After several years of praying, planning and preparation we have been officially appointed to serve in Ethiopia with the Baptist General Conference (BGC) International Ministries!
In June we had the opportunity to attend the BGC Missionary Retreat and the Annual Conference in Denver, CO. There we went through our first week of training with 11 other new appointees who will be serving the Lord all over the world. It was a very energizing time for us as our “missionary dream” was becoming a reality. One of the highlights of the week was the commissioning service on the last evening of the Annual Conference. All of the appointees had an opportunity to introduce themselves and their ministries and Jerry Sheveland, the president of the BGC gave us a charge and led us in vows of commitment to serve the Lord as He has called us.
It is hard to express what a joy it is to come to this long awaited point on our journey towards the mission field. We thank so many of you for your prayers throughout this process and covet your continual prayers as we move forward.
Addis Ababa What???
Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia and home to about 3 million people. It is also the home of the Berhane Wongel (Light of the Gospel) Theological College (BWTC) where we will have the privilege of serving.
The college was established as a ministry of the Ethiopian Berhane Wongel Baptist Church to equip Ethiopian Christians to become effective pastors, church leaders and missionaries. This is one of the greatest needs in the Ethiopian Church today where churches are being planted faster than qualified leaders can be placed in them.
God is calling us to come along side the Berhane Wongel Baptist Churches to help meet this need. This will take place primarily through Steven’s teaching ministry at the BWTC, but also through our involvement in local church ministries as the Lord gives opportunity.
In addition to the need for doctrinally and spiritually sound pastors and church leaders is the need for missionaries to be raised up. In the providence of God Ethiopia is culturally and geographically positioned to be a bridge-way to the Unreached Muslim nations which surround it. Ethiopian Christians have only to take up this opportunity and be equipped for the task.
These are exciting and vitally important times to be involved in what God is doing in Ethiopia. We count it a great blessing to be able to be a part and look forward to you partnering with us in His Kingdom work.
So, What's Next?
John Wesley said, “Work as though everything depends on you, and pray as though everything depends on God.” This statement really encapsulates what we want to be about over the next year or so. We will be working hard traveling and meeting with churches and people like you to share our vision and goals for ministry in Ethiopia. In fact, it is our desire to be headed for Ethiopia in just over a year. Along with this we will continue to serve in our church, minister to our children and Steven will run his Finish Carpentry/Cabinetry business. Jenny will also begin home schooling this year (Jake will start Kindergarten and Zack will start Preschool) and continue to assist women in childbirth.
All the while we will strive to pray and depend on our Sovereign and Gracious Lord knowing that it is He who works in peoples’ hearts. He is the one who will lead them to partner with us in the vital ministry of cultivating a passion for the glory of God through strengthening the church in Ethiopia.
If you would be interested in learning more about the ministry God has called us to please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 909-238-6103. You can also visit us on the web at www.menafamily.org.
Oh Boy! Oh Boy! Oh Boy!
Yes, it’s another Mena Boy!
Benjamin Wayne Mena was born on August 14th (Jenny’s birthday), weighing in at 9 lbs. 5oz. and 21 inches long. He was born in water at home with his loving family surrounding him. His brothers even got to watch him arrive and Jake cut the cord! It was a very special and intimate birth. Baby Ben has added a new joy to our home. He is the new favorite attraction of his brothers. They love to kiss him and show him all their tricks, like how to dress up like superheroes and fly around the house. We feel so blessed by God to have 3 such wonderful sons. What a gift!
Please Pray for us that God would...
- Help us to trust Him as He sovereignly raises up those He has called to partner with us in His ministry.
- Give Ethiopians a vision to see the church strengthened and the gospel go out to the unreached peoples of Ethiopia and beyond.
- Be the all-satisfying desire of our hearts – more satisfying than anything or anyone we will be leaving behind; and that our family would be prepared and strengthened as we follow God’s call to Ethiopia.