The year 2020 is one most of us want just to be over. The world has been spinning in a crisis mode dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, volatile protests, multiple tropical storms, raging wildfires and more. In the small country of Ethiopia, which is also trying to recover from years of civil unrest, the pandemic pales in comparison to their immediate needs.

“For the past few years Flowing Brook Ministry (FMB), a local Christian Organization, and their team of supporters, have partnered with Pastor Sefu Ejigu of Jimma, Ethiopia, to share the tangible love of Jesus by bringing clothes, school supplies and other necessities to Jimma, Awassa and surrounding villages,” said Pastor Lynette Orr. “Last year the members of the YMCA helped us meet our goals in preparation for our second journey to Ethiopia.”

This team has helped train ministers, helped young women start their own businesses, educated people on proper hygiene and healthy eating, and taught young children about Jesus.

Pastor Sefu is responsible for overseeing some of the Christian churches in the area. He and his wife Beletech, along with their sons and daughters, are being forced to dismantle their home.

“The Ethiopian government has exercised the right of imminent domain to seize their land and property, giving the Pastor and his family seven days to actually tear down their home and 30 days to evacuate the land. This is in the midst of monsoon season.”

Currently the Pastor and his family have no home — no toilet or bathing facility, no kitchen to cook their meals and no shelter from the heat and elements. The tin material that was previously the roof of their home now forms a small partition for privacy in an open field. They use a tarp and fabric stretched over tree limbs where they huddle together for safety.

“The nights are pitch black in Jimma where the wind is cold and the rain driving. There are no streetlights. The streets are red mud which flow together when it rains. The government has seized their land and offers nothing in return.”

Last year the Heartland Christian Academy and the children of Awassa and Jimma exchanged friendship banners. This has formed a lasting bond of the heart between children of Highlands County and those in rural Ethiopia.

FMB is a 501 c3 tax exempt organization that is launching a fundraising drive to assist Pastor Sefu and others in Ethiopia. The team is working on plans for another trip to Ethiopia as soon as it is safe to do so.

They ask that you consider joining in their efforts. A gift of any size is deeply appreciated.

For more information please visit their website at www.flowingbrookministries.com. You can send monetary gifts to FMB at P.O. Box 7154, Sebring, Florida 33872. You can also contact Pastor Lynette Orr at 218-731-0298.