“He is not here; for He is risen as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” Matt 28: 6. The tomb is empty!
Lent, Holy Week and Easter are the highlights of the Church year in the Ethio-Eritrean Christian communities; the pageantries, worship processions and devotional lives of the people reveal the importance of the Resurrection story in their lives.
St. Paul also declares the importance of the empty tomb, not because the body was stolen, but because He is risen, saying, “Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty,” 1 Cor 15:12-14 Without the resurrection of Christ, we have no Gospel to proclaim. The fact of the matter is, however, He is risen.
Because of the resurrection of Christ and the eternal hope that it gives to all believers, we have the mandate and is our joy and privilege to proclaim this good news to all people groups so that those who are without hope may have hope.
In Area B, we are working hard to be faithful to Christ’s mandate to tell the good news about Him.
- We have Pastor Travis Hartjen planting a church in Argyle, an area that is projected to grow by the thousands in the next 10 years.
- Pastor Mark Hotopp and His wife Jennifer are planting a congregation and a school in Wiley. Jaime Gonzalez is serving the Expansion ministries and congregation in Rockwall and helping to plant another Hispanic congregation in Forney.
- Our Vice President, Rev. Eloy Gonzalez of Our Redeemer Irving, is working with a group from Nepal.
- Pastor Gerry Harrow in Harker Heights (a suburb of Killeen) has planted Fortress and is now working toward finding a pastor to lead Fortress so that he can plant another congregation.
These are few of the many missionary activities taking place in Area B. God is good!
Another exciting movement that is just getting started is the training and engagement of evangelists in reaching out to people in our various communities. We have groups in training or getting ready to start the training in Killeen, Waco and Hurst. Most of the evangelists who trained last year are engaged in ministry. We are looking forward to seeing what the Lord will do with the new group that is training right now. God is good!
When progress is made in the mission field, the Devil is hard at work to derail the progress of the Gospel movement and destroy the workers who are laboring faithfully. I encourage all of us to pray for the missionaries, who are under attack by the enemy, and for ourselves. Pray for the workers’ courage, strength, wisdom, and resilience.
May the God of peace fill our hearts with the joy that comes from Him who died to pay our debt and rose again to give us victory over sin, death and the Devil.
By Rev. Yohannes Mengsteab
Mission & Ministry Facilitator, Area B