Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Reunited


Recently, three families who have adopted children from YWAM orphanages in Ethiopia gathered in southern California for a little mini-reunion.  Their children all came to us as babies and spent their first several years together in the orphanage we had in Gimbie.  Monica Barlow was serving as a missionary in Gimbie and knew each of these children well so it was a special bonus that she could be a part of this get-together. To know the stories behind each of these children is to know the miracle-working power of our God!

Two of our YWAM adoptive moms sent their thoughts on the reunion…

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Chala, Samuel, Ella and Kayla
It was such a very blessed time that it is difficult to capture the memories into words. It is amazing to me how quickly the kids seemed to connect. Chala was able to reconnect with his best buddy and he spent the entire day hanging out, playing with, and enjoying just being with her again. Samuel also enjoyed playing with all of the kids – those born in Ethiopia and those who weren’t. There seems to be an instant bond with all members of the families as we all have somewhat of a shared experience. That is not to say that everyone’s story is the same, but we can identify with just feeling tremendously blessed to have our children home. There is also something very special about retelling the stories with friends who just know. They know the heartache of the wait. They know “injera”. They know that the child screaming through the house for Mommy doesn’t just have to “get over it”. They know so much from having walked a similar journey. The reunion day ended with a dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant. Sweet. Perfect ending to a wonderful day.
                                     ~Julie Steimer, mom to Chala (5) and Samuel (4)


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Samuel, Ella, Kayla, Chala, Sam and Hwii 

A sweet YWAM mama told me that our girls are not just friends they're "cousins" and she's right. When they are together it's more than seeing playmates… you are watching family forged many miles away in our precious children's hearts. They relax around each other and let their guards down in a way that is so comforting. It was nice for the parents to have a chance to catch up, share and ask questions that many times only other adoptive parents will "get". It was such a joy to see the kids reconnect too. They ran, played, laughed and loved every minute together. It was so special to have the Barlows here with us. They were able to share stories about the kids and answer questions some of us had about Ethiopian culture and our kids. What a gift to have time together, we are already looking forward to the next time we can be together!
                                   ~Leasha Taggart, mom to Ella (5)


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Monica Barlow with the Gimbie kids!

The only thing that would have made this weekend any better would be having every YWAM family attend!  We absolutely love it that so many of our families are making it a priority to keep their children connected… via reunions, on Skype and Facetime, through pictures and visits. 


Friday, October 24, 2014

From Hand-Out to Hand-Up!


An Adoption Ministry 1:27 Success Story
 
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Mestawit is a beautiful young woman living in a ghetto section of Ethiopia where the crippled, the lepers, the outcasts live. She did not choose to live there, but her husband died about the time their daughter was born leaving her a square of land with a dilapidated house on it and nothing else.
 
For seven years Mestawit struggled to make ends meet, but she could never, ever get ahead no matter how hard she worked washing clothes or cleaning houses.
 
Then Mestawit was “adopted” by Jeremiah and Kortny and there was suddenly light at the end of a very dark tunnel. Jeremiah and Kortny had the opportunity to visit Mestawit and were appalled when they saw the condition of her house that was barely standing. They decided then and there to raise financing to have it torn down and rebuilt (about $600).

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Mestawit used the money wisely and finished a nice house for her and her daughter and also built three rooms on the backside of the property to rent out. Now she is a proud landlady and can handily provide for the needs of her family without external support.

Jeremiah and Kortney could not be prouder of their friend’s success and have since “adopted” another family in Ethiopia to help.
 
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Mestawit is now happily reaching out to other single moms in her community providing them with encouragement.


Would you help a woman like Mestawit start her own small business and become self-sustaining?  You can donate a small business start via our Adoption Ministry 1:27 website here.








Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Peek-A-Boo!

by Joy Casey

A peek into Rediet’s life with her adoptive family in Addis Ababa shows an adored little girl who squeals when daddy walks through the door (much to his delight), cries when mommy says, “No,” and can often be found curled up on mommy or daddy’s lap being rocked to sleep. 
 
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This precious girl was brought to our Mana Gammachuu orphanage when she was just about one month old after being found lying beside a river.  We began praying for her and for a strong Ethiopian family to adopt her.
 
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She received lots of good formula and the loving care of our wonderful nannies.
 
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And in October of last year, little Rediet joined her forever family!
 
Now let’s peek into her #1 birthday party! The house is full of family -- aunts, uncles, grandparents and dozens of cousins, all of them kissing her milk chocolate cheeks at every opportunity. With a birthday hat on that says #1, Mommy helps her cut the traditional defo dabo celebration bread, but then she wiggles away and toddles to each familiar person, mouth open, to be hand fed some yummy injera and wat. She has on a new dress for her birthday celebration that her daddy was proud to bring home, fairy wings and all.
 
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Rediet has been with her family for twelve months and our peek into the scenes of her life shows her enveloped by her immediate and extended family and the center of attention, as all 1-year-olds should be.

What if Rediet had not been adopted?

What if Rediet were still living in an orphanage?

What if Rediet had not been found alongside a road shortly after she was born?

 
He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in His arms, He said to them,  "Whoever welcomes one of these little children in My name welcomes Me. 
Mark 9:36
 
Our desire is that all the children in our Mana Gammachuu orphanage will have their very own mommy and daddy like Rediet.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Water Walk 2014


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It was a perfect day for a walk... made even better because these folks were walking with a purpose!  Fifty-five men, women and kids carried jugs of water around a lake to experience and demonstrate what daily life is like for many Ethiopian women and children.  

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A daily trek to get water and bring it back to their homes is an essential part of life for millions who have no running water. The people hauling water found out it is not an easy job... water is heavy!  A new appreciation for our African neighbors was birthed, that is for sure.    

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Shannon Cline organized the walk to raise money to buy water filters that she and her team of women will take to Ethiopia at the end of the month. 

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Shannon said it was surreal at one point in the day to see a large crowd of people come around a corner carrying a variety of water containers, big and small. 

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Many people simply out for a morning stroll stopped to ask what the group was doing and participants took the opportunity to explain that even the youngest children on the walk would have been expected to fetch full jugs of water in Ethiopia and, in some cases, walk with those jugs for miles.  

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Many times the water is gathered from the ground or a stream and causes Giardia, typhoid, cholera and many other intestinal problems. The water filters won’t solve the water supply problem but they will filter out parasites and disease, keeping households from contracting these sometimes deadly illnesses.  

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Homemade medals were awarded to everyone who participated!  Shannon hopes to make this an annual event.

You can purchase these life-saving water filters through our YWAM Gift Catalog here




Monday, October 13, 2014

Celebrating New Life Stories

by Becky Burns

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Saturday night was our Adoption Ministry Benefit Dinner Banquet and what a night it was!  Over 250 friends joined us to celebrate how God has been re-writing the life stories of so many through Adoption Ministry of YWAM.

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Through Adoption Ministry’s domestic birthmother ministry, God is touching the lives of pregnant young women with compassion as they make parenting decisions and throughout their journeys of grief and loss after placing their children for adoption.

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Through Adoption Ministry 1:27, God is changing the lives of the desperately poor, giving them opportunities to become self-supporting through small-business loans and filling people with hope for the future.

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By joining Mark Wolbert on a mission trip to Ethiopia, eyes are opened to a new world view and many are joining us in reaching out to Ethiopia’s women, children and families with the love of Christ.

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As a result of the partnership we have with local churches here in the U.S. and the monthly sponsorship of a group of brave evangelists, the gospel is reaching hundreds of people and lives are being changed by the power of the Truth!

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In addition, the life stories of hundreds of children and families have been re-written by God through adoption, both domestically and from Ethiopia! 

A raffle was held for two round-trip airfares to Ethiopia with a mission team in 2015 and the winner of the raffle last time, Frank Gonzales, announced the winning ticket…

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Congratulations to Scott and Melody Olsen!

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Saturday was a night for us to recognize the goodness and power of God in changing lives.  We, the redeemed, took the opportunity to tell our stories! 

Thanks are due to all who sponsored tables, providing dinner for our wonderful guests, and to our table hosts who invited friends and family to celebrate with us.  


Special thanks to Ryan and Nikki McLaughlin, Miles and Debi Musick, and to all the volunteers who made this evening so special.  Thanks also to our Adoption Ministry staff – Joy, Mark, Liane, Jamie, Jeff, Jody and Teri - who are the BEST folks to work with!  Only God knows how much time and prayer you commit to Him for this work.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Orphan Sunday 2014

If your heart pulses for the orphan, use orphansunday.org on November 2, 2014 to spread the vision in your church.  Orphan Sunday is an amazing opportunity to celebrate God's heart for adoption, foster care and global orphan care! 

An easy way to celebrate Orphan Sunday is by using "The Orphan's Table."  Churches and families can order at no cost except shipping. It includes a simple packaged meal typically served to orphans worldwide, along with a discussion and prayer guide.



Throughout history, Christians at their best have been known as a people who take special care of the fatherless.  It's thrilling to see believers re-earning that reputation, from adoption and foster care to global initiatives.  Any church or family can be a part of this growing movement on Orphan Sunday-November 2, 2014.  Learn more at orphansunday.org.


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!

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