Saturday, December 22, 2012

Staff Christmas Party!

The Adoption Ministry staff gathered on Friday for a Christmas lunch and gift card exchange.  Staff and volunteers from our domestic and Ethiopia teams brought delicious food to share…
We did also have turkey, roast beef, spinach salad and other healthy and delicious dishes. 
No photos of those!

For the gift exchange, everyone brought a $15 gift card and a prize was given for the card that was wrapped the most creatively.  I use the term ‘wrapped’ loosely because there were some pretty unique wrappings – including in a half gallon of ice cream, hidden in a gingerbread house and in a fish bowl (with a fish)…


We have a truly amazing team of people and it was such fun to spend the afternoon all together!




Merry Christmas
from all of us
to all of you!

Glory to God in the highest!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Incredible Kids!

The Monahan kids made a unanimous decision (it had to be unanimous!) to forego Christmas presents this year and instead to choose gifts for people who have less than they do. Each of them spent a lot of time looking over the YWAM Gift Catalog and each chose what they thought would be the most important things for others to have. 
Abdi (6 years old and adopted from Ethiopia) chose soccer balls and food. 

Ireland (10) chose food, bags of charcoal and a water filter and she went in with Kelden on a “Small Business Opportunity”. 

Kelden (12) chose a Bible and food. 

Aiden (7) chose a bed, a house, a donkey, food, charcoal and a Bible.  (Dad says “We had to postpone buying the house and Aiden was worried that the people would have a bed but no house.”) 

Reagan (3) was emphatic to give to the “Greatest Need” because the child in the Gift Catalog picture was one she would go back to again and again and point and say, “Baby, Me”.

Brandon and Dawn are understandably very proud of their kids.  “Each of these gifts is a reflection of our children’s personalities and it was awesome to see them reach out and decide to give first.   We are getting them very small gifts out of our pocket money.” 
The best gift of all for each of them will be delivered to their house right after Christmas.  Dawn will arrive in Ethiopia on Christmas Day to pick up Samuel, their second Ethiopian son.  “Our kids have been praying for him for a long time and they were very excited to see their prayers answered with a very fast embassy appointment and having him arrive before the new year.” 

Samuel with his dad and sister in Ethiopia for the court appointment 

THANK YOU to all five of the Monahan kids!  What a huge blessing you are – to your parents, to all of us who get to hear about your giving hearts and especially to some very grateful people in Ethiopia who will receive your gifts with much happiness!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Child’s Christmas Gift Box

We don’t ever get tired of or feel embarrassed to share with you opportunities to make a difference in the life of a needy person.  Here is another one of those wonderful opportunities!

In the rural area of Debre Zeit, Ethiopia there are many children who have not yet heard of Christ’s love for them.  It is a daily struggle for their parents to provide even their basic needs. 

god loves you

Samy and Ruth are YWAM missionaries serving people in this remote area.   These two have incredible hearts to bring the Good News to men, women and children.  Many on our mission teams have met them and had the privilege of serving alongside these two saints of God.


You can touch the kids in this village with the love of Christ by giving them a small gift box for Christmas.  Ethiopians celebrate Christmas on January 7th so there is still time to do this!  Each box costs only $5.50 and includes:

gift box

Toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, Vaseline, comb, bath tissue,
spoon, cookie biscuits, candy treat, a boiled egg,
a pen, a small toy and a New Testament

If you’d like to bring a huge smile and bless a child in this way while opening a door for the Gospel to be shared, please donate this week via our website here or call our office to give your information over the phone – 253-770-2283.

Thank you on behalf of all the grateful recipients of these Christmas boxes!


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Finishing up your Christmas shopping?

Many of us are using this weekend to get everything checked off our Christmas shopping lists.  What if your list took a radical turn, including gifts that would meet very real needs?  That kind of shopping is truly satisfying, knowing that your gift will be greatly appreciated.  100% of your donation goes to help a new believer, a widow, an orphan or a desperately poor family in Ethiopia.

In our YWAM Gift Catalog, you’ll find ways to give that fit every budget.  And it’s not too late to give a gift in someone’s name – just let us know and we’ll send your friend or loved one a beautiful card telling them what you’ve given. 

Visit our website at:

Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Concert for Food

Lisa has never been to Ethiopia, but her friends have. Their stories and pictures broke her heart into little pieces and she determined to do something about it. Music is her passion, so she decided to gather some artists together and put on a benefit concert to raise money for food that would be used by Adoption Ministry of YWAM to feed the people they serve.
Basic Food
$15 will buy one month of basic staples for a family of four, and another $15 will see that the family has fresh vegetables and teff flour (Ethiopia wheat) for bread.
Formula for babies
One medium can of formula costs $5.50 and $93.50 will feed one child for a month. The demand for formula is high because mothers infected with HIV whose baby is not HIV+ cannot breastfeed due to the high risk of infection, so it is extremely important that we get formula, bottles and bottled water to these women. In the capital city of Addis Ababa, formula is available for sale, but no poor person would have the ability to pay for it. In the outlying areas, it is not possible to find formula at all.
The trouble with food is …. it runs out! People have to eat every day, and babies demand a lot of formula to fuel all the growing they do. Each month, Adoption Ministry needs about $2,000 just to supply food to babies, families and the elderly; that includes the transportation cost to purchase and distribute the food.

On December 1st musicians gathered at a church and offered their talents to the Lord. A very talented jazz band highlighted the evening, and the band director said afterward, “Seeing the faces in the slides and hearing their values caused me to appreciate the things I already have with less focus on the things I don't have.  That's my Christmas present.”

Lisa Boyle-Davis (our hostess) and Miriam Aflakian added their beautiful voices to several of the band’s numbers and made the evening extra special. The little children were called forward and a jolly man in a Santa cap read The Night Before Christmas to their delight. An 8-year-old girl played the piano with amazing maturity, and a mother/daughter duet with the flute and violin was also very lovely. It is always joyous when children perform, and we were not disappointed with the rendition of The Lord God Made Them All performed by Cornerstone Classical Academy students. The evening ended with an acapella group harmonizing Christmas carols that ushered the audience into December with all the wonderful sounds of the season.
Eth Christmas
January 7th is Christmas in Ethiopia according to their Julian calendar. Every penny of the money given at this concert will go towards making their Christmas month extra special. We will supply meat and basic food staples for 100 families and formula for at least 12 babies.  (Meat is rarely, if ever, available for the poor.)  The extra boost from this concert might allow us to give a Christmas treat of coffee and sugar to many of the elderly and sick that are so dear to God’s heart. Of course, if there are more babies that need formula, fewer people will get the luxury of meat and coffee. Our policy is to collaborate closely with the people working on the ground in Ethiopia to make the final determination of where the finances should best be used.

“Thanks” doesn’t begin to express our deep appreciation to all the people who came out on a chilly December Saturday to offer their “fishes and loaves” to the Lord. Mark Wolbert, Adoption Ministry’s Mission Director, and Joy Casey, the Executive Director, shared poignant stories of elderly widows, throw-away malnourished children, and mothers unable to feed their children. It is these unfortunate people that the proceeds from this concert will serve.

We give our Lord Jesus Christ all the glory and honor. We thank all the musicians for sharing their talent. And we are extremely grateful for those who attended the concert and gave generously.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Sharing Christmas Stories

Curled up together on the couch by the Christmas tree...
Slowing things down when excitement ramps up...
Discussion starters for the family table...
Tucked into bed right before sleep...

A good story is priceless!  I thought it would be fun to share – via comments – some of your favorite Christmas books for kids.  Let’s focus on the ones that have a wonderful Christ-centered message.  You can find these at many public libraries!

Here are a few to get us started…

Why Christmas Trees Aren’t Perfect by Richard Schneider
A perfect little pine tree is ‘damaged’ by helping others.  The last line of the book sums up the message:  “For, as have many of us, the trees have learned that living for the sake of others makes us most beautiful in the eyes of God.”

wintry night
One Wintry Night by Ruth Bell Graham
Ruth Graham is the author of this really unique version of the Christmas story that begins with creation and ends with the resurrection.

11. toomey cover

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski
The illustrations alone are worth the time you’ll spend in this story of how a woodcarver’s broken heart is touched as he carves a nativity for a special little boy and his mother.


Now it’s your turn… please leave a comment telling the title of a book your family especially enjoys reading at Christmas!  All ages are welcome.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Earthly Food and Heavenly Food

Samy and Ruth and their two little girls, Abi and Becky, have been serving as YWAM missionaries in Ethiopia for three years.  They are from India and received their missionary training in their homeland, but followed God’s call to serve in Ethiopia.  Samy and Ruth work with local churches and pastors to bring the Good News to children.  They help establish churches in outlying areas, have started intercessory prayer teams in their town, and are great encouragers of local pastors.  Samy grows a huge garden and gives away a lot of food to the hungry.
Samy loves to cook and his food is so tasty! He and Ruth decided to bring food and Bibles to two prisons in their town.  Prisoners in Ethiopia survive only if they have a friend or family member to bring them food and other basic necessities, so it was a glad day when Ruth and Samy set up a soup kitchen in the prison and started dishing out hot, fragrant food for the men. 
Along with their plate of food, a Bible in Amharic was given, and the prisoners received The Word with joy. They are hungry for food, yes, but also for God.
The prison guards and police inspectors received their food and Bible as well, and expressed their heartfelt appreciation to Samy and the other volunteers for coming to a population that is mostly overlooked and rarely visited. 
Samy reports that they fed about 40 prisoners in each compound and about 20 police officers.  There are a total of four prisons in their town, and Ruth and Samy hope to do this same ministry for the other two as funds become available.
‘I was in prison and you visited Me.’
‘Lord, w
hen did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 
And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these My brothers and sisters, you were doing it to Me!’
Matthew 25

Read Samy and Ruth's latest newsletter here

Samy and Ruth Newsletter SeptOct 2012

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Chance to Learn

In 2009 in the village of Gutumuma, Ethiopia (which lies about 122 miles south of Addis Ababa), a revival began.  Since then, hundreds of families have come to Christ.  Twenty children from several of these extremely poor families have been identified for sponsorship and receive education, school supplies and two meals a day. 


Our sponsors are extremely selfless in their giving because, unlike many sponsorship programs with large organizations, we aren’t able to facilitate individual communication with these children and updates are somewhat infrequent.  Instead, the families who sponsor a child can know that 100% of their monthly donation goes to directly support the children’s education. 

Kids lining up to receive their lunches
Walking back to the classroom to eat

YWAM, in partnership with Watch and Pray Ministries, has established a kindergarten and employs a teacher and a cook.  (Children in Ethiopia begin school at their ability level, not the grade they are ‘supposed’ to be in.)  The children in our sponsorship program attend this school and if we can garner the necessary funding, we would like to double the size of the school by the fall of 2013 – from 20 to 40 children.


With skyrocketing inflation in Ethiopia right now, food prices have become so high that the very poor simply cannot afford food.  Through the faithful donations of their sponsors, twenty children have enough to eat.


From the time the sponsorships began, we’ve noticed a marked difference in the physical appearance of the children – they have filled out, their eyes are brighter and there are many more smiles when our staff is able to visit them.  It is truly amazing to see what a difference better nutrition actually makes!

Two of the children in our program need new sponsors… 

Husen is 6 years old.  His father was killed and he is one of four children being raised by his very poor mother.  Husen would like to be a teacher when he grows up!
*SPONSORED!  Just one boy left!

Teshita is 8 years old and one of nine children.  His family is one of the poorest in this village.  His father relies on farming to provide for his family.  Until this year Teshita was unable to attend school because his family could not afford the uniform and cost of books to attend the local school.

For a commitment of $30 per month, you will help provide food and education for one of these boys.  Please contact us if you’d like to sponsor one of these two boys and we’ll send you a prayer card, information about how to set up a monthly sponsorship and updates from Gutumuma when our staff visits.  You can reach us at:

Thank you so much!


Saturday, December 1, 2012

An upside down Christmas?

How will you celebrate Christmas this year?

What will the month of December look like for your family?

We love what the folks at The Advent Conspiracy have suggested:

We all want our Christmas to be a lot of things. Full of joy. Memories. Happiness. Above all, we want it to be about Jesus. What we don't want is stress. Or debt. Or feeling like we "missed the moment"... But doing this means doing things a little differently. A little creatively.


Christmas marks the moment where God's promise was fulfilled and love took form, tiny fingers and all. It is a moment that deserves our full attention and praise. We put Worship Fully as AC's first tenet because we believe the level of our involvement at Christmas is based entirely on how much we are celebrating Christ's birth. He deserves celebration; one that is creative, loud and directs every heart His way.


Quick question for you: What was the one gift you remember getting for Christmas last year? Next question: What about the fourth gift? Do you remember that one? Truth is many of us don't because it wasn't something we necessarily wanted or needed. Spending Less isn't a call to stop giving gifts; it's a call to stop spending money on gifts we won't remember in less than a year. America spends around $450 billion dollars during the Christmas season, and much of that goes right onto a credit card. By spending wisely on gifts we free ourselves from the anxiety associated with debt so we can take in the season with a full heart.


We know what you're thinking. "Wait, didn't they just say I should spend less, and yet here they are telling me to give more? What gives?" The most powerful, memorable gift you can give to someone else is yourself. And nobody modeled this more than Jesus. So what does this look like for you? Tickets to a ball game or the theater? A movie night? The main point is simple: When it comes to spending time with those you love, it's all about quality, not quantity.


It all boils down to love. Love from a savior. Love to a neighbor in need. By spending just a little less on gifts we free up our resources to love as Jesus loves by giving to those who really need help. 


If you'd like to give gifts this Christmas that give life, please check out our YWAM Gift Catalog!

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