Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Ethiopia Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY) no longer receives support from the ELCA due to the 2009 ELCA churchwide assembly. Prior to that point, the ELCA had been among the greatest supporters of the EECMY. The EECMY is now the largest Lutheran body in the world, growing by over 60,000 per month.
On August 17th, 2021, an unprecedented flash flood on the campus of the their main seminary destroyed 96 dormitory rooms as well as the homes of 21 families including 5 missionary families. Damage is in the millions of dollars. Eight lives were lost from the seminary community. Here is a link to a video showing damage. We grieve the loss of our brothers and sisters, yet not as the world grieves (1 Thes. 4:13ff).
The future of their main seminary is now at risk. Much of the campus needs to be rebuilt. Students and faculty no longer have places to stay. Serious steps are being taken to guarantee such flooding does not take place in the future.
In the words of Bishop Dan Selbo in the September NALC newsletter, “We will also be inviting ‘every pastor, congregation and member to enter into intentional and intensive prayer for Ethiopia’”. The story needs to be told and retold, as the EECMY has no other full-communion relationship with other bodies in North America. The NALC has only 500 congregations.
You can help. Tax-deductible disaster relief contributions are being received by the NALC.
It is likely that short-term relief efforts will still not adequately rebuild the campus. Thus, if you feel called to support the seminary in their efforts to recover and achieve long-term self-sustainability, a noteworthy building project on higher ground, untouched by the flooding, has been underway in partnership with Lutheran Bible Translators. This project provides much needed assistance as well as creating an ongoing revenue stream of $225,000 per year to the seminary. (Details and how to give are included in a separate handout, “God is on the move in Ethiopia!”) If 250 congregations, or one from their membership, respond with a $4,000 donation, that project will be completed, generating revenue starting early in 2022.
Both of these opportunities provide much needed assistance to Mekane Yesus Seminary at this critical point in time.
With a heavy heart for our brothers and sisters in Ethiopia,
Chair, Mekane Yesus Seminary Advancement Team
Pastor, First Evangelical Lutheran Church, Floresville, TX