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Erik Jessen's fundraiser for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - ET22B

One-time donations:
Amount Raised: $3,510
  • $3,510
    One-time Goal
  • $0
    One-time Still Needed
  • -25
    Days to Go
"For, 'Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.' How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” - Romans 10:13-15

Hello Ladies and Gents!

My name is Erik Jessen and I have been given an amazing opportunity to partner with my home church, Watermark Community Church, and E3 Partners in traveling to Ethiopia on a 10-day, small group evangelism trip! Before I share my story, let me share some information about the heartbeat behind E3 Partners, facts about Ethiopia, and what I will be doing while I am there.

The Partner

E3 Partners
 is working to ensure that a thriving local church exists in every community throughout Ethiopia. They are equipping existing believers and training local pastors to identify unreached communities and share the Gospel effectively. As people come to faith in Christ, they are establishing small groups that help them take the next steps in their spiritual growth and serve as the seeds for new churches.

My Role

I will play a role in a global church planting movement by reaching those who would otherwise never hear the Gospel. Our group will be staying in the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, and will be sent out to other villages in the Oromo region to share the incredible story of Jesus with them. A majority of these villages will be predominately Muslim or Eastern Orthodox religions. In addition, I will be helping local churches address pressing social, economic, and health issues in their communities, helping them transform communities by empowering them and improving the lives of individuals.  I will venture into remote villages where human trafficking rings are convincing poverty-stricken families to sell their own children, revealing what’s really happening to save the next generation by sharing the simple truth that every life is priceless. Including yours.

Facts About Ethiopia

The name “Ethiopia” comes from the Greek words aitho and ops, which together mean “burnt face.” This was how the ancient Greeks referred to the dark-skinned people of eastern Africa.

Addis Ababa, the capital city, is the highest capital city in Africa, at 2,400 metres.

Ethiopia is the second most-populous country in Africa, with a population of over 90 million people by 2015. It is second to Nigeria, which had a population of over 174 million people by 2013.

Over 80 languages are spoken in this country. English is the language of instruction in institutions of higher learning. The most widely spoken local languages are Oromo, Amharic, Somali and Tigrinya.

Coffee was discovered in this country, in Kaffa region. A shepherd discovered this famous beverage when his goats ate the leaves and became restless. Ethiopia is the 5th largest producer of coffee today and Africa’s top producer.

About 70% of the mountains of Africa are in this country.

Ethiopians have one of the lowest life expectancies in the world. Current figures estimate that women can expect to live for about 50 years, and men for about 48 years.

Ethiopia ranks as the 5th poorest country in the world. Almost two-thirds of the Ethiopian populations lives on less than US$1 a day.

 In Ethiopia, time is counted differently. Six o’clock is said to be 12 o’clock, and 16:00 hours is 10 o’clock. Ethiopians rationalize that the clock should start when the day does.

Tewahedo, or the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, is one of the oldest forms of Christianity in the world. It came to Ethiopia from Egypt, where Egyptians belonged to the Coptic Church. Around A.D. 330, Frumentius, the Apostle of Ethiopia, converted the Axumite king Ezana, who made Christianity the empire’s official religion. Today, 40% of Ethiopians practice Christianity. 35% of Ethiopia is Muslim.

 When Ethiopians greet each other, they shake hands and gently knock their shoulders together, which is known as the “fighters’ salute” and traditionally was used as a greeting between those who fought in the Derg, the warrior group that came to power following the coup of Haile Selassie.

My Story

Athlete..Partier.. World Traveler.. Frat Guy... Boyfriend... Ex-Boyfriend.. 30K Millionaire.. People-Pleaser... Arrogant... Prideful... Stock Broker... Worldy Addict... Anxious....
Alcoholic. Porn addict. 

These are just a few terms that I Have been called or sought identity in throughout my life.. Some of these you could see from afar, such as fraternity guy, partier, athlete.. Others, like pride, people-pleasing, trying to find happiness at the bottom of a bottle, and being an addict to this world I kept hidden from everybody, for fear my reputation and everything I put my rest in would be broken (i.e. People-Pleasing). What's one thing missing from that list above? Christian... The reason why I didn't put that up there? Because for a long part of my life, even though I was saved by Grace and accepted by God into his family because of Jesus dying on the cross for my sins and rising again 3 days later, I stopped pursuing a relationship with Him. I allowed myself to get busy, and stopped reading my Bible.. going to Church.. Praying.. And started hanging out with the wrong crowd at a young age. Instead, I drank from the cup that the world gave me.. For the longest time I drank from this cup, and would not be denied what I felt like was mine. It was a never-ending, vicious cycle. Days of waking up with a hangover would be just another Wednesday or Thursday for me. I desperately sought approval in what others thought about me and would be absolutely crushed and struggle with a deep sense of anxiety if I did not get that affirmation. After being exposed to pornagraphy at the age of 13, and alcohol at 15, I started putting my identity in these worldly things and much more trying to seek comfort. I had forgot where my true identity is, which is in Christ Jesus.  I was nothing but a con artist.

So many of us, including myself, forget that when you find your identity in Christ, that you feel as though you can stop pursuing Him or sharing Him with others... Almost like, Hey, you are saved now, the work has been done, now why not take it easy for a little while? But that is so far from the truth... Satan is constantly waiting for you to misstep, to trip, to slow up in your pursuit for Christ so that he can attack you. Alot of my story was forgetting to keep seeking Him out.. And once that PROACTIVITY stopped, I slowly started drowning in the desires and wants of this world, and finding my identity elsewhere. What was a growing faith in middle school, became a dead faith in high school and that only followed me into college, along with all the baggage of hurts, hang ups, and unconfessed sin that I brought with me. And it was a never-ending cycle, I continued to pursue the world and was always confused why I would never feel fully satisfied... Whether that would be in women, parties, a girlfriend, lust, alcohol, money, job title, an expensive car.. I pursued women like I pursued pornagraphy, as a commodity rather than viewing them as children of God, to satisfy a need.  Alcohol, money, status.. These were important to me because my value was dictated by these things.  I would think that what I saw on social media was how my everyday should be.  And when your value is tied to something that may go up or down depending, rather than the Lord, it was like being a roller coaster you couldn't get off of. I took in everything that this world said there was life in, and more, but was always left wanting. Take it from me who HAD everything the world said I needed for my life to be complete and I STILL was not finding joy.

To make matters worse, I wasn't being transparent with anyone else around me, either. Some of the things I found my identity in, such as people-pleasing, pornography, pride.. I kept close to the vest and tried to fix them myself. I didn't tell any of my friends what I was struggling or battling with, intent on taking care of business myself. This only created even more issues, such as pride and arrogance. Eventually it got to a point where I just convinced myself that I would never find joy and that this is all the world had.

Fortunately for me, God was still pursuing me and desperately wanting a relationship with me. Even after all these years of trying to do things on my own, too prideful to seek help, too arrogant to realize I'm broken and I don't have it all together, He still wanted me. The heavy weight that I felt like I had been carrying around on my back for years and years became too much and I started to realize how far away from Jesus I had been and that I really couldn't do this without Him. Thankfully, in 2012, I stumbled upon Watermark Community Church and my life and habits drastically changed. I had never seen people so open about struggles before, and I had never seen what walking with Jesus really looks like. I saw people all around me, who had found what I desperately had been searching for in all the wrong places; and that was joy.. peace.. happiness..   As I slowly started giving up control of my life to Jesus. through the Church, accountability, and other people and situations God has put in my life I have found true healing and joy. No longer do I feel shackled to addictions, anxiety, bitterness. No longer do I feel enslaved to addictions such as pornography, lust, and alcohol. I AM FREE!!!!!

I am now in a position where I can share my story and the Good News of Christ with our friends in Ethiopia just like someone shared their story and the Good News with me.

The Ask

The ask is that your help is needed! While God has opened up a door for me to develop a greater heart of compassion for His people around the world, the exciting part is that you will be able to share in this compassion in several ways. This is a team project, and you are needed on the team. First, we need your prayers for the spiritual battles ahead. We will need prayer support so that God will prepare us for our visit and bless our efforts as we minister to the people of Ethiopia.

Secondly, we also need agreement in our prayers that our financial needs will be met. Another way you could be involved is to help provide that financial support. I will need to raise $3,400 before July 1,2022 in order to cover flights, food and water, boarding, etc. This also does not include SHOTS, which I will need in addition to make the trip over there. Of that $3,400, I will need roughly half of that amount to be raised by May 31,2022 for the flight ticket.  Would you prayerfully consider partnering with me in this project?

Thank you so much for taking the time to prayerfully consider this amazing and challenging ministry opportunity that God has presented to me. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have about the trip. My phone number is 817-903-8749 and my email is Erik.Jessen21@gmail.com.

God Bless,

Erik Jessen

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." - Matthew 28:19-20

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As a non-profit organization, e3 Partners Ministry relies on the generosity of our friends and partners—faithful believers like you who want to see the hope of the Gospel reach every person and place. Your financial gift ensures that our work will carry on until everyone has heard the name of Jesus Christ.


2001 W Plano Parkway, Ste 2600
Plano, TX 75075


As a non-profit organization, e3 Partners Ministry relies on the generosity of our friends and partners—faithful believers like you who want to see the hope of the Gospel reach every person and place. Your financial gift ensures that our work will carry on until everyone has heard the name of Jesus Christ.


2001 W Plano Parkway, Ste 2600
Plano, TX 75075


e3 Partners Ministry is highly rated by independent and impartial, third-party accreditation organizations which recognize our longstanding commitment to efficiency, accountability, and transparency.