Abayneh Anjulo Wanore — Meserete Kristos Church’s director of missions, evangelism and church planting — inspires Mission Network staff as he outlines his denomination’s mission agenda in Ethiopia and globally. Photographer: David Fast.
By Lynda Hollinger-Janzen
Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Abayneh Anjulo Wanore, director of missions, evangelism and church planting for Meserete Kristos Church, called Mennonites to global church unity.


 

 

Feb. 9, Abayneh Anjulo Wanore, director of missions, evangelism and church planting for Meserete Kristos Church (MKC) in Ethiopia inspired Mennonite Mission Network staff. Employees of Mission Network who work from offices in Elkhart, Indiana, heard Wanore speak in person, but workers in the Newton, Kansas, office and in remote locations also participated via Zoom.

Wanore described his homeland as an island of Christianity, surrounded by seven Muslim nations. With more than 123 million people, Ethiopia is the second most populated nation in Africa. Christians make up about 63% of the population, with about 44% belonging to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. These statistics led Wanore to say that only 26 million Ethiopians are practicing their Christian faith, making Ethiopia a mission field, where 10,462 congregation, with an average of 500 members each, practice evangelism daily.

Since 1951, when MKC baptized its first 10 members, the denomination has grown to about 800,000 congregants, Wanore said. Last year, 23,426 new believers were baptized.

Wanore outlined some of the factors that contribute to the flourishing of MKC:

  1. “We believe in prayers, not just teaching. We have prayer and fasting services every week. The mission department has volunteers committed to prayer. When we pray, God does miracles.”
  2. “We depend on the Holy Spirit.”
  3. “We mobilize churches to do mission, not just the mission workers, but every believer, through their words and deeds and through their finances.”
  4. “We believe in team leadership.”
  5. “We encourage each member to follow the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19).”
  6. “We have church unity, God-given unity. Our 51 regional offices, representing 15-50 congregations each, follow a chain of command that comes from our national headquarters.”

MKC’s five-year plan is named “Agenda 2819,” inspired by the words of Matthew 28:19, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (NIV). This plan includes directives that all members churches are expected to follow:

  • Each local congregation will plant a new congregation. If their locality is “saturated,” the congregation will send missionaries to unchurched areas.
  • Each local church will grow by 10%.
  • “Cross-border missionaries” will be sent into neighboring countries, and as far away as the United States. “There are MKC churches in the USA,” Wanore said. “We are planning to start MKC churches throughout the world ‬‬‬‬— not to glorify our name, but to glorify God.”

Wanore concluded his presentation with a call to global church unity. “To fulfill the Great Commission, we need your prayers, your passion, your partnership for this eternal purpose.”



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