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!

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!




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