“What is the purpose of life?”
“Is God real? Is the Bible real?”
These are questions that youth leader Tigist hears daily from the group of teens she mentors at her local church in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. They are looking for truth, meaning, and real hope in the midst of the troubled world they’ve grown up in.
Because of her training under Langham Scholar Dr. Seble Daniel at Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology, Tigist can now help her teens find answers to their questions in God’s Word.
Langham Partnership identifies and mentors emerging theologians like Seble Daniel so that they can multiply leaders like Tigist who bring Christ into hard places.
For Tigist, it’s made all the difference. She says, “Investing in theological leaders [like Seble]…it changes the face of the church…It’s like when you put lights on in a dark room, you can see where the wrong things are, where the messy things are. . . Studying with Seble helps me to understand the Word of God and how to deal with issues.”
Investing in the Next Generation
In her teenage years Tigist recalls her pastors and leaders being unable to connect the Gospel to her own pressing questions and doubts about faith and life. It’s what drove her to attend seminary, where she realises teaching and empowering teens—the next generation—is important in a culture where youth are often not taken seriously. As one of Tigist’s seminary professors, Seble has been a transformational role model and an encourager of Tigist’s heart for young people.
Even as Tigist draws inspiration from the life and teaching of Seble—one of the first women in her denomination to earn a PhD in Bible and Theology—imagine the scores of young people that Tigist now teaches and inspires.
Seble’s leadership continues to influence an area where educated women are the exception, not the norm. With the platform her PhD provides, Seble pours her life into building up more leaders who will impact their communities.
Tigist shares, “We need strong people with a strong theological foundation to change this country. We need people, like Dr. Seble, who know the culture and who know the Scripture.”
Seble helped Tigist understand Scripture and how to apply it to issues Ethiopian teens face. Now a passionate and confident mentor, Tigist has seen her youth ministry grow from 20 teenagers to 70. In addition, Tigist serves as director of Alpha Ethiopia, part of a widely known, global organization that connects people to the basics of Christianity.
“What I learn from [Seble] helps me to provide a proper [biblical] meal for the young people,” she says. “I see their lives transformed in their thinking, and in their faith and belief in Jesus. It’s not just ‘I believe in Jesus,’ but they know who Jesus is.”
Raising Up Women Leaders
Tigist is especially invested in the lives of young girls, helping them become strong, godly women who will go on to be leaders in their communities.
“In our community, it’s really tough being a woman and being an educated woman,” Tigist explains.
Tigist is mentoring these young women and girls so that they know their worth and potential—and it’s transforming lives.