Per Akvist leads the Ethiopia Joshua Campaign. They believe it is a human right for every person to hear the Gospel at least once in their lifetime. Over the last twenty years, Joshua Campaign has been responsible for leading millions of people to Jesus across Ethiopia and other parts of Africa.
Joshua Campaign Website: joshuacampaign.nu
Mercy House Website: familymercyhouse.org
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Missionary Evangelist Daniel King (00:00):
Per Akvist leads the Ethiopia Joshua campaign. They believe it is a human right for every person to hear the gospel, at least once in their lifetime. Over the last 20 years, Joshua campaign has been responsible for leading millions of people to Jesus across Ethiopia and other parts of Africa.
Evangelism Podcast Host (00:23):
Jesus said, go into all the world and preach the gospel. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord. Welcome to the evangelism podcast with Dr. Daniel King, where Daniel interviews, full-time evangelists, pastors, missionaries, and normal everyday Christians to discover how they share their faith, their powerful testimonies and amazing stories that will inspire you to reach people with the good news. And now here’s your host, missionary and evangelist Daniel King. Welcome to
Missionary Evangelist Daniel King (01:02):
The evangelism podcast. I’m excited about telling people about Jesus today. We have a very special guest pear fist from Joshua campaign in Ethiopia. Pare, thank you so much for being with me. Well, thank you for having me. Now. We are in a Buena Ethiopia. We have been having a crusade this week and God has been doing great miracles. Tell me a brother pear. How did we decide to come here to a Buena? Oh, well the leadership from the local churches have asked us for a long time to come here. And as, as of now, it was a real good opportunity to do this and we took the advantage. And so what are some of the things that God’s been doing here? Well, of course I think you know, we have done crusades in Ethiopia for so many years and our strategy is to come in and work with the local leaders.
Missionary Evangelist Daniel King (02:06):
Give them a training, encouragement tools to work with. And in that’s in the, in the leader seminars and at the crusade itself, we demonstrate the power of God by signs and wonders. Now you, along with Joshua campaign have been working here in Ethiopia for, for many years. Can you tell us some of how Joshua campaign came to be and, and what Joshua campaign has been doing here in Ethiopia? Yeah, we, we soon celebrated about 23 years here in country. My my good friend called Tom started the Joshua campaign 1997. And yeah, at that time, the gospel were quite unknown. If you hope as being indigenous and, and eh, through the many years of communism, the wa the border has been kind of locked and the gospel hasn’t had very much exposure. So starting doing crusades around 97, we have seen a tremendous fruit in this country. I mean, we speak just through our own crusades for 23 years, we have seen millions of people coming to the,
Per Akvist (03:29):
And approximately how many crusades has Joshua campaign done
Per Akvist (03:33):
Or K here we need to calculate. But eh, in average, every year we have been able to do between five to seven every year for 23 years.
Per Akvist (03:47):
So that’s well over a hundred crusades and close approaching, 150 crusades that have been done
Missionary Evangelist Daniel King (03:53):
Here, I would say yes, yes. And
Per Akvist (03:55):
I’ve read some statistics when communism fell in Ethiopia, the country was about 3% evangelical Christian.
Per Akvist (04:04):
Oh, no, no, no. You had four to 5 million people in this country in 1992. That’s when the communism were more kicked out, you had 1.8% evangelical believers.
Per Akvist (04:21):
1.8% were evangelical believers. And today how many percentage is evangelical?
Missionary Evangelist Daniel King (04:29):
Well, w you have to have the perspective that if the population has grown from four to 5 million people till today, 110 million people, and the today’s, the statistic is 20% evangelical believers.
Missionary Evangelist Daniel King (04:45):
So in this time period where Joshua campaign has been doing crusades in the country, the growth of the VI evangelical church has gone from 1.8% of 45 million up to 20% of 100 million, a hundred and 110 million people. What a tremendous thing to be excited about this, this, when, when church history is written, I think this qualifies as one of the greatest revivals that has ever happened in church.
Per Akvist (05:17):
Exactly. I, I, far as far as my knowledge, I, I think only South Korea, I’ve seen this kind of growth gone from zero till 30% as, as you can see in Korea. And for the last 13 years, I’ve been the director of the Joshua campaign. And I have seen within this, within this period of time, how even the local church has grown up and take a responsibility, and we really see how the gospel has been established in this country. And you see you denominations up to 708 million people in this country today.
Missionary Evangelist Daniel King (06:04):
That’s tremendous. Now, one of the sayings that has formed the basis for Joshua campaign is one chance for every person. Tell me, what does that mean? One chance for every person.
Per Akvist (06:18):
Yeah. That’s when Karl Hargestam started Joshua campaign, that, that came to him, that it should be a human right to hear the gospel at least one time in your life. And seeing so many unreached people. I mean, we speak people who have not even heard that there is a God that the Jesus have paid the price for their sins, and they were shipping the river. They worshiping the stone or the rock. I mean that came to him that it should be, you know, in the world today, we speak about human rights a lot, but the number one basic human rights should be to hear the, be able to hear the gospel at least one time in your life. And
Missionary Evangelist Daniel King (07:10):
I would add to that one chance for every person, one task, for every believer to share the gospel. Now, another saying that you have in Joshua campaign is that you want to help the helpless and reach the unreached. What does that mean?
Per Akvist (07:30):
That’s this is me and my wife even long ago, 30 years ago, when we got married you know, my wife, she is from here, she’s born here. She grew up here till she was about 15 years old in a, in a situation, almost like a, I mean, she was a domestic slave, a non-paid housemaid but basically a slave. She came to Sweden. It’s a long, long story. As a 15 year old, she got restored. God did miracles and delivered her from bitterness and unforgiveness and so on. And when we met there in the end of eighties, we, we start to pray and ask the Lord for a vision for our lives. And, and very strongly, we felt out of our own personalities and lives together. Reached unreached. That’s my side of it help the helpless that’s her side of it because she had this kind of growing and she was left as an orphan.
Missionary Evangelist Daniel King (08:45):
Father died, mother was unable to take care of her, and she was given to this if European family, as a domestic worker. And I mean, she had a really, really hard life. So our vision and what we felt the Lord wanted us to do was to preach the gospel to the unreached people and help this helpless people who are bounded in, in power T and not unable to raise their children. So with that vision first, we worked for about 14 years in Soviet union, because that was the time when God really opened up Soviet union. Then we came here 2005 and started working with church planting. We met Carl Hargus STEM, and we felt how we would merge our ministries together. So to the one chance for every person, we added reach down, reach and help the helpless. And we built my wife’s side of the ministry, which is the family mercy house, where we now take in in poor women. Mostly many of them have children. So we take them in, we give them vocational education in the same time we add their children into our sponsored children program. So even if the mothers fails, the children will still be secured having a somehow a good upbringing. I mean, we pay for their schools and, and some of the school material and make sure that they have nutritious food as well. But most of the time, the, the mothers also take the opportunity and change their lives.
Missionary Evangelist Daniel King (10:44):
So you have the, the mercy house, which is to the family mercy house. And the purpose of that is to, to help the helpless, you take these women off the street, very poor women and give them skills to help them in life. And then you also want to reach the unreached. And so to do that, you do these large evangelistic crusades, but that’s not all you do. You are also planting churches and starting Bible schools. Tell me some about that.
Per Akvist (11:14):
Yeah, of course the the crusades, it’s one of the backbones then together with a local church planter and evangelists actually he’s an apostil with a passion of, of starting churches. We, we formed this new denomination and within four years we have, we started with three churches. They, of course there is a background history to that as well, but about four years ago, we started with three churches and today we have 65 churches, all in, all on a average Sunday morning, we get her 25,000 people among these churches. And one of the most important thing is to give them education. So we we see a lot of growth, but in the same time, you’re in numbers, you have also, you have to secure the quality of, of these believers. So we, we we run the Bible school program.
Per Akvist (12:20):
I have in Joshua campaign. I have two staff that works mostly with the Bible school coordination. So we do that remotely sending teachers to all the different remote areas. We have this program that we got from the Pentecostal church of God in America called Veritas. And that helps us a lot to coordinate that from the headquarter in Addis Ababa, we send the teachers out, they have a program, we know what they teach and, and, and they can go to every remote area. And, and we have a secured doctrine and good Bible teaching that is given to them.
Missionary Evangelist Daniel King (13:10):
Well, it’s such an honor to be here with you. I think this is now my seventh crusade that I have done in Ethiopia with Joshua campaign. And we always see such tremendous results in just a few minutes. We’re going to go to the field and preach for the last time here in a Buena it’s Sunday morning, lots of people are coming and they’re there, they’re dressed in their Sunday best. And so the choirs that the choir is going to come and sing and dance, and, and it’s just so wonderful to, to see what God has done through your ministry here. So if someone who’s listening wants to invest in Ethiopia and wants to help reach people for Jesus here, or they’re interested in supporting the, the, the mercy house, how can they find you? What’s your, what’s your website,
Per Akvist (13:59):
But Joshua campaign that, and you will be up running with Swedish and English language,
Per Akvist (14:08):
Joshua campaign.in you. If they’re interested in, in helping you with what God is doing here in Ethiopia,
Missionary Evangelist Daniel King (14:16):
Add in that it has been a great privilege to work with you. These seven crusades together, we have partnering very well with the King ministry. And I do appreciate your friendship and the ministry that we’re doing together. And yeah it has been a good, good relationship that we are built for for many years.
Missionary Evangelist Daniel King (14:43):
Praise the Lord. Well, it’s so exciting to see what God is doing here in Ethiopia, and we believe that God will continue to use you to reach many
Per Akvist (14:52):
People here. And of course, we do have the mercy house that is FamilyMercyhouse.org That you have in Swedish and in English. And there you can make any donation to the mercy house. Wonderful. Thank you, pair. All right. Thank you very much
Evangelism Podcast Host (15:12):
For more information about how to share your faith or to financially support our worldwide evangelistic outreaches, visit King ministries.com. Again, that’s King ministries.com.