Friday, April 24, 2015

Adoption Speaks of God

Today we have a beautiful video to share... the story of one couple.  One birthmother.  One adoption.   But it reminds us of many of your stories.  Maybe you can relate?

 
"I was adamantly against adoption.  I wanted to have the kid we were supposed to have."
 
"God kept compelling us to love this idea of being parents... so we just kept praying."
 
"My perspective was so skewed in my own pain.  What I saw as Him not loving me was, in fact, Him being the most loving He could have been."
 
"It's a constant struggle to sit in His sovereignty
when everything is falling apart in your mind." 
 
"He doesn't leave anything to chance. 
It's amazing.  It's a miracle.  It only speaks of God."




Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Intangibles

by Jeff Butler
Adoption Ministry 1:27 Program Director

 
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Ethiopia is a place of many contrasts. I’ve seen the ugliness of what diseases such as leprosy or tuberculosis do to destroy bodies, and I’ve seen the beauty of what healing hands and effective medicine can do. I’ve seen the pain of hunger brought on by extreme poverty and yet the joy that comes from a little food and a warm embrace.
 
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I’ve seen the despair of hopelessness when there is no work to do and no way to provide, and I have seen the vigor that comes from beginning an income-generating activity leading to a life of self-sustainability! Poverty and richness, sorrow and joy, death and life, despair and hope, suffering and comfort. These contrasts are everywhere you look in Ethiopia.
 
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It’s always challenging not to see people and their circumstances through my American eyes. Their lives and culture are so vastly different from ours, and yet - just like you and me - they are people with wants, needs, hurts, and hopes. Our work in Ethiopia is to move the most vulnerable families from the verge of collapse to stability, and then help as many as possible move to self-sustainability through economic empowerment. Helping people out of hopelessness is both hard work and great joy! Nothing is more gratifying than seeing people’s lives transformed and the contagious enthusiasm that spills from their lives as they are able to provide for themselves.
 
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Most encouraging are the tangible changes I am able to see in the lives our AM 1:27 families each time I go to Ethiopia. I see tangible change in the health of the children and parents, in the work they can do, in the ways they can now provide and in their ability to help others within their communities.
 
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But on my last trip one of our case managers helped me to see some dramatic “intangibles” in the lives of the families we serve. Ephrem serves as our AM 1:27 Case Manager at our Meseret Kristos project area in Addis Ababa. After we visited families in the MKC area, Ephrem shared with me how the lives of many of the families are being transformed from the inside out! He shared with me how the AM 1:27 Program is having a holistic impact on the total health and well-being of these families. When people suffer from extreme poverty, they typically have no self-worth, no self-esteem. As a result, it’s difficult for them to have healthy and productive relationships with other people and isolation results, profoundly affecting everything in their lives. I began to realize that extreme poverty does not just have a physical or material impact, but an emotional and psychological one as well.
 
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Ephrem continued to share with me how when a family is stabilized and sustained, they begin to become healthy, not just physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually! The support they receive begins to heal and strengthen the whole person. Ephrem says our AM 1:27 families begin to look for ways to engage with others and to help others within their communities. Many begin growing in a Christ-centered faith and become more involved within their churches. Their renewed lives lead them to dream and hope for a better life for their children. Often they express a desire to learn a new income-generating skill so they can become self-sustaining and no longer need support!
 
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Ephrem helped me to see more clearly that the tangible help that all of our AM 1:27 Sponsors are providing is having an incredible impact on the “intangible” transformation occurring in these families. Thank you AM 1:27 Sponsors for your partnership with us to help people experience the tangibles and the intangibles of life transformation!


Monday, April 13, 2015

Brooklake Mission Team Update

by Wolf Samuelson in Ethiopia

FRIDAY 4/10
Today was only meant to be a travel day, but God had way more in store. Once you leave the expansive, densely populated city of Addis-Ababa, the country side is so vast and beautiful. It felt like stepping back in time, horse drawn carts, grass and mud huts, and livestock roaming free. We stopped for lunch and got to hear Pastor Sammy & his wife Ruth pour out their hearts for the people of Ethiopia, particularly for the children and youth. Their journey has not been without struggle, but it has produced amazing results. Their dream is to plant churches here and continue reaching the next generation.

SATURDAY 4/11
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Today our team finished up painting a mural at the Mana Gammachuu orphanage and it looks so great. We had all the babies put their hand prints on the walls as well. We also played a lot outside the gates with the kids in the neighborhood. Such a fun day, but it wasn’t over yet.

We left the orphanage and headed to a street market to buy four sheep & four gallons of cooking oil. Ephraim, the director of Adoption Ministry 1:27 here in Shashemene had picked four families that were in desperate need to receive these gifts. Just in time to celebrate Easter with their families. It was quite an adventure buying the sheep as well as transporting them in our vans. One van had 3 sheep inside, while the other we tried tying it to the roof rack. That sheep had no desire to stay there, so eventually we cut him down to join us inside. Then we traveled all over the city delivering the sheep and oil to the families in need. It was a joyful & tearful moment for all of us. To hear their stories and to have them give us a blessing was very humbling. No one goes unnoticed by the Lord.

SUNDAY 4/12
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It’s Easter morning here in Ethiopia! The local Protestant churches gathered at a sports stadium this morning for an amazing Easter Service.   We figured there were around 800 people there. The energy was electric - everyone was worshiping God & praising Jesus with such apparent passion. It was hard not to want to jump and dance with them!  Next the Pastor was on fire! I had no idea what he was saying, I only knew what Bible passages he was using.

All I can say is that the God that speaks to us back home, is the same God that speaks to His people here in Ethiopia. There are times in America we feel we have some exclusive market on Christianity. That couldn’t be further from the truth. We may be blessed with wealth in comparison to Ethiopia, but we sure are poor in spirit in comparison as well. We can learn so much from their depth of faith in the midst of true disparity and persecution.

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Well after such a powerful morning, we took some time to travel and take is some wildlife. We were off to see some HIPPOS! We took two very small boats out on a near by lake. We didn’t travel far along the shore before we came across a family of 6 hippos, two of which were babies. Since it was in the heat of day the hippos only remained in the water, so we only saw their heads when they can up to breathe. Still, they were hippos, and can you say you saw hippos in a lake, on an Easter Sunday lately?

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To top the day off we had a wicked rain storm with amazing thunder and lightning. Tomorrow the team members will begin to visit their sponsored widows and their families. I can’t wait to meet the young mother & her twin girls my family sponsors.


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

New Life

by Joy Casey

Easter. A time of great celebration, yes… but also a time to meditate on why Jesus came to earth and what his death accomplished. The central purpose of Christ’s life and death was to reconcile people to God, and the last instruction from Jesus to His followers was to make sharing the Gospel our central purpose.
 
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Adoption Ministry 1:27 brings humanitarian aid to some of the poorest people in Ethiopia. Many attend the churches that we partner with, but more and more we are reaching out to those who have never heard the Good News of Jesus Christ. In fact, two of our project areas primarily serve a major unreached people group!
 
The case manager of each project area visits each “adopted” family once a month and he (or she) assesses needs and helps problem-solve. Many times, the pastor or an elder from our partner church goes visiting with the case manager. Every visit culminates in prayer. Over time, the widow being cared for starts asking questions about Jesus, and over and over our case managers hear variations of, “Never in my life have I been made to feel important to anyone. You are different. You show me kindness and respect that I have never experienced before .”
 
The other day news came that an entire family was baptized along with four other single moms we serve. The case manager was ecstatic reporting the amazing transformation of one of the families.
 
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When we took “A” into our program, her husband had recently abandoned his family and she and her three children were devastated and without hope. “A” eventually became a Christ-follower and her two teenage daughters shortly followed with a decision of their own.
 
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About nine months ago, her husband returned to his family and the exemplary change he saw in his wife and daughters challenged him to seek Jesus and he, too, became a believer.
 
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Every story of conversion and baptism is unique and we are joining the angels in heaven rejoicing! These stories, culminating in baptism and ongoing discipleship under the auspices of the local church, are the central purpose of our ministry in Ethiopia and how we are fulfilliing Christ’s command to GO INTO ALL THE WORLD… meeting needs, teaching, and baptizing.

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Would you too like to be part of bringing new life to someone in Ethiopia?  Visit our website to find out how your $50/month will change someone's future!



Friday, April 3, 2015

Chosen


adoptedthroughChrist

We pray you celebrate your adoption into God's forever family this Good Friday.

Glorious Day!!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Links You’ll Like


6 Things Adopted Kids Must Know by Age 6
6 Crucial Things Kids Must Know About Adoption By Age Six
@creatingafamily.org
Have you told your child these six crucial things she has to know about adoption? What resources were helpful?


What’s the Apostle Paul doing with the term ‘adoption’?
@togetherforadoption
Realize it or not, this is a very important question. Stop for a minute and think about how you would answer it…


Parents of Adoptees
@myownrace.wordpress.com
As an older adoptee, I understand now that keeping the Chinese identity alive in a child is important. I think if my family would have taken a more productive role in my education on culture, I would not face some of the challenges as I do now.


What to Expect When You’re Expecting an Adoption
@unexpected.org
Those of us waiting on adoptions have our own set of things to expect, some similar, some different.  With one pregnancy, one adoption, and one adoption on the way, here are some things I’ve learned to expect…


Green-Eyed Mom-Monster
@unexpected.org
When I couldn’t meet a need or presented her with a boundary that she didn’t like, she turned to the nearest woman in the room.  She’d walk from woman to woman until she found someone to do what she wanted.  Sometimes she’d wiggle out of my arms to run to a stranger who was smiling at her and beg to be picked up.  “Love me.  Accept me!  Look at how cute I am!” 




Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Hope and Healing for Adoptive Families

A place to gather with other adoptive families who 'get it?'

Concrete answers for some of the issues you're seeing in your adopted child concerning behavior, control, fear and sleep?

Tools to help your child on the road to healing?

A collective arm around your weary shoulders to tell you you're going to make it?

YES PLEASE!!

Many of us would love to attend one of the Empowered to Connect conferences but the cost of travel makes it really difficult.  So Show Hope and ETC are bringing the conference to you via live simulcast!

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These two-day conferences are designed to bring encouragement and practical helps to pre and post adoptive and foster parents, as well as to social workers, agency professionals and ministry leaders. Some of the top folks in adoption work will be presenters, including Dr. Karyn Purvis of the TCU Institute of Child Development. 

Several of our YWAM adoptive parents have attended an ETC conference and told us how very worthwhile it was… you can read about them here.

Churches all across the country are hosting this simulcast on Friday and Saturday, April 10 and 11.  Most are low cost (or no cost) to attend!  Check this map for a location near you and find registration information at each individual location site.  Then be sure to let us know if you're going!

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