Bekele Shanko was born into a rural Ethiopian family. Bekele's father worshiped Satan and abused alcohol as well as his three wives. At the age of four, young Bekele was officially dedicated for a lifetime of Satan worship, destined to follow in his father's footsteps.
But God had another plan for Bekele. With no church or Christian witness in their area of Ethiopia, Bekele was introduced to the message of the Gospel through a series of incredible events. He was transformed by the living Christ and is being used miraculously used by God to bring hope and healing in Africa.
Bekele's friends say that he has been divinely appointed for leadership. God set him apart and created him with special capacity. But despite his keen intellect and courageous faith, Bekele also displays deep humility and dependence upon God as he asks probing questions and expresses passion to develop as a leader. Bekele's story is one among many that signal a global trend among leaders. God is raising up a generation – often in unconventional ways – to lead His church. These incredible accounts highlight God's faithfulness to provide leaders for his church. At the same time, the collective voice of these leaders are also saying:
We need help to become Christ-centered leaders who are willing to resist the lure of success and advance the Kingdom of God in difficult places and against seemingly impossible odds.
We need contextualized Christ-centered leadership models that are appropriate to specific cultures. We prefer our own indigenous leadership heroes for the future.
We need mentors who will personally invest in us through ongoing life-upon-life encounters. Leadership training events – although helpful – are not sufficient alone to bring about the Christ-centered perspectives and leadership maturity we desperately long for.
We need each other. We are motivated by collaboration, not competition. We want to partner with other like-minded Kingdom leaders, sharing resources as good stewards in our service to the church and society.
We need leadership development now; it is a urgent priority for the church in the 21st century.
TWR is responding with a priority focus on leadership development into the future. We are privileged to partner with the Holy Spirit to accelerate the development of leaders who will make disciples among the nations. We are currently in the strategic planning stage to provide leadership development through mass media accompanied by "on-the-ground" initiatives. With leaders like Bekele, the church has a fantastic potential future. As these leaders share their heart cry for development, we have committed ourselves to cooperate with the church worldwide in response to this need to raise up a generation of leaders to advance the whole gospel to the whole world.