviews with pastors there, so you’ll be able to see the faces of the pastors you’ve been praying for and supporting.


Mars Hill Global currently supports 20 church planters in Ethiopia. Here are a couple of amazing reports from them.

  • A pastor in the rural southern part of the country shared the gospel with 305 people recently. Sixty-nine of them repented and asked Jesus to save them, and 24 were baptized!
  • In the Oromia region, a church planter shared the gospel with 288 people. Ninety-six of them repented and asked Jesus to save them! This planter also planted a new church in a neighboring village.

We praise Jesus for all he’s doing in this country!


We’ve also saved a few copies of the Amharic Bible to hand out here in the States, including some to our Rainier Valley church and even a copy to an Ethiopian electrician who came by our central offices the other day!

After the Bible, we’ll be translating Pastor Mark’s bookDoctrine into Amharic, since many of the pastors have never seen or been able to use a comprehensive systematic theology in their teaching.

This post is republished material from Mars Hill Church for teaching and archive purposes only.