Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is allegedly on the frontlines in Ethiopia, leading the charge against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
State media reported the military and special forces had taken control of Chifra on Sunday, but a TPLF source says “active fighting is going on.” According to Al Jazeera, the TPLF is trying to seize control of a critical highway that brings goods into Addis Ababa.
The central government has been locked in combat with Tigray fighters and other rebel forces for the past year.
Fighting increased in the past two weeks; Western embassies are now encouraging people to leave while they can as rebel forces approach Ethiopia’s capital.
“Right now, the city is quiet. We know TPLF is advancing. We’ve evacuated our staff; we’re all going online,” TeachBeyond’s Tamera Peters says.
“Everyone is holding their breath, hoping that nothing too damaging comes. These next weeks could be very, very critical. It could be a full-on civil war.”
TeachBeyond provides Gospel-centered, holistic education in communities that need it most. “We’re starting a program in Ethiopia right now, and I was supposed to be there teaching a Sparrow project cohort, which was canceled because of the crises,” Peters says.
“It’s been pretty intense. We know our job after this (fighting) comes to an end will be even bigger, because the needs in education will be even greater.”
The ongoing conflict has created a massive humanitarian crisis in northern Ethiopia. More than nine million people need help to survive, but aid groups can only reach a small fraction because of the fighting. Commit to praying for peace in Ethiopia.
“It is a country that gets on their knees and prays – Christians, Orthodox, evangelicals – they come together as a body. [Believers] are praying for peace,” Peters says.
“Ethiopian[s] are such resilient people. They have lived through this on and off over the last decades,” she continues.
“We have a lot to learn from them – how they deal with crises, the resilience, and their huge trust in the Lord.”
Use the prompts listed below this report to guide your intercession, and “pray the stories that come out of the media are balanced. We don’t know what to believe anymore,” Peters says.
“It would be great to have a balanced perspective so we know how to pray better. It’s very confusing for us who want to pray right now because we don’t really know who the ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’ are.”
CALL TO ACTION
- Pray for peace in Ethiopia. Pray for wisdom for all those involved and speaking into the situation.
- Pray for believers who shine the light of Christ no matter what circumstances they face. Pray for strength and encouragement.
- Ask the Lord to protect refugee and displaced children. These students often become vulnerable when schools close.
Written by Katey Hearth. This story originally appeared at Mission Network News and is republished here with permission.