Nazareth Emmanuel United Church
Community: Nazaret, Ethiopia
This church has been encouragingly aggressive in implementing wholistic ministry activities. In combination with the initiatives in micro-enterprise, house renovations and construction, the church remains connected with the community by way of home visits, supplementary feeding and other tasks for addressing community needs.
The church works in harmony with the local government bodies to establish a strong reputation and gain an advantage that will better allow it to address the felt needs of the very disadvantaged groups of the community. The church is also successful in not only disseminating the message of the gospel but also planting churches in its intervention areas.
Selected beneficiaries were taught about adaptive mushroom production as a means to combat the threats of famine that often plagues the community. The training taught the community about the development of a stable food source, specifically mushrooms which offer nutritional value. Other forms of entrepreneurial empowerment include gravel sales and distribution, sheep and calf fattening, and various other petty trading businesses.
Like many of the other churches described, Nazareth Emmanuel United Church has constructed programs that work to renovate both community houses and facilities for the members of the community. This aides in sanitation and overall safety. Medical services have also been put in place to offer free assistance to those that cannot afford such care.
This community has experienced undeniable growth and the early stages of transformation by way of this church!
Continuing our series regarding some of the highlights from the community work in Ethiopia we find Akaki Kalehiywot Church also in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Community: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
||This church has been executing various activities including the provision of education, health and other social services.
|For some of the most needy members of the community the church has been able to offer rented houses for the families enabling the children to live close enough to attend school..
|Structured in a similar fashion to Antioch Faith Baptist Church, many families are able to send their children to receive education either for free or a reduced price. School materials and uniforms are also covered under this support.
|Akaki Kalehiywot Church offers a broad range of informational meetings addressing societal problems such as HIV/AIDS, environmental sanitation, and income generating activities. Through these meetings the church is able to raise awareness and create steps towards correcting these problems.
After grouping the selected beneficiaries of the loan services into 12 groups of 17 people, the church trained the groups on topics ranging from methods of establishing businesses with limited financial resources, to procedures and vision casting for business. Upon completion of the training and briefing of the loan procedures, the beneficiaries are able to obtain loans to start-up their own small business or income generating activities.
|We would love for you to check back tomorrow as we highlight Nazareth Emmanuel United Church, a church that has been aggressively using and implementing the wholistic ministry strategy.
The growth of LIA in 2009 has allowed for amazing transformation and community development to take place through our partner churches. We hope you will enjoy our blog series this week in which we will feature four of our partner churches throughout Ethiopia. We will highlight stories from three churches in Addis Ababa and one from Nazareth. Please leave comments if you have visited these churches first hand!
Antioch Faith Baptist Church
Community: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Fact: Poor health services, minimal access to safe drinking water, and malnutrition are just some of the factors that result in the disheartening fact that in Ethiopia the under-5 years of age mortality rate is 173 per 1,000 births.
Fact found from UNICEF.org.
The mission of LIA is to empower churches to serve the poor using a wholistic approach for community development.
A significant focus for our organization in 2010 is communicating to you from the communities where we serve, in order for the global community to be connected, sharing the burden of poverty (both spiritual and physical) and therefore undertaking the process of mutual transformation.
Last weekend, the beginning of this community sharing and serving was seen in Louisville, Kentucky.
A team of young leaders from Southeast Christian Church is preparing to partner with the Thika community in Kenya this February. We had a retreat where the team grew in their understanding of the culture, dynamics and context of Kenya at large, and Thika specifically.
After leading a few sessions on poverty, the mission/vision of LIA, and how communities can serve one another – you could feel the excitement and expectation of true community partnership happening.
At the same time, another important community connection happened the same weekend when LIA staff and local supporters met together with the local Sudanese community in Louisville. A rich bond with these dear brothers and sisters was quickly formed. We are really excited about the future of partnership between the Sudanese communities living in Louisville with our community development work in the community of Rumbek, South Sudan.
May 2010 be the year that we seek to mutually learn and be transformed by serving to empower Africa’s poorest communities.
If you are interested in learning more about our community work in Rumbek, Sudan we would love for you to check out our Annual Report (pg. 11), sharing “Stories of Transformation” and offering a glimpse into the work you helped empower through your partnership with us!
Are you interested in learning more about how your generous support has helped to empower the ministry of LIA over the years?
We are excited to give you a chance to tangibly see and read about the transformational impact that has taken place throughout the communities we serve within northeast Africa. Our annual report highlights the growth of LIA organizationally as well as celebrating the progress and work of our empowered partner churches throughout 2008. Featured below is one of our “Stories of Transformation” found in our annual report regarding the Kisumu community in Kenya.
“Empowering Vulnerable Children
“The Kisumu community represents a vision of great poverty. The Nyalenda slum is an overpopulated area that suffers from an abundance of trash, which has the potential to cultivate many diseases. Still recovering from the violent outbreaks that took place after the elections in February of 2008, there is yet an unmistakable presence of joy that resonates in this community. Walking the streets you hear a multitude of voices singing and can sense the feeling of great hope despite the current situation.
One church in particular, Revival of Salvation Ministries, is a driving force in the community. With a very simple church building structure, utilizing the materials of mud and tin, the music, dancing and smiles have made this simple structure come to life. The children’s choir of the church is a collaboration of 60-70 children that are orphans or come from single-parent homes. The cheerfulness and delights that resounds from these children’s voices echoes throughout the community and serves as a representation of hope for the future.
In 2008, LIA successfully trained and equipped five local church partners to commence a full-scale street children and rehabilitation program in the Nyalenda slums. We couldn’t be more excited to join these pastors in serving to empower the vulnerable children of their community. “
**Want your very own copy of our annual report leave us a comment on our website with your name and address and we will send a hard copy version to you!
Follow us on the blog the rest of this week as we share “Stories of Transformation” from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia as well as Rumbek, Sudan.
FACT: In sub-Saharan Africa, measles takes the life of a child nearly every minute of every day.
An effective measles vaccine costs as little as $1 per child.
Fact found from World Health Organization
Our staff live and work in some of the world’s most challenging places. Persistent poverty, hopelessness, and tragedy are the norm. We could fill this space with volumes of first-hand stories from the communities where we serve that would simply tear you up inside. It is in this context we choose to serve, but it is also this very context where the enormity of the task at hand can quickly become overwhelming.
At church last weekend, I was reminded of the power of remembrance. If we look back at the nation of Israel, we see that God regularly calls them to remember all that was done in the past as an indicator for his faithfulness for that which has not yet been realized. I’m just speculating, but I assume that there are many reasons God regularly told Israel to remember:
– Lest they think that they were worthy of the glory and honor for achievements
– Lest they believe that they were ultimately in control of their future
– Lest they be deceived into worshiping other gods
– Lest they neglect to rely on their creator for all that is life giving and ‘good’
– Lest they forget God’s overall favor for them, as evidenced by the release from oppression and captivity
– Lest they become overwhelmed by the challenges of the future, forgetting that God has done much in their past to bring them through hardship and toil.
In taking time to remember, it is almost as if we are equipped to realize that what is ahead is not so overwhelming. Every Monday, our staff across the world takes the morning to pray for the work that we are involved in, the communities we serve in and the lives that are being transformed. During this time last Monday, I took a moment to remember all that God allowed us to participate in as an organization in 2009.
I wanted to share some of the highlights with you in celebration of what has been done, and as an encouragement for what is ahead:
– Ministry begins full-scale in Khartoum, Sudan.
– We completed our first-ever documentary about the Merkato community and its communal tragedy of street children.
– LIA Ethiopia commences work on our largest water and sanitation initiative in the Kirkos community – a program that will serve 16,000 with clean water.
– Resources are provided to commence ministry in a secret east African community.
– Ministry commences in Thika, Kenya that equips local churches for micro-enterprise and early childhood education.
– Our largest volume of short-term teams serve to empower communities in Africa. (Check out a video compiled by trip goer Allyson Cheney from her team’s time in Ethiopia)
– Three benefit dinners take place in cities throughout the United States.
These are but a sample of what happened last year, and we will likely never truly know the impact of what took place during 2009 (you’ll have to read our annual report in for more details!).
Looking ahead to 2010, I’m encouraged by the words of Mother Teresa, who said that “I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.” May we remain humble, faithful, diligent and in a posture of gratefulness for what has already be done as we wait in anxious anticipation of what is ahead.