Enniskillen Presbyterian Church
  Enniskillen Presbyterian Church                    

Operation Rescue - December 2018 Update May 2020


Up until the middle of May, the news from Tigray province in  northern Ethiopia, where Operation Rescue [ORE] is based, was encouraging in that no COVID -19 cases had been reported . Tigray went into lockdown very quickly after the first cases were reported in the capital Addis Ababa with schools, street markets, offices, restaurants etc all closed.  All three ORE projects were closed which the staff found heart-breaking and staff were asked to take their annual holiday .  However ORE had been asked to be involved in a government project with street children and were required to continue with that so four staff  committed to staying in the ORE guesthouse to work with these children with no one allowed to leave the project premises .

When the lockdown in Tigray occurred, there was panic buying and food shortages but the project  staff were able to purchase 25 kilo bags of flour [teff to make the staple injera was unavailable] and at the end of April they commenced the immense job of getting this to the families of the children who of course were no longer able to depend on a midday meal at ORE. 323 families in Mekelle as well as 52 in Adigrat and 91 in Adwa [where the two other centres are] received this flour and were deeply appreciative .  This effort drew the attention of the media in Mekelle and there was a short piece about it on Tigray TV.  There were then plans to repeat this effort later in May. Bereket, one of the Operation Rescue staff, described their efforts:

'Under our project, we have more than five hundred households in need who are currently receiving our support and we are focusing on targeting this population, since helping hundreds of households is helping the community. The underserved and the vulnerable people who could be missed by other programs of the government will be supported in our project'.  

The trustees of Operation Rescue {UK& Ireland] discussed the situation with Marciano Teixeira , founder of  Operation Rescue, and it was agreed that we would bear the cost of the food programme in Ethiopia leaving him and the Swiss Board of Management  able to use their  resources to support the Operation Rescue centres in Brazil and India .

Regular contacts with Getachew through email and Whats App indicated that the virus had not reached Mekelle but that all changed  in mid May with the news that the first cases have been reported and there is a lot of panic . It would seem as if those cases have arisen due to contacts with Djoubuti [the port through which Ethiopia accesses goods]. As you will understand, concepts such as social distancing and regular handwashing mean little in a culture where there is not always enough water to drink and where communal living and eating are the norm. The virus is a respiratory one and when I think of the little homes of ORE children I have visited and consider how easily the virus could spread it is a matter of deep concern. Furthermore my visit to a government hospital in Mekelle a few months ago to visit the mothers of two ORE children would lead me to believe that the health service there could be utterly overwhelmed if the virus gets a real hold .

So - my clear purpose in posting this on the church website is to ask you to pray earnestly that the virus will be contained , that the cases already confirmed can allow tracing that will help in containment and that our beloved ORE family of staff and children and their families in Mekelle, Adwa and Adigrat will be protected.

I should add that a few weeks ago there were severe locust swarms over Mekelle and in addition there are very serious political tensions between the Tigray government and the central government in Addis Ababa  and this has had a serious economic impact on the province . Tensions with Tigray's northern neighbour Eritrea have also increased .

However, on a positive note, the news of the work with the street children is  very encouraging.. They have really settled, and after three months at ORE  it is hoped that  a considerable number of them will  reunited with their families in the next few weeks. God’s love shown through the sharing of His Word and the care of the staff has really made an impact on their lives.

                                           Kate Doherty

20th May 2020


Many of you know that we have been praying for the arrival at the Operation Rescue Centre at Mekelle of a container from Northern Ireland which included items from members of the church. It was shipped out in early December and much patience has been required as the Ethiopian bureaucratic process was worked through. However we praise God for its safe arrival at the centre on 21st May and know how much joy there will be as its contents are unpacked. We also thank God for answered prayer that the land for a fourth centre at Maichew has now been assigned to the project and the planning/building process can now begin. Thank you for ongoing support. Further information available from Kate

December 2018

Shipping Container to ORE

You may have heard of a container load of donated goods being shipped from Northern Ireland to Mekelle. It is true! With great assistance from generous helpers and donors we have shipped our first 20ft container to Getachew at Operation Rescue. It is full of clothing, computers, toys, blankets, kitchen equipment and much much more. Kate’s visit to ORE in October meant it was possible to liaise directly with the staff at ORE as to what equipment would be of most use to them. We are delighted to have on board a wheelchair for Sammy one of Getachew's sons. The sense of excitement and blessing all the supplies will bring is almost overwhelming for those of us who have seen just how little our ORE friends and families have.


Please pray for the transit during December of approximately 28 days and in particular for the customs clearance process in Djibouti. If you were a donor please continue to pray through your gift, that God will bless richly the recipients of this outreach.

It is our hope and prayer that if this container arrives safely, as we trust it will, we can consider sending out another container at some future time.


Merville Boyd


Operation Rescue UK & Ireland


For more information about Operation Rescue, one of the mission agencies supported by the church please contact Kate Doherty email:-


mkdohertyekn@ gmail.com


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Our Mission is to glorify and enjoy God in worship and living. To live and love as a fellowship of His family and to help one another to grow spiritually. To share with others His word and to serve our community