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Elema's Story: From a 'Tree god' to the One, True God

Elema found salvation through a clean water project. This is her story.

Elema lives in a remote village in Ethiopia with her husband and three children. Part of an ethnic tribe, Elema grew up worshipping the 'Wakefeta' god of her people, roughly translated, "The Big Tree god."

Her village faced poverty and hardship, yet 'worshipping' this tree god meant sacrificing goats, sheep, and cattle—the very lifeline of her family.

Two years ago, our partners began to visit her village. A water project was coming here. A pastor drove two hours to regularly visit with the community, trying to build relationships in a place where Jesus was unknown.

Elema had very little interest to follow Jesus. She still spent most of her time traveling long distances to collect water for her family. Sometimes she even had to stay overnight because of how far she had to travel to collect water, so she was unable to send her children to school. The water she collected made her family sick with diarrhea and other waterborne illnesses, and many women in her village struggled with miscarriages from having to carry the heavy jerry cans on their back.

One day, her husband became very sick. She tried everything. She tried serving different gods and evil spirits, worshipping the tree god, and even sacrificed her livestock (pigs, goats, sheep)... but nothing worked.

Then she was invited to church by the local pastor. She shared about her husband's illness, and the elders of the church came to her home and prayed over her husband.

"The bondage was completely removed and he was healed."

After this, Elema and her entire family accepted Jesus as their Savior.

"Before, I worshiped the big tree who had me sacrifice my goats, sheep, and cattle, but now I worship the one true God, who asks nothing from me except to love and worship Him."


Now, she is able to send her children to school, and her family is healthy. She has time to take care of her children, wash clothes, and cook meals for her family, all in the same day—which had never happened before.

Elema and people in her village had the opportunity to hear the gospel for the first time because of your generosity. Your donations serve some of the most unreached places in our world, like Elema's village. We invite you to change someone's story—here and for eternity. Bring hope and salvation to an entire village in need with access to clean water and the gospel. Learn more about sponsoring a project in Ethiopia here.

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