SMBH Team Member Travels to Africa for Mission Project

Posted on February 04, 2014

In early February, SMBH’s Lara Fling will travel to one of the world’s most poverty-stricken areas, using her skills to serve the community. Fling is a member of a project team for Engineering Ministries International (EMI), a non-profit Christian development organization made up of architects, engineers and design professionals who donate their talent to design buildings in areas where resources and skills are few. Fling and the team of architects, engineers and other building professionals will work with the Anglican Church of Ethiopia to design a church and dormitory in western Ethiopia. Fling’s primary role on the team will be assistant architect, but her role will also include assisting the structural engineer as needed.

According to EMI, the Anglican Church has planted 70 congregations in the region in the last 20 years, with approximately 6,000 people attending each week. These 70 groups are served by only 16 clergy who must travel weekly between congregations. Facilities are needed to provide more theological training. The church also serves many school children for after-school tutoring, and the existing facilities need to be improved to allow for more effective programs.

During the trip, the EMI team will meet with the ministry, determine their needs and perform initial design. Much of the design will be completed when the team returns. Final designs and plans will be turned over to the Anglican Church, which will then raise funds and proceed with construction. Fling, who took her first mission trip with EMI to Haiti in 2010, is excited about this new opportunity to use her skills to serve others. If you’d like to learn more about Fling’s trip, visit