June 5: Last Day in Ethiopia!

 

The morning is filled with sharing the worship service at the first and one of the largest Mekane Yesus congregations in Ethiopia, founded in the early 1950’s. In a beautiful, simple sanctuary that seats about 300, the service started sharply at 10:00 am, and the pews were packed to overflowing by 10:30. The service concluded about noon.

 

 

Mekane Yesus Choir

 

One of the joys of the morning was hearing the congregation’s choir sing 4 songs. Beautiful!  We also witnessed a baptism and got to hear a young, enthusiastic intern from the seminary preach the sermon.

 

Water to Thrive has had a working relationship with Mekane Yesus – Development and Social Services Commission (DASSC) since 2012. This arm of the church does community engagement and support and we have implemented over 100 water projects with this partner.  After the service, we met with national leadership of the DASSC as well as representatives of the 3 synod DASSC organizations with whom Water to Thrive is currently working.  We continue our discussion over a nice lunch nearby.

 

During lunch, the skies opened up with heavy rain (and a little hail too!)…..it put a little damper on some last minute shopping before heading to the airport but everyone managed to get everything taken care of.

 

As you read this, the majority of the group will be winging its way back to Texas…..the Moellers and Kolanders will be heading to Tanzania for another week of adventure.

 

As we draw a close to this week, it is important to acknowledge those who have helped make this possible….

-        The members of Triumphant Love who so generously supported the Celebrating Wells of Love campaign to honor our Pastors and build more wells

-        Pastor Norb Firnhaber who authored our wonderful devotions each day

-        The staff and leadership of our partners at Relief Society of Tigray and Mekane Yesus-DASSC

-        And of course Johannes and Alem with Diversity Tours

 

Blessings to all who helped make the journey through Ethiopia such a memorable experience!

 

- Dick