Such a great celebration as was experienced on Sabbath afternoon the 18th of August, had not been imagined when the South East Melbourne Oromo service church plant began in 2016.

Nine happy and radiant young people were baptised.

All are Aussies born in Australia or New Zealand with their lives enriched by their Oromo speaking, Ethiopian cultural heritage. Their testimonies were a highlight of the afternoon making clear their commitment and heart felt decisions to follow Jesus and commit their future lives to Him and His Adventist church.

The vision of three families that started this church plant was to call back their Adventist church families and friends lost to the church through the struggles experienced as refugees establishing a new life in Australia. Most immigration from Ethiopia happened 15 to 20 years ago. Abdalla Dido, an elder stated, “we realised that many of our people with an Adventist background or contacts in Ethiopia had been side-tracked by the challenges of life in a western culture. Our goal was to offer them an Adventist home base in SE Melbourne where they could support each other and reach out to their friends. God has blessed us beyond what we could imagine! ”

Earlier this year, twelve adults joined Church through profession of faith. “Now, to see nine of our youth being baptised, is something special and memorable for each of us. Many of these folk were not attending church before coming to our church plant,” commented Tadesse Jara, the head elder.

Many of the youth thanked the influence of the teaching ministry of John Lynch who for the last 18 months has taken the Youth SS class covering a wide range of topics including Reformation history and early Adventist church development.
Jimmy Wako commented further. “When Pastor Denis offered a baptismal class, I was excited and hopeful but I realised that for 16 to 18 year-old youth, it is a big decision that many struggle to make. I was happily surprised and thanked the Lord when my kids (if that’s the right term for three, six ft tall young adults) joined in this baptismal event too.”

Denis Hankinson