Michael Granger | Ethiopia Update

We hope this newsletter finds you well! We have been experiencing grace in remarkable ways and we write to share with you.

Abundantly Beyond All That We Ask Or Think

April was a phenomenal month for Trinity Fellowship and for the Granger family. After February, (since we last wrote), as the aftermath of the war settled so did the hearts in our city. Attendance suddenly spiked. On Saturday, April 2nd we baptized 9 individuals, and the next day - Membership Sunday - approximately 70 people joined membership. During the service it was a beautiful moment as each one of us stood up together as one body - the body of Christ - and read our church covenant in unison.  Leading up to April, I had been in non-stop membership interviews. Those encounters with each individual solidified Trinity Fellowship in my heart as the sweetest place on earth. I listened to the testimonies of brother after sister clearly articulating not only the precious doctrine of justification by grace alone through faith alone in our glorious Savior alone (Rom. 3:21-26), but also how the good news of Jesus Christ is transforming each one into the same image from one degree of glory to another (2 Cor. 3:18).

To give a snap-shot of our Baptism Saturday, the tears were flowing when one young sister in particular gave her testimony before being baptized. She bore witness that she came to understand the gospel at Trinity Fellowship but that she did not have assurance. The reason for her lack was her ongoing sinful relationship with her unbelieving boyfriend. As this all came out through tears in the membership interview she felt that Jesus was calling her. So we spent a day fasting and praying before she broke up with her boyfriend. 3 days later she told the entire church how Christ has set her free. And again through tears I write that whom Christ sets free, is free indeed!
On Saturday, April 9th we baptized 9 individuals. 8 of them are pictured here.
In our last newsletter we wrote about Nebiyou's conversion from the Bahá religion. In this picture, Abenezer and myself can be seen baptizing him. He lost everything when he became a Christian but he gained a family at Trinity Fellowship.

Baby #5: Every Good and Perfect Gift

Fast forward to the end of April and you would have found the Granger family in Turkey where Kenean gave birth to Tsion Ella Granger on April 22nd - Ethiopian Good Friday. Since the birth of Elijah, we have sought out specialist doctors abroad as our insurance only pays 100% of medical costs when outside of the States. We found the perfect doctor in Antalya, Turkey through a number of friends who had positive experiences with her. And indeed she was a gift from the Lord surpassing our prayers. On the morning of Kenean’s scheduled cesarian the doctor was waiting out front in the dark for Kenean to arrive.
Tsion Ella
Kenean welcoming Tsion Ella Granger into the world.
Jerusalem holding Tsion for the first time.
And then there's my mother. The sweetest woman in the world. She came out and stayed with us the entire time. She watched our children so I could stay in the hospital with Kenean. And she paid for A LOT of meals! We're all back at our normal routine - but she's making it difficult because of all the wonderful memories. The 7 churches of Revelation are in Turkey and not to far from where Kenean delivered. Here we are in the city of Ephesus.

The Pastors College

Under the leadership of Josh our first Pastors College year is drawing to a close and it has truly been marked by grace. The Lord has provided so many wonderful professors including Mark Prater, Peter Gentry, Thomas Schreiner, Tim Kerr, Conrad Mbewe and many others. But the most delightful element has been to see our students thriving under gospel centered teaching. We look forward with expectation for how the Lord might use these men to serve his church.

Beginning in October we’ll begin the second phase of their pastoral training program which will be a 1-year pastoral residency at our church. Our desire is to plant at least 5 churches in the next 10 years. We're very aware that the harvest is plentiful and the workers are few. Please pray that God would send these men into the harvest. Either as pastors at Trinity Fellowship or as church planters.
Mark Prater (Center) is the Executive Director of Sovereign Grace Churches. He came and taught our pneumatology class in March. He left us refreshed, encouraged, and full of faith for the future. Thank you Mark, you have deeply endeared yourself to me.
Tim Kerr traveled from Canada to teach our guys for a week. And he is now generously mentoring a number of them.

Prayer Requests:

Short term prayer requests:
  • Please pray for the full healing of my dad as he fights cancer. His most recent check-up was not a good report.
  • Our landlord informed us that he's selling the home we rent. Due to inflation and the fact that we have two and a half other families living with us that we're caring for, it is currently impossible for us to afford purchasing a home in the city. Please pray for the Lord to lead us to the right home and for the provision to purchase rather than rent.
  • Please pray for wisdom and provision as we consider raising enough funds to purchase land and/or property for a church building and pastors college.
  • Please pray for the Lord to give Trinity Fellowship more Ethiopian pastors. We would like to see a few of our PC students ordained in the next 2 years but we recognize that calling comes from God. Please pray for wisdom and understanding regarding their future.

Resting in Italy

Back in early 2021, Castleview Church in Indianapolis gave us a very generous monetary gift to travel to Europe in celebration of our 10th anniversary. Due to Covid-19, that didn’t really work out. Well, we received Tsion’s U.S. passport 12 days before we were due to be back in Ethiopia. So we took that money and flew to Italy for 10 days. It was the trip of a lifetime, and a wonderful grand finale to our time away from Ethiopia. We really want to thank the sweet brothers and sisters of Castleview for making that a possibility. We're back into the swing of things and we feel rested because of your generosity.
The Fam in Italy

Thank You!

As we've now been back in the grind of ministry and homeschooling for over a month, we just feel really really thankful! We're thankful for our church home in Ethiopia. We'd really like to thank Castleview, Sovereign Grace, Roots Church, Sovereign Grace Churches, and our family and friends for making Trinity Fellowship and the Pastors College a reality. We know that it is all of God. But God uses lots and lots of means. And those means have faces. And those faces are dear to us. They are your faces!

"For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea."
- Habakkuk 2:14
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