By Open Doors 17 October 2023 4 MIN

The Thrill of Cows | Livestock Training

Open Doors offers free livestock training, teaching Christians how to raise animals and earn an income again and provide for their family. Read more to learn about this program in Ethiopia.

Helping those who have suffered for their faith rebuild their lives through livestock training

You live in a rural village in Ethiopia, and follow Jesus wholeheartedly.

The village is plagued by violence and extremist activity, but you are determined to stay, and to shine the light of Jesus in your village.

You and your family run a grocery shop in the village centre. It’s your way to get to know the community, and love your neighbours.

Customers have become guests at your table, and over time, you have seen people in the village begin to be less frightened of the gangs. Some gang members have even renounced violence and turned to Christ.

That’s when the threats start coming.

The Cost is Heavy

Leaders of the local gangs begin leaving you letters at your home and your shop. They threaten you with violence, they threaten your children, and they tell you that if you don’t stop sharing Jesus, they will destroy your shop.

You love people, and you are seeing God moving powerfully. You feel afraid, but you continue sharing Jesus because he is too good to be kept a secret. That’s why you remain.

One day, you wake up and get ready for another day in the shop. You walk your kids to school, and kiss them goodbye as you turn the corner and head toward your shop in the village centre.

From 100m away, you start to notice something has gone very wrong. The door is off its hinges, and the glass storefront has been smashed. The cash drawer has been raided, and everything in the grocery store has been destroyed. The walls are smashed in – you estimate thousands of dollars in damages. The gang took their threats seriously, and now your livelihood is destroyed. Simply for following Jesus.

Hope to Rebuild

One week later, you hear a knock at the door. It’s your pastor, and he is with a man named Ernest. Ernest comes to visit your village regularly, and he has visited you many times to pray with you.

You see on Ernest’s face that he is heartbroken by the situation. He shares that him and his team would like to help you to rebuild your life.

He asks if you are interested in free livestock training, learning how to raise animals in your backyard, so you can earn an income again and provide for your family. He said the training is soon, and he would give you a calf for free to get started. He says he wants to give you and your family what you need to remain where God has called you, and rebuild your life. Ernest gives you a long hug, and says he will be in touch soon with an update on the training. He also says your calf will be with you shortly!

As they leave, and you are alone in your kitchen, you cry. You are overwhelmed by the generosity, and begin to feel excited and nervous about a new chapter for you and your family. Raising cows… who would have thought?

About the Project: The Thrill of Cows

Open Doors has launched a livestock-raising initiative to help Christians in indigenous rural areas in Ethiopia to start their two entrepreneurial projects to feed themselves and their families.

For the most part, the projects will be set up in communities where there is no religious freedom at all. Open Doors encourages Christians to stay in their communities and calls them to be the salt and light amid the darkness. (Matt 5:13-14)

“The fact that our brothers and sisters remain in these hostile areas implies that they are committed to contributing to the community they belong to. They do so not only with their testimonies but also with the talents and abilities God has given them to come up with a product or service they can offer to others”, an Open Doors local partner said.

$50 could help train persecuted believers to raise their own livestock, providing them with income to feed their families. Give the Thrill of Hope today.

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