Teklamariam to share Advent message of hope

Susan and Damtew Teklamariam

Susan and Damtew Teklamariam

SIDNEY — Damtew Teklamariam will be making his first trip to Sidney and even Ohio for that matter next weekend. While he will not be the first person from his native Ethiopia to visit Sidney, the journey he took to get here certainly ranks among the most unique.

Teklamariam grew up in Addis Abba, Ethiopia, in the mid-1990s. His friends and family were of the Muslim faith as was he. His cultural background was anti-American and anti-Christian. He and several of his friends were members of a local gang. They made it their goal to harass and even attack foreigners from the United States. They possessed a special dislike for Gideons from America who appeared occasionally in his town and handed out Bibles.

This engrained hatred ended up being his salvation. One day Teklamariam and his friends were together in town when a Gideon approached and attempted to give him a Bible. Teklamariam punched him in the face. The American crumpled to the ground and the Bible landed on the sidewalk Eventually, the man got up and ran. Teklamariam picked up the book and shoved it in his pocket. Later that day he tossed it in a box of miscellaneous items at his house.

About nine months later, the fall of the Communist party in his country created political instability. The local Communist leaders were not going to leave peacefully. This resulted in a death sentence being issued against him and his fellow gang members. Damtew knew this was the end. That night he began to sort out his personal effects and came across the Bible, which to his surprise was written in his native language. He opened it at random and began reading from what turned out to be the Gospel of Mark. Tears filled his eyes as he learned about the Gospel and the good news Jesus Christ brought to the world.

Teklamariam knew something had changed inside him. He sought out a group of Christians in the region. They placed him in hiding until the danger from the Communists had passed. Teklamariam returned home some months later to find all his friends had been murdered.

He was hungry to know more about this new faith. Campus Crusade workers discipled him and he eventually became a staff member. Several promotions led to Teklamariam being named National Campus Ministry director for all of Ethiopia. Campus Crusade leaders in the U.S. saw his potential and offered him a position in this country.

He currently serves as director of Global Expansion-Africa for the Jesus film. This film has been a critical tool in bringing the Gospel to the world. Since 1979, the film has led to over 600,000 people becoming believers and the establishment of over 3,000,000 churches world-wide.

Teklamariam lives in Florida. He is married to his wife Susan. They have five children.

He will be delivering an Advent message of hope on Sunday, Dec. 5, at the Sidney First United Methodist Church. The services are at 9 a.m. (traditional) and 11 a.m. (contemporary). Members of the public are invited to attend either service. Tecklamariam will also be present at a private event on Monday, Dec. 6, with those interested in raising funds for his continued ministry.

Those interest in learning more about Damtew Tecklamariam and his ministry may contact Chuck Price at High Grounds Café, Ed Thomas, Bruce Toal or Rich Wallace.

Susan and Damtew Teklamariam
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2021/11/web1_IMG-0609.jpgSusan and Damtew Teklamariam