Ethiopia – Thousands of Christians celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The three-day festival, which began with praise and prayer on Nov. 10, featured speakers from around the world, including J-L Williams from the U-S and John Stott from England.
The President of Ethiopia, Girma Wolde Giorgis, attended the gathering as the guest of honor. Giorgis, who expressed gratitude for the positive works of the Church, encouraged the attendants to continue their ministry throughout the nation.
Two members of Serving in Missions (SIM) traveled to Ethiopia to honor the event, including the new International Director, Malcolm McGregor. McGregor commended the church for developing interdependence, noting that it now serves as an autonomous organization that enjoys fruitful cooperation with other churches, NGOs and ministry groups.
The other SIM attendant, Steve Strauss, also noted the EKHC’s independence.
"It's now of course complete independent and autonomous with its own theological schools, its own missions sending structures. Kele Heywet means "word of life" and that group has between 3.5 and 5 million believers associated with it. (They have) somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 congregations,” said Strauss.
According to Strauss, the ministry in Ethiopia has developed into a complex web of evangelism. “Things like agricultural work, re-forestation, veterinarian work, water well drilling teams...all of that is done in partnership with Kale Heywet evangelists working together in church planting," said Strauss. "They're also involved in development work.”
Nonetheless, said Strauss, SIM workers continue their ministry outreach to the church. "Many of them are involved theological education, training pastors and evangelists and other church leaders."
SIM is currently looking for volunteers to help them in ministry with the EKHC. "We can particularly use those who have some seminary training in our theological colleges and Bible schools,” said Strauss.
“We need teachers in our school for missionary kids in Addis Ababa. We need those who have skills in evangelism, church planting and things like that."