Ethiopia: Benji Update

20100127_benji_0010-Edit2From Kevin Turner,

“While we were able to keep Benji from prison, it was clearly God’s will that he go back to the refugee camp. His malaria, typhoid and severe malnutrition were treated and he was able to eat many good meals. He went back to the refugee camp, not as a refugee, but as a missionary. Once he is registered and has the UNHCR docs needed, we will try to get him to the U.S to live with us.”

For a multi-media look into Benji’s story, please click on the video below.

Benji from gary s chapman on Vimeo.

Update 3-22-10

Well we have just returned from the far north of Ethiopia. Three plus day drive through some rugged but beautiful terrain. At the end of the road is a refugee camp with my son Benji living in it. He sleeps at night on a bed made from rocks and dirt covered with a thick blanket. He is with a Christian family and they share a stone hut that is roughly 10′ x 10′. The place is hot and rocky and they are not allowed to work outside of the camp or leave it. They are left totally dependent upon the food rations they get via the UNHCR. He is still very thin and is having issues with the years of imprisonment and torture. His faith is strong and he continues to grow in the Lord. One of our staff Stephanie was able to get some much needed funding to him and Beni was able to spend two days with my son Hunter who led him to Christ. It was very difficult to get to him and even more difficult to leave him. Please pray that the Lord will open the doors for him and allow us to get him out of there. The camp he is in has 15,000 people in it and is filled to capacity. The Ethiopian government is in the process of opening up another camp to deal with roughly 50 people a day coming across the border from Eritrea. Things are terrible in Eritrea and the people are really suffering. Please pray for the church as the government has really put down a hard hand on anyone who names the name of Christ and shares the Gospel. We will continue our efforts to help Benji and many others who are suffering for Christ sake. They have a massive need for counselors in the camp as this issue is totally not addressed due to shortage and no staff. I watched with joy as Hunter and Benji toured the camp hand in hand and shared fellowship after so many years. Kevin SWI

9 thoughts

  1. Thank you for this beautiful photograph and story. I have included it in this week’s Thor’s Day Roundup, an NGO and non-profit blog carnival on NGOmeter. The link will be posted Thursday, 2/18/2010.

  2. Thank you so much… We had the honor of having dinner with Benji the day before he left for the refugee camp… Having the chance to meet him and pray with him was the greatest honor the Lord has given me… Second to salvation ; )

    For His glory,


  3. Thank you for posting Benji’s story! I can’t wait to share with family and friends. Along with Talia I was blessed enough to be with Benji for dinner the night before he left. Laying hands on him in prayer over his truth, was truly life changing for me. I pray over this man every day, and long for an update!
    Thank you again,

  4. Thank you for sharing Benji’s story and faith in such a beautiful way. I also was honored to share a meal with Benji and lay hands on him in prayer. It was a moment in time that I will never forget. Our family will continue to pray for Benji and hope that we can share dinner with him in the United States someday soon. Thank you, Annie

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