Presbyterian Missions Ethiopia

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In 1923, the imperial Regent, Ras Tafari, made a grant of land on the outskirts of Addis Ababa to the Board of Foreign Missions, intending the Presbyterian Mission to set up a hospital. This gift and request established the Presbyterian Mission in Ethiopia.

The flu pandemic of 1918 reached Ethiopia at the end of that year, raging through the completely unprepared population. This medical emergency was so great that an Ethiopian chief of the Anuak on the eastern side of the Sobat River, who was designated a provincial governor by the Regent, appealed for help to the British District Commissioner at Gambela, on the western bank of the Sobat, in Sudan. The British Commissioner in turn relayed the request to Dr. Tom Lambie, the nearest UPNA medical missionary at the South Sudan Mission river station of Nasir. In response, Dr. Lambie crossed into Ethiopia and began medical treatment among the people in the province of Gambela, in both Anuak and Nuer tribes. Two UPNA Sudan Mission couples, stationed at Akobo and Nasir, had been studying the Anuak and Nuer languages. They crossed the Sobat and the Akobo Rivers separating the two countries, to help Dr. Lambie. As the need for medical care increased, the provincial governor gave the Presbyterians a tract of land in the town of Sayo to establish a medical clinic. In 1920, this town and region was renamed Dembi Dollo.

In 1920, the provincial governor of Illubabor asked Dr. Lambie to open a medical clinic in his capital of Gorei, a town in southwestern Ethiopia on the Baro River, yet another river constituting part of the border between Sudan and Ethiopia. Shortly afterwards, on his way through Addis Ababa, Dr. Lambie was received by the Regent, Ras Tafari, who gave the Presbyterian Mission a 12 acre tract of land outside the city for a hospital. With that official invitation in 1923, the UPNA Board of Foreign Missions established the Ethiopia Mission, known at the time as Abyssinian Mission. See The United Presbyterian Story by Wallace N. Jamison, Chapter V, p. 76, and Chapter XI, p. 179, Board of Christian Education of the United Presbyterian Church of North America, Philadelphia, 1958

Children of the Ethiopia Mission attended Schutz as early as 1925.