EMM and LMC request Ethiopia drought response contributions

MKC President Desalegn Abebe Ejo (center) visiting the Borena zone in March 2023. MKC photo.

LANCASTER, Pa. — Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM) and LMC: A Fellowship of Anabaptist Churches invite you to respond to a critical humanitarian appeal from the Meserete Kristos Church (MKC) in Ethiopia. Since 2020, the southern Borena zone of the Oromia state has experienced severe drought due to 5 failed rainy seasons. 

EMM has committed $5,000 of emergency relief funds, but we are inviting you to consider how you can join us financially. “MKC has been trying to respond to the drought, displacement, and other socio-economic challenges on the surface. But the need has been growing,” Abayneh Anjulo Wanore appealed to church and mission leaders. “The Borena drought affected the pastoralist community of Borena and our churches … also the missionaries have been affected badly.” Abeyneh serves as the MKC division director for evangelism and church planting. 

UNICEF indicates that in Borena alone, 3.3 million livestock have died as a result of the drought. The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs also estimates that since 2021, 6.85 million livestock have died throughout the country. 

The impacts have gone beyond the Borena zone, impacting people living in other parts of Oromia, and the neighboring states of Afar, SNNP (Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region), and Somali. It is estimated that 24 million people have been impacted by the drought — 11 million of whom are experiencing food insecurity.

April 2023 map produced by ACAPS, “Food Insecurity In Afar, SNNP, Somali, And Southern And Eastern Oromia Regions.”

MKC has 5 churches in the Borena zone. In addition to these 5 established churches, they also have 40 church planting centers. In total, they have more than 45 ministers and their families in the Borena zone. In order to meet the needs of these 45 leaders in the region, MKC is hoping to raise $4,500 USD per month. MKC also estimates that they need to raise $13,500 per month to meet the humanitarian needs in the communities where these churches are located.

Founded in 1959 following the initial mission work of Mennonites in the region, MKC now has more than 800,000 baptized members. The largest Mennonite conference in the world, MKC has more than 2,500 churches or church planting centers. Lancaster Conference Mennonites, being sent through EMM (then, Eastern Mennonite Board of Missions and Charities), played an integral role in the organization of MKC. Both organizations are grateful to continue in a meaningful relationship with MKC and encourage all who can to support this relief effort. 

Charitable contributions can be made online at EMM.ORG/ETHIOPIA or by sending a check to Eastern Mennonite Missions, PO Box 8617, Lancaster, PA 17604 with a memo note indicating “Ethiopia relief.”