Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Thanks to you…

We have MUCH to be thankful for in 2014.  And we want to thank YOU for caring for widows, orphans and at-risk families in Ethiopia. 

Ten children from Ethiopia came home to their forever families in the U.S. this year.


Six children at our Mana Gammachuu orphanage were placed in forever families in Ethiopia.

MG 2014

1,800 cans of formula were purchased providing the necessary nutrition for an average of 18 babies per month!


Via your YWAM Gift Catalog giving, many people received beds and bedding, Bibles, goats and sheep, food, clothing, water filters and solar lights.


99 families were ‘adopted’ this year through Adoption Ministry 1:27.  These extremely poor and mostly single mother households now have regular food to eat and hope for the future.  We now have over 350 families who have been embraced by sponsors like you!


Back to school packages, which included school supplies and registration fees, were provided for nine children thanks to your giving.


Twenty-five small businesses were begun by single mothers in five AM 1:27 project areas.

42 people went on mission trips with YWAM Ethiopia in 2014.  They ministered to prisoners, delivered food and bedding to AM 1:27 families, provided school supplies, conducted bible schools, built fences, blessed orphanage staff with an appreciation dinner, shared the gospel message and prayed with many.


Thousands of people have heard the Good News in many formerly unreached areas of Ethiopia and three new churches were established.


Five churches in the U.S. are partnering with us to support communities and our orphanage.


God has used your generosity to do so many life-changing things in Ethiopia!  We are incredibly grateful for partners like you and we look forward to what God has in store for 2015! 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Life-Saving Help for Babies

Meet Marc and Tegra Little, from Los Angeles, California…

In 2013, they began the process of adopting a tiny baby girl named Rahel. They met her in Ethiopia at an orphanage YWAM has worked with and didn’t know such a deep and profound love existed absent giving birth.

Only a few weeks into her life's journey, the circumstances of being born into poverty in Ethiopia took Rahel from this earth unnecessarily.  At seven weeks old, she passed away from a sodium deficiency (neonatal hyponatremia). In many orphanages in Ethiopia, it is common to make the baby formula last longer by adding more water than is appropriate simply because there is not enough formula to go around.  This negligent practice ended their (soon to be adopted) daughter's life before it ever really began and prompted them to found a formula fund effort – The Rahel Formula Fund.

Marc and Tegra are encouraged that with your help, Rahel’s short life birthed a legacy for other newborn babies who have a better chance because of her.  As strong believers in God's purpose for each of our lives, the Littles believe this tragedy presents an opportunity to respond to a need that is great in Ethiopia and that need is to purchase infant formula.  With your gift (any donation level helps), they continue to ensure that orphanages under the service of Youth With a Mission ("YWAM") have all they need to purchase formula and feed their newborns.

A special message from YWAM
If we lived in a perfect world there would be no babies crying because they are hungry.  Newborn babies would not be found alongside a dusty path whimpering with only hours to live without intervention.  Unfortunately, these scenarios in Ethiopia happen way too often.   If the child is lucky, he or she will be picked up by a kind soul and placed in an orphanage.  If the child is really lucky, he or she will be fed formula that has all the nutrients necessary for optimal brain and body development.  Resources are scarce for what the nanny-mommies call "powdered gold." 'Thank you' can't begin to communicate the depth of gratitude when you donate toward a formula fund that can literally be the difference between life and death or be the tipping point between maladjustment and robust health in a tiny child.
Joy Casey
Executive Director
Adoption Ministry, YWAM

Last year, contributions to the Rahel Formula Fund amounted to $7.915.  It costs between $100 - $120 a month for one baby.  Babies are given formula for the first twelve months and then are transitioned to cow’s milk with a daily multivitamin.  This generosity literally saved lives.  Government restrictions on international adoption have left orphanages without finances and unable to provide the quality care the children need. 

Here is how you can partner with YWAM…

If you would join the Littles in this annual effort, please go to Adoption Ministry of YWAM Ethiopia.  When you click on the DONATE button at the bottom of the page, you will see "Rahel’s Formula Fund" under the Gift Designation tab that has been set up to respond to this very unique opportunity.  We welcome your partnership and your tax-deductible donation. Please be sure to include your mailing address in your correspondence. If you prefer to mail your donation, please send it to:

Adoption Ministry of YWAM
P.O. Box 1145
Puyallup, WA 98371

Please make your check payable to "Adoption Ministry of YWAM" and designate "Rahel Formula Fund" in the Memo section of your check.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Holidays Can Trigger Big Feelings

Parenting Kiddos Who Sabotage Big Days
“This is the worst day OF MY LIFE!!” (We hear this regularly on Big Days.) She will end up crying in her bedroom, devolving into shame: “I am the worst girl! I am on the naughty list! I ruined Christmas! I’m giving all my presents away!” I feel so frustrated that I sometimes snap, making it all worse. Ultimately, I dread Big Days altogether and while she is thinking she is the worst kid (bless her), I am thinking I am definitely the worst mom.

Yearly Grieving Struggles
Holidays and birthdays can be a difficult time for many foster and adoptive families, as it may mean grieving for some children… memories are sometimes the only thing they have left of birth family.

Why Christmas Stinks Sometimes
Try as I might to “practice what I preach,” I admit that my default reaction in situations like this is to “lay down the law.” But something told me that there was much, much more going on than simply bad behavior.

Creating A Hopeful Christmas for Your Adopted Child
Imagine being a new visitor to a new home and being thrust into the thick of celebration their way. No one was really asking you what you wanted or cared about; however, they were expecting you to "get with it" and be happy about what was going on.

Celebrating Christmas with Newly Adopted Children
Read all of the comments for some great ideas!

New Every Morning

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Gifts of Love For Christmas

If you're like me, you don't really remember what you got for Christmas last year.  Was it something you needed?

Have you ever spent a lot of time and money trying to make your family happy on Christmas morning?

Would you like a way to give this Christmas that extends the love of Jesus to those who really do need help and who really will appreciate what is given?

cover 2014 
Our online YWAM Gift Catalog is a secure way to give to those in Ethiopia who need our help.

What a privilege it is for us to offer ways you can bless those who are in desperate need.

Here are some of the biggest needs:

$7 buys a bible for a new believer recently saved

$50 buys a personal, solar-powered audio bible for those who don’t read

$20 buys a solar light for houses without electricity


$25 buys a new shirt, pants, socks and underwear for a child

$75 buys a sheep or goat to generate income

$200 buys a IMG_0655bedframe, mattress and bedding so families don’t sleep on the ground

$300 buys one year of rent for families struggling to pay sky-rocketing prices

Visit our Online Gift Catalog and know the joy of giving gifts that change lives!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Giving That Empowers Others

GT e

This holiday season we are so privileged to provide you with an opportunity to invest in a single mother in Ethiopia, giving her the capacity to lift herself out of poverty.

Adoption Ministry 1:27 stabilizes at-risk families and then offers micro loans, coupled with business training and one-on-one mentoring, to start a business that will radically change the trajectory of a family.

We currently have 30 small businesses funded and operating. This means:

Kids go to school

Food is on the table

Living conditions are improving

Medical help is received

Families are being reunited



$1,000 -- Cow for dairy cooperative
   $700 -- Pair of oxen for farming
   $600 -- Funding to start one business
   $300 -- Shop rent for six months
   $150 -- Water tank for agricultural production
   $100 -- Electric injera baker (injera is Ethiopia's cultural bread)
     $75 -- Livestock for a sheep fattening business
     $75 -- Moringa tree seed to plant 2 acres
     $50 -- Seeds and fertilizer to plant barley or maize
     $20 -- Solar light
Please visit our 'Send Help' webpage to donate these items and more!


More and more women and men who have received help starting a small business through AM 1:27 are now self-sufficient! Their inspiring stories are here.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Giving Gifts That Last

The Gift Catalog has gifts for every budget - from bibles to bedding, shoes to sheep, school supplies to small business starts.  We will send a lovely card to someone you give in honor of... just let us know!

Would you consider helping us share this giving opportunity by reposting on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Costly Decision

Most of us cannot imagine having to decide between our marriage or following Christ but ‘K’ had to do just that.  She chose new life in Jesus.  Not only did that decision mean the loss of her husband and her oldest daughter, but now her life is in danger because she renounced her former religion.  This is a very grim reality for many new believers in Ethiopia and many other parts of the world. 

K is illiterate and has no means of supporting herself or her two little ones.  Without family to help her, she is in a very precarious position.  This is where the Ethiopian church has stepped in and where Adoption Ministry 1:27 can help this new Christ-follower!  We’re seeking a sponsor to ‘adopt’ K and her children for $50 per month, which will give her regular meals, clothing and bedding so that she can become stabilized and work toward a self-sustaining future. 

Perhaps you or someone you know will adopt K and be an integral part of giving her hope and a future!  Please visit our website here for an easy way to sponsor K or another family in need.  Our hope is that K will be adopted immediately.

'K' was adopted today - Praise God!  There are many like her who are a desperate condition... please visit our AM 1:27 'Adopt A Family' page to help one of these families!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Orphans No More

Monica Barlow and her husband Scott were working at the Seventh Day Adventist Hospital in Gimbie and were the catalyst to YWAM opening up an orphanage in Gimbie to care for all the abandoned babies that the Lord was bringing to their doorstep. Those first months while waiting for all the licensing procedures to be finalized, Monica had her hands more than full. Without this faithful, dependent servant of God many babies might not have made it. Putting it bluntly, many babies would have died. We cannot give Monica enough thanks for what she did.  Here is her story... a perfect one to end Orphan Sunday:

Monica 3“Lord, help me! I can’t do this much longer!” That was my cry one sleep deprived night five years ago as I sat in the middle of six babies sleeping (or not) on the floor and two 7-year-olds slumbering in the back bedroom. Numb with exhaustion, I was not expecting a reply, but immediately I heard a voice in my head saying, “Monica, hold on! This is hard but the end will be worth it. I promise I will reunite you with these kids someday. You will look into their once terrified, yearning eyes and see children who have found families that love them. The families I have for these kids will fight for them. Your job is to take care of them for Me, right now. Every day, you will get up and do the work, and I WILL sustain you.”

So everyday I washed clothes, fed babies, read stories, sang songs and eventually they were transferred to the orphanage and ultimately adopted to great Christian families in the U.S.
Gimbie kids
I had forgotten God’s words to me those years ago, but on a flight to Nashville for a YWAM reunion in May 2013, God’s promise to me that night back in 2009 was brought to my mind. I could hardly wait to see those bright, well-fed little guys! All but two of the children from Gimbie were safe with loving families, and I yearned for those two even while enjoying the rest.

God is good, all the time!  I say that a lot, but today, I am reminded again!  Those crazy times in Ethiopia are just sweet memories now; I don't even remember those sleepless nights!  All I remember is that the amazing, life-giving work of God for His little children is so purposeful and rewarding…it is well worth any inconvenience on my part.  


Remember the two babies that had NOT been rescued by that first reunion in Nashville May, 2013? Well, I was blessed to be reunited with Kayla (Feenan) and Chala two weeks ago in San Diego!


God promised in John 14:18, “I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you.” And that promise came true!!! The last two orphans from Gimbie are NOW with their forever families! He never stopped watching over them and leading them to their new homes.

As I think back on that night when God promised me that He would take care of these babies, I am in awe of how faithful He is for the orphans and each one of us! Let us not grow weary of helping the parentless children around the world. I pray we never forget how God has adopted each one of us and yearns for us to follow His example! This is the work we were made for. Although it is difficult, it shows the heart of God better than any sermon.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Recently, three families who have adopted children from YWAM orphanages in Ethiopia gathered in southern California for a little mini-reunion.  Their children all came to us as babies and spent their first several years together in the orphanage we had in Gimbie.  Monica Barlow was serving as a missionary in Gimbie and knew each of these children well so it was a special bonus that she could be a part of this get-together. To know the stories behind each of these children is to know the miracle-working power of our God!

Two of our YWAM adoptive moms sent their thoughts on the reunion…

Chala, Samuel, Ella and Kayla
It was such a very blessed time that it is difficult to capture the memories into words. It is amazing to me how quickly the kids seemed to connect. Chala was able to reconnect with his best buddy and he spent the entire day hanging out, playing with, and enjoying just being with her again. Samuel also enjoyed playing with all of the kids – those born in Ethiopia and those who weren’t. There seems to be an instant bond with all members of the families as we all have somewhat of a shared experience. That is not to say that everyone’s story is the same, but we can identify with just feeling tremendously blessed to have our children home. There is also something very special about retelling the stories with friends who just know. They know the heartache of the wait. They know “injera”. They know that the child screaming through the house for Mommy doesn’t just have to “get over it”. They know so much from having walked a similar journey. The reunion day ended with a dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant. Sweet. Perfect ending to a wonderful day.
                                     ~Julie Steimer, mom to Chala (5) and Samuel (4)

Samuel, Ella, Kayla, Chala, Sam and Hwii 

A sweet YWAM mama told me that our girls are not just friends they're "cousins" and she's right. When they are together it's more than seeing playmates… you are watching family forged many miles away in our precious children's hearts. They relax around each other and let their guards down in a way that is so comforting. It was nice for the parents to have a chance to catch up, share and ask questions that many times only other adoptive parents will "get". It was such a joy to see the kids reconnect too. They ran, played, laughed and loved every minute together. It was so special to have the Barlows here with us. They were able to share stories about the kids and answer questions some of us had about Ethiopian culture and our kids. What a gift to have time together, we are already looking forward to the next time we can be together!
                                   ~Leasha Taggart, mom to Ella (5)

Monica Barlow with the Gimbie kids!

The only thing that would have made this weekend any better would be having every YWAM family attend!  We absolutely love it that so many of our families are making it a priority to keep their children connected… via reunions, on Skype and Facetime, through pictures and visits. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

From Hand-Out to Hand-Up!

An Adoption Ministry 1:27 Success Story
Mestawit is a beautiful young woman living in a ghetto section of Ethiopia where the crippled, the lepers, the outcasts live. She did not choose to live there, but her husband died about the time their daughter was born leaving her a square of land with a dilapidated house on it and nothing else.
For seven years Mestawit struggled to make ends meet, but she could never, ever get ahead no matter how hard she worked washing clothes or cleaning houses.
Then Mestawit was “adopted” by Jeremiah and Kortny and there was suddenly light at the end of a very dark tunnel. Jeremiah and Kortny had the opportunity to visit Mestawit and were appalled when they saw the condition of her house that was barely standing. They decided then and there to raise financing to have it torn down and rebuilt (about $600).


K0063 1
Mestawit used the money wisely and finished a nice house for her and her daughter and also built three rooms on the backside of the property to rent out. Now she is a proud landlady and can handily provide for the needs of her family without external support.

Jeremiah and Kortney could not be prouder of their friend’s success and have since “adopted” another family in Ethiopia to help.
K0063 2
Mestawit is now happily reaching out to other single moms in her community providing them with encouragement.

Would you help a woman like Mestawit start her own small business and become self-sustaining?  You can donate a small business start via our Adoption Ministry 1:27 website here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


by Joy Casey

A peek into Rediet’s life with her adoptive family in Addis Ababa shows an adored little girl who squeals when daddy walks through the door (much to his delight), cries when mommy says, “No,” and can often be found curled up on mommy or daddy’s lap being rocked to sleep. 
Dureti (12)-L
This precious girl was brought to our Mana Gammachuu orphanage when she was just about one month old after being found lying beside a river.  We began praying for her and for a strong Ethiopian family to adopt her.
Dureti (7)
She received lots of good formula and the loving care of our wonderful nannies.
at orphanage
And in October of last year, little Rediet joined her forever family!
Now let’s peek into her #1 birthday party! The house is full of family -- aunts, uncles, grandparents and dozens of cousins, all of them kissing her milk chocolate cheeks at every opportunity. With a birthday hat on that says #1, Mommy helps her cut the traditional defo dabo celebration bread, but then she wiggles away and toddles to each familiar person, mouth open, to be hand fed some yummy injera and wat. She has on a new dress for her birthday celebration that her daddy was proud to bring home, fairy wings and all.
rediet hailu
Rediet has been with her family for twelve months and our peek into the scenes of her life shows her enveloped by her immediate and extended family and the center of attention, as all 1-year-olds should be.

What if Rediet had not been adopted?

What if Rediet were still living in an orphanage?

What if Rediet had not been found alongside a road shortly after she was born?

He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in His arms, He said to them,  "Whoever welcomes one of these little children in My name welcomes Me. 
Mark 9:36
Our desire is that all the children in our Mana Gammachuu orphanage will have their very own mommy and daddy like Rediet.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Water Walk 2014


It was a perfect day for a walk... made even better because these folks were walking with a purpose!  Fifty-five men, women and kids carried jugs of water around a lake to experience and demonstrate what daily life is like for many Ethiopian women and children.  


A daily trek to get water and bring it back to their homes is an essential part of life for millions who have no running water. The people hauling water found out it is not an easy job... water is heavy!  A new appreciation for our African neighbors was birthed, that is for sure.    



Shannon Cline organized the walk to raise money to buy water filters that she and her team of women will take to Ethiopia at the end of the month. 




Shannon said it was surreal at one point in the day to see a large crowd of people come around a corner carrying a variety of water containers, big and small. 


Many people simply out for a morning stroll stopped to ask what the group was doing and participants took the opportunity to explain that even the youngest children on the walk would have been expected to fetch full jugs of water in Ethiopia and, in some cases, walk with those jugs for miles.  


Many times the water is gathered from the ground or a stream and causes Giardia, typhoid, cholera and many other intestinal problems. The water filters won’t solve the water supply problem but they will filter out parasites and disease, keeping households from contracting these sometimes deadly illnesses.  


Homemade medals were awarded to everyone who participated!  Shannon hopes to make this an annual event.

You can purchase these life-saving water filters through our YWAM Gift Catalog here

Monday, October 13, 2014

Celebrating New Life Stories

by Becky Burns


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.



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.


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.


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.


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!


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…


Congratulations to Scott and Melody Olsen!


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.

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