The Anglican Church in Gambella was begun by refugees who planted church communities in refugee camps. Since then, the church has grown at an astonishing rate and there are now church communities in local villages among several tribes.
Although there are 70 church communities, there are only 20 church buildings. These building are traditional structures made of mud walls, and thatch roofs. A few have only plastic tarpaulins as a roof, a few have upgraded to having tin roofs and stone and cement foundations. Those without a church building meet under a tree, braving the scorching sun in the dry season, and heavy rain during the wet season.
In 2012 most of the church buildings were destroyed by floods in an especially devastating rainy season. Many of the destroyed buildings have been re-built or partially re-built, but this work has depleted the available funds.
The need for buildings for church communities is acute …