Friday, September 26, 2014

Women entrepreneurs donate toward another business start

by Joy Casey

Several businesswomen in Puyallup, Washington donated $700 to be awarded to a single mother in Ethiopia to start her own business.
 

Meet Leyla. Despite her hard circumstances, her beautiful smile is captivating. Four years ago, Leyla, raised a M*sl*m, put her faith in Jesus Christ. Because of this decision, her husband left her and their two little girls, placing the sole burden of providing for them squarely on Leyla’s shoulders.

Ekram is 8-years-old and Hanan is 4 ½.  Currently, Leyla is washing clothes for people earning very little money and two-thirds of it goes to rent their meager room. A loan will set Leyla up in a business selling vegetables such as onions, potatoes, peppers and carrots along with sundry fruits. Over the past year Leyla has saved $15 to put toward a business start.

Can you imagine her astonished joy when she finds out she will be the recipient of a loan for an amount she could never dream of getting? She has taken the required business training given by YWAM and our business manager thinks she is an excellent candidate to run a successful business.

Congratulations, Leyla! Thank you, Puyallup businesswomen!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A new start for Etabez


by Joy Casey

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The golf ball drop was fun to watch! 70 golf balls were purchased, each having a number. The drone carrying the golf balls rose high above the football field where a flag was positioned. The drone lowed a little hovering over the flag and the cargo bay opened and balls rained from the sky!
 
And the prize is … A business start for a single mother in Ethiopia given in the name of Shannon Scacciotti whose ball landed closest to the flag!! Enough money was raised through the golf balls to finance a business for Etabez.
 
Etabez
Etabez Sira (Sira means “work”) was abandoned by her husband while she was pregnant with her daughter, Hana, who is now five-years-old. In order to earn money, Etabez works in the pity trade – buying goods in large quantities and then selling them piecemeal. The margin of profit is very small and she works long days to earn $20 - $22 a month. She and Hana live in a small rented room in a congested, very poor area for $17.34 a month. Etabez has been helped monthly by her Adoption Ministry 1:27 sponsor which ensures they have enough to eat, but paying rent and sending Hana to kindergarten stretches Etabez to the limit.
 
Our business manager assesses Etabez to be a hard worker and with high potential to be successful in the marketplace if she has more inventory to sell and can set up a regular, legal shop. Because of the golf ball drop, Etabez will receive a loan to launch her business!
 
Thank you, Shannon, and all the others who bought golf balls for giving Etabez a chance of a lifetime!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Celebrating Adoption!


Nothing was held back. We were full out declaring the praises of The One who champions adoption. Several hundred like-minded people gathered on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in August ostensibly for a 5K run, but really to honor birthmothers, adoptive parents, and to express thanksgiving for putting families together through adoption.
 
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There were families with children adopted from the foster care system, children adopted from Ethiopia, Ukraine and Congo, and little ones intentionally placed by loving American birthmothers. Unique to this event was the man who envisioned this run and invested time and energy to make it happen. Greg had a great upbringing in his adoptive family, but a few years ago felt the Lord impress on him to write a letter of thanks to his birthmother via the agency in Georgia from which he was adopted as an infant. He had no information whatsoever about his birthmother, and his motivation was not to connect with her but simply to say thank you. Thank you for life. Thank you for family.
 
As a result of that one letter of thanks, Greg met his birthmother and half-sister along with a slew of relatives, and he is blown away by God’s goodness. This run and golf ball drop honored his adoptive mom and birthmom, both of whom were at the event. Other families and birthmothers gave testimony of the blessings brought to their lives through adoption. Their stories joyfully quickened the words in Romans 8:28 “God works for the good of those who love Him …”
 
Thanks to Randy Averill for the great photos!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Links You’ll Like


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One Year Later… What I’ve Learned About Adoption
@africatoamerica.org
The past 365 days have been filled with crazy hard and crazy beautiful that leave me feeling fulfilled and exhausted.  But isn’t that how motherhood is?


Five Responses to Extreme Poverty
@shaungroves.com
We’ve all heard of the five stages of grief and many of us have even moved through them ourselves.  Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression. Acceptance.  The typical responses to extreme poverty are very similar, in my experience.


What God Calls Good
@(in)courage.me
Twenty-five years ago, my mom sat on the edge of the bed and told me a story about girl who hated her brown eyes. She thought they were ugly next to her blue-eyed friends and her green-eyed sister. So bland. She wished them away. Before long, she upped the ante, begging God to change them, to turn the mud puddles to pools. He’d done that sort of thing before.

 
The Greatest Adoption Myth
@confessionsofaparent.com
As I watched this unfold, I found myself at a loss. This was not how I pictured this going, at all!


Handling Hard Feelings
@onethankfulmom.com
In the few weeks she’s been home there have been disappointments, schedule changes, “no” answers when she wanted a “yes,” chore expectations, school blips, and the stresses of life.



And we'll end with a video you don't want to miss...



Thursday, September 4, 2014

A Winning Ticket


by Frank and Lori Gonzales

When friends invited us to our first Adoption Ministry banquet, we gladly accepted, knowing that it would be a fun-filled evening of dinner and fellowship. What we didn’t know was that our lives would be forever changed. During the banquet a raffle was held for an all-expense trip for two to Ethiopia. Frank reached for his wallet. He was a little short so our friends spotted us the $6 loan. Out of thousands of tickets purchased that evening, we were stunned to be holding the winning ticket! It was clearly the Lord’s purpose that we should pack our bags for Ethiopia!
 
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While in Ethiopia we were so blessed to be a part of the first in-country Adoption Conference, which bore immediate fruit with the adoption of several of the orphans from the YWAM orphanage.

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We fell in love with a one-year old girl named Hawii, and she let us know the feeling was mutual!

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We would have adopted her in a heartbeat if it had not been for the fact that she had to be adopted by someone from Ethiopia. (She is now in her forever family in Ethiopia.)  We think and pray for her often.
 
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Another remarkable experience was visiting a Muslim village. We witnessed the genuine joy of the elders of the church who were once Muslims but now are set apart for God’s salvation! They worshipped with such love and joy and passion. Sadly, it was a sharp contrast to how we in the American church can often take our own salvation for granted.
 
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The most moving experience for both of us was when we visited an Adoption Ministry 1:27 family in Shashemene. The only thing in their 8’x8’ mud house, besides an old single mattress and filthy blanket, was a coffee urn and several small mugs.
 
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The beautiful in the midst of despair.
 
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This widow, wearing an Obama t-shirt, stood with her 6 fatherless children, the smallest holding tightly to her skirt. She could not afford to send her children to school past 2nd grade. Their faces were all very grim, and standing in the room I felt their desperation and lack of joy. I knew instantly that they did not know Jesus yet. I hid behind the camera, taking more pictures than necessary to keep myself from sitting down to cry.
 
Jeff told them that we had come a long way because we were Christians, we loved them and God loved them. Abebe told them they will get help through AM 1:27. The kids will be able to get the uniforms to attend school. The gospel was shared. As we prayed for this family, the “call to prayer” horn sounded loud and long. Another stark contrast between despair and hope.  I wanted to know so badly what they each were thinking, and what was happening in their hearts. I was the last to leave and I will never forget how tight and warm and grateful this mom’s hug was. I will never forget her. It is only a matter of time before this precious family crosses from darkness to light.
 
There are too many special stories to tell, but the memories and life lessons will remain in our hearts. We want to thank Adoption Ministry for their vital work in Ethiopia, and for making it possible for us to witness God’s work there firsthand.

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Thank you,
Frank and Lori Gonzales

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This year might be YOUR year to win a trip for two with one of the 2015 mission teams to Ethiopia!  Our banquet is on October 11, 2014 at the Tacoma Convention Center. Click below to register!




Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Just Imagine {a re-post}


We are very anxious to find a sponsor for Teje and her son Dawit.  Perhaps you or someone you know will adopt them for $50 per month?


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K0030 Teje
Imagine that you suffer from Epilepsy and a seizure causes you to fall into a cooking fire, severely burning both hands, your arm and your chest.  Though still young and beautiful, your husband cannot bear to look at your disfigurement and divorces you, leaving you to raise your young son by yourself.  Marriage is now probably out of the question and begging is the only way you know to earn a living for yourself and your son.  This barely brings in enough to pay the rent on the room you live in and not much is left for food.




For only $50 per month, you can adopt this struggling mother and her son, embracing them with the love of Christ and providing some of their basic needs.   There are many other families living in similar desperation who we would like to find sponsors for – answering God’s call to care for orphans and widows.

On our Adoption Ministry 1:27 website you can read the bios of these families, many who we have labeled ‘High Priority’ because they are on the brink of despair. 

Imagine if any of these were your story.
Imagine if someone reached out to change your circumstances.
Imagine the relief and hope and joy!



Monday, August 25, 2014

For Those Who Wait

by Katja Starkey
 
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Joy Casey asked me if I would share some of my thoughts while we wait to bring home a little girl in Ethiopia. My goal is to encourage other families who are waiting for their children to come home. God has given us an incredible peace as we wait that most definitely passes understanding.
 
Before I jump in, if anyone reading this is just really roughing it emotionally, I have genuine compassion for you. Our first adoption nearly tore my heart out, because I had a Mama heart and nobody little to love on. Now our son has been home for over 3 years, and is a delight. As I share what God has been showing me during our current waiting process, please know I totally validate anyone who is broken and undone. My prayer is that God will bring great peace, comfort and rest to your souls.
 
Currently, our 2 year-old’s paperwork is stuck waiting for a signature from MoWA, and it has been like that since Thanksgiving of last year. Her orphanage ran out of food in March, and our friends have been faithfully feeding everyone in that orphanage since. When we look directly and only at the factual negative circumstances, we can definitely become shaky and fearful. But the Lord has reminded us to fix our eyes on Him.
 
We totally trust the Lord in all he is doing. I sense much greater purposes than any of us can imagine in all that’s going on. We only see in part. Of course we deeply want our family united, but we believe God must be doing something we cannot even fathom in this wait. When Moses’ mother put him in a basket in the Nile and had Miriam keep watch, could she have ever imagined the future God had in store for her son and the much bigger plan God had, which Moses fit into? Of course as waiting parents, WE WANT OUR BABIES HOME. And so we should. The loss of time together is real, and something to grieve. At the same time, I somehow strangely feel that God is going to do more than bring our kids home. In January of this year, he showed me a vision of two angels in simple white clothes stacking sand bags. I wondered what that meant, and the Lord said, “They’re preparing for the breakthrough.” Wow. I still haven’t seen it 8 months later, but God is not a man that he should lie.
 
The most recent Bible passage on my mind is of Pharaoh, and how he resisted letting God’s people go so fiercely, but in the end, the Lord had tremendous victory. The reality of the spiritual realm is making the less-than-favorable situational circumstances fade somehow. I think of Mary & Joseph—inconveniently on a road trip while pregnant, but about to shake the history of the world—then fleeing to Egypt, but having the provisions of the wise men’s gifts to meet their needs. God does big things in common and even inconvenient circumstances. This is so real to me right now. Don’t get me wrong… I long for this process to move forward, but the peace of God is on me. I know this is all in his hands. God spoke to my heart, “I will bring her.” That word I can trust.
 
Over the many months of waiting, God has brought to mind several Biblical references of how he worked out His purposes despite apparent setbacks, unfairness, unjust leaders, literal blockades (Red Sea, jail, etc.) and things that seemed to be ill-timed. He is faithful and trustworthy. I pray we can all celebrate and rejoice soon, with the literal homecoming of our children. Until then, may we watch and wait with expectation, cast our cares on Him, and persevere through intercession. The Bible says the persistent widow got justice, not because the judge cared or was fair, but because of her constant coming. Let us be that way in prayer.
 
Submitted with humility and compassion for all who ache for their babies to be home…
Katja Starkey
 
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Katja and her husband Jonathan brought their son Gadisa home from Ethiopia in July 2011. 











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