Sendafa Ethiopia

Pastor Aaron, Pastor Donavan, and Dr. Ed Nelson were in Ethiopia on a REUNION and PLANNING Trip. They were in Addis, Sendafa, Dire Dawa, and the country of Djibouti.

Here is an update from Pastor Aaron about SENDAFA.

Sendafa, A Village in Ethiopia

In September of this year, I flew to Africa for the first time since the pandemic disrupted our missions travel and was simply amazed by what God is doing in and through our missional friends in Ethiopia.

Our friends and partners have weathered some challenging times and have continued to do extraordinary work among the people God has called them to serve and reach with the love of Jesus.

Our last Living Word team trip to Ethiopia was in July of 2019, but we are now optimistic about reopening team trips there July 14-23, 2023.

I should hasten to add that we are “cautiously” optimistic about restarting team trips, because there are some new realities and complexities that have emerged in Ethiopia over the past couple of years in addition to the pandemic.
Ethiopia – Africa’s second most populous country – is in the midst of an increasingly rocky political transition that began in 2018, with the ascent of a new prime minister leading sweeping reforms.

At first, the change in leadership seemed to hold great promise for the Ethiopian people, but fissures developed among and between the country’s numerous ethnic groups. Tensions grew and grew and then, in late 2020, a civil war broke out in Ethiopia’s northern region.
In December of 2021, there was a ceasefire, followed by a truce.

And as I returned to Ethiopia with Pastor Donavan and Dr. Ed Nelson last month, sadly the fighting in the north had just resumed.

The good news is that as of this writing, there are peace talks happening between the Ethiopian federal government and the Tigrayan rebel leaders that is being mediated by the AU (African Union) in South Africa. Please join me in praying for peace!  

Note: Aaron wrote this before the really positive results of the Peace Talks were known.  Praise God and continue to pray that the peace will be secure.

Sendafa: A Brief History of Our Work There

Back in 2006, Living Word partnered with a gifted Ethiopian physician and his small team to develop an organization called PAAV, meaning “Project Adopt A Village.”

PAAV is dedicated to the flourishing of the people of Sendafa, a town that lies about 35 kilometers northeast of the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa.

The heart of PAAV is to practically show the love of Christ to the people of Sendafa through a free medical campaign (held annually), community development projects, and working to strengthen Sendafa’s local churches.

And the PAAV team works year-round to impact the people of Sendafa with care and compassion in the name of Jesus.

Some recent notable beneficiaries of the PAAV team’s efforts have been young women who formerly were commercial sex workers, who now are recovering from their trauma, embracing a robust faith in Jesus, leading successful income-generating activities (IGAs), and caring for others in the community.

There are so many powerful stories and we will try to share more with you in the days ahead.

Photos from Sendafa Trips

Our Annual Ethiopia Team Trip to Sendafa

For 16 years, a team from Living Word has traveled to Sendafa for a medical campaign where upwards of 2,500 people are treated. Half of our Ethiopia Team Trip in July are medical personnel who conduct a major 1-week medical campaign in Sendafa--everything from primary care and eye exams to cataract surgeries and minor operations.

The other half of the team focuses on teaching conversational English in an elementary school and home visits to HIV/AIDS families, extending Christ’s compassion and love in very tangible ways.

As I said above, our last team trip was in 2019. After this, because of the pandemic, and a civil war in the north of Ethiopia, our Living Word team trips have been on pause.

In July of 2022, Dr. Frew led a 1-week medical campaign treating more than 4,600 people. Frew prepared for this med camp for 8 months and pulled together 24 Ethiopian physicians. They had a robust range of medical services to offer including surgery, eye treatment, dental care, primary care, pediatrics, and dermatology.

Please pray for the PAAV team and we would love for you to join us on a future trip!

If you have any interest, be sure to drop me a note.

In Christ,
Pastor Aaron Kunce
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