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  • Writer's pictureAnabaptist World

Preschool preaches peace, saves a life

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An Ethiopian preschool for disadvantaged children ended up teaching a message of peace to parents that saved a life.

Meron Bejiga, owner of a school in the outskirts of Adama City, attended a Meserete Kristos Church training that sought to produce peace ambassadors across Ethiopia.

MKC’s Development Commission and Peacebuilding Department sought to support Christian leaders committed to peace in their community.

MKC is the Anabaptist conference in Ethiopia.

Beyond teaching children, ­Bejiga established the school to share about Jesus to parents. She trained her preschool teachers and staff on peacebuilding and organized parents’ meetings to pass along the training.

A parent named Dechassa stood up in one of the parents’ meetings and confessed that he set a time to kill one of his neighbors because of a disagreement. Others tried to resolve the conflict, but Dechassa refused.

He purchased a weapon but came to the parents’ meeting because the preschool invited him. To his surprise, he learned the importance of peace, forgiveness and reconciliation.

“The schoolmaster was speaking about peace passionately,” Dechassa said. “I could see that she was speaking from her heart. I was touched and could not resist.”

The neighbor he wanted to kill, named Taye, was at the same meeting. Dechassa stood up at the end of the training, called to Taye and asked for forgiveness. The two hugged, reconciling instantly. The participants were amazed, and the room was filled with joy and laughter.

“The training saved my life,” said Dechassa, who has joined the school’s parents committee. “It was like a last-minute call for me not to do the crime.”

Shame Balcha

Meserete Kristos Church News

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