I attended the CMCR in Ethiopia the first week of February. The theme for this 41st gathering of partners of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY), was “Transformation of Partnership Through Mission”. What does this mean and how is this accomplished? These questions were discussed in depth during the conference. Answers centered on using the gifts that God has given to us, focusing on being in relationship with each other, sharing and communication and lastly transformation through mutuality. Conferences like this afford us the opportunities to grow and learn from each other.
Towards the end of the month I attended the State of Project 24 forum which was held at the Nyambiri boarding facility. The forum brought together the leadership of the ELCK, site managers of the seven Project 24 boarding facilities, LCMS missionaries and Project 24 advocates from the U.S.A. It was exciting to see the growth of Project 24 as each of the sites strive for excellence. Annual reports gave a picture of the uniqueness of each site, and of the joys and challenges. The common thread was the importance of caring for the children in a loving, Christian environment. Project 24 director John Kissinger did an excellent job moderating the forum and has been a strong mentor and advisor to all involved in Project 24. His love for the children is amazing to see. He lights up whenever he is around them, and this love is reciprocated by the children. As the forum came to a close, Archbishop Ochola of the ELCK addressed the group saying, “Projects come and go, but the Gospel goes on forever. The Cross of Christ will always be leading Project 24.” A bonus for me was spending time with the kids at the Nyambiri and Othoro sites. I look forward to seeing all of the children at the upcoming Catechetical Bible competition in April.