Profile: Langham Scholar from Ethiopia

BY vmarsay | 18 April 2017 |

One of the first women professors at Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology, Meron Tekleberhan Gebreananaye is currently working on her PhD in New Testament at Durham University in the UK. Her research investigates the theological and liturgical significance of the Pauline Temple Metaphor, which is especially prominent in Ethiopian Orthodox traditions. Meron and her husband Yared have three children: Christian (13), Noelle (8), and Nehemiah (6).

Meron’s message:

“This is a time of transition for my family and me. My two younger children (Noelle and Nehemiah) and I moved to the UK, where I started my PhD studies at Durham University in November. My husband Yared and oldest child Christian, however, are still in Ethiopia because we were not able to get the required health certificate for our son in time. We are thankful that we have now obtained this document and are applying for his visa so that he and my husband can join us. On the family front, our most important prayer request is that the application process can be resolved without further complications so that they can join us as soon as possible.

Durham Cathedral. Meron is studying at Durham University.

“It has been a challenge starting my studies without my spouse and with two young children, and adjusting to a new culture, climate, and education system. I am, however, grateful that the Lord has graciously provided the means and the people to enable me to be productive. I have met with my supervisor several times and we have organized a reading list that should take me through the next couple of months. I am also auditing two courses and have joined a German reading group. I believe that I have taken precautions to make as much of this wonderful opportunity as possible without overextending myself, but I ask for your prayers that the Lord would keep me energized, excited, and focused as I chart out the shape of my research in the coming months.

Volatile political situation

“The political situation back home in Ethiopia has been rather volatile for the past year. There is tension on several fronts and the lines of communication between the authorities and large portions of the population seem to have totally broken down. We are concerned about the persistent outbreaks of violence in different parts of the country and we pray that the Lord intervenes to institute peace. This is also a significant challenge for the churches and Christian ministries in Ethiopia, and requires wisdom and courage to address significant social and justice issues without being unduly political or partisan to ethnic interests. I ask for your prayer support for our land, people, and churches – that the Lord leads us to the path of peace and reconciliation.”

Ethiopia

Ethiopia has a rich ancient Christian heritage and is the second most populous African country, with nearly 100 million people (63% Christian and 34% Muslim). Since August 2016, the country has experienced civil unrest due to growing demands for greater political freedom and economic justice. At least 500 people have been killed and over 11,000 protesters imprisoned. The country has been under a state of emergency since last October and freedom of expression is restricted. Read our request for urgent prayer for Ethiopia, published in October.

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