First Full-Time SOC in Ethiopian Prison by Richard Goebel

We have had a great struggle getting into the prisons of Ethiopia. We have had services, I have preached in the prisons, but to run a full School of Christ has been most difficult. The Lord opened the door for us to run a School in the Hawassa Prison.

This School was very difficult and we had much opposition. However, the testimonies that came out of this School are awesome. During the classes, the place was filled with the presence of God. Pastor Okata, one of our leaders, felt they were as powerful as any School he had ever been in. In the four weeks we had powerful times of prayer and great repentance. It was the prayer of deep repentance that was so powerful!

In order to run the School, we had to agree that anyone who wanted to, could attend the classes. This demand was made thinking that we would not accept this condition. We gladly accepted and we graduated 165 students in this prison School.  At times we had as many as 310 listening intently to the teaching. At the end of the day, the students would preach to the other prisoners about what they had learned in that day’s classes. A total of 63 prisoners came forward to pray for salvation.  What God did inside the prison during this School is beyond words. The testimonies alone would have made the cost, the sacrifice, and the labor of this School, a success. There were many testimonies about the revelation of sin, repentance, the new birth, as well as the call of God on their lives.

The students, after they had attended the lesson of the day, would go to others and teach the lessons. They were not instructed to do this; no one told them to do so. They did so because the Life of the Spirit of God makes men do so.  One student said, “We have to do this because these lessons are very important for all the prisoners.”

During the School, the soldiers of the compound (the guards) asked for Bibles to read. One of the soldiers said, “The soldiers always hated to read the Bible, but today they want to read the Bible.”

It has been a long climb into the prisons of Ethiopia, but now, because of what God did in this prison, we have an opportunity to run the SOC in a different prison.  We are praying and planning that we will be able to run the second prison School in early 2016. I ask that you please pray for these Schools. Pray that we will see this kind of God-sent fire throughout the prison and villages of Ethiopia. Pray for us that we would be led of the Holy Ghost in everything we do, and please support this great work financially. We cannot go and we cannot send the native workers unless the Body of Christ supports the work with their giving.

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