BY BRENDA KIŠ
Bemnet Meried was born in Eritrea as a fourth-generation Seventh-day Adventist. Raised in the faith, his life was suddenly altered when he was 17 years old. In 2002 persecution began in the country and the church went underground.
In 2004 Bemnet entered medical school and immediately faced a hurdle: Saturday classes. Though he fasted and prayed for help to stand for God, the pressure was great and he gave in when an exam was offered one Sabbath. The brokenness he felt afterwards led him to approach the program director and tell her that he would not be able to do this in the future because of his beliefs. Though he received letters of warning from the co-director, God intervened and saved him from going to jail. He was even allowed to take his weekly exams on Mondays instead of Saturdays “for the sake of your God!” In 2010 he obtained his M.D. degree, worked a year, and through a series of divine interventions entered the United States in 2011.
One night he received a strong impression when God said, “Bemnet, what are you doing for your people?” He was then directed to write a tract in his language. It was the start of a ministry. Preparing Bible studies and DVDs and translating Spirit of Prophecy books, he eventually established a program on Facebook and began doing media work in a friend’s studio. He became a church-planting consultant for Eritreans in North America and started to write his own books.
And this ministry is yielding results. After listening to one of his YouTube sermons on Job, a woman called to ask if this story was really true. When assured that it was, she shared her story of depression because her husband had left her. Bemnet connected her with another Eritrean SDA woman and just recently she was baptized!
A Catholic woman heard about the seventh-day Sabbath on Bemnet’s Facebook program. She contacted him and was convinced of this truth. She is now taking Bible studies and witnessing to neighbors as well as to a cousin overseas who now attends church and studies with Bemnet via teleconferencing!
Another family in England has been convicted through his Viber group and is studying for baptism. In fact, says Bemnet, the most powerful means to reach Eritreans is through Viber, videos, and flash drives.
Through an ASI grant, ASAP has invited Bemnet to make quality DVDs at a local studio to reach and nurture scattered Eritrean people here and abroad, while continuing his translation work. We look forward to meeting God’s precious Eritreans in the Kingdom as a result of this ministry!