Thursday, June 25, 2015

He Giveth More Grace {a re-post}

Can I share the words to an old song with you in the hope that it will be an encouragement to someone reading the blog today?  The fact that it was written by a young woman who was adopted is a happy ‘coincidence’ but isn’t really part of the story behind the words. 

The song was written by Annie Flint, who loved to write poetry and had dreamed of becoming a concert pianist.  But as a teenager, she began to suffer from crippling arthritis, the disease that eventually left her unable to even open her hands. She wrote these words – and later put them to music – out of her own discovery of God’s unlimited ability to give her everything she needed.

I can imagine all kinds of situations these words apply to – physical pain and suffering, loneliness, broken marriages, financial stress, relational hurts, repeated defeat and discouragement – and yes, even the emotional journey of adoption. Though it's full of old English ‘giveths’ and ‘sendeths’, these words are SO full of life and hope! And they're straight out of God’s word.

hands 2

by Annie J Flint

He giveth more grace as the burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as the labors increase,
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials His multiplied peace.

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,
Our Father's full giving is only begun.

Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.

His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth and giveth, and giveth again.

I rewrote the words (with no disrespect to the author or her beautiful phrasing) into a prayer and it’s one I love to say out loud, especially when I’m at the end of my own wisdom, strength and ability…

Lord, You give me more grace as my burdens grow greater.
You send me more strength as my needs increase.
To my added afflictions You add Your mercy.
To my multiplied trials You add multiplied peace.

No fear that my need will exceed Your provision
Your resources are endless and You love to share!
I’ll lean all my weight on Your strength given to me
Both myself and my burdens I know You will bear.

When I have exhausted my store of endurance
When my strength has failed before the day is half done
When I reach the end of all my resources
I know Your full giving has only begun.

Your love has no limit. Your grace has no measure.
Your power has no boundary known to men.
For out of Your infinite riches in Jesus
You give and You give and You give again!


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

For the Fatherless at Father's Day

Celebrate the father in your life by giving a gift in his name to the fatherless children in our orphanage in Shashemene, Ethiopia.

Our orphanage is growing and we are in great need of many new cribs, diapers, formula and baby swings.  What a wonderful ‘problem’ to have, right?  Caring for these babies who have been abandoned alongside the road or left at the hospital, likely by a young mother who was unable to feed or care for her child, is our greatest privilege. 

Our YWAM Gift Catalog has many items – something for every budget - that will be gratefully received and so appreciated.

baby swing e

crib2 e

If you order by tomorrow, it’s not too late for us to send a card to your dad saying you’ve given a gift in his name for Father’s Day.  Just send us an email letting us know what you ordered and the name and mailing address of your dad or granddad.

Click on the button below to bless your dad by blessing our babies!

gift catalog button2

Monday, June 15, 2015

Simply Meeting Needs

I don’t give a second thought about the bed I sleep on each night - unless I know I’m going to spend the night somewhere that might be too noisy, not dark enough, too hot or cold and might not have a firm mattress or just the right kind of pillow.  Let’s not even talk about camping in a sleeping bag. 

The reality is that many of the families sponsored in our Adoption Ministry 1:27 program sleep just like so many other people in Ethiopia do: on the ground.   They might have a tarp or blanket spread out on the dirt floor and, if they’re lucky, they have an old piece of foam to share with however many parents and children and grandparents live there.  Beds and bedding are the needs mentioned most often by our case managers when they send us updates on these families.

So it’s not hard to imagine what a BIG blessing it is to receive a new bed frame, mattress, sheets, a blanket and a soft pillow. 

Tewabech is an elderly widow who suffers from back pain.  As you can see in the photo below, she had been sleeping on a very rickety metal bed frame with a poor excuse for a mattress.

This dear woman is so grateful for the monthly help she receives from the family who ‘adopted’ her for regular food to eat.  But it was obvious to our case manager that she needed a better bed.

Thanks to a donation via our Gift Catalog, we were able to purchase a new bedframe, mattress and bedding for Tewabech!

BB-0002 bed1

Her beautiful smile says it all!

BB-0002 bed2

Endayehu lives with her four children in a one room house made of sticks and mud, covered with tarps to keep out the weather.   Most everyone slept on the ground… until recently.  

BB-0009 bed
When we shared the need, Endayehu’s sponsor sent extra money with her monthly support for new bedding and we were able to provide a bed frame and mattress because of a donation to our Gift Catalog.  She is overjoyed and sends her thanks to Aleta!

Astatke and her children are extremely grateful that they will no longer sleep on the floor, thanks to money donated through our Gift Catalog for a bedframe and mattress!

BB-0024 bed

Alamitu is able to feed her children three good meals each day and send them to school, thanks to the faithful monthly support her sponsor sends.  This dedicated mother works in a shoe factory, which provides a very small income, so she was incredibly blessed to receive new bedding and some much-needed clothing and shoes for her children.

MK 0035 Alemitu Markos

MK 0035 Alemitu Markos (2)

Aster’s sponsors, Eric and Sabrina, have truly taken both Aster and her three children under their wing, providing not only basic monthly support but helping with their need for extra food, a solar light and clothes for school.  Her teen-aged girls recently got to go with the case manager to pick out new shoes and clothes to replace very worn and ill-fitting items, all thanks to a family in the U.S. who they’ve never met… amazing! 

BB-0012 clothes1

I love a quote by Kristen Welch
We change the world
when we simply
meet the needs of another.

Our YWAM Gift Catalog is a wonderful way for you to provide a variety of very basic necessities for those we serve in Ethiopia.  We are so grateful for your partnership in this ministry… and so are the many recipients like the ones you read about above.  THANK YOU!!

Monday, June 8, 2015

True Worship

What I’m interested in seeing you do is:
sharing your food with the hungry,
inviting the homeless poor into your homes,
putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad,
being available to your own families.

Do this and the lights will turn on,
and your lives will turn around at once.
Your righteousness will pave your way.

The God of glory will secure your passage.
Then when you pray, God will answer.
You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am.’
Isaiah 58:6-9 The Message

It's a privilege for us to be able to advocate for so many families in Ethiopia who are in great need. Perhaps you are looking for a way to live out God's call to feed the hungry and meet the most basic of human needs...

You can bring life-changing hope to a family in Ethiopia struggling to survive.  Your gift of $50/month meets immediate needs of food and shelter and starts a family on the road to self-sufficiency.  Read about many families waiting to be ‘adopted’ on our website here.  Thank you!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Need Some New Tools for Parenting?

from our friends at Empowered to Connect


by Kayla North
I don’t consider myself a lazy person.  I am up early, I rarely sit down, and I always have a to-do list a mile long. I mean who has time to be lazy when you are a parent?  Yet I find myself parenting lazy.  I find myself saying ‘no’ to my kids out of laziness.  I find myself yelling at my kids out of laziness.

Let me explain…

A few years ago we signed up for the Empowered to Connect parent training. It really made us reconsider some of our parenting strategies.  We had to look at the parenting tools we were using and decide if they were working.

Most of us have four tools in our parenting tool belt:
  • verbal reprimand (yelling)
  • isolation (timeout, sending kids to his/her room)
  • physical punishment
  • consequences
Most days we find ourselves in a vicious cycle of using these tools to no avail.  They seem effective because we see our kids behavior modified in the moment. But rarely does the change in behavior carry over to the next day or interaction. As a result, we find ourselves doing and saying the same things again and again.

The ETC course offered to show us 25 new and different tools that we could use with our kids. We just had to be willing to put the other four to the side.  We agreed, and we were introduced to a crazy new world of parenting. One that has proven to be effective and has taken us to a whole new level of connection with our kids.
Continue reading here…

Sunday, May 31, 2015

You May Think You Came to Serve...

What do people do when they go on a mission trip to Ethiopia?  There are many end goals that are on the heart of Mark Wolbert, our Mission Director, as he meets a group of travel-weary Americans spilling through the doors of the Addis Ababa airport. 

For many, this is their first experience with a culture radically different from middle class America.  He understands that the first day or so there most likely will be lots of questions and one’s senses might be overloaded.  It is comforting to meet our Ethiopian friends and allow the warmth of a traditional greeting and the taste of strong, good coffee to reinforce what you already know:  God brought you here for a reason.

You may think you came to serve.  To give to those who are without.  To share Christ’s love.  To learn about another culture.  To play with children or to hold babies.  All of these things probably will be part of your days, but God never wastes an opportunity and He usually has much deeper reasons for bringing you to Africa. 

Each day brings a sense of adventure.   But then you are disappointed because traffic stalls or the person you were to visit is not home, or all of a sudden the sky opens and the rains fall leaving everyone a soggy, muddy mess.  Efficiency is not a value of this culture, and the long way of doing even the most simple of tasks will drive you crazy... but is there a small voice whispering for you to have grace and patience? 

Each team of people traveling together has a different personality and each trip addresses something different.  A group of college football players from the University of Kentucky just returned from Ethiopia.  They had culture shock for sure, but also days packed full of getting their hands dirty while a glimmer of understanding soaked in that 85% of their world does not have the advantages they take for granted.

Days were busy bringing supplies to widows, preparing food for prisoners, building things, and playing with children. 

They supplied obvious physical needs, but more importantly the act of lending a hand touched basic desires that lie at a much deeper level.  The children, the women, the prisoners felt valued and important; they felt loved. 

Thanks for helping, guys!

Small businesses in Ethiopia are the way to go!  Unemployment is high and so relying on a small business to earn money is advantageous.   This group of university guys made 30 shoe shine kits that were given through a local YWAM ministry.  The evening the kits were given, there was a time of worship and sharing that has turned into a regular shoe shiner’s fellowship every Friday.

The prison ministry YWAM has been doing for several years is an excellent place to serve.  Big batches of wat (Ethiopian stew) with injera (Ethiopian cultural bread) were made and brought to the prisoners, and a Bible came with each plate of food.  The prisoners’ smiles said it all.

There are no social services for women who have no husband, brother or son to take care of them.  Their lives are extremely hard.  Genet was orphaned when she was 6-years-old and never learned how a family functions.   She is now struggling to raise her own children without a father.  The team brought her some charcoal and food and talked and prayed with her.  Just that little act of kindness encouraged her.  She said, “I was so relieved getting the food and felt loved.”

The team built the Widow Alem a small outdoor kitchen.  The rainy season is coming and it is very difficult to cook out in the open.  She has a stove to bake injera and plans on selling injera to support her family.

Muzirith was widowed four years ago and cares for her four children plus her niece whose mother died during childbirth.  She was visited by the team who brought her much needed food and supplies.  She has recently become a Christ-follower and humbly gave thanks to the team and to her Lord stating, “Through you, He provided for me.”

Traveling with a group of athletes, there are always opportunities to throw a football or kick a soccer ball.  Pick-up games with community children always provide squeals of laughter and opportunities for the “big guys” to expose their playful side. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Persecution Around the World

by Joy Casey
The evangelism thrust in Ethiopia experiences strong push-back in all areas and there are isolated incidences of actual persecution involving bodily harm or economic hardship. While the Ethiopian government remains is stable, religious liberty is upheld and the most radical elements are kept in check. Adoption Ministry partners with Steadfast Global (out of Scotland) and Voice of the Martyrs (out of Canada) to see that evangelism in Ethiopia continues strong. The primary purpose of our partners is to monitor the persecuted church all over the world and to bring humanitarian aid where it is needed. A Steadfast Global team recently returned from Iraq where they rendered aid to the Christian Kurdish refugees ousted from their homes by ISIS.

Here are a few snapshots of some recent news from other nations.
clip_image002Kenya: Radical Isl*mist group, al-Shabaab, once again proved how depraved and callous they are in a devastating attack on students at Garissa University College near the Somali border. Gunmen stormed the campus on Thursday April 2, killing 147 people, mainly Christian students, and injuring at least another 73. We understand that the attackers separated Christian and M*slim students, releasing the M*slims and murdering the Christians. Please remember those who are mourning and those who are injured. In the wake of the attack, calls were made for the closure of the nearby Dadaab refugee camp which houses many thousands of Somali refugees.
clip_image004South Sudan: 37-year-old Pastor Adam Haron is recovering after spending three months in a jail near the border with Sudan. Pastor Haron who was working among M*slims in the city of Aweil, believes that his arrest last November was instigated by M*slim extremists who opposed his work. While imprisoned he alleges that he was tortured and accused of being a spy. He was released on February 18.
clip_image006India: A number of Christians including women and children, have been left with broken bones and other serious injuries following an attack on their open-air meeting by a mob of Hindu extremists on April 8. The attack occurred around 9 p.m. during the last session of a three-day event organized by the Christians in Pebbair in Telangana State. Police have been accused of failing to protect the Christians and also of failing to take action against those responsible for the assaults.
clip_image008Pakistan: A 14-year-old Christian boy has succumbed to the injuries he sustained on April 10 after being beaten and then set on fire by two M*slim men who discovered he was a Christian after engaging him in conversation. Nauman Masih died in a hospital in Lahore on April 15. Police have denied that the attack was religiously motivated.
clip_image010 Uganda: A 17-year-old pastor's daughter was left seriously injured and badly traumatized after a horrific attack in which she was gang-raped as a punishment for her father's refusal to cease Christian worship services. The attack took place around 7:30 p.m. on March 28 as the young woman was walking towards the church building in Budaka District. Her name has been withheld at the request of the family.

There is a spiritual battle raging in our world, and Christians need to be on their knees interceding like never before. 

"...others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection."  
Hebrews 11:35

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