Two years ago a church in Washington adopted a church in Ethiopia, and through a partnership with Adoption Ministry has infused the outreach in this area. Recently, a team from Lake City Church traveled to Ethiopia to meet the church leadership, the evangelists, the kindergarten children, and some of the 50 families who have been helped through Adoption Ministry 1:27.
Reaching the Unreached
The town that Lake City Church has adopted is a good-sized place with 35,000 residents, and most people have never heard the good news of Jesus Christ. In fact, the overwhelming majority of the population has been taught that the symbol of Christianity is evil and to be avoided at all costs. But through the financial strengthening that Lake City has given to seven dedicated evangelists, 111 people are now following Christ and there has been a new church plant in a nearby village that has never seen a church before. Converts face intense resistance from their community and local government, but the numbers are growing and the support from the Ethiopian Meseret Kristos church is strong.
Bringing Hope
Fifty families have been adopted by members of Lake City Church through Adoption Ministry 1:27. The overwhelming majority of these families are single mothers who have lost their husbands through death or abandonment or are grandmothers raising their grandchildren. All are extremely poor, have little to no education, and are utterly destitute.
Through the ministrations of the case manager and the pastoral staff of the church, these families are getting on their feet. They receive monthly food staples, their children are enrolled in school, and the widows are starting to look to their futures with optimism. Once a family is stabilized and if the mother/grandmother is healthy, the next step will be to lift them out of dependence through the establishment of a viable business. But the best news is that seven single moms have put their faith in Jesus Christ and are now being discipled and strengthened through the church community!
Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and … Jesus
Classrooms have been built, teachers hired, a playground installed, and 60 eager kindergarteners have the chance for an incredible start to their education. In Ethiopia, the average kindergarten class has 50 students, but the Mana Gammachuu kindergarten (Mana Gammachuu means joyful place) has three classes of 20 children each. They are learning Amharic (their native language is Orominya), English, and numbers along with Bible stories and Christian character traits such as kindness and honesty. The children are individually sponsored by people attending Lake City Church.
Faith encouraged on two continents
It is amazing and extremely rewarding to witness the partnership that has blossomed between the Meseret Kristos Church in Ethiopia and Lake City Church in Washington. On both sides of the world congregations have been encouraged and blessed. Pastor Jim Kennington of Lake City Church had the privilege of preaching in his congregations’ sister church, team members got to meet the family (or families) they support, murals were painted on classroom walls in the kindergarten, children were tickled and hugged, evangelists were inspired.
The team and pastoral staff of Lake City Church came away with a deeper understanding of the hardships the Christians of this area face and renewed steadfastness to remain faithful in prayer for the spiritual battles that are raging. The vibrancy of the faith of the Ethiopian Christians and their determination to persevere no matter what the cost significantly impacted the thirteen people who visited their church’s ministry area. There is no doubt that they will bring renewed energy back to their home church and they most definitely left a deposit in their sister church in Ethiopia!