What does partnership really mean? Sometimes in the non-profit world, especially the Christian sector, it’s easy to use the words partnership and giving synonymously. We give, they receive, we’re partners and that’s it, right?
Over the last few years as an organization working in Africa we have strived to create true meaningful partnerships with those we work with. We recognize that we have much to offer, but we also recognize we have much to receive and learn. True partnership looks a lot less like giving and a lot more like sharing in places where the Lord has blessed each of us. This is perfectly captured in our recent partnership with the Kale Heywet Church in Ethiopia, Church at Charlotte, and SIM.
The Kale Heywet Church is a denomination that is so blessed in disciple-making and church planting. They have over 8,000 churches in Ethiopia alone and have sent missionaries to plant churches in some of the hardest to reach areas in the world such as Pakistan, South Sudan, and China. Their pastors and trainers sometimes will walk up to 9 hours a day and rely on often unreliable public transportation to get them to their churches and the people the Lord has called them to serve. It’s commitment that you don’t often see and in worldly terms is a work that goes unrewarded.
Church at Charlotte is in our backyards and they played an integral role in mustering support for these pastors and supplying volunteers who frequently travel to Ethiopia to serve their brothers and sisters in various capacities. Their church has deep roots in Ethiopia and the Lord has used them to greatly impact multiple areas of ministry within Ethiopia. SIM is another organization who shares Charlotte as a home base. They have trained missionaries serving across the world and have done much in Ethiopia as well. SIM has many projects going on in the country and has developed strong relationships with the local churches and people throughout Ethiopia.
It’s hard to believe a denomination with over 8 million believers only has a few vehicles to help service their churches who are hours upon hours away in extremely rough terrain. When we went to visit, we heard the stories of these pastors and how each one who would receive a motorcycle would service at the very least over 620 churches! They needed this transportation to keep discipling old churches, to start discipling new churches, and to plan to disciple the churches that would be planted from these efforts. When we all looked around we recognized we each had something to offer the other and went into true partnership. We opened our hands and offered to share the things the Lord has blessed us with for His glory, and now…
18 motorcycles are fanning the flame of discipleship throughout Ethiopia!
Sunday, October 6, 2013 a celebration ceremony was held a few hours south of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to commission 18 brand new motorcycles through this epic partnership.
“What a Special Day! A Celebration Day! A Discipleship Day! This was the day we have been prayed for! The Lord answered our prayers and gave us great success today! The movement was at its climax today, accelerated mightily moving all the unmovables.” – Pastor Esayas (Discipleship Movement Coordinator)