Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Take up the cause of the fatherless

orphan sunday

On November 4, 2012, churches and families like yours spotlight God’s deep love for orphans and how ordinary people can make love tangible – through adoption, foster care and support of ministries like YWAM’s Adoption Ministry 1:27.  Orphan Sunday will be recognized and celebrated around the globe.

The first Orphan Sunday was celebrated in Zambia in 2002 and since that group of African Christians highlighted God’s heart for the orphan, Orphan Sunday has echoed out around the globe.  Jedd Medefind, President of the Christian Alliance for Orphans, expressed it well: “When Christians grasp God’s heart for the orphan, we see more fully His heart for each of us as well.  We don’t foster or adopt or mentor or give financially out of guilt or duty. Christian care for the orphan is just a small reflection of the way God first loved us—pursuing and rescuing us when we were destitute and alone.”

The statistics speak for themselves.  More than 400,000 children live in the foster system in the U.S. today, with nearly 110,000 waiting to be adopted.  Globally, an estimated 17.8 million children have lost both parents and many times that number live with a single surviving parent, most often their widowed mother.  The Orphan Sunday campaign works towards a day when local Christians in every nation will be known as the primary answer to the needs of orphans in their midst.

You might be thinking… How can I do anything? The Christian Alliance for Orphans, along with many partner groups, is providing lots of good event ideas, downloadable posters, bulletin inserts, videos and other free resources that you can use to bring Orphan Sunday to your church.  Families may choose to participate in ‘The Orphan’s Table’ by ordering a simple orphan meal package and discussion guide.  We are also happy to send you materials about YWAM's Adoption Ministry 1:27 program  – a partnership with the Ethiopian church to preserve families and prevent orphans.

The Orphan Sunday website includes:
  • Materials (including posters, bulletin inserts and more)
  • Easy-Access Resources (from sermon and Bible study notes to songs)
  • Event/Activity Ideas
  • Event Partnership Packages (that pair you with trustworthy Alliance organizations)
  • Examples of successful past Events
  • World Map (Please post your event plans and see others!)

It is through individuals like you that highlight the needs in their families, small groups and for their churches that this message will go out.  Please consider organizing an Orphan Sunday event at your church!

If you have recognized Orphan Sunday in the past, please leave a comment and share what you or your church have done to bring this issue to the forefront. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Saying Good-bye

A women’s team from the University of Kentucky gets ready to leave Ethiopia after a week spent serving many women, children and families there.


by Brooke Keyes
A large piece of my heart will be left here in Ethiopia. I am so thankful to be a part of this trip and share this experience with seven other wonderful student-athletes, and three incredible adults that made us feel like adults as well as their friends. On this trip, my heart broke into a thousand pieces and then it was repaired to full...

Read all of Brooke’s post here.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Giving and Receiving

A team of female athletes from the University of Kentucky is finishing up a time of service in Ethiopia.  Women representing Kentucky soccer, softball, tennis, basketball, rifle and gymnastics were nominated by their coaches to participate in this opportunity.  Below are some of their impressions…


by Aubrey Lamar
This week, I have been struggling with being overwhelmed with the number of people who are in need of food, shelter, or most importantly and something that doesn't cost a dime (or a birr)...love. I have been reminded this week that one person cannot save a country; it takes many people with a common goal. However, I can make a small impact on the few people I come in contact with during this trip...

Read all of Aubrey's post here.



Don’t miss posts by all of the women on this team:
A Long Trip and A Rewarding Day
Learning the Ropes
Trying to Find the Words
Trip Nearing End


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Getting Their Hands Dirty

A team of female athletes from the University of Kentucky is in Ethiopia right now, serving in several communities where YWAM ministers.  Women representing Kentucky soccer, softball, tennis, basketball, rifle and gymnastics were nominated by their coaches to participate in this opportunity. 


by Kayla King
My hands are dirty. My mouth's been dry all day. My heart's racing. I have this immovable lump in my throat. I think I could still be shaking. My jeans are wet and haven't been washed in two days. They've been covered in everything from paint to kerosene to charcoal dust to mud to gravel. They probably won't get washed for another few days. My nails are filthy and my hands will be stained from paint and charcoal for the duration of this trip. My hands are empty but my heart is full. My eyes are dry but my soul weeps. My mind and eyes have been opened farther than I could have ever imagined and it's only been two days. My heart has been stretched and pulled and used and changed. I have made so many human connections that I feel like my heart will burst with all the love that I've been given. I don't know where I belong or how I will go back to the life I left in Lexington. Forty-eight hours in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and I will never be the same again…

Continue reading here.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Adoption Ministry 2012 Family Picnic

Bradley Lake Park in Puyallup, Washington was the site for our annual Adoption Ministry summer family picnic and although the weather threatened, not even a few wind gusts or rain drops could dampen the fun. 


Local families from both our domestic and Ethiopia adoption programs gathered for a western-themed picnic. The long potluck tables were complete with pulled pork sandwiches, baked beans, every imaginable salad, chips and desserts.



There were games and prizes for the kids and lots of fellowship around picnic tables and in groups on the grassy field.





A huge thanks to Shelly Luthi who organized a fabulous day for everyone and to Bonnie King for taking pro photos which will be available soon!!





*Be sure to check our Facebook page where you can see more photos from the picnic!!

Thanks to Jeff Burns for being our resident photographer!


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Feet of the Poor


















Trust in the Lord forever,
for the Lord is a rock for all ages.
He has thrown down those living on high,
and He will level the lofty town,
leveling it down to the earth;
He will bring it down to dust.
The feet trample it -
the feet of the poor,
the steps of the needy.
The way of the righteous is level;
You clear a path for the righteous.
In the path of Your justice, Lord, we wait for You;
with all our being, we long for Your name and Your acclaim.
Isaiah 26:4-8


Friday, July 13, 2012

New Website for AM 1:27!

Would you like to know how you can prevent more orphans in the world?

Would you like to partner with churches on the front lines of the orphan crisis?

Would you jump in and swim up stream to save a struggling family in need?

Contact Us page

We’re launching a brand new website dedicated exclusively to our Adoption Ministry 1:27.  We invite you to get up close and personal to many of the lives we have featured there.  Read their stories, learn of their challenges, sense their pain.  Discover how we can work together to embrace, equip and empower vulnerable families in partnership with the local Ethiopian Church.  

  • read about the goal of the ministry: orphan prevention and family preservation
  • find out about our partnership with the Ethiopian Church to identify guardian and at-risk families
  • find out about providing support for our orphanages
  • read our latest newsletter
  • view the profiles of families who are ready to be adopted for $40 per month

You can find us at:


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Going out two by two

The Gospel is going out in the area surrounding the village of Gutumuma, Ethiopia.  Hundreds have come to Christ as the Spirit has worked through some very dedicated men who travel either by bicycle or on foot to share the Good News. 


Two new evangelists have joined the team in Gutumuma and a new plan to reach six more villages with the gospel has been implemented.  Two of the evangelists will stay in Gutumuma to disciple the new converts there and continue with evangelism, but the others will go out two-by-two to six other nearby villages to share the Gospel.


It is also vitally important that the evangelists, especially the new ones starting out, receive good ongoing training and encouragement.  We have a seasoned pastor who is an excellent teacher who is going to oversee and implement this new outreach.   He will personally visit each village with the evangelists and give relevant advice and direction to the work and provide valuable training to the missionaries.

Pastor Z
Some of you might know Pastor Zerihun.  He has good English skills, has a delightful, joyous personality, and he has assisted some of our adoptive families when they have visited their children at the orphanage.  Pastor Zerihun has worked with YWAM in many capacities over the years and is a trusted friend.  We are delighted to have him join Watch and Pray and YWAM in this new evangelistic thrust out of Gutumuma.
A new worship center is being built at the same compound where YWAM has built a kindergarten.  Work will slow down now that the rainy season has come.  These pictures were taken in May 2012.

worship center may 2012
Worship center contr May 2012

YWAM has matched families in the U.S. to each of these evangelists who are giving their lives to this important work.  Sponsors commit to sending $50 per month which provides food or other necessities for the families of the evangelists.  They receive a prayer card and occasional updates from Joy Casey, our ministry director, when she visits this village.  We currently have one new evangelist who is not yet sponsored.  If your family would like to make it possible for this man to ‘do the work of an evangelist, discharging all the duties of his ministry’ (2 Tim 4:5) please contact us at:

Monday, July 9, 2012

Worry vs. Sleep

by Joy Casey
Director, Adoption Ministry

Most dads can sleep through anything.  The baby cries at 2 a.m. but he barely moves a muscle.  Moms are pacing the floor at 12:02 a.m. when Suzie is supposed to be home, but Dad is in bed snoring up a storm.  I asked my husband once how he could be so calm when our children were out at night or the little ones were up with a raging fever or some other potential catastrophe was looming.  He gave me two answers:  1) you worry so I don’t have to, and 2) it’s God’s gift to men [to sleep soundly and not worry]. 
So, I am addressing this post to adopting moms in that difficult phase of the adoption process between passing court and getting clearance from the Embassy to travel to bring your child home.  I hope that you will take my advice because I am very old and therefore very wise (HA!).

Every now and again I hear quips such as, “I am constantly checking my email throughout the night,” or, “I pretty much don’t sleep anymore…”   The disturbing part for me is when the exhausted mommy finally travels to Ethiopia, her nerves and exhaustion negatively affect her adjustment with her new child. Her low reserves make her unable to cope with the really hard part of the whole adoption process:  parenting.  You may think that this interminable waiting is excruciating and the most difficult part.  “If only I could get baby Ruthie home, then everything will be perfect.”  The reality is, when baby Ruthie gets home is when the hard, day-to-day work begins.  We hear back from every one of our families that the first several months of adjustment is not a blissful walk in the park.  It is wearing on everybody… husband, wife, kids.  In short, it takes every ounce of energy and mental fortitude you can muster. 
Just as you prepare for your new child by designing a bedroom and buying clothes, prepare your heart and body to be able to give 100% to this gift that God is entrusting you with.  Live a full life between now and the day you appear at the Embassy.  Don’t put plans on hold for a “what if…”  Go on that vacation, enroll in that class, buy tickets to a play, teach a Bible study and be gloriously happy if your plans get interrupted with a coveted court or Embassy date.  Keep busy, stay in His Word constantly and prepare yourself to be a new mom by getting regular sleep and leaving your anxiety at the feet of Jesus. 
This is not pie-in-the-sky advice.  His Word tells us not to worry and assures us that Jesus will take our burden and carry it.  The caveat is that we have to give Him our worries; He will not yank them from us.  If you are weighted down with anxiety you will not be all you can be when your child comes home.

Proverbs 3:24
When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.


Thursday, July 5, 2012

We need a sponsor!

In the village of Gutumuma, Ethiopia there are twenty children from extremely poor families who are attending the school built and supported by YWAM donors.  Many of the parents of these children have converted to Christianity due to the efforts of a group of evangelists who are spreading the truth of the gospel in a broad area surrounding this community.  A clean water station has been provided by generous donors and our little school has a teacher and a cook, who serves a nutritious lunch each school day.


Two of these children are in need of a sponsor to help provide food and shelter for their families.  For a commitment of $30 per month, you can assure that Gutu and Derartu will have food in their tummies, critical medical care and continue to attend school.  **Both of these children have been sponsored - THANK YOU!


Guta e

My name is Guta and I am eight years old.  My family are new converts to Christianity.  I have eleven brothers and sisters.  My father works very hard as a laborer building the new worship center in Gutumuma but he has a difficult time putting enough food on the table to keep our tummies full.  I attend the school in the compound that YWAM helped establish.  Would you consider becoming a sponsor for me? 
**Guta has been SPONSORED!!

DerartuK e

I am eight-year-old Derartu and I am one of five children in a very poor family living in Gutumuma.  My parents are now raising my siblings and I to follow Christ since becoming Christians recently.  I would really like to be a teacher when I grow up! Would you be my sponsor?  Thank you!
**Derartu has been sponsored as well!


Sponsors will receive a prayer card and occasional updates when our ministry director or a mission team visits the children in the village.  Unfortunately, sponsors will not have direct communication with their sponsored child due to the remoteness of the village and our limited staff resources.  Our wonderful donors have a heart to help even without as many updates as we'd like to provide!  To sponsor one of these children, please contact us at:  


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A father-daughter team

by Alena Wolbert
Alena is the 19-year-old daughter of Mark and Liane Wolbert.  She is on her way now to join her dad (our missions director) to spend a month and a half in Ethiopia helping with the rest of our summer mission teams .


In just a few short days, I will be flying out of the Seattle airport with anticipation of not only being reunited with my Dad, but the excitement of being in Ethiopia once again.

Africa is a continent that has been on my heart since I was about 13. I took my first trip to Ethiopia with Adoption Ministry in 2008 and my world was rocked. It was so amazing to meet precious people that were on fire for Jesus on the opposite side of the globe. Never mind that we spoke different languages or that we came from different cultural backgrounds. We each found commonality in being sons and daughters of the most high.  Needless to say, the day that I returned home, I was already counting down the days until I was in Africa again.

I have since returned to Ethiopia, and each time I am there, I fall more and more in love with that nation.

My heart for missions stemmed from a childhood filled with YWAM King’s Kids, church mission trips, and being encouraged to share the love of Jesus even in my elementary school. Growing up in a YWAM family, local and world missions were a huge part of our family DNA. Our young age was never a factor in deciding whether or not we were capable of being ambassadors of God’s kingdom.

alena africa

This last September, I began my Discipleship Training School with YWAM Amsterdam. As a group, we traveled to Belgium, Israel and Tanzania - all with the simple goal: “to know God and make His name known throughout the earth.” In going through that school, God has set my heart on fire to do just that - to know Him and to make Him known to the people around me.

During this trip to Ethiopia, I will be assisting my Dad in leading two mission teams that will serve through feeding programs, VBS, construction projects and sports camps. I am looking forward to seeing the power of God move in the nation of Ethiopia as teams come to join us as we humble ourselves and serve the precious people who are so dear to God’s heart.

Please partner with us in prayer as we strive to make God known in the nation of Ethiopia.

1 Timothy 4:12 - Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.

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