The Ambaricho International Prayer & Missions Movement started on a 10,000-foot Mountain called Ambaricho. It is located 6 hours south of Addis Ababa near the town of Durame Ethiopia. Mount Ambaricho was the seat of many witch doctors from the Abba Sarecho family. They were worshiped by the people of the area for over 700 years.
Christian missionaries arrived at the southern part of Ethiopia in the late 1920’s from England, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Their faithful endeavor brought the conversion of natives who were very bold to share their faith in Christ. Their day and night prayer fueled the speed of the Gospel, which transformed the lives of the people. To that effect, currently over 95% of the Kambatta tribe are evangelical Christians today. The last of the Abba Sarecho submitted to Jesus Christ about 25 years ago.
After Evangelical Christianity became the predominate religion among the Kambatta people, they started going to the top of Mt. Ambaricho to pray for the lost throughout Ethiopia. After one such hike to the top of the mountain, a few teenagers agreed to pool their money together to purchase water and snacks. After telling Dr. Desta about this, he suggested that they donate some of the money for missions. This became the beginning of a Prayer Movement that became a Mission Movement. From that time on, every year during the month of January, people gather on top of Mt. Ambaricho to fast and pray for world missions. The number of people attending this prayer and worship time has grown from 500 to over 150,000 people. After prayer and worship, the people give and pledge to support world missions through AIPM.
Dr. Desta has two younger brothers, Abebe and Tamiru, whom he trained one-on-one to share their faith with people of the Muslim faith. About 30% of the people of Ethiopia are Muslims. Both Abebe and Tamiru had suffered persecution at the hands of the comminests and were tried and true servants of Jesus Christ. Abebe and his wife Abebech went as missionaries to South Sudan for 6 years. Tamiru became the first AIPM missionary and was sent to Sanbatte Shalla, a town considered the Mecca of Ethiopia. AIPM now has over 250 missionaries under fulll support in the field reaching the lost of Ethiopia and beyond.