A Growing Church
Each week over 6,000 people worship in 70 congregations led by 16 clergy in Gambella, a region in the west of Ethiopia.
In a town called Ilea there is a little church made of a few bamboo sticks and a tarpaulin roof. 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.
As the churches in Gambella grow, the need to provide a salary for priests is becoming urgent. More and more souls are being drawn towards Christ. Even though the people give sacrificially, it is not sufficient to fund a small salary for their priests who are active in discipleship, evangelism, and planting new churches. As a result, the need for support from the wider church community is vital. Bishop Grant and Archbishop Mouneer Hanna Anis have asked for our help. Your support will make a huge impact to the people of Gambella, Ethiopia, enabling the priests of the region to continue their ministry.
It costs US$2200 to give a salary to a priest in Gambella, thats about NZ$2660. The local churches have agreed to find USD$200 towards their priests, leaving US$2000/NZ$2420 still to find per priest.
An Interview with Bishop Grant
Anglican Radio recently had an interview with Bishop Grant La Marquand, the Assistant Bishop of the Horn of Africa, about the history and visions of the Diocese in the Horn of Africa and in Gambella. If you'd like to hear more about Gambella, take a listen.
Length: 25 min 24 sec