Flood Recovery in Ethiopia

The LCMS provided assistance following a flood that damaged the seminary of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus.

In August 2021, heavy rains caused extensive flooding in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. On Aug. 17, the Akaki River rose rapidly, overflowing its earthen dike and flooding nearby areas in a matter of minutes. At least seven people died.

Among the widespread devastation, the seminary of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY) in Addis Ababa was severely damaged. At the time, the Rev. Eric Stinnett, a missionary of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) who teaches at the seminary, lived in a home on the seminary campus with his wife, Johanna, and their four children. As the water level rose, it reached within a foot of the Stinnetts’ ceiling. The Stinnetts were able to evacuate without injury, but they lost many belongings and had to find alternative housing.

In the years since the flood, the Stinnetts have recovered well and have now relocated to another home on the seminary campus. A $250,000 mercy grant from the LCMS is helping to fund repairs to damaged infrastructure and to build new multi-family seminary housing across the road from the homes that were flooded. The new building will be able to house 10 families. In addition, the road near the houses that were flooded has been repaired and fortified.

Although the EECMY is not in altar and pulpit fellowship with the LCMS, it has solicited residential missionary seminary professors from the LCMS as a result of LCMS missionaries’ interactions with the church over several decades and the recognition that the Synod and its missionaries are bold and firm in the proclamation of the Gospel, the authority of Scripture and its doctrinal positions.

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