Turning Crisis in to Opportunity

CityLife International Church in Ethiopia has been given notice to vacate the rental property for its Burayu congregation by the end of the year. With your help, the church can transform this situation into a blessing with exciting plans for expansion and development.

Since moving from Australia to Ethiopia with their family eight years ago to plant CityLife International Church in Addis Ababa, the capital city, Paulos and Abado Djini have seen thousands of lives and dozens of communities transformed. Now, the church is poised to embark on a very exciting expansion program.

With your help they can develop the land for their Burayu site. The initial stage involves laying down a concrete slab and putting up a temporary structure to take care of immediate needs. The ultimate goal is to built a new church facility and community centre which would enable CityLife International Church to firmly establish its presence in Addis Ababa.sketch-crosscut-view-side-wordpress

Today, CityLife International Church has planted nine congregations across Addis Ababa and in rural Ethiopia. The church attracts a large number of attenders across all its sites and provides a range of services to both members and non-members in the community. Many of the congregation members struggle with very difficult circumstances, including housing and unemployment. A significant number live in serviced rooms in the back of someone else’s property. It is estimated that 20% live in their own house and 30% live with relatives or family members after leaving their village.

The biggest challenge for members of the congregation is unemployment; about 40% of the congregation does not have regular work. Frequently, they lack the skills to gain employment despite most of them having finished High School. While some do work in government office jobs in city administration and a few are policemen, a large percentage of members who work are employed in factories or in laboring jobs.

Many feel marginalised and find that there are not enough opportunities to get into business or employment. Before the church was established they were struggling, ‘giving up on life’ and ‘living without hope’. 

The Burayu Campus

One of CityLife International Church’s fastest growing urban congregations is located in a part of the city called Burayu. In only three years, the congregation has grown from five members to over 350 members. The congregation is now so large that on Sundays some people cannot find a seat, so they return home without being able to attend the service. Further growth of the church is being limited by the size of the current rented facilities. There is only the one meeting room so children’s church runs on Saturdays to accommodate all the children.

Recently, their landlord gave the church final notice to vacate its rental property by the end of this year. The situation is urgent with less than three months to go.

Land Has Been Purchased

For a couple of years now, Paulos and his leadership team have been trying find land to purchase in Addis Ababa. After much searching, and with help from CityLife Australia, they were able to purchase a 540 m2 piece of undeveloped land for the Burayu congregation in 2015.

The plans have been drawn up, but completing the whole project will take faith, creativity in raising the necessary funds, God’s provision and time. It is hoped that construction can be completed in the next decade. The final building will seat about 700 people; it will be four stories high and will have multiple purposes.proposed-building-wordpress

As poverty is such a limiting factor in the local community, the church hopes to establish some income-generating small businesses. CityLife Burayu church members are trying to raise funds for this project by shining shoes, selling food and holding auctions. They have really taken ownership of the project, but they need our help to complete it.

This permanent venue will add to the stability, credibility and financial sustainability of the CityLife International Church – Burayu. We believe this will attract more people to join the church and commit themselves to active partnership and ministry expression.

How the Project Will Address Our Needs

  • Rental expenses can now be be redirected towards other ministry needs.
  • Increase ability to accommodate more people and run a lot more activities.
  • The permanent venue will add to the stability of the congregation
  • The permanent venue and capital expenses for developing the site will engender greater respect from the community as it shows our commitment to being there.

The New Buildingbuilding-stages-wordpress

The project is designed in three parts: The front part has four storeys which will be used for multipurpose such as offices, shops and maybe a cafe. The middle section, in the back, will be the church auditorium and  will seat up to 450 people. The back section will have three floors, which will be used for offices, Lifetrax training rooms and children’s ministry.

How you can help

The initial construction, which includes sub-structure work and superstructure construction up to the second floor, will cost approximately AUD $106,000.

An initial donation of AUD $50,000 has already been sent to begin construction and, along with locally raised funds, this will allow enough of the groundwork to be completed and a temporary structure erected for the Burayu congregation to continue meeting at the new site once their current site’s lease ends.

If you would like to contribute to the future of CityLife International Church, you can do so via CityLife Australia’s online giving form: https://www.citylife.church/give/nations/   Please be sure to specify Burayu Project in the ‘Other’ field on the form. For more information, please contact CityLife World Impact using the form below.