Dr. James and Paula Hoefer, Living Christ Fellowship Shoan is uniquely equipped at this point for this fresh calling on his life of bringing unity and maturity to the body of Christ in that part of Africa. Because of his character, contacts, and love for all Christians there, he is widely trusted at a time when there are profound and painful divisions in the body of Christ there. At the same time, on account of his training and experience, he is able to share much needed discipleship materials with newly converted x-Muslim Christians. We are personally delighted to “be on his team” and join him in praying for others to share this great vision.
We know Shoan and his dear wife Negest to be devoted believers and honest hearted friends. Her testimony, and ministry of prayer and action, make her dangerous to the enemy, but powerful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Together they have always been the first in line to give of their time, talents and treasure for this endeavor, at great personal sacrifice, and yet always with joy. For these reasons our own congregation, and many business and ministry associates hold them with me in highest regard. We prayerfully encourage you to also support this vital work for the Kingdom of God, and would be happy to answer any questions you might have.
Tom Subt (A 34-year colleague from Biola - Faithful friend and supporter)
Shoan Zeleke is truly a multifaceted Christian with a sincere and singularly dedicated heart for God. Shoan's love for preaching and teaching God's word and his demonstrated dedication to the service of men's souls has been a 'given' for more than three decades. As a student, a teacher, a pastor, an evangelist and a missionary, God has worked in and through him to touch untold numbers of lives for Christ.
Now, Shoan is actively seeking to serve in the mission field with 'Horn of Africa Missions.’ Shoan is no stranger to missions nor to Africa. He was born and raised in and around Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and is a veteran of missionary service in Kenya. After his conversion to Christ at age 17, Shoan earnestly desired to study God's word at a Bible college with Sudan Interior Missions. But his deeper desire was always to share the love of Jesus in the field and in the local churches—some of which were small groups literally, meeting out in fields for lack of any formal church building.
Following graduation from Grace Bible College, Shoan teamed up with Albert Brant, a longtime SIM missionary. Together, the two of them served as traveling evangelists throughout the southern part of Ethiopia—sharing the Gospel, teaching, training and making disciples while working to further local church growth.
In his missionary service Shoan, has traveled by air, bus, Volkswagen van, mule, and in areas that were nearly inaccessible any other way, by foot. On at least one occasion, he was a passenger along with Mr. Brant on a Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAP) airplane. As the plane was preparing to take off, it got stuck on a muddy 'air field.' It seemed doubtful that the plane would ever be able to get off the ground or, if it did, that it could land safely. But outside, some of the very people to whom he had been preaching, assisted by pushing and praying which is a remarkable example of "practical evangelism!'
After five years with SIM and working as the head of Scripture Union in Ethiopia, where he served in promoting Bible reading and devotional materials, as well as creating Bible study groups, Shoan, was accepted to study at Biola College in Southern California.
At Biola, Shoan's spiritual life, good humor, energy and calm focus, were a testimony and encouragement to many. He completed college in only 3 years, taking as many as 18 units a semester, while also working up to 25 hours a week.
As a family man with increased responsibilities, Shoan enrolled at Talbot Seminary and graduated in 6 years with a Masters of Divinity degree. During this time he was always involved with personal 'hands on' ministry, as well as house to house evangelism to Ethiopians in the greater Los Angeles area. He also led a Bible study, organized various outreach ministries through visitation, passed out tracts and sponsored Christian Conference holiday dinners to help other Ethiopians new to this country. Ultimately, the Ethiopian Bible study was established as a church and Shoan was one of its two pastors. This was in addition to Shoan working for a film and blueprint company as well as having his first daughter, Elizabeth. Upon graduation in 1983, he applied to and was accepted by O.C. International mission organization in 1984.
He and his family were sent to Northern California for internship for 3 months. During this time he was instrumental in starting a church.
Shoan and his family went to Kenya a year and half later where he began to ministry to help local Ethiopian and Kenyan churches, training pastors and evangelists. He also began a radio ministry broadcasting in his native language, Amharic. He also learned Swahili, Kenya's native language in order to reach the people. He preached in down town Nairobi to audiences of about 200 in Swahili and English. In three years of ministry in Kenya, approximately 700 salvations occurred from his once a week, 20 minute open air messages.
When Shoan returned to the United States he worked as a high school teacher and shared the Gospel in his classroom. He also served the greater Los Angeles area through Christian radio for about 1 year. He helped start a church in Anaheim California as well as one in Las Vegas, Nevada.
While teaching English literature one lesson included the text of Jonathan Edward's sermon, 'Sinners in The Hands off an Angry God.' This led to enthusiastic class discussions even though there was an occasional objection to Scripture being included in the class.
Shoan's deep desire has always been to return to full-time missions. A couple of years ago, he was at a missionary conference in San Jose, California, where he felt the tug of the Holy Spirit and began to think more seriously about leaving the public school arena and returning to full time Christian ministry.
One day, at the high school where Shoan had been teaching he was engaged in a conversation with other teachers. They discussed many subjects including the major religions of the world as well as their sacred books. One of them spoke openly and positively about new age philosophies and eastern religions. Upon leaving, Shoan casually mentioned the words of Jesus, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." One of the teachers responded rather offensively, "Are you saying that just because I don't believe in Jesus
Christ I am going to hell?" Even though Shoan thought that was a very logical conclusion. He simply answered by saying, "That is what Jesus said and I believe that he was speaking the Truth!"
Whether it is teaching in the public school system in a tent-making ministry, or with Christian missions, Shoran has always been in the ministry. For the last 13 years, me high school classroom was his mission field —full time. Shoan has now joined a Christian mission called "Horn of Afiica Missions." The harvest is ripe in this new mission.
Shoan has seen God sovereignly work 'in all things' to accomplish His perfect will and trusts the Lord to direct his future. Shoan is a committed servant of the Lord Jesus and desires for his life to count for the Glory of God. As a faithful servant, and a capable minister of that sure Word of Hope, Shoan is filled with Thanksgiving for God graciously answering prayers,
With hope and expectation of new opportunities that now await him, the Lord has assigned him a Mission to accomplish, and he needs your support prayer to fulfill this mandate. Be a partner in spreading The Great Commission.