Thursday, January 29, 2015

Tree of Love

by Brian Anderson
Lake City Community Church

Sweeping silhouettes of Acacia trees against the Ethiopian sky this morning gave inspiration for the ‘Tree of Love’ mural in the kindergarten. With leadership from Judy Van Houte, the tree bloomed with the colorful hand prints of every child, teacher and many friends of the YWAM Mana Gammachuu kindergarten.
Unity continued through the day as we worked together to finish painting the inside of the school and the playground equipment. A fence, mandated by the government, was put up in the two days and mostly painted as well.
The lovely day ended with a delicious meal of goat meat and bread, served to nearly 100 people of the local church. Pastor Jim encouraged us to continue the friendships begun by remembering to pray for one another. We clapped and danced to spontaneous music of praise to God around a celebratory bonfire. Gifts were then given to the leadership, and lots of hugs from the children made it hard to leave these precious new friends.
Lake City Jan 2015 teamThis wonderful mission team from Lake City Community Church in Lakewood, WA will be serving with Missions Director Mark Wolbert in several areas in Ethiopia.  Their church has ‘adopted’ the Mana Gammachuu kindergarten and all of the AM 1:27 families in this area. Join us in praying for effective ministry and big impact through the Holy Spirit.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Making Their Way Out of Poverty

by Joy Casey in Ethiopia
written on Jan 24, 2015

Through Adoption Ministry 1:27, forty families so far have received help to start income-generating activities (IGA’s) – their own small business – and get on the road to supporting themselves with dignity.  This week Joy had the pleasure of visiting three women who are successfully operating their own businesses.  We are so proud of them and so grateful to their sponsors for giving them this opportunity!

Injera and more injera!
MK-0011 - Seada & her children - 2

What a sweetheart! Seada’s tiny house is no bigger than a big bathroom here and contains two wooden chairs, a bed and room for three people - herself and her children. The workspace where she cooks injera (Ethiopia’s cultural bread) is in a shed on a rocky incline to her house.  I found her there, expertly baking on the new injera baker she was able to purchase with a loan given to her from Adoption Ministry 1:27. She also has an old injera baker that needs repair, and once that is fixed she will use both ovens and be able to double her output.
MK-0011 - Seada baking injera

Through tears Seada expressed her profound appreciation for the help she has received from Adoption Ministry 1:27, both with monthly support that allows her family to eat and her children to go to school, and for the loan she recently received to start an injera business. She is the only Christian in her whole family; the rest are M*sl*m believers. She said her daughter was sick almost to the point of death and a Christian prayed for her and ­­­­­­­­Selam was miraculously healed. That led her to learn more about Jesus and it wasn’t long before she was a Christ-follower. Her husband left and Seada and her children are still dealing with his loss. She says she aches for him because he is in such a dark place and her children miss their daddy. But through it all, the Lord Jesus has been there for her, and the expression of His care came through the ministry of AM 1:27.

MK-0011 - Seada

Now Seada can eat every day and prepare good lunches for her children when they go to school and she feels hopeful for their future because she has work to do that will eventually provide for their needs without outside support.

A little bit of help goes a long way!
MK-0021 -- Birtukan
With a little bit of help, Birtukan has expanded her fledgling business to almost double! She sells about anything anyone would want. With the new refrigerator purchased with a small business loan, she sells milk and cold drinks. Her tiny stove bakes the delicious dough she makes every morning into tasty, fresh rolls.  And is it hot tea you want? She has that, too, along with dry goods, charcoal, and any and all things necessary to roast and make coffee. Bags overflowing with lentil powder for an Ethiopian dish called shiro are displayed on her counter along with barley and oat flour and several freshly ground spices.
Birtukan and her daughter live in her shop. They used to sleep on the floor behind the counter, but Adoption Ministry’s Mission’s Director, Mark, found her so and generously bought her a bed. She led me under the counter and through a tiny slot behind a tarp and proudly showed me where the bed rested between the tarp and the outside wall where she and Yabsira can now sleep comfortably.

MK-0021 -- Birtukan in shop

Birtukan is a hard, hard worker with a ready smile and the ability to make people feel welcome. She will flourish as a shopkeeper, although she is challenged with ever-increasing rent. Her goal is to pay back the loan in two years and she expresses confidence that she will bring her business to a place of prosperity and independence.

The epitome of industriousness!

MK-0032 - Yemsrach & vegie stand
Yemsrach is a delightful, energetic woman who has endured much heartache and struggle since her husband left her. She said she was hopeless… hopeless for work and hopeless for her future. When Adoption Ministry 1:27 came alongside her with monthly support, she knew God heard her crying by sending His people to help her.
Recently, Yemsrach received a loan to start a small business and today I had the incredible experience of seeing this lovely woman in action. In the short time she has been working she has established a clientele for injera, serves coffee to office workers from 12–1:30, and has a busy store where she sells lentils, all kinds of vegetables, and small bags of charcoal. With her loan she was able to purchase a refrigerator and can also sell cold drinks and milk.
MK0032 2
Yemsrach was radiant and her enthusiasm for life contagious. Within two years she will have the loan paid and will have built a thriving business that can sustain herself and her 4-year-old son, Yerosan . Yerosan is attending a nearby private kindergarten free of charge due the kindness of the owner who sees how hard Yemsrach is working to make a good life for herself. I saw Yerosan’s school papers and was impressed by this little guy’s fine motor coordination! He is learning English A-B-C’s as well as Amharic letters and numbers. Yemsrach still needs time for her heart to be mended at the betrayal of her husband, but she is active in her church with a strong faith and God will not only meet her physical needs but her emotional ones as well.

There is a way out of the hopelessness of poverty for many in our sponsorship program.  If you would like to help a single woman in Ethiopia receive business training and a loan to start her own small business, please visit our AM:127 Business Starts webpage to find out how!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Two Joyful Places

by Joy Casey in Ethiopia
written Jan 19, 2015

Under our license of Mana Gammachuu in Ethiopia we have established orphan care for abandoned or special needs babies and a kindergarten for 60 students in a predominately M*sl*m area where Adoption Ministry 1:27 supports 50 vulnerable families. Today I had fun with the kindergarten children and then got my “baby fix” at the orphanage where I had time to sit on the floor with the cutie-pies and play with them.
Mana Gammachuu Kindergarten

There are two classes of kindergartens… one for the very youngest and one for the older children.  Another class of 20 children will be added next month. Usually kindergartens in Ethiopia have 50 children in one class, so our relatively small classes with 20 each is quite a treat!

This is the first time for any of the children to attend school, and I was impressed that for only having instruction for three months they had learned the alphabet and could write most of their letters.

For English, they were learning the body parts and a child would take turns leading the class in their sing-song recitation of all the parts of the body.

A mission team from Lake City Church in Tacoma will be at the school next week, putting a fresh coat of paint on the inside and outside of the school. One lady is coming prepared to paint murals on the walls of the classrooms… that surely will brighten up the rooms! But what will really excite the students is some playground equipment that will be delivered soon.
Mana Gammachuu Orphanage

Who can resist a baby? I certainly cannot, and found myself once again thoroughly enamored with sturdy little ones toddling around so inquisitive about everything. There are four babies around six months old whose fat little cheeks, arms and legs are a testament to the good nutrition they receive, and their bright eyes and ready smiles a result of the loving attention from their nanny-mommies. They were all in various stages of learning to crawl and I was fascinated watching them trying to coordinate arms and legs to get the forward motion they wanted.

Permanent homes are our aim for all seven babies. Four of them will be adopted by Christian Ethiopian couples within the next couple of months, and we will continue to raise awareness in the church community through adoption seminars and find forever families for all of them.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

“I could never have imagined such a blessing”

by Joy Casey in Ethiopia
January 19, 2015

Joy recently had the great privilege of hearing some of the many families in Shashemene who are sponsored through Adoption Ministry 1:27 express gratitude to their sponsors
While we were waiting for the ceremony to start, the gathering was like a large family. People were greeting each other with a kiss and quietly visiting, arms linked together many times. Even the young children were saying hello to each other in the customary Ethiopian way and were animated with beautiful smiles but were not rowdy or impatient. During the time of eating and drinking, the children, every one of them, took what was offered and contentedly sat by their mothers and enjoyed the time. I saw a couple of little ones wrap up their chunk of bread in a cloth and save it for later, but none of them refused the offering or left any of the food behind.
The people who stood to give their thanks did so spontaneously and with humility and grave dignity. I am certain that I cannot completely appreciate the difference between days of no food and full cupboards because I have never been without, but these dear people have known what a lifestyle of hunger feels like. They so badly want me and those that support them to know that they don’t take food for granted and are extremely grateful for it. I left envying the overall serenity and contentment of the families we have the privilege to know in Shashemene.

“First, thanks to God and may God bless you. In my former time, I didn’t even look human. Now, my daughter and I have changed so much! I cannot express how thankful I am for our progress.”


“Please give all my blessings to my sponsor. I am standing here today because of their support. Without it, I know I would be dead.”


She was very teary expressing herself. “ I am thankful so much to God for the support. We are now removed from poverty. May God bless your home with blessings like mine.”


“First, I thank God. He is the one who brought you to me. Now I have food, clothes for my children and ourselves. We are very happy! I like the worker visiting our home and seeing what we need and doing his best to provide for us. God bless you!”


“Before I got this support I had many starving days. But now I eat and it is because of AM 1:27 that I survived. There is no shortage in my home now. I ask God to bless my supporters and this organization. I ask they be given many blessings.”

“I thank God for this opportunity to appreciate and thank my supporters and what God provided for us through you. I could never have imagined such a blessing as I have got! Being poor my whole life, I never got to eat injera made with teff, but since you have helped me, I can have good injera and my home is full of blessings. Thank you very, very much and may God bless you!”


”I am so happy because now I can send my children to school and we have plenty to eat.”



“I give thanks to God, even with children and grandchildren to care for.  Formerly we did not have enough food. But now we have food and even school and always enough oil! May God bless you with a long life.”


I am a very sick woman and previously I was starving. I am still sick, but now I am getting food and all I need. May God bless you and may He provide everything for you.”

You too can help to rewrite the life story of an at-risk family in Ethiopia!  Please visit out Adopt A Family’ webpage and select a family to bless.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Day of Celebration

by Joy Casey in Ethiopia
written on January 19, 2015

It is a holiday today in Ethiopia celebrating the Orthodox Timket. Timket is very ceremonial and festive with deep roots in the Ethiopian culture. Because schools and government offices are closed and there is church around the clock, the streets are packed with joyful people, most women wearing white coffee dresses with colorful trim and even the men are shrouded in gauzy white. I couldn’t help but absorb the happy atmosphere as we slowly meandered through the throngs of people on our way to the Mana Gammachuu orphanage. We passed several groups of young men with linked arms confidently singing something that put smiles on their faces and music was blasting from loud speakers all along the main streets that were crisscrossed with colorful streamers. How could I possibly not smile on a day like this?
Stepping through the doors of Mana Gammachuu orphanage brought a whole different atmosphere to my senses. Here was a haven of peace and rest where everything was geared to the rhythm of seven babies. I only had about 20 minutes with the little ones and will spend much more time later… but it was a joy to see them all healthy and content and to greet the staff who have been with us since the beginning.

But the big program of the day was meeting with the fifty families supported through Adoption Ministry 1:27 in Shashemene. The case manager had planned a celebration on this day of Timkat to mark the second year of our program that supports the poorest in their community.

I was asked to light the candle to begin the commemorative ceremony and then Ephriam, our Project Manager for the southern region, was asked to cut the large round of dabo (bread).

The smell of incense intermingled with the fresh roasted coffee aroma as baskets of popcorn and bread were passed around followed by cups of rich, Ethiopian coffee and glasses of water for the many children.


When I go to gatherings like this, I am made to feel so welcomed and appreciated, but I am acutely aware that I am only the face of the many sponsors who faithfully support a family and pray for them.

These people have no way to personally thank their benefactors, so they liberally thank me and bless me. It is humbling and I want to pass those blessings on to the real heroes… the American families who many times give sacrificially and have radically changed individual lives through their benevolence.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Day Dedicated to Women!

by Joy Casey in Ethiopia
Saturday Jan 17

It is 6:30am and the sky is pink and blue, ushering in a beautiful day. Abebe and Abonesh, my dear friends and colleagues, and I head off the plateau of Addis Ababa down into the Rift Valley to course our way to a village where, four years ago, the Holy Spirit awakened hearts to seek Him. This good-sized village of 5,000 people spreads over a piece of the African savannah and offers an agrarian lifestyle to the people who are mostly born and raised there with little outside influence. Two years ago, the first-ever Christian Church was built and is a hub for evangelistic thrust to neighboring villages resulting in two new church plants in 2014.

Today was a special day in the life of the church. One-hundred Christian women gathered for a day of teaching, worship and fellowship. There is no electricity in this village, so a generator, portable sound system and keyboard were brought in along with a special worship leader who was outstanding.

As our van pulled up to the church, energetic singing emanated from the open door and windows, and I could hardly wait to step into the midst of these dear women and join them in worship. I took in the scene of the ten evangelists serving this area standing around the parameter of the benches praying and worshipping and many women had babies strapped on their back or toddlers sitting and playing at their feet.

A former M*sl*m believer from a nearby town brought a good message about the women of the Bible encouraging the women to take warning from the bad ways of some (like Jezebel) and to emulate the faith and prayer of the faithful. His style completely engaged the women and he wove humor among the nuggets of teaching. He then asked women to come forward who wanted special prayer regarding their husbands, and with humility and tears many women came forward to be prayed for.

A hot lunch of goat tibs (kind of like a stew) was prepared and served with injera, Ethiopia’s cultural bread, along with the customary berbere spice. It smelled and tasted heavenly!

The evangelists served the plates of food to the women and then partook of their refreshment. I need to point out several unusual things about this scenario...

It is a rare thing for a woman to be served delicious food without any effort on her part, eating meat is not a common occurrence, and having men serve women in this culture is a big deal! Large buckets of water were brought to the church and cups of refreshing water rounded out the yummy meal.

Abonesh is the accountant for Adoption Ministry, but she is also a dynamic Bible teacher and eagerly accepted the challenge to speak into the lives of these relatively new converts to Christianity.

Abonesh explained John 1:9-15 and that when we receive Christ’s salvation we are children of God. In God’s family everyone is equal in His eyes regardless of race, economics or gender, unlike the cultural hierarchy these women are used to. She brought further clarification of who Father God is and His daily grace and desire to commune with us. She ended by reading Proverbs 31 showing how God will give us strength to serve Him by stretching out our hand to our neighbors and diligently serving our family and community.

I brought with me a wonderful surprise for these dear ones! My friend Dinah Monahan, with the help of the women at her church, bought solar powered lights and asked me to distribute them to each woman who attended the conference. These lights are unique in design and are made of plastic with bright LED lights that have a low and high power and put off an incredible amount of light. None of the women have electricity in their homes, so this gift was extraordinarily precious to them. I wish you could have seen their faces! They were giddy with surprise and joy and left the church filled to the brim with a fresh encounter with God and a tangible expression of love from sisters on the other side of the world. Dinah and Mike Monahan provided the financing for this conference, and the only downside to the day is that they were not able to be there to share this amazing experience.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

You’ve Come A Long Way

by Joy Casey

Five years ago, there were two Christians in a tucked-away village in Ethiopia. They had been living there for seven years doing a lot of praying but with few people showing any interest in learning more about Jesus. All of their neighbors were M*sl*m, as were the government leaders and the village chief. In 2010, the fruit of their intense prayers broke through the assignment of Darkness in that area and 75 people came to know Jesus.

Most of the people had visions of Jesus and approached the two Christians to ask questions and eventually became Christ-followers. Joyous baptisms were held in a nearby lake, and over the course of the next three years, another 175 families joined others under the worship tree for teaching.


The worship tree still spreads it arms of shade, but a solid building has been erected to serve the needs of this community and to make a statement to the surrounding community… We are here to stay.


This past year the church, with the help of YWAM, has sent out 8 evangelists to the nearby villages to tell others about Jesus and exciting church plants are popping up to disciple new believers.


This is an agrarian village many hours from Addis Ababa. The best way to get there is to hitch a ride on a donkey cart, but for those of us who like to move a little faster or don’t like the bumpy ride, a car can maneuver through the dusty, narrow paths after turning off a main road. This significant sized village has about 5,800 inhabitants and grass huts  sprinkled throughout the savannah.  There are gardens next to the hut and chickens, cows and goats wandering in and out. Scores and scores of children live here and visitors can’t go anywhere without an entourage.
There is a lot of deep, deep poverty in this village. The kind of poverty where there is nothing to eat some days and very little to eat on other days. Children wear rags and don’t have shoes. 
Doors to education are closed and hope for anything better is absent. Illiterate women are desperate to feed their children but have no way to earn money. There is impoverishment of spirit as well, especially among the women.


Adoption Ministry 1:27 is intervening…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMedina’s story is not atypical. After fathering 11 children, her husband took another wife and essentially deserted his first family. This family of 12 is in serious condition and help needs to get to them soon. Medina is unwell, and she and her children beg for their food and live off the meager charity of others. Fortunately, which is not always the case, she has made a way to keep her children in school. Her oldest children walk one hour each way to attend high school, then Galato (16) is in 7th grade, Ayantu (14) is in 5th, Alima (12) started 1st grade and the other children (ages 8, 7, 5 & 4) do not go to school.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATwelve years ago Sefiya was widowed and, according to the tradition of their village, she was forced to marry her husband’s brother. Her life is very hard as her brother-in-law has another wife and gives his time and energy to that family, leaving her to forage for food for their four children. As do most in her village, they live in a traditional stick and mud house with a grass thatched roof and a dirt floor, no electricity and no bathroom. Teyiba (11) and Bilal (8) daily go to the water station and haul water to cook with, but there is very little extra for washing. Finding enough to eat consumes most of Sefiya’s days, and with a new baby it is impossible for her to work as a servant. All four of the children are under nourished and their health is poor as a result.


Amane’s health is very bad, but her husband took another wife (seems to be a trend here!) and gives her no support. All four of her children cannot attend school due to finances and all of them are undernourished, two of them significantly affected. The goal with this family will be to stabilize them with food and build up their resistance, get medical help for Amane and two of her children, and next fall get all the children enrolled in school.

When a family is “adopted” for $50 per month, a month’s supply of food and hygiene products are provided for the family and a case manager assesses other needs to be addressed over time. 

We are very excited about this newest “light” in rural Ethiopia. Adoption Ministry 1:27 impacts families and changes their situation for the better within months of receiving help. As we meet physical needs, we also are intentional to share the Good News of Jesus Christ longing to see hope lit in places where now there is only dark despair.
To adopt Medina, Sefiya, Amane or another family, please visit our website:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...