Believers collect water for baptism during drought

Church members collect water in order to baptize 120 new believers during a drought

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MKC pastors baptized 120 new believers in the drought-prone Borena region of Ethiopia in August 2022. Believers brought water in yellow 20L containers for immersion baptism from 10 kilometers away.

A severe water shortage in southern Ethiopia did not stop one Anabaptist congregation from baptizing new believers.

In the country’s drought prone Borena region, Meserte Kristos Church households saved water to hold a baptism for 120 new believers. Believers excavated land and lined it with plastic to preserve rainwater and used traditional methods to prevent evaporation. Finally, they transported yellow 20L containers of water 10 kilometers for immersion baptism.

Abebe Seyoum, lead pastor of Misrak Addis Ababa Meserte Kristos Church (MKC), presided over the baptism in August.

Believers filled yellow 20L containers with water for immersion baptism and transported them 10 kilometers.

Meserete Kristos Church (MKC) is the largest Anabaptist body in the world, with a worship community of nearly 500,000, as of 2019. MKC grew out of the work of Eastern Mennonite Missions in the 1950s. Growth was slow until 1974 when the Communist military regime known as the Derg overthrew the emperor and brought in an era of reform, imprisonment and persecution. The MKC was one of the churches forced underground, and the persecution it experienced was matched by rapid growth.

Misrak Addis Ababa is one of the four MKC local churches established in Addis Ababa after the Derg government fell in 1991. Currently, the congregation supports 30 missionaries who are spreading the gospel and planting churches in remote rural areas. More than 70 Misrak MKC Bible study groups give money every month to support this outreach. Some Bible study groups support one missionary each, but other groups support one missionary in common.

After five years of MKC mission work, there are five local churches and more than 40 new church planting centres in Borena.

“The harvest is plenty, and we need to send more missionaries to evangelize the people and plant more churches in the area,” says Abayneh Anjulo, director of MKC Evangelism and Church Planting Department.

Many of the new believers pack into small houses to meet for worship. Anjulo highlights the need to construct church buildings for gathering.

“The decision of Misrack MKC to send a missionary or go faraway to share the gospel of the kingdom created an encouragement not only the people in the region but also to other MKC leaders,” says Desalegn Abebe, MKC president.

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