Meet Demeke! He is another one of our Hawassa graduates, and one who will be co-teaching with us this week. Over my visits in the last four years, he has become a friend.
Since I was arriving later than the rest of our TLI training team, Demeke was dispatched to the airport to come and receive me. His was the first friendly face that I had seen in many long, harrowing, and weary hours of traveling.
After a rich welcome, we began the bumpy crawl of a drive back towards Shashemene. In the front seat of the van, as we sat nearly on top of one another, I learned a new part of his story.
You see, Demeke has a great sense of humor; but also a fierce seriousness about the things of God. In part, that’s because he used to think that he was serving the Lord, when really he was working on the other side.
Demeke grew up in a family that was Ethiopian Orthodox, a church that has deep roots here. To this day, his elderly mother is an Orthodox monk.
Demeke was zealous in his faith as a young man, and even persecuted evangelical Christians. He led others to do the same, and they followed. At one time, he was responsible for the burning of the homes of 35 Christian families, and the dispersal of their belongings.
This man has since been won to Christ, and been in his service for many years. He now pastors, and mentors missionaries. In fact, he currently supports our four native MCC missionaries - Epheson, Beyene, Tesfaye, and Henoke.
Demeke continues to grow as a faithful teacher of God’s Word. He is an integral part of God’s church here in Africa.Please pray for Demeke, and all of the Ethiopian graduates who will be co-teaching next week. They are learning quickly, and we are also learning a great deal from them.
We are excited to announce that we will have an in-person worship service outside at 8:30am in the MCC parking lot! We can’t wait to see you! In addition, our Sunday live-stream (on Facebook and Instagram) will move to 10:00am for the foreseeable future for those who are not be able to join us.
We’ve chosen for our service to happen outdoors as there are still a number of requirements and protocol for indoor gatherings. So, we are not inviting you to join us indoors at this time. Instead, come for our outdoor gathering, or continue to join us online later from home.
Please read the Guidelines for Gathering to Worship Together at MCC in its entirety so that you know what to expect when you come to our outdoor service. This will help you and those around you navigate a very new situation, hopefully in a way that is as seamless as possible. We believe that our unity will be expressed and strengthened as we serve one another in Christ this week so join us in extending grace to each other, amid our differing perspectives, and different views about how to live in this time.
“... submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
“Outdo one another in showing honor.”
“By this all men will know that you are My disciples,
if you have love for one another.”
Please know that we are making every effort for this gathering to be in full compliance with the protocols given by authorities. No single plan for our meeting will ever be the perfect solution in any one person’s eyes. We will all be making compromises. But as we defer to these guidelines set up by our elders and leadership, we will be serving our fellow believers, honoring Christ as best we can, and providing for a beautiful expression of worship to happen together.
Please stay home if any of the following apply to you:
- You are immunocompromised.
- You are feeling ill (running a fever, coughing, or showing other signs of sickness)
Please don’t put yourself or others at risk. Thank you for staying home and staying safe, because we love you!