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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Ethiopian Highlands and EECMY Congregations

Today, we traveled from Addis Ababa through the Ethiopian Highlands to the Blue Nile River and back to visit EECMY congregations from the Central Ethiopian Synod (CES) located in the highlands. The entire trip took more than twelve hours. So much was seen that it is difficult to describe it in a meaningful way but will try below.

We left Addis Ababa early in the morning and drove out of the city into the Ethiopian Highlands. The Ethiopian Highlands is sometimes called the "Roof of Africa." The pictures above were taken at an elevation between 9,000 and 11,000 feet. The air was thinner and to those of us not used to it, we found it more difficult to breath. Believe it or not some people were training to run. Plus the ordinary people who live there were carrying sacks of produce, charcoal, et al. up and down the mountain.

As we approached the pass to the Blue Nile River, signs warning of rock slides greeted us along with baboons who walked along side the road, and mist from the water falls.

This is a water fall that feeds the Blue Nile River, located approximately 10,000 feet in the highlands.

After a challenging drive on mountain roads we reached the Blue Nile River. The Blue Nile merges into the White Nile forming the Nile River.

In the Ethiopian Highlands we visited several EECMY congregations. At one of the congregations, we were served traditional Ethiopian coffee. The photo above shows green coffee beans being roasted dark brown the traditional way and finally served to us in cups.

We visited some EECMY congregations under construction in the highlands. When we arrived children from the village came to greet us. The Ethiopian Highlands are primarily Ethiopian Orthodox. There are many monasteries in the area where pilgrims come for healing. The sights reminded me very much what I have read about how Martin Luther found the situation at the time of the Reformation.

Pictured above is an Ethiopian Orthodox monastery in the highlands. In the top picture, the monastery can be seen with a water fall to its right. This water fall is considered holy and is believed by pilgrims to be a source of healing. In fact, many Ethiopian Orthodox churches and monasteries are built next to natural springs or water falls. In the lower picture, pilgrims can be seen streaming to and from the monastery. Many of these people are sick or crippled.

The Ethiopian Orthodox monastery and some of the EECMY congregations are located above the rift valley, specifically, the Zega Wedem River Valley in Debrelibanos Area.

On our return, we stopped at a mission outpost in the Ethiopian Highlands. We presented an Amharic translation of Martin Luther's Small Catechism to one of the EECMY evangelists. President Abraham presented with catechism with Dr. Collver. Nearby the church a boy plays with a bull whip and a young girl presents us with flowers picked from the plateau.

Today, we traveled several hundred kilometers North into the Ethiopian Highlands. We saw where the people of the highlands live and met many people in various villages. Tomorrow, we leave early in the morning to head West toward Ambo.

- Posted on 4 September 2012 by Rev. Dr. Albert Collver, LCMS Director of Church Relations.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Dejazmach Belay Zeleke St,,Ethiopia

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