Tuesday, April 8
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Washington Presbytery, encompassing two counties in southwest Pennsylvania, celebrates a third decade of partnership with Christian congregations of Southwest Bethel Synod (SWBS), Ethiopia. Ideas, resources, relationships, and especially prayer support have flowed between the two judicatories since 1991 and today continue to bear fruit—literally.
Several reciprocal visits occurred across the partnership years. Elders from Washington Presbytery’s 62 congregations traveled to Ethiopia’s southwest provinces to renew the partnership covenant; confer about available aid and financial assistance; see the hand of God working in education, agriculture, medical care, and economic development; and better understand the challenges faced by Ethiopian sisters and brothers. Likewise, several SWBS leaders have come to Pennsylvania to deliver firsthand accounts of the Holy Spirit’s work in gathering new believers and growing churches throughout the southwest provinces. The partnership’s long history fosters deep benefits and many blessings for Christians in both places.
Over the years, presbytery congregations have provided, among other things, literacy materials, clean water wells, sewing machines, and solar cookers. In recent years Ethiopians discovered their region to be optimal for apple growing, and so a cooperative project started two apple orchards that include several hundred trees! The orchards create jobs, provide a marketable commodity, and add healthy, desirable food to the Ethiopian diet. Last year 10 different presbytery vacation Bible schools supported the apple orchards, as did several congregations and individuals. The presbytery also fosters one-to-one relationships between Ethiopian and American congregations.
Please pray for SWBS officials Qes Yohannes Sherab, Ato Sisay Tomas, and Ato Gezahegn Bahiru as they minister among Ethiopian neighbors and keep communication lines open. Join with them in praying for Washington Presbytery and its leaders, including Elder Rusty Salminen, head of the partnership steering committee.
—Rev. Craig Kephart, executive presbyter
Let us join in prayer for:
Rev. Craig Kephart, executive presbyter
Elder John Rodgers, stated clerk
Susan Halulko, financial secretary
Becky Washabaugh, administrative assistant
Jeanne Clapp, hunger action enabler/administrative assistant
Patricia Lutz, resource center/small church transition consultant
Wil White, transition consultant
Greg Davis, camp director
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
Lord God, we give praise and thanks for the partnership in the gospel shared by these Christians in Ethiopia and Pennsylvania. As you enlarge their service to you, strengthen believers in both regions to be faithful in love and devoted in service to you and to one another. Through Christ we pray. Amen.