St Frumentius’ College to open in January 2015

The Anglican Church in Ethiopia is growing. It is a great example of what God is doing throughout Africa. In 2000, we had 8 churches, now we have over 80. This growth is great news! However, much of this growth is numerical with little depth in the knowledge of the Word of God, and with few trained clergy.

The greatest needs of the Church in Ethiopia, and indeed in all Africa, is theological education, spiritual formation and leadership. In 2012, God sent the Rev. Dr. Grant LeMarquand to become the new Area Bishop for the Horn of Africa with a vision to meet the need by starting a school of theology.

Building upon our experience with the Alexandria School of Theology in Egypt, we decided to start two new campuses in Africa: St. Cyprian’s College in Tunisia and St. Frumentius’ College in Ethiopia. The main goal of these campuses is to form local leaders for the church through providing theological training and spiritual formation.
There are currently 16 clergy serving in 80 churches in Ethiopia, only one of whom has formal theological education. St. Frumentius’ Anglican Theological College will train existing clergy, and new lay and ordained leaders, who will be able to transform the church and address the spiritual and cultural challenges in society.

I believe that St. Frumentius’ College will transform the Church in the Horn of Africa, as we seek to develop a mature and fully indigenous church. I request your prayers for Bishop Grant and for the fulfilment of this vision.

For more information, please download the full proposal below:

Download the Full Proposal

or visit the website of the St. Frumentius’ College: http://frumentiuscollege.dioceseofegypt.org/

 

Appeal to Help Sudanese Refugees in Ethiopia

Hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing from the violence that has caused so much death and suffering in South Sudan in the last two months. Media reports have put the death toll from the violence at 1,000, while other reports estimate the number dead to be closer to 10,000.

Refugees are flooding across the border into Gambella, a region in the west of Ethiopia (see map below). There are 70 Anglican Churches in the Gambella Region, and some of these churches are very close to the South Sudanese border.Gambella mapUrgent Needs
Bishop Grant LeMarquand, the Area Bishop for the Episcopal Area of the Horn of Africa, writes:

“Some of the towns where we have churches near the border have been overrun with large numbers of people fleeing the fighting in South Sudan. In the village I visited last weekend, there are now 4,000 refugees from the Nasir area of South Sudan and it is expected that more will arrive. The UN is preparing a camp, which should take about a month to prepare. Although the refugees were at first sleeping and cooking in church compounds (pictured below), they have now been integrated temporarily into the community, sleeping and cooking in the compounds of the local people.

Church compound

The refugees will receive food rations once they have been moved to the camp. In the meantime they have been surviving on the generosity of local people, especially the churches, and cutting and selling firewood. I brought 800 kilograms of maize, tarps for shelter from the intense sun, mosquito nets, soap, sugar and salt to the village to the Anglican church in the village. The pastor of church is also the chairman of the village Nuer Council of Churches, which will arrange for the supplies to be distributed.

In the coming weeks I will meet with pastors of our congregations in refugee camps to assess what new needs they have because of the situation in South Sudan. There has been an influx of new people in all of the camps, and it will take some effort on the part of relief agencies and the churches in the camps to assist in the settlement and integration of these newcomers.”

 

Samaritan Fund
The Episcopal Area has a ‘Samaritan Fund’ which enables the Anglican Church to respond quickly to help our congregations and new refugees. This fund was less than empty when this last crisis hit, as there has been a few desperate needs in the past year. This has included a localised famine in the village of Tiergol, devastating fires which burned several houses of clergy and church members in Gambella town, and surgery for a young girl shot during a cattle raid.

We are seeking support of partners to donate to the Samaritan Fund, enabling the Anglican churches in Gambella to respond to the needs around them.

 

How to Contribute
In  the  UK,  please  contact  The  Egypt  Diocesan  Association  (EDA)  through  Mr. Joseph Wasef (edasecretary@gmail.com) or visit their website: http://www.eda-egypt.org.uk/

In the USA, you can either contact The Friends of the Anglican Diocese of Egypt (FADE) through Dr.  Randi  Wood (blessfade@gmail.com) or  visit their  website: www.friendsanglicandioceseegypt.org

or

Give through our partner the Anglican Relief and Development Fund in the USA: http://anglicanaid.net/south-sudan-refugee-crisis/

To contribute directly to Ethiopia, please contact Bishop Grant LeMarquand (bishopgrant777@gmail.com) or the bank account details are:

Account Name: The Anglican Church in Ethiopia
Account Number: 476/0130422129700
Bank Name: Awash International Bank s.c.
Branch: Arat Kilo
Swift code: AWINETAA
Address: P.O Box 12638

 

Update about the refugee situation in Gambella

As violence continues in South Sudan, refugees have been fleeing across the border to Gambella. Bishop Grant writes

“Some of the towns where we have churches near the border have been overrun with large numbers of people fleeing the fighting in South Sudan. For example, in the town where I am going this coming Saturday, there are about 1,000 people living without shelter and with almost no food on the Anglican church compound. The same is true of most of the churches in the town (the clergy have organized the people into groups). There is apparently some food in the town, but little money to buy and the prices are high. I’m going to bring a load of maize with me on Saturday, as well as tarps to use for shelter from the sun – it’s the beginning of dry season – no rain, but intense sun.”

“We have a woman who helps clean the compound here in Gambella. Two days ago we heard that her son had been killed in Juba (he had been staying at the UN compound, but decided to go home to get a change of clothes and was killed on the street.) Stories come to us daily of family members caught in the cross fire. Several members of the staff and clergy have family in UN compounds in Bor and Juba – but no compound is truly safe.”

Pray for Bishop Grant and Dr Wendy, and for the clergy in Gambella as they respond to the current situation. Pray that the needs of the refugees would be met.

Recent visitors to the Episcopal Area of the Horn of Africa (December 2013-Jan 2014)

  • The Rev Dr John Piper who preached at St Matthew’s Church, Addis Ababa
  • Former Crosslinks missionary David Harley to St Matthew’s Addis

Gambella

  • Bishop Andrew and Mrs Janice Proud, the Rev Dr Darrell Hannah, the Rev John Edwards, Ms Tina Bailey, and Ms Janet Larkine from Reading, UK
  • The Rev Dr Johann and Louise Vanderbijl, South Carolina
  • The Rev Nancy Kenney and her husband Pat from North Augusta, South Carolina
  • Mr Yien Chagor Reath of Addis Ababa
  • Mr Paul Gilbert, London, UK
  • Canon Dr John A. Macdonald of Trinity School for Ministry, Ambridge PA USA and three theological students: Matthew Stromberg, Scott Gorbold and Stevan Betcher

Coming soon

  • A team to Gambella from International Design and Development (in February)
  • The Rev Dr Ashley Null guest preacher at St Matthew’s Addis Ababa (in March)

Improving Children’s Nutrition in Gambella

The 2nd training session of the Mothers’ Union Community Education and Development Program was held in December for 35 women representing 21 Mothers’ Union groups from Nuer, Anuak, Mabaan, Dinka and Opo tribes in Gambella. The theme was ‘Good Food makes Strong Bodies.’ Pictures, stories and discussions focused on how good nutrition helps us, and about the importance of eating food from the different food groups.

The pre-project survey showed the majority of children were given a diet consisting primarily of maize (corn). Statistics from the Village Medicine Conference held in Addis Ababa in 2012 showed that on average, in Ethiopia, children eat meat only once or twice a year. Serving food from a variety of food groups (if possible) at most if not all meals, is a good starting point for teaching on nutrition. On day two, the trainees presented the nutrition teaching to one another using story and picture sets.

Mothers Union training (1)

This was followed by a practical skills / income generation activity session on how to crochet mats using free materials such as recycled plastic bags from the market and material from torn clothing and rags. Although sets of extra large crochet hooks were given to each Mission Centre for demonstration purposes and to be shared with community members, participants were taught how to make home-made crochet hooks using twigs and a knife.

Mothers Union training (5)

Spiritual formation sessions provided opportunities to build upon the deepening friendships developing between participants from different tribal groups.

Mothers Union training (4)

After these training sessions at the Gambella Anglican Centre, the Mothers’ Union representatives return to train women in their local villages. Some of these training sessions exceeded expected numbers. For example, the Mothers Union in Pinyadu Refugee Camp held 4 separate training days on clean water with 125, 135, 109 and 123 participants respectively. Participant feedback included “we never realised that when a well person drinks from the same cup as a sick person, the well person could become sick” and “one woman has made a table on which to dry her dishes in the sun and now all her neighbours are using it.

Mothers Union training (8)

Advent Appeal for Churches in Gambella

Giving in Gambella

There is a little church in a town called Ilea in Gambella. The church’s walls are made of a few bamboo sticks; its roof a UNHCR tarp. There is nothing inside but a bare, smooth floor of packed mud. Bishop Grant LeMarquand recently taught at the church about the woman who had given Jesus her wealth (her gift of costly ointment worth a year’s wages); had given her pride (in the ancient world only a slave could be required to attend to a person’s feet); and she had given her reputation (she had let down her hair to wash Jesus’ feet). As it came time for this church to give the offering, to the handfuls of grain and little one birr notes (worth six cents) that were laid on the mat, were added the gifts of the women. One laid down her head scarf, the next her necklace of plastic beads, and one by one, women, who from a western perspective had ‘nothing’, came and brought their gifts – ‘costly’, because that was all they had.

About Gambella

Each week over 6,000 people worship in 70 congregations in Gambella, a region in the west of Ethiopia. These congregations are active in Mothers’ Union, Bible studies, youth ministry, literacy classes, prayer meetings and community development and serve both nationals and refugees from neighbouring Sudan who worship in a variety of languages including Anuak, Dinka, Nuer, Mabaan and Opo.

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The Road to Sustainability

Under the leadership of the Right Revd Dr Grant LeMarquand, the Area Bishop for the Horn of Africa, the churches are growing rapidly.  And although people give sacrificially, it is not enough to cover the salary of the priests who are active in discipleship, evangelism and planting new churches.

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The challenge now is to support these clergy prayerfully and financially. With the long-term goal of establishing self-supporting churches, the congregations are expected to pay increasing percentages of the priests’ salaries each year. In the short term, however, our congregations are not able to cover the full amount of these salaries. We need you to consider partnering with these churches on their journey to become self-supporting.

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Partner with Us

Please pray for the churches in Gambella, and consider supporting the salary of one or more of these priests as a one time donation or an ongoing relationship.

  • Cost of a priest: $2,200 per year
  • Church contribution: $200 per year
  • Balance needed: $2,000 per year

Just click on the buttons below to download printable PDFs and a PowerPoint Presentation that you can share with others.

How to Contribute

You can contribute directly into the bank account of the Anglican Church in Ethiopia

Bank name: Awash International Bank S.C.
Branch: Awat Kilo Branch
Bank address: PO Box 12638 Addis Ababa
Account name: The Anglican Church in Ethiopia
Account number: 476-01304221297000
SWIFT code: AWINETAA

If you are in the USA, you can make a tax deductible donation through the Friends of the Anglican Diocese of Egypt, a registered 501(c)3 corporation.

www.friendsanglicandioceseegypt.org

If you are in the UK, you can contribute through the Egypt Diocesan Association, a registered UK charity, and if you are a UK taxpayer you can “Gift Aid It” – adding 25% to your gift.

www.eda-egypt.org.uk

For more information about our work in Gambella and elsewhere in the Horn of Africa, just click HERE.
Advent Appeal for Gambella (Arabic)
Advent Appeal for Gambella (English)
Advent Appeal for Gambella (Powerpoint)

Definitely NOT boring! Reflections of Bishop Grant on Ministry in the Horn of Africa

Definitely NOT boring!  Just a couple of years ago, life was fairly predictable. Most days I could be found in my office, in front of my computer screen doing professorial preparation or in the classroom teaching. But now, a kaleidoscope of travel has kept life, well, let’s say ‘interesting’!

South Sudan: Speaking at the retreat for students graduating from Bishop Gwynne College and then at the graduation itself combined joy (finally a chance to go to the college where Wendy and I were to have gone almost 30 years ago but were prevented by war), and frustration (preaching at Emmanuel Jieng Church, the wonderful worship interrupted by an hour long campaign speech by the country’s Vice President as he ‘greeted’ the people).

Addis: learning Amharic; jumping through residency permit hoops; filling in at our English congregation while the rector was away; leading and preaching at the Remembrance Day service organized by the British Embassy with 40 ambassadors and their ‘Military Attaches’; introducing a famous Baptist preacher at the Sunday evening service at St Matthew’s.

During one of our trips to Addis, a couple of terrorists blew themselves up while trying to assemble a bomb that they had intended to detonate at a large football match between Ethiopia and Nigeria. The devastation would have been horrific. The country is now on heightened alert. Nothing boring about life here.

Gambella: Life has been no less varied. Reports, repairs, preparation, Area Assembly (like a church ‘Convention’ or ‘Synod’ for the Episcopal Area of the Horn of Africa), and of course, interruptions – the stuff of ministry here. Wonderful visitors from the Mothers’ Union (one from London, one from Juba, one from Addis) to train local literacy facilitators in how to teach the women in our Gambella churches how to read their own language; great visit from St Matthew’s Church representatives to the Area Assembly. Much less helpful visit from a (now) former priest (deposed for neglect of duty, deception, violence and threatening behaviour among other things). Not much that is ‘routine’ here either.

I have often told people that nothing is mediocre in Africa – it is either spectacularly wonderful or truly awful.  I recently read the Old Testament story of the spies going to check out Canaan. Most of them (10 out of 12) came back with the report, “The people were like giants; we seemed like grasshoppers next to them.” A couple of days after reading the passage, I realized that I had caught a case of that exotic disease, ‘grasshopper syndrome’. I was having a tough time trusting that God would give the resources (material and spiritual) that are needed for this work. The ‘cares and occupations’ were taking a toll. I began to long for that 9-5 routine at the desk and in the classroom. A bit of boredom sounded kind of nice. A series of people and events have helped. Bishop Mouneer in Egypt has provided great wisdom; countless encouraging emails seem to arrive just when I need them; and (of course!) Wendy is always there to pray and support. God is good – I may be a grasshopper, but our God sure isn’t.

 

Horn of Africa Area Assembly

200 clergy, lay leaders, Mothers Union representatives, congregations from the 70 churches in Gambella gathered at the Gambella Anglican Centre for two days of business, worship and teaching.

As our churches in Gambella are so remote and living conditions are hard,  it is difficult for clergy and lay people to come together. The annual Area Assembly is important because it brings leaders together, to pray together, learn together, and grow to understand each other better. Please see below Bishop Grant LeMarquand’s report for the meeting.

Bishop’s Charge Area Assembly 2013

As part of the Assembly, churches presented dramas of Biblical stories. The audience hushed as ‘Jesus’ walked in, resplendent in wig and re-purposed Mothers’ Union uniform. In quiet solemnity, the crowd followed Jesus, holding wounded heads bound in cloth, walking with shortened and twisted limbs, and otherwise looking generally woe-begone. With quiet majesty, Jesus healed all.  As all sat down, one of the disciples approached the Lord, clearly explaining in Opo that the crowd needed to eat. A regal gesture from Jesus sent him back to the crowd, where 5 small loaves and 2 real fish were produced in hushed reverence. As Jesus lifted the basket high in mute thanksgiving, the plastic bag under the loaves and fish was ripped away, revealing the hidden bounty of bread rolls underneath. Electrifyingly, the crowd leapt to their feet, their cries of joy erupting from the absolute silence like a foretaste of resurrection! As one man, they dove in a free for all scrum, loaves of bread flying everywhere, mouths full of laughter and food – real joy… and really funny!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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