New Year Message from Rev. Yonas Yigezu, President of the Ethiopia Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus
In the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit
Dear beloved brothers and sisters; members of the EECMY,
Dear fellow citizens,
Dear all Ethiopians and friends of EECMY living abroad.
Praise and glory be to God!, who by his grace and mercy as kept us safe throughout this last year and again has given us the opportunity to celebrate the coming of a New Year. I greet you all with: 'Happy New Year!'
"Now may the God of hope fill you with joy and peace as you believe in him, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit" Rom 15:13
With this verse from Paul's letters to the Romans it is my wish that the God of Hope will fill you with joy and peace, and that HOPE will flourish among us as we all gather together to celebrate the coming of the New Year, 2012.
I believe that HOPE is a necessity for us to hold on to and bring with us as we cross into the new year ahead of us. But it must be a hope that is given to us by the Holy Spirit, so that the source is outside ourselves and not limited by our circumstances. We know that our country is going through a time of transition, and with the national elections expected in May, it is of great importance that we turn to God as the one who will give us joy and peace. I encourage you all to come together and bring the future of our country before the throne of God in prayer.
As you all know the color 'green' is the color symbolizing hope and fruitfulness. And therefore, in line with the initiative of the government to restore the Ethiopian forest and make it a green country by planting four billion trees. I appreciate the effort that al you EECMY members have do in participating and encourage all members to continue planting trees. The EECMY has since its establishment in 1959 been active in her wholistic ministry securing a better livelihood for people in their local communities, and has actively worked to protect the environment. We shall continue to do so by planting trees in our church compounds and look after them. It is my vision that we will plant a tree for each of the more than 9.3 million members, and continue doing this as we plant a tree for every new baptized members.
When you plan a tree, then remember that it is for the next generation to benefit from it - being the fruit or the shade of its leaves. In the same way, it is important that we, who are here today, see to it, that the coming generations will be blessed through our work and ministry. In so many way and in so many situations we seek to serve only our own needs and interests. Therefore, we need to change our focus, so that what we do instead is of benefit to the next generation and to the glory of God. This means that we actively need to seek to build peace and unity in the church and in our communities.
I wish you a blessed New Year on behalf of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus and myself. May God bless you and may you receive all good things from His hands in this new year.
Happy New Year.