A partnership more than four decades
The relationship between Evangelical Students’ and Graduates’ Union of Ethiopia (EvaSUE ) and International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES) dates back to 1974. In the same year, Chua Wee Hian, the former director of IFES landed in Ethiopia for a working visit. The main purpose of his visit was to observe works of the student movement in Ethiopia. In his visit, Mr.Chua Wee Hian had the chance to discuss with student Fellowship leaders on the help needed to strengthen the movement. It was after that fruitful discussion and wise response of the fellowship leaders that Miss Mildred Young came to Ethiopia to teach Inductive Bible Study Method for university Evangelical Christian Students. Expatriates who had been teaching in different campuses of Addis Ababa University, the then Haile Selassie I University – and those who were working in different sectors of government institutions with different professions – played huge role in creating the earlier connection between EvaSUE and IFES. There were key expatriates who had been paying close follow up to the progress of the students’ fellowship and share the information with Mr.Stacey Woods (1947–1972), the then general secretary of IFES. Though it was not the sole support of IFES to send Miss Young, this one had great significance in the life of University Christian Students.
International exposure of Evangelical Students’ and Graduates Union of Ethiopia ( EvaSUE) started in attending Pan Africa Evangelical Students Fellowship (PAESF) establishment conference that was held in Kenya. Following that Ekubegze, who was an Ethiopian delegate in the PAESF conference, became one of the four elected students to attend IFES conference held in German in 1967.
In 1995, following the downfall of the dictatorial communist regime in Ethiopia, Evangelical Students’ and Graduates’ Union of Ethiopia ( EvaSUE) officially presented a request to be a member of the International Fellowships of Evangelical Students ( IFES). The same year, not so long after the official request letter was submitted, EvaSUE got its acceptance to be a legal member of IFES in the World Assembly conference held in Kenya.
For the second time in history, another IFES general secretary, Dr. Daniel Bourdanné, from Chad, visited Ethiopia in Feb.2018. He came to Ethiopia following the election of Mr.Zelalem Abebe, a former EvaSUE (Evangelical Students’ & Graduates’ Union of Ethiopia) general secretary to be a regional secretary for EPSA (Englis and Portuguese Speaking Africa) student movement. His visit was to spend time with, Zelalem. Though he came to personal visit, a wonderful coincidence gave him the opportunity to present on a full day consultation and awareness creation program that EvaSUE prepared for denomination leaders and partners. Given the opportunity, he addressed Church leaders.
Currently, EvaSUE is credited to be one of the fastest growing student movements among IFES members
IFES was founded in 1947 and has been in service for the last seventy years. Its International office based in the UK. Currently, 160 countries that have student movements linked with IFES. It estimates that the number of students that are involved in the ministry is around 500,000 worldwide.