Why Horn of Africa?
- Not long ago the Horn of Africa experienced the worst drought in 60 years. They are still recovering.
- There are long standing tensions between Ethiopia and Eritrea, making the refugee situation all the more complicated.
- The refugee situation in Northern Ethiopia has gotten relatively little global attention. As a whole the problem is neglected and under-served.
- God brought this region and its needs to our attention, and we felt compelled to have a long-term focus on serving there.
In partnership with a church in Shire, Ethiopia, BRKC has helped establish a Bible Training Center for pastors, church planters, and missionaries in Shire. In January, 2015, we inaugurated the opening of the Bible School with Gregg Boll, Randy Messer, and Asefaw Indrias teaching classes. In July of 2015, we sent a professor from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary alongside Asefaw Indrias to teach classes to the Ethiopian and Eritrean pastors in attendance. It is our hope to continue sending quality teachers to train up pastors and church leaders to lead, shepherd, and impact the people in their communities with the gospel.
There are relatively few organizations that are actively working to provide aid and empowerment for Eritrean refugees in Northern Ethiopia. God has allowed us to connect with a church in Shire and with an NGO called Innovative Humanitarian Solutions. IHS has worked in the camps longer than we have and they have helped us navigate regulations and camp authorities. The church in Shire has helped house and feed our teams and coordinate some of our efforts. We are very thankful for these partners and pray God raises up more!
BRKC and our member churches have raised over $27,000 for the construction of a library in the Shimelba refugee camp. We have also collected over 16,000 books to furnish the library’s shelves. Construction on the library began in early spring, and was completed this summer. Each trip our team takes loads of books over. The children in the camp have little access to education, and even less access to books. Building and equipping a library opens the doors to a brighter future for the children. It provides a bridge for us to teach English, give vocational and life skill training, tutor in school subjects, share God’s love, and more. Though the future of these children seems bleak and unclear, we, in faith, want to empower them with the education and preparation they will need for the future we hope they someday have.
Every month, thousands of Eritreans flee their country in hopes of a better life. They flee poverty, religious persecution, and military conscription. Many cross into Northern Ethiopia, and Ethiopia’s government has graciously established 4 refugee camps in Northern Ethiopia. Many of the refugees are unaccompanied minors and cannot return home.
Life in refugee camps seems to be an endless prison, as the refugees’ basic needs are met but they are unable to leave the camps, and there is no clear future awaiting them. For the past 4 years we have sent teams twice a year to meet needs and bring hope. Our teams have:
- Played with the children, introducing them to hackey-sacks and other fun games
- Delivered supplies collected by BRKC churches, such as bikes and a freezer
- Conducted VBS for the kids
- Served mentally ill refugees
We hope to continue these activities with twice-a-year trips. It is also our prayer that God will open pathways for some of the children to be adopted by American families and for refugees to have preparation and options for a future outside the camps.
News & Updates
By Nicole Brown; The Gathering Church Ministry in Ethiopia It is the first day of the September 2018 session of the Bible class in Shire, Ethiopia. As we approach the classroom, we can hear prayers and [...]
Since 2011, BR-KC has partnered with an NGO and local Ethiopian churches to train up church leaders, empower refugees, and bring hope of a better life to Eritreans and Ethiopians in Northern Ethiopia. BR-KC takes two [...]
Shire, Ethiopia is alive with joy and excitement as the celebration took place with the first ever graduation of the Bible students held in the Shire Kalehiwet Church on May 21st. The Bible School was [...]
In mid May, a team will return to Ethiopia to continue work in the refugee camps as well as with the local community. It is our hope and prayer to begin construction on a much [...]
by Nicole Brown After returning from another trip to Ethiopia, my heart and mind are not at rest. I am so unsettled once again at what I have witnessed looking into eyes that seem so [...]