Evangelist Daniel Tassew Haile led the first known outreach to the nation of Somalia.
[12.08.08] When he was 11 years old, Daniel Tassew Haile had a vision of Jesus. In it, he says, God called him to salvation and ministry-but Haile didn't immediately answer the call.
In fact, Haile was 18 before he gave his life to Christ, and even then he didn't immediately launch into ministry. Instead, the Ethiopian youth earned a bachelor's degree and served as a mathematics teacher at a French high school. But after seven years in the educational system, he couldn't shake the burden for souls.
"The Lord had a purpose for my life," Haile told Charisma. "Prophets came and told me God wanted to send me to the nations."
It was during a missions trip to Djibouti, a Muslim country in East Africa, that Haile says God told him clearly and directly: "The time is now. Go ye into all the nations!"
That was nearly 17 years ago. Haile has been "going" full-time ever since. Indeed, Haile has preached the gospel in 50 countries, from where the sun rises in Tonga to where it sets in Samoa. His travels have taken him through 12 nations in the Middle East.
Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke credits Haile with being the first evangelist in the world to conduct an evangelistic conference in Somalia. Haile has seen as many as 200,000 people attend his healing and revival meetings, held under the banner of International Revival Ministry based in Hallandale Beach, Fla., with offices in Ethiopia and Germany.
"When I left my teaching position, the director of the school thought I was crazy," Haile recalled. "I was working with diplomats and ambassadors. I got to travel to Europe every year. The director was right. I am crazy-crazy for the Lord."
Haile has witnessed plenty of spiritual warfare during his travels. He recalls a visit to India, where there seemed to be "millions of gods waiting to welcome you to Bombay." He also remembers a trip to Somalia in 2007. There the police sought to arrest him for preaching about Jesus. He left the country before local authorities could take him into custody.
"A month ago, one of my colleagues who ran video for us was shot dead in Somalia," Haile said. "But I will still go where the Holy Spirit sends me. I am not afraid of the persecution or the prosecution."
Even more than the spiritual warfare, Haile says the bigger hindrance to widespread revival is the unbelief of Christians, along with the spirit of religion and divisiveness in the church.
That's why he has launched World Wide Witness, a mission to go to literally every country in the world and preach the gospel through crusades, seminars, mass media and the Internet. Haile has joined forces with global outreach efforts such as the Billion Soul Initiative, which is affiliated with the Global Pastors Network.
Haile also works with church leaders in Ethiopia. "We have prayed and worked with Rev. Daniel on those issues that are challenges to our country, like HIV/AIDS and the drought," said Abba Lesane Christos Matheos, secretary-general of the Archdiocesan Catholic Secretariat. "I know also that he has a vision to bring all churches together for the expansion of the kingdom of God."
Through his World Wide Witness initiative, Haile plans to go into every nation, either physically or through the media, during the next 30 years. He says God has promised him that if he sets his heart to go to the ends of the earth, and if he partners with like-minded ministries, he can make a worldwide impact.
Haile is determined, and those who know him say he is already influencing many parts of the world. Pastor Siyum G. Tsadik, general secretary of the Evangelical Churches Fellowship of Ethiopia, an association of 5,000 churches with more than 10 million members, calls Haile a committed evangelist. "Haile is diligently and faithfully serving the Lord," Tsadik said. "He is a man of honesty, responsibility and deep integrity who has brought impacts here and abroad."--Jennifer Leclaire
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