SERVE is a fellowship of mission-minded volunteers, committed to making a lasting impact in largely unreached settings, demonstrating the love of Christ in transformational ways.





Project Description

St. Andrew’s is collecting theological books for the Western Gambella Bethel Synod (WGBS) Jordan Bible School of the Mekane Yesus Church of Ethiopia (formerly the Presbyterian Church in Ethiopia). We invite other churches to join us in the collection, sorting, cataloging and packing of these books for shipment to Ethiopia. This could be a good project for church youth groups. St. Andrew’s will purchase the necessary equipment and software to catalogue the books and provide proper boxes for shipping the books. When a church has accumulated a collection of books and is ready to catalogue the books and prepare them for shipping, a St. Andrew’s member will bring the computer equipment and boxes to the church and supervise the process.


Description of Books Being Collected

Classes at the Jordan Bible School are taught in English. In general the age of the book is not important as long as the book is in good shape. Both hard cover and paperback are acceptable. In addition to the types of books listed below, many of the students also need a personal copy of the Bible in English.

  • Biblical Studies
    • Commentaries (Any academic commentaries except for the Interpreter’s Bible Commentary – Old Edition)
    • Bible Dictionaries and Bible Handbooks
    • Bible concordance
    • Secondary and background studies to the Hebrew Bible and New Testament
    • Linguistic Tools (Greek, Hebrew)
  • Theology: historical and modern
  • Church History/Historical Theology
  • Ethics
  • Philosophy
  • Missiology/Cross-Cultural Studies
  • Christian Education
  • Leadership
  • Reference Material: Encyclopedias of Theology, Religion, and Bible



The Western Gambella Bethel Synod serves the 150,000 to 200,000 Nuer people living in the Gambella region of Ethiopia. Due to the tribal fighting across the border from Gambella in the South Sudan another 200,000 to 300,000 Nuer from the South Sudan have streamed into the Gambella area. The Synod has 138 churches and an additional 94 preaching points (New churches which have not yet been organized as congregations.) with a total of 100,000 church members served by 64 pastors. The Synod’s five year plan projects the need to organize 79 new congregations and create 174 additional preaching points during this period.

The Jordan Bible School, the Synod’s only school for training church leaders, currently has a maximum capacity of 30 students and is limited to offering a two-year certificate program. The Synod wants to double the capacity of the Jordan Bible School and up-grade it to be able to offer a three-year diploma program. To be able to offer a diploma program, the school must have a 7,000 volume library. St. Andrew’s has committed to helping the Jordan Bible School meet the library requirement.

From its beginning St. Andrew’s members have been involved with short term construction and medical mission projects around the world including: Ethiopia, Haiti, Kenya, Mexico, Mozambique, Peru and the U. S. through SERVE, an organization affiliated with the Presbyterian Church USA, founded in 1993 at the U.S. Center for World Missions of Fuller Seminary to facilitate short term volunteer mission service.  As Jesus said, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you: and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to all the ends of the earth.”—Acts 1:8. St. Andrew’s believes the church exists to fulfill this command. Mission outreach is not an option for the local church. If a church is big enough to worship it is big enough for mission! Jesus calls us to witness to not only our local community, but also to our nation and the whole world. The purpose of this project is to begin testing strategies for mobilizing the churches of the West Side Story Group (WSS) to implement Jesus’ last command.

By addressing the urgent need of providing books for the Jordan Bible School, we see the possibility for the awakening of gifts and opportunities within the WSS churches. For example, the young people of today are very volunteer-minded, but short on time so short term projects need to be planned for them. On the other hand, many of the retired members of our churches are in good health and have a lifetime of experiences and skills. They have time to contribute to longer term projects. These activities might bring new value and meaning to their lives. It is anticipated that as we work with WGBS to help them improve their Bible School (which is a training school/seminary for adult pastors) we might develop a long term partnership involving a number of service opportunities. For example:

  1. The Bible school classes are taught in English, so a summer English Camp to improve their English would be very helpful to new students.
  2. Students need training in the use of a computer and basic software.
  3. Church leaders could benefit from leadership training.
  4. Many WGBS church members could use training and mentoring in setting up and operating a business.
  5. Those who have access to a vehicle need basic auto mechanics instruction.

Perhaps, if this relationship blossomed into a future partnership, the WGBS leaders could be invited one day to Baltimore to share their gifts with us. Of particular value would be to learn how they witness to others so we might be more effective in our witness to people in our communities.

Total funds required for this project are $7,000 to $8,000. St. Andrew’s has requested a Ministry Group Grant for $4000 and will raise the additional funds through solicitation of funds from interested churches in the Baltimore Presbytery and churches connected to the Presbyterian Church Ethiopian Network.


Individuals and churches interested participating in the Book Project should contact Ed Pollock at (301-831-7223) or ed_pollock@comcast.net for more information.