Redeeming the Pulpits of Ethiopia

Dear Friends and Partners,

The 2016 statistics are stunning. Really. Over-the-top impressive.

eshete-meseret We equipped three times more pastors in 2016 than just 2 years earlier. Here’s our best estimate: in 2016 LRI-training helped 35,000 pastors learn to better study, teach and preach God’s Word. That translates to 1.7 million church members growing into maturity in Christ, as Sunday after Sunday they’re fed the Word of God.

The 2016 statistics can be boring. They’re hard to relate to, so let me put a face to them.

Eshete Belete is our Country Director in Ethiopia. Eshete is married to Meseret and, as you can see, they have three beautiful girls. In addition to being a teacher, preacher and trainer, Eshete writes some of the most beloved worship songs, sung in many Ethiopian churches.

Here’s Eshete’s personal vision statement: Redeeming the pulpits of Ethiopia through the faithful proclamation of the Word of God.

meseret_rediet_lidya_abigyaEshete told us, “I strongly believe that the true biblical transformation comes about only through the faithful handling and presentation of the Word of God. The Word of God brings Life!”

You can see why we like Eshete. He not only shares our heart, but he’s also an incredibly effective leader. Eshete and his national training team launched 8 new pastoral training groups across the country last year, bringing the total number of groups to 21, impacting over 3000 Ethiopian pastors! Amazing to think that this Movement of the Word began just a few years ago with a handful of pastors.


Eshete is an amazing partner…but so are you! We’re in this together. Thank you for partnering with us in 2016 as you gave and prayed. We invite you to deepen your partnership with us this month so that many more under-resourced pastors might get the training that they desperately need.

Eager to see what the Lord will do in 2017,

Craig Parro



PS: Eshete is why we’re able to do 3x’s more ministry. Eshete plus other Mentor Trainers (national, indigenous, LRI-training graduates) have dramatically expanded our training capacity. This coming year, we hope to add 20 more Eshete-caliber men to our team. Please give today. Your generous gift will help us “on-board” these 20 proven leaders who are even more effective than our own talented staff!

Christ-Centered Preaching for a Christ-Centered Christmas


Dear Friends and Partners,

Three proclamations…two towns…announcing the one-and-only Christ.

  1. The women of Bethlehem proclaimed, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer…” This redeemer was Obed, newborn son of Boaz and Ruth. Yet this prophetic word also pointed to another birth 1100 years later.
  1. The same small town. Another proclamation, that of the ultimate Redeemer. “You shall call his name Jesus, for he will save (redeem) his people from their sins.”

Bethlehem, a nondescript town of a few thousand people, became Ground Zero for God’s invasion of planet earth. With profound understatement, God entered our world and by doing so, Christ became the center of human history. Hallelujah—the one-and-only Savior has come!

  1. Fast-forward to today and an unnamed Southeast Asian city. According to Tui Dawn, a top church leader in this Southeast Asian country, the pastors and missionaries in his city had lost their way. Said Tui, [they] “have been preaching their own ideas—whatever comes in their head becomes their…Bible lesson for the day.”

Tui Dawn, one of the key men we are equipping in this region, continues: “My goal is…Christ-centered textual preaching, the opposite of man-centered preaching. I give them suggestions on ways to improve their sermon by focusing on the text and keeping the sermon Christ-centered.”

At long last, Christ has come to this city through faithful proclamation of God’s Word. That is how Christ comes today to the towns and villages and cities of the world: through Christ-centered teaching and preaching.

Thank you for investing in Christ-centered preachers like Tui Dawn. All of us at LRI wish you a Christ-centered Christmas this year!

With much gratitude in Christ,

Craig ParroCraig

PS: God is using us to help form tens of thousands of Christ-centered preachers worldwide. Would you please consider a generous year-end gift, so together, we might invest in many more pastors around the world in 2017?


Nine People and One Thing I Wish You Could See

November 2016

Dear Partners and Friends,

I wish you could see…

Juan Torres, as he urges us to pray for pastors along the Amazon. On Thanksgiving Day, while we’re all feasting, he’ll be equipping them to feast on God’s Word. I’m so thankful for Juan.


melanie-lachcik-2014Melanie Lachick, as she helps our team better communicate with our precious donors the marvelous difference that they are making. I’m so thankful for Melanie.


paul-adams-2010Paul Adams, as he develops curriculum used around the world to better equip and encourage pastors to teach God’s Word with God’s heart. I’m so thankful for Paul.



sean-martin_2016Sean Martin, as he shares the humble responsiveness of the Haitian pastors when he led them through the book of Jonah. I’m so thankful for Sean.



Cory Van De Griend, as he narrates the video of a house church leader we are training—a Muslim convert who was stabbed and poisoned because of his bold faith in Christ. I’m so thankful for Cory.




Tim Henry, as he leads a Thursday morning prayer time, reminding us that our ultimate purpose is to put God’s glory on display. I’m so thankful for Tim.



patricio-paredes-2016Patricio Paredes, as he challenges a group of TNT graduates in Honduras to launch and lead Movements of the Word throughout Central America. I’m so thankful for Patricio. 



don-couwenhovenDon Couwenhoven, as he endures 24+ hour trips to Russia so that he might encourage pastors who are under increasing pressure from the authorities. I’m so thankful for Don.


georgeGeorge Bowater, as he strengthens our home office support team so that our overseas training staff might flourish on the field. I’m so thankful for George.



These aren’t all of our staff, but they’re the ones that I’m most burdened for.

I wish you could see the…

Short Paychecks, that they have received (or might receive before year’s end) unless…

Please, would you give a generous gift to Leadership Resources today? This Thanksgiving bless these servants of the Lord…Juan, Melanie, Paul, Sean, Cory, Tim, Patricio, Don and George. Their hearts will sing out with thanksgiving to the Lord!!!

With much gratitude in Christ,

Craig Parro


PS: I wish you could see…their faces when we surprise them with full paychecks!

In fact, if God prompts you to give, I’ll send you a photo of one very happy staff member so that you can see their joy with your own eyes!