Grangers Newsletter: December Update
Merry Merry Christmas from East Africa! We hope this letter finds you rejoicing in the splendor of the incarnation! Seasons change, people change, pandemics come and go, kingdoms shift, but this much we know, our God loves us. And he has proven that in sending his own Son. Immanuel - God is with us, and his is a kingdom that cannot be shaken!
Our plan for planting a church in Ethiopia was always broken up into two phases, firstly A Soft Launch with our planting team; followed by the second, A Hard Launch (or Official Launch) in which we begin publicly ministering to our community. I am so pleased to report that on Sunday October 4th of 2020, Trinity Fellowship in Addis Ababa had its soft launch in our home. We began with a call to worship from Isaiah 40:9-11 “Behold your God”. That was followed by Abenezer beginning the singing portion of our worship service with Bob Kauflin and Jon Althoff’s song He is Our God. Our singing was followed by a pastoral prayer and then I preached from Hebrews 11:39-12:2 Looking Unto Jesus. It was the first sermon of a 3-part series entitled Why We’re Gospel Centered. Finally we ended our service by taking communion together. It was a sweet sweet sweet sweet sweet time with one another and with our dear Savior. The last words of the service were, “As my dear pastor and friend CJ Mahaney always says, “I wish tomorrow were Sunday!”Then, a little over a month ago we moved from our house to a 200 seat theater in the Bisrate Gebriel neighborhood of Addis Ababa. That was a massive answer to prayer because it is smack dab in the middle of where we had been praying for the Lord to give us a location to meet. And now, this coming Sunday we will be having our official launch: A Very Merry Church Launch. Ethiopia has its own calendar system and on its calendar, Christmas falls on January 7th. So you could call our church plant a Christmas Church Plant. How fitting that a church is born as we proclaim the glories of the incarnation! And indeed we will be preaching on the incarnation for our first two services before we begin our series on Philippians in mid-January.
One of the early meetings of Trinity Fellowship in the Granger living room.
In November we moved from our living room to a 200 seat movie theater. This was our first Sunday in the theater.
Taking a break in the middle of the afternoon with the Queen of Sheba at Tomoca, the first coffee shop ever established in Ethiopia. Notice the color of my beard - Proverbs 16:31 "Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life." I wear my crown on my face like a Corona mask. Kenean is lost in thought about me.
In 2 Timothy 2:2 Paul tells Timothy, "what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also." For two years I have been discipling Abenezer, endeavoring to entrust to him what has been so marvelously given to me. And this last Sunday he preached for the first time. I cannot help but feel overwhelmed when considering the training I have received from the churches of Castleview and Sovereign Grace.
Merry Christmas Music
Over the course of our Covid-19 quarantine Trinity Fellowship wrote, recorded, and produced a music album about sin and the gospel. But what we haven’t shared is that we have also written and produced a Christmas song entitled “Kidus”. Last week we published it on YouTube and you can listen to it here. Don’t forget to check out the lyrics in the description!
On December 18th,Trinity Fellowship released "Kidus" a Christmas song featuring Abenezer Dejene, my fellow church planter.
The filming and production of the music video for "Kidus".
This is the filming and production of the music video for "Kidus".
In mid December we had our first visitors since the pandemic outbreak. James & Katherine Lewis (to the right) are in campus ministry in Knoxville Tennessee; they came on a vision trip with an interest in relocating to Ethiopia for ministry. Todd & Brittany Born (to the left) do campus ministry in Dubai and came out just to visit and fellowship. Both Brittany and James helped conduct the music portion of our church service this last Sunday. Brittany even sang one of the songs she has written for Sovereign Grace Music - Jesus, There's No One Like You. It's a Granger favorite!
Early next year, my book Reconciled is to be released in Ethiopia along side Abenezer's correlating album. This is the artwork for both the book and the album. The man tearing the "tillut" is deeply significant in Ethiopian culture. And in the book it is symbolic of the rift between God and man due to sin.
Short term prayer requests:
- Please pray for Abenezer - for growth in wisdom, grace, theological discernment, and holiness; for our unity.
- Please continue to pray for Muhammad and the Somali Christians. Pray for the Lord's comforting presence in his life.
- Please continue to pray for my dad Mike Granger who continues to fight cancer.
- Please pray for the Thomas's and the Pannell's - both of these families were supposed to move here from the USA back in June. Due to Corona it appears they will not be able to make it until some time next year. The Pannell family is due to move here at the end of January.
- Please pray for God to grow Trinity Fellowship in holiness, unity, love for Christ, and love for one another.Long term prayer requests:
- Please pray that God would give us grace for a life-long sustained obsessing love for the person of Christ.
- Please pray for total surrender to Christ.
- Please pray that God would help us to start a Christ-Centered Church in Addis Ababa that would serve as a model to all of Ethiopia.
- Please pray that God would give us faithful and gifted indigenous partners; that he would lead us to the right men to disciple and train for ministry.
Working with the Somali People
Good news! As I have been keeping you up to date on the happenings in our Somali ministry, I thought I should give you an update on Muhammad. His wife is pregnant! And by the way, his whole family has been coming to our church services as Muhammad is on our church planting team. This has begun many gospel conversations in their family. Please pray for the conversion of all his family members, including the little one on the way! Corona babies are a blessing!
Until Next Time...
We pray you have a merry Christmas with your loved ones. And as uncertainties seem to mount, we pray for amazing grace to abound in your hearts to the reveling of God with us! Merry merry Christmas!
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