Faith Lutheran’s Pastor Paul Knudson supplied us with this month’s Pastor’s Page article about his upcoming travel to Ethiopia:
“Come over to Ethiopia and help us.” This call to us from the General Secretary of a vibrant, fast growing, 5.8 million member Ethiopian church was in some ways an unusual call. Indeed this national church body, Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY), filled with the Spirit, centered in Jesus Christ and anchored in God’s Word, is a People of God we need to ask to come and help us. The EECMY has added a half million members in the last two years alone. I know of no church body in any nation that has accomplished this! We need their help to bring a passion for Christ-centered and Spirit-empowered evangelical outreach back to Western Churches. The days of one way assistance are past. Nevertheless, this body of fellow believers is asking for our help.
This being said, representatives from Ethiopia, Tanzania, Cameroon, the USA, Canada, Sweden, Germany, Norway, Finland, Denmark and other nations are coming together for mutual encouragement in an International Mission and Theological Conference from April 21-26 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
I am thrilled with the opportunity to join with Christian leaders from all these nations to explore the partnership God has in store for us as we walk together and seek to respond to this Macedonian call. I will be traveling to Ethiopia with representatives of Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC) and the North American Lutheran Church (NALC). We leave on April 18 and return April 30.
The EECMY, having severed ties with the ELCA, is looking to the international Lutheran community for help in preparing their pastors and evangelists for the many challenges they are facing in their fast-changing world. They recognize their need for being grounded in sound doctrine, Biblical knowledge and other leadership tools. Worshipping, learning together and simply spending time in substantive conversations over these days will prepare us all for effective responsiveness to their call for leadership development.
We in the Augustana District and our Board of World Missions in particular are playing a specific role leading up to this conference. For us to learn of the needs it will be important to have many pastors and evangelists from the EECMY to be able to come. To this end we are inviting anyone interested and able to respond to send one of these leaders to the conference. Your gift of $60 will send one of these indigenous leaders. To date we have received gifts enabling over 50 to attend.
I would covet your prayers for this event and that I might learn much. I look forward to reporting back to you upon returning.
Pastor Paul Knudson