Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Overflowing thanks!

As we wrap up a wonderful year of ministry in Ethiopia, we want to THANK YOU for your partnership with us! 

International Adoption
Gallegos familyWhile our adoption program has slowed considerably (we are not able to take new families into the program because children are not being referred for adoption in the Oromia region where we work), we rejoice that eleven children were adopted in 2013 and now have forever families.  Eight families are currently in the process of adopting.  When we contemplate the futures these little ones would have faced if they had not been placed for adoption, we are re-energized to work in support of ethical adoptions and families for every child. As always, we are trusting God that His plans for adoptions in Ethiopia will be accomplished. 

Ethiopian Domestic Adoption
Hailu-family & Dureti-1We opened an orphanage in Shashemene licensed to care for children found abandoned, neglected or abused.  The sweet ones there will be placed with Christian Ethiopian couples. One little girl is thriving in her new family and six others are waiting to be chosen after interested couples receive the required adoption training and complete the homestudy process.  

2013 has been a year of tremendous growth serving poor women, children and families through Adoption Ministry 1:27.  Over 200 families were added this year alone, bringing our total number of sponsored families to 314.  Income Generating Activities (IGA) will be our main thrust for 2014 with the goal of getting 30-50 businesses strong and healthy and generating the necessary income to support the entrepreneur’s family.

Evangelism to unreached people in several rural areas of Ethiopia is expanding and we dedicated a new worship center for new converts.  Three years ago it started with 10 people, then several hundred and in 2013 we saw thousands set free by the truth of God’s Word! 

IMG_1361Our missions director, Mark Wolbert, took over 50 people in seven different teams to Ethiopia to partner with the local churches we work with.  Teams did construction and painting projects, distributed food and charcoal to widows, ministered to women, delivered audio bibles and taught about Jesus to hundreds of children.  The 2014 mission calendar is already filling up for another year of serving – call us right away if you or your group would like to develop a team for this new year.

Of course we couldn’t do any of what we do without your willing response to God’s Spirit in financial generosity and in prayer support.  We are so thankful to God for each of you!

All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. 
1 Corinthians 4:15

We know there are many requests at the end of this month for donations and there are so many very worthy causes!  If you would consider a year-end gift to Adoption Ministry, we would be so grateful!  You can donate via our secure website here and your gift is income tax deductible for 2013 if processed by December 31st!

May God bless you richly with His peace and joy in the new year!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Now to the Lord sing praises!

 Thank you for embracing many others in Ethiopia with the true love and brotherhood of Jesus Christ this Christmas! 
All of us at Adoption Ministry of YWAM wish you and your families a blessed Christmas.  
God is with us!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Giving a Sheep for Christmas

by Joy Casey
Life-size nativity scene at the Mormon Temple Light Show on Christmas Eve, Kensington, Maryland
Farm animals are always a part of the nativity scene, and in my mind there are always sweet, peaceful sheep gazing lovingly at the baby.

I wonder if the shepherds actually brought sheep with them into Bethlehem like my nativity set implies. I bet they didn’t. I bet one shepherd stayed behind and sheep-sat while the others followed the star (too bad for the one who drew the short straw). But I know there had to be sheep, so maybe the inn keeper sheltered next day’s dinner in the barn with Mary and Joseph. Either way, it illustrates the need for sheep to be closely watched or put indoors at night.
Since returning from Dembidollo recently, I have had sheep on the mind. I visited families living in the beautiful green countryside who have ideal locations to raise and breed sheep. The only thing lacking is a shelter for the sheep at night so the hyenas won’t get them. The potential sheep breeders need to build a sheep shed, but I promised three shepherds that our Gift Catalog would provide the sheep. I knew we had about 26 sheep donated, and I was so happy to give them away!

But this is my problem: We have four more entrepreneurs who also live in an area with good grazing and water and would like to raise livestock to earn a living. We need more sheep! Would you consider helping a very poor family get on their feet by gifting them a sheep? We honestly could use about 30 more sheep!
Our goal in Ethiopia is to provide a hand-up out of poverty by imparting vision, training and loans to start a small business that has the potential to generate enough money to support a family. Dembidollo is a rural area where livestock and agricultural projects make the most sense.

I just bought my big sis a sheep for Christmas and I fervently hope she buys one for me, too!  Join me in giving a truly life-giving gift in the name of a friend or relative (who has absolutely everything anyway). You won’t even need a shed or have to feed it!

Visit our Gift Catalog webpage to purchase a sheep or a whole host of other much-needed items for those we serve in Ethiopia!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Abortion As ‘Humanitarian Aid’


“We are thirsty and they give us condoms! We are hungry and they offer us contraceptive pills! We are sick and they offer us the most modern techniques of abortion! We are naked and they lead us into the arms of sexual hedonism! We are imprisoned by poverty and they offer us sexual liberation! Silent tears roll down for Africa in a modern world that can neither see our pain nor hear our cry for help. We mourn deeply for the destructive seeds of sexual revolution which were sown last week in Adis Ababa.”  

This poignant indictment of Western developmental aid efforts in Africa was written by Obianuju Ekeocha, an African woman and founder of Culture of Life Africa, in response to the recent International Conference On Family Planning (ICFP) held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It was sponsored in part by The Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health as well as abortion giants Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Maria Stopes International.

When Melinda Gates, a Catholic, announced the beginning of her grand initiative in 2012 to commit millions of dollars to support the spread of hormonal contraceptive use in Africa she claimed there was “no controversy” because her work would not advocate for abortion, and because contraceptive use should not be considered controversial. Yet only a year later she is leading the charge for legalized abortion in Africa…
continue reading here…

Our hearts ache for the many babies who will die as a result of this movement – led by the United States.  This catastrophic effort needs to be brought to light.  Help spread the truth about what the U.N. and others are doing by sharing the article above and please join us in praying for those involved in the pro-life movement in Ethiopia (be sure to read Joy’s post about the recent pro-life conference in Ethiopia). 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas links


Creating A Hopeful Christmas for Your Adopted Child
These seven points can help us get through a holiday fraught with emotion, keep our important family traditions, blend in our new children, and head off most major blow-outs.

Why Christmas Stinks Sometimes
@Empowered to Connect
It instantly occurred to me that somehow I managed to have the only elementary school-aged child in all of America who actually hates Christmas. But I quickly asked the obvious question, “Why?”

Together on the Ledge
@Empowered to Connect
Christmas is one of my favorite holidays and has always been a treasured day for our family.  We love a Christmas tree with sparkling lights, stockings stuffed to their brims, meaningful gifts, and lots of special food. But with the addition of our children from “hard places” we have found it necessary to learn new strategies to successfully celebrate holidays together as a family.

Celebrating Christmas With Newly Adopted Children
Lots of adoptive moms weigh in with their own experience-based suggestions!

An Older Child’s First Christmas Home
This holiday is going to be different.  It doesn't matter if you are the Parent of the Year with your birth-children, and you think you have got it all figured out. I'm begging you....get ready.

Healing the Wounds of Relational Trauma
This article doesn’t specifically address Christmas but it’s such an important thing to remember, especially in this busy season.  It’s all about ‘the healing power of relationships’ – which is at the heart of Christmas.

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Moms' Weekend ~ Away and Together

In November of this year, a weekend designed for adoptive and foster moms “Called to Love” was held at the Oregon Garden Resort in Silverton, Oregon.  The goal of this weekend?  “To provide renewal, connection and encouragement in the unique journey of parenting an adopted or foster child.”

This ministry, created by two friends who are adoptive moms, grew out of a desire to minister to other moms who were in various stages of the adoption/foster care process.  They both had attended the ‘Created for Care’ retreat on the East coast and felt God’s leading to bring that same measure of blessing and encouragement to moms on the West coast.

Three of our YWAM adoptive moms were able to attend this first weekend retreat and I’ll let them tell you in their own words the impact it had on them…

Rachel, Karyn and Carrie

“The Called to Love Retreat in Oregon was off-the-charts-exceed-my-expectations amazing. Really. I drove 250 miles each way and stepped way out of my comfort zone to hang out with over 100 women I have never met because something in me was certain that God would meet me there.

From the moment I drove onto the property and began my ascent through the gardens to the retreat center, I felt like I was on holy ground. After a short rest in my room on Friday, I returned to the lodge to officially check in. The lady handed me a green mug with the words “Called to Love” written in red, and I felt the tears start to come. What is going on? I’m crying over a mug? This is so unlike me. (It really is unlike me. I’m a rather serious sort.)

I could tell you about the incredible and God-centered worship. I could tell you about the incredible caliber of speakers throughout the weekend, including a panel of adoptees one night and a panel of birth-moms another night. I could tell you about the amazing women I had the privilege to laugh with and share my heart with over delectable meals. I could tell you about the beautiful property and exquisite rooms with beds that feel like you are sleeping on a cloud.

When it’s all said and done, though, what made this retreat so amazing was the undeniable presence of God, ushered in by the faithful, persistent prayers of a willing team of women who dared to step out and plan this event. Father God met us there. Each one of us, right where we were at, in our brokenness and weariness and disillusionment, He met us. And we returned to our homes, to our dear families, refreshed and filled up, ready to do what we’re called and equipped to do: Called to Love. I hope many more of you can join us next year!”
~Rachel Nystrand
“This weekend was such an encouraging time! Called to Love was a perfect name for this retreat. I felt an overwhelming love for the adoptive/foster parents, adoptees and birthmothers who shared their hearts with us. I think we were all drawn together by the vulnerability that comes with opening up our hearts and sharing our journey. It became emotionally draining at times, but we were able to have an amazing time of worship together refueling our spirits. I cannot wait for next year and encourage every mama to try and make it!”
~Karyn Schmidt
"I was blessed to be able to attend the Called to Love retreat in November. Many have asked me how it was and all I can really say is that it was truly refreshing! To instantly be surrounded by mamas who GOT IT. All the guards came down and real conversation and fellowship happened right away. The teaching times was very helpful, but the worship times were truly what my soul needed... to worship alongside all these mamas who were at the end of themselves and just crying out to Him was powerful! New friendships were made... the kind that will span time and distance because of the depths of the bonds. I would highly encourage any adoptive and foster mom to go!!"
~Carrie Hendricks

It’s not too early to plan ahead and start saving for next year’s retreat – November 14-16, 2014!  The cost is $175 plus lodging and registration opens May 1st.  Please find out more on the “Called to Love” website!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Change Your Christmas

'Tis the season to share.  To love.  To give ourselves.  To turn our head, tune our hearts and worship a Savior whose birth turned this world upside down...

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Giving Tuesday

We’ve had Black Friday and Cyber Monday – both days for getting deals.  But today is a national day for giving back. 


We’d love you to consider one of the many ways Adoption Ministry offers to meet the needs of a widow, child or family in Ethiopia.

YWAM Gift Catalog
There are so many items to choose from - something for every budget, from formula to farm animals.  And we'd love to send a card to someone in whose name you give!

Christmas Boxes for Kids
Give a personal box filled with fun and needed items to a child who won't otherwise receive a gift and help YWAM missionaries reach out to families with the Gospel!

dd-0080 web (2)
Adoption Ministry 1:27
We have a wonderful partnership with the Ethiopian Church to preserve at-risk families and prevent orphans.  You can ‘adopt’ a family for $40 per month, send a variety of needed items or help a woman get started in a small business.

greatest need
Greatest Need
Your gift of any amount will enable us to respond to emergency or unanticipated needs for the many women, children and families we serve, as well as being used for our many administrative costs.

Thank you for your generosity and support of all we do in Ethiopia!

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