Sunday, May 31, 2009

Women to Women - A Summer Blessing

On July 8th, a group of 7 women will travel to Ethiopia to minister God's love to several groups of widows and teenaged orphans. If you looked strictly at outward appearances, the American women and the Ethiopian women wouldn't seem to have a lot in common. But Christ's transforming love has touched both groups! And that's the wonderful message of the gospel.

The goal of this trip is twofold. For the widows, who are each destitute and dependent on the help of others, the team wants to bring love, prayer, God's word and practical help. For the teen girls, most of whom have suffered profound loss and are growing up without the love and guidance of a mother, our team will lavish attention, laughter, love, pampering and prayer. Who better to understand the heart of a woman than another woman?

There has been much preparation for this trip! These women have met to plan, pray, share an Ethiopian meal, laugh and brainstorm about how best to bring hope and encouragement, along with some much-needed supplies for the orphanages that YWAM supports there. There have been fund-raising coffees and evenings (with a garage sale still to come!) and support letters sent out. God has worked in the hearts of each of these team members, calling them in unique and creative ways to be a part of this outreach. There are young women and older women. Seasoned missionaries and rookies willing to be used! Also joining them will be Abonesh, who is the beautiful wife of our in-country representative. She'll serve alongside the team and will be the translator.

Won't you join us in praying for this group as they bring together all the final preparations, finances and supplies for traveling? Let's ask God to go before them, leading them into His purposes, surrounding them with His protection and using them beyond their wildest imaginations! Let's believe Him for a miraculous touch of His Spirit among women!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Understanding Prince Charming's Plight

This post was taken and edited from an article written by Monica, a missionary mom in the village of Gimbie.

The day started much like every day in Gimbie, with people knocking at my door for help, babies crying to be fed and breakfast needing to be made. We had tried to purchase shoes many times before, but finally the day had come for our largest distribution of shoes - 150 rubber boots with 300 socks to accompany them. We saved back 50 shoes for another trip later that week.

The day was hot and humid but we had a mission - to match each boot and socks with the rightful owner. Benyam, our Ethiopian friend, knew of the far off village of Seretti, where many children had never enjoyed a pair of shoes of their own. His grandmother, who is well over 100 years old, lives there alone since her husband, the former chief of the tribe, has passed away. We were concerned how we could carry so many shoes in our backpacks and sacks such a long distance, but Benyam’s friend, Kulid, volunteered to take us in his truck if we supplied the gas. This was a Godsend, since the village was more than 8 kilometers away and the boots were weighing heavy on our backs!

As our small group of eight headed out, the excitement built on what we would encounter. This is a rural area of cornfields, and rolling hills. The people here have cattle, sheep, and goats and large fields for them to roam. Benyam said it was a great place to hunt baboons and leopards, but I think he was just trying to scare us. The truth was that the crowd of people that saw us getting out of the truck with our gifts was much more aggressive than any animal we would ever encounter. I hadn’t noticed that a pair of boots had fallen from my backpack, but the crowd that was circling us had. Within minutes, we had a following of about 30 people - some wanting boots, some wanting to stare at a ferengi (foreigner) and some wanting to know what was going on. The 30 grew into about 50, until it was obvious that we had to stop and attend to these people.

As each one of our group knelt down to help the kids in front of them, I was transported back into the fairy tale story of Cinderella. I never quite understood how the storybook had made Prince Charming look so tired trying shoes on, but now I was experiencing the same type of pushy people trying so hard to fit their big feet into such little shoes. They were saying, “No, I think these boots are SUPPOSED to be snug" or "I think, if you let me try again, they will fit THIS time.” Even the smallest of kids grabbed for any size, not caring that the boots would wear out way before they would ever fit into them.

How trying it must have been for Prince Charming, everyone wanting the shoe to fit him or her. It saddened me that I had well over 30 older kids following me, with no shoes to offer them. I had ordered boots from size 22 to 34, not realizing that most feet, that had never experienced shoes, are wider and more calloused. The top size of 34 was equivalent to about a seven-year-old girl’s size. I should have remembered that from our previous shoe project, but was so happy to order the boots, that I had just agreed to whatever sizes that the shop could order (I will definitely want to purchase sizes 35 and up later). I must have said over 30 times, that I didn’t have larger sizes, but mothers’ begged us to try the shoes on their children anyway, but to no avail. Prince Charming, I believe, felt sympathy for the bigger women of his day, those who could see from far away that the glass slipper was way to small for them. But I think, he let them try anyway; giving hope to their situation, and showing them that everyone had a chance to be Cinderella.

Wait a minute, so does everyone really have a chance to be Cinderella? Do I have a chance to be swept up by THE “Prince Charming?" Is it that THE “Prince” is going around with shoes for us, shoes that will walk on golden streets forever? He offers them to us, and all we have to do is accept them. But some of us have walked on this earth without shoes, maybe all of our lives. Our feet our swollen, calloused from sin, we may even suffer from disease, but He offers to cover those feet. Wow, I see it all differently, now. We aren’t just offering boots with socks, we are offering protection from the pain and suffering they have endured on this earth. That is why the mothers push through to get boots for their kids; they don’t want them to have to endure the pain they have had to withstand themselves. It all is starting to make sense to me now.

I never asked anyone to send money for the shoes, and boots, but God sent special messages to those He had chosen for this mission, and in return these faithful ones sent money, a total of $1541 toward leather shoes, and then boots and socks. This project was much more than just a bunch of ferengis sharing, it was a project that gave hope and relieved suffering. In addition to the boots and socks, we also advised two girls with swollen eyes, and two girls with goiters to visit the hospital this week to receive needed medications.

Thanks to all that gave for shoes (and for other projects, too), for God uses the money and prayers to help in multiple areas at one time. I could never have imagined all that He accomplished that day - God is so good! Don’t think that the story ends there. Remember we still have 50 more shoes to hand out at the end of this week. So this is not the end of OUR Cinderella story - stay tuned for what happens next!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

We're All In This Together

Take a few minutes to watch this video from Hillsong United.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Some Links You Might Like!

There is a lot of information to be found on the internet regarding international adoption but some of the most helpful, practical stuff is found on the personal blogs of families who have adopted or are in the process of adopting from Ethiopia. Whether it's tips that help make the transition a little easier for child and family or venting about unexpected issues that pop up and soliciting others' advice, the blogs are a wealth of good info and networking. Below you'll find several links to some great blog posts I think you might appreciate!

A Year As A Family - from Mandy W
How one family is celebrating their first year after bringing their two little girls home

Amazing Day - from Anteneh's Family
A mother tells her son about when they met his birth mother in Ethiopia

The Communication Gap - from On The Fly
Communicating with your non-English-speaking child

Considering A Sibling Group? - from Mary Owlhaven
A good overview of many considerations and blessings of adopting siblings

One Month Ago Today - from Our Adoption Journey
Looking back on the first month with their baby girl

Adoption Questions/Answers for You - from A Bushel and A Peck
Addressing things like realistic expectations for bonding and how to prepare

More to come! Be sure to leave your comments!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Remembering on Mother's Day

I can't help but think of how blessed I am this Mother's Day! To know that my children are fed, clothed and in a safe place every night is something I take for granted. But that's not the case for so many mothers in Ethiopia. How it must ache to worry about those most basic needs for your children.

We have many Ethiopian women who have asked YWAM to take their children because they cannot provide for them. I saw it happen when I was there. Can you even imagine that? Their love and desire for their child's best interest has somehow overtaken their motherly instinct to personally take care of that child. It is simply unthinkable to me to be in that position!

"I helped those without hope, and they blessed me. And I caused the widows’ hearts to sing for joy." Job 29:13

That is what Adoption Ministry Ethiopia is all about - helping those without hope.

"Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows." Isaiah 1:16-18

If you'd like to be a part of our ministry to do just that, please let us know!

You can:

  • commit to praying for one of our children waiting to be adopted
  • become a monthly sponsor for an orphaned child

  • give a one-time gift to help support our humanitarian work

  • go with us to Ethiopia to serve the widows and orphans we work with

Just send an email to: and we'll be glad to respond.

I hope you have a wonderful celebration of Mother's Day as you give thanks for your mother, for your children and for God's heart for widows and the motherless.


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