A lot happened during 2008 in Ethiopia. The Addis Kidan Baptist Church bought property on the west edge of Addis Ababa and constructed a small temporary office building. Now they can use the money they would have paid for rent to save toward a permanent building. They are hoping others will help them so that they can build fairly soon. The office is the hub for their work with 70 churches and 23 preaching points all over Ethiopia.
They have now drilled 21 wells in rural villages. People have said that it is "holy water" because they don't get sick any more. Their flat injera bread has turned from brown to white due to the absence of mud in it. With the help of Baptist World Alliance and Cooperative Baptists they got a new double cab pickup with cover on the back to use for the project. Before they only had one vehicle and could only go out when the car was not in use. That should mean that a lot more wells will be drilled in 2009.
The two guest houses are serving many people and the proceeds are helping support development work throughout the country. We went to Ethiopia three times this year and we always enjoy meeting the people who are staying there. Some are adopting children, some are on mission trips, and some are coming as tourists.
In October Ermias, the general secretary of Addis Kidan for 5 years, and his wife Mulu emigrated to the U.S. with their two children. He is studying nursing at Hardin Simmons University in Abilene. That is 3 hours from Desoto so we have seen them several times.
The new director Kifle, a high school teacher for 20 years, became the general secretary in Ermias' place. We have enjoyed getting to know him and his family and helping him get acquainted with the denomination.
We are happy to report that Gary and Becky Threatt are in Ethiopia working with Addis Kidan Church for a year. Becky grew up in Ethiopia with our children and her father John Cheyne helped start Baptist mission work there. She is a nurse and her husband is a pastor. They spent a term as missionaries in Menz with their 3 children and then returned to the states. We invited them to a 2 week meeting at 5 places in Menz last May. They had such a great experience that they decided to ask their church for a sabbatical leave so that they could help Addis Kidan for a year.
Anthony Mathenia also comes out to train 72 evangelists 3 times a year. When the training is complete they will go in pairs to plant churches in 36 new areas.
Our village children sponsorship program has helped 250 children in 5 villages. We have provided food for the families and clothing and shoes for the children. A number of churches have provided kindergarten for children who haven't yet started school in order to teach them the basics. Some of the children are as old as 10. Many are orphan vulnerable as their parents have the AIDS virus. They hope to start more kindergartens this year.
So you can see that it has been a fruitful year. We are excited to see what the Lord will do in the coming year.
Friday, March 28, 2008
There are now two guest houses across the street from each other in order to accomodate more guests. The guest house email is firstname.lastname@example.org . The guest house telephone is 01137124338 and the mobile phone is 0911648567. (Those are the incountry numbers. You need the number to dial out of the U.S. plus the country code in front of those) Alayu is the guest house manager and he speaks English. His mobile phone is 0912037409. He is willing to meet people at the airport and take them to the guest house in a rented taxi. We are in Ethiopia part of the time at the guest house and can be reached at email@example.com if you have questions. We welcome you and your adopted children in our guest house. Lauralee Lindholm