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Congratulations are in Order …

This week, Pastor John hands over the TAGD keyboard to Pastor Brent Whitefield, Northpoint’s Pastor of Missions and Outreach.
I am pleased to announce that our good friend Tamene Menna has completed his doctoral studies at Talbot and this week successfully defended his thesis. As of graduation in May, he will have his PhD in hand. We are excited to see how God will choose to use Tamene to advance the work of the kingdom in years to come.
For those of you who haven’t had a chance to get to know Tamene, I want to tell you a little bit about his journey: Tamene, his wife, Tigist, and one-year-old daughter, Lelena, came to the US to study in 2009. We had gotten to know Tamene through our relationship with his home church, Akaki Kele Hewitt Church, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. For the last eight years, we have supported Tamene as he has earned his master’s and doctorate at Talbot Seminary. Throughout their stay here, they have been active members of Northpoint and part of a growth group.
It would be an understatement to say that Tamene and his family have experienced trials along the way that have tested and strengthened their faith in God. They have had two children while here in the US, both of whom have required significant special attention. Their son, Liam, was born in 2010. He is a great source of joy but requires intense daily intervention for his special needs diagnosis. Their second son, Lucian, was born in 2015 and has spent more of his early life in the hospital than outside. Having endured countless surgeries and other significant medical procedures, he has been healed from a cancerous tumor and other serious problems. His very survival is nothing short of a miracle of God, but he will require ongoing medical care for years to come.
Though Tamene and Tigist have been able to rely on Northpoint and their growth group to help them bear some of their burden, years of sleepless nights, anxiety, and emergency hospital runs have taken a toll on this precious family. A man of weaker faith than Tamene would have been tempted to despair and may have even given up his academic pursuits. However, God has supplied the strength to continue on and bring his studies to a successful conclusion.
The ongoing, intense care that two of their children require has, for now, preempted Tamene and Tigist’s plans to return to Ethiopia and teach at the college level there. You will see more of Tamene in the months to come, as his family will be moving to Corona in May and he will be assuming a number of responsibilities in ministry here at Northpoint. At the same time, we are working hard and trusting God to provide him with a more secure immigration status here in the US and a permanent job whereby he can provide for his family over the long term. Would you pray for this family that God, who has seen fit to allow them to be tested to a nearly unbearable degree, will prepare them for an extraordinary impact in ministry? Would you pray that he will be merciful and bring them physical, emotional, and spiritual healing in the years to come? And next time you see them, congratulate Dr. Menna on the successful completion of a long academic journey. If you haven’t already, get to know this man and his family—you’ll be glad you did.
In him,
Pastor Brent
The rest of NP News for 3.23.2017 can be found on the “This Week” page here