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!

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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!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A “Moneymaker” for Christ

Kids are really amazing, aren’t they?  We hear often from families who are doing a wonderful job of teaching and modeling to their children the blessing of giving. 

Recently, we received the following letter from a 12 year old boy who signed it “Moneymakers for Christ” – don’t you love it?


This young man took it upon himself to raise $600 so that a family in Ethiopia would have a safe place to sleep and live.  Kyle says “After two long years of saving…” he and his ace team (pictured below) were able to raise the money via selling homemade jewelry and crafts, and by writing and performing plays.  Talk about creativity and perseverance!  His wonderful church family matched the funds he raised so that TWO families will receive new homes. 

Just look at that team of incredible kids!

Thank you, Kyle, for your BIG heart, your hard work and your determination over a long period of time to change the lives of the very poor in Ethiopia.  You look so much like Jesus and I know how happy you and your friends have made Him!! (And GOOD JOB Mom and Dad!)

Kyle is one of a whole host of children who send in their hard-earned gifts through our YWAM Gift Catalog. Be sure to check out all there is to donate - from a pair of shoes to a pair of oxen!  

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Conference for LIFE

by Joy Casey
photos courtesy of Living Hope Ethiopia

Getting rid of the unborn is one way to control population growth, I guess. Up until recently, this wasn’t a viable option in Ethiopia, but the United Nations, backed by Bill Gates’ billions, are making family planning clinics coupled with free abortion on demand a priority in Africa… and in Ethiopia.

Let me back up just a bit. Three years ago, my friend Dinah Monahan and I brainstormed a plan to start a maternity home in Ethiopia. Dinah is a second generation mover and groover in pro-life circles, oversees three pregnancy counseling centers and has run a maternity home for 30 years - so this just seemed like a natural extension for her. Living Hope Women’s Organization came to be, the first of its kind in Ethiopia. The Living Hope director, Meseret, has had many doors opened to her to teach about fetal development and abstinence education, many women have been helped and babies are thriving. The maternity home is making quite an impact on the community. Last winter, the planning for a pro-life conference was begun, culminating in a powerful time together November 1 & 2.
The main speakers were Dr. Seyoum and his wife Saba, and they were amazing. This dedicated couple has been tirelessly working to educate their country about abortion for 10 years, and they were encouraged to see the response to this conference attended by 200 Christian leaders.

Some of the photos that were used were taken of babies in dumpsters and waste buckets in U.S. abortion clinics. The Ethiopians were horrified. The utter barbarism of the act stunned them. This is what we are bringing to Africa… horrific practices that represent the darkest evil.
People were weeping and on their faces praying. Even though I understood only half of what was being said (the conference was in Amharic), the emotions were powerful and I was exhausted by the end of the day. We brought 11 leaders from the southern region where we work, and they want to do a similar conference in their area.

On November 12-15, 4000 people are expected to attend the International Conference of Family Planning in Addis Ababa. Their objective is to make free abortion available in every town and village in Ethiopia. The leaders who attended the LIFE conference now have the responsibility, tools and energy to speak for the unborn and fight the evil that is being allowed to propagate in their country.
“Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,
says the Lord Almighty.”

Zechariah 4:6

Friday, November 22, 2013

Christmas Boxes Full of God’s Love

Last year at this time we shared a wonderful opportunity to bless children in Ethiopia at Christmas with a little box full of love… and you responded!   We’d like to help Samy and Ruth once again with this amazing project.

Samy and Ruth are YWAM missionaries serving people in a remote area called Bishoftu.   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.

In this rural area of Ethiopia, it is a daily struggle for parents to provide even basic needs for their children and many children and families have not yet heard of Christ’s love for them.   Samy and Ruth have committed their lives to make Christ known in this area God has called them to.

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:

Toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, Vaseline, comb,
bath tissue, spoon, cookie biscuits, candy treat, a boiled egg,
a pen, a notebook, a small toy and a New Testament.
Last year they were able to reach more than 200 kids with the gift boxes.  You can read about the impact those Boxes of Joy had on many children right here!   Samy and Ruth have nurtured ongoing relationships with the children in those rural areas where they have started Sunday schools so that the Gospel is still going out. This year they will be giving boxes and sharing the Good News in a different area.
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 via our website here and designate ‘Bishoftu Ethiopia’ or call our office to give your information over the phone:  

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

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Christmas Shopping to Meet Real Needs

Today we are excited to introduce the 2013-14 YWAM Ethiopia Gift Catalog!  It’s easier than ever to give gifts this Christmas that reflect the love of God and directly meet the needs of the very poor in Ethiopia.

There are choices for every budget – from shoes to one year of rent; from a bag of charcoal for fuel to a cow that will provide income.  We’d love to send a card telling someone on your list that you’ve given a gift in their name!

You can order directly from our secure website or download and print an order form to send in the mail.  We hope you find lots of ways to make your family’s Christmas giving very meaningful!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

What Is It Like to be HIV+ in Ethiopia?

by Joy Casey

Every time I go to Ethiopia I come back with a little deeper understanding of the struggles the poor face.  Ejigayo’s husband died of AIDS, and she and their son Samson have struggled with health problems secondary to being infected with HIV.  But health issues are only half of their struggle. 

There is a stigma in Ethiopia when a person is known to be HIV+ and this has affected Ejigayo’s ability to thrive economically.  She has tried her best to earn money to feed her 12-year-old son Samson and herself, but because she is HIV+, her community refuses to employ her or buy anything from her.  I found this brave, hard working woman and her son nearly destitute, without food or a place to live. 

The church Ejigayo and Samson attend has seen to it that Samson goes to school, and he is currently in the 4th grade, but he does not have a lunch to take and the kids ridicule him.  School lunches in Ethiopia are a big deal, and those without food or with “poor” lunches suffer from the attitudes of their classmates.  Ejigayo and Samson have free antiretroviral medication (good news), but  the medicine only works when it is accompanied with consistent and nutritious food (emphasis on both those descriptions), neither of which this small family has access to (bad news). 

Would you or someone you know consider 'adopting' Ejigayo and Samson? With your help of $40 a month, Adoption Ministry 1:27 will make sure these two have healthy food every day (and yes, a lunch for Samson) and will find a place for them to live.  You can “adopt” them from our website:

**Thanks to a generous family Ejigayo and Samson have now been sponsored!  There are many more also in need - please visit our 'Adopt A Family webpage to read their stories.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

God’s mighty army!

by Shannon Cline in Ethiopia
written Oct. 11,2013

So many emotions that wash over you while you are here. You try as hard as you can to prepare yourself for what you may encounter but really, there is no way. We have been here a week now, and I am still not used to what I see every day. I miss my friends and family dearly but I can honestly say that I am very present with everything that is going on here. The whole team feels like a well-oiled machine and the flow that we have going into each community feels awesome.

I am making a point to write down the name of each woman we meet and the meaning of it at each location we have gone to. It is such an incredible thing we are doing - ministering to the women leaders and wives of evangelists. They have never had this kind of attention and most of the men did not know what to do when they were asked to leave the building so that we could bless the women. We have made each woman a special care package including a beautiful scarf, lip gloss, chocolates, and body lotion. No matter where they lived and how far they walked to get there, you should have seen their faces light up to get these gifts.

We also brought pillow case dresses and toys for their children. It is not customary for the guests to bring presents so they were all so blessed. We also have been bringing bread and usually some kind of fruit. Many places have done beautiful coffee ceremonies for us and let me tell you ladies and gentleman... they put Starbucks to SHAME!  They hand roast the beans and make the most incredible coffee I have ever tasted in my life... Ah-Mazing!!

Many times when we go to these churches and villages, it is the first time they have seen a white face. Some stares are filled with intrigue and wonder, while others look in shock and disbelief. We always smile and wave and if we are going slow enough, many children run along side our van. It is sometimes difficult to go back to the comfort of our hotel and amazing food knowing where we spent all day. The gratitude I have for my life and family and tiny house fills me up daily. There is no way you can see what we are all seeing and not have it change your everyday life forever.

Our leader asked me to speak to a group of ladies the night before she needed me to and I thought she was nuts! But God showed up so BIG! It was AWESOME what I heard and saw that day. It is such a blessing to see the gifts and talents of my teammates. They all bring such an incredible necessary piece to this puzzle. I could not be more blessed with the knowledge and expertise of our leaders and the Ethiopian family that we now all have: our interpreter, our amazing drivers (who are so much more), our pastor friend who has been with us. We are a mighty army for God here!

Please continue to pray for favor for all of us. We have kissed and hugged so many people it is amazing! We are currently in Adama and looking forward to going to Kore and Addis soon!  Only 2 more sleeps to be here. It is an exciting thought to see family and friends... but my heart is already starting to feel the pain of leaving here.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Broken Process

ABC's Cynthia McFadden chronicles a three year adoption journey that highlights the great need for reform in international adoption.  "A broken process is a pitiful reason to deny a family to a child."

Monday, November 4, 2013

Women to Women Team: Already Changed Forever

by Shannon Cline in Ethiopia
Women to Women Mission Team

We are all so blessed and already changed forever. After an incredibly long journey we arrived safely and were welcomed by our amazing hosts hosts Mark and Liane.  One of our team members, Keriana, was stopped at the custom baggage area which made us all a little nervous as the agent literally took every item out of her 70 pound duffle bag. It was filled with so many of the donations she and Zetta brought. We prayed for favor and that they would not confiscate anything  and our prayers were answered. She got it all back! 

As soon as we got into our van we began to see the poverty of this great nation.  The feeling that we were on some kind of movie set was overwhelming. I continued to think that any moment the donkeys carrying straw, the goats and cattle, the massive amount of pedestrians and the desperation in the faces of so many would end and we would see more of the "downtown next to an airport " kind of city we were all so used to. This is just not the case. The traffic was intense with no traffic lights, stop signs or lined lanes. Oh, did I mention no visible speed limit? People, livestock and fast moving cars, buses and taxis racing around.  Again, seeing all these things so quickly flashing by was movie-like and so surreal. 

The first 2 nights we have stayed at a guest house that is gated and very secure. We have been so blessed by the beautiful Ethiopians that work here. Today we got to hold an impromptu ladies conference for 13 pastors wives and wives of leadership. We sang, ate some incredible food and just encouraged these mighty women. Truth be told, I think it was more of a blessing to all of us than to them. They did say how happy they were to help us and they were overwhelmed that we took our time to be there. It's hard to believe that we were there for 6 hours. We laughed and got laughed at :)  We cried, they cried, we all prayed and really touched each other in such  genuine way. The love they have here is absolutely unconditional and absolutely true. They were such mighty, inspirational women of God and we are all better people for being with them. More soon!  


Here is another blog post from another member of this women's team:

Saturday, November 2, 2013

You Can Help Pass the Torch!

by Joy Casey

As a whole, Americans are favorable toward adoption. Our experience shows that there is high enthusiasm for adoption, both domestically and internationally. In fact, there are many more Americans wanting to adopt than there are children available.

Most of us in Adoptionland agree that there is a hierarchy of best practices when it comes to international adoption. When at all possible, every effort should be made to keep children with their biological family. We all know that this is not always possible or in the best interests of the child. Many times biological family is unknown (in the case of abandonment). In such circumstances, the next best option for the child is to find a strong and stable family within the child’s country of origin. When those two options have been ruled out, then a family should be found in another country. All children need their very own mommy and daddy.
Hailu & Dureti-1  Hailu family-2

Ethiopians are just beginning to catch the vision of adoption outside of family members. We are in the early stages of “Passing the Torch” of adoption to our Ethiopian brothers and sisters. Many organizations, including Adoption Ministry, are promoting local adoption and we are seeing progress!

If you have been an advocate for Ethiopians adopting Ethiopian children, would you join our campaign to raise the necessary funds to give adoption training to couples and government groups?  Adoption training is required by the government and is also necessary to approve the homestudy.  At times it is necessary to supplement the cost of a homestudy for a family. Let’s Pass the Torch! and see more and more children legally adopted into stable Ethiopian families!

100% of your gift in any amount will be used to provide this necessary training and to help Ethiopian families who aren’t able to pay the complete homestudy fee.  You can make a donation on our website here – under ‘Gift Designation’ please select ‘Other’ then type in “Passing the Torch” in the box where you can specify where you’d like your donation to be used.  THANK YOU for helping us in
Passing The Torchdownload

Friday, November 1, 2013

Songs of Praise

by Joy Casey in Ethiopia
written on Oct 27th, 2013

Songs of praise resonated throughout the newly constructed church in a village called Gutumuma. The joyful choir praised the Lord with abandon with only a drum accompaniment. Today was the dedication of this church building that rose from the dust thanks to many ministry partners.
Mike and Dinah Monahan, Wick Nease from Streams of Mercy, Pastor Bob Swank from Life Church in Kansas City, and Jason Shadrick from Anthem Church in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho all helped to make this day possible and were on hand to praise God with the exuberant people of Gutumuma.
In 2010, 93 Gutumuma families came to know Jesus Christ, all of them formerly of another religion. Today, there are 256 families serving the Risen Savior! Fourteen evangelists - all who are sponsored by generous donors here in the U.S. - are sent out from Gutumuma to neighboring villages to share the gospel, and just within the past two months 53 people have received Christ and are being discipled!
The substantial worship center in Gutumuma is a hub for Christian teaching, offering an anchor for the converted believers to resist significant pressure from their families and neighbors. The dedication of this worship center is a celebration of God’s work to draw men to the Truth and represents the work of the evangelists who have sacrificed much to spread the Gospel, as well as many here in the United States who have supported this work financially and in prayer.  Praise the Lord!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Joyful Place

by Joy Casey in Ethiopia
written on Oct 26

Two groups of people from the United States accompanied me on the drive to Shashemene to officially dedicate Mana Gammachuu to the Lord. Mana Gammachuu means “Joyful Place” or “House of Joy” and we were warmly greeted by the wonderful staff as we emerged from the van. Ephriam, the orphanage manager, gave us an overview of the history and introduced us to the “stars” - five adorable little babies. There were six, but one little miss was adopted and is home with her new family in Addis Ababa.

After getting a tour of the immaculate facility, all the babies and guests gathered on the porch to enjoy each other and drink delicious Ethiopian coffee served with popcorn. It wasn’t hard to pass the time playing with Mr. T, a big 7-month-old boy who crawls everywhere and has to be watched every second, to our first baby, Miss S who loves to mimic you and is a real ham. Then there is a 5-month-old chubby little guy who has a face like Charlie Brown and easily smiles a toothless smile, and little Mr. C who, even though he had a cold, smiled. All of the babies have prayer partners in America, but Mr. C was new and so one of the women with us immediately wanted to pray regularly for him. I think if she could have tucked him away in her suitcase, she would have! Then there is Baby Boy “D” who had me wrapped around his little finger in no time flat. He is darling and loves to be cuddled. Something unexpected happened while we were there, too. A friend of the orphanage manager came to meet the children because he and his wife want to adopt. And guess what? Baby Boy “D” was the one who captured his heart! I was not surprised, although any one of these precious stars could do the same.
Before leaving, our group went to the four corners of the compound and prayed a blessing. We also prayed for the administration team in the office and then went into the nursery and prayed protection, anointing and blessing on the babies and all the nannies.
God’s Provision …
In March of this year, a 13-year-old boy traveled with his mother and grandfather (who happens to be Wick Nease from Streams of Mercy) and visited Mana Gammachuu just days before we got our first child. When he heard his grandpa was coming back to Mana Gammachuu, he wanted to raise money for formula and gather other necessary supplies for the orphanage. And he sure did! He raised $700 for formula and formula and baby cereal was purchased and unloaded when we got to the orphanage. And guess what? There was only one can of formula sitting on the shelf when we arrived! I am sure Will will be ecstatic to hear that the things he provided were so timely. THANK YOU, WILL!


Monday, October 28, 2013


by Joy Casey in Ethiopia
written on Oct 25th

I have had a wonderful time today with the two groups of people I’m with here in Ethiopia... a group of 3 men and 2 women from Anthem Church in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and Wick Nease with Streams of Mercy brought two brothers from Life Church in Kansas.  They accompanied Jeff and I to visit an orphanage and a maternity home.
We spent a very fun and satisfying afternoon at the Orphans and Widows Home in Adama, Ethiopia. The babies and toddlers, of course, drew us like bees to honey and we kissed soft little cheeks and held the little ones. It took awhile for the four toddler boys to warm up to strangers, but they eventually would play ball and interact as long as nobody tried to pick them up.  Jeff and I will be returning here later this coming week to get photos and updates on the children who are being adopted.

The widows were just as precious, their weathered faces showing the years of life, and it was just as sweet kissing their soft cheeks, holding their hands, and giving them attention and love.

They were dressed in their coffee dresses and enjoyed the fellowship of one another as well as their visitors from America.
Prior to sharing lunch together, Pastor Bob from Life Church had the honor of cutting the large round loaf of bread that is the center of any Ethiopian celebration. Piles of injera were produced and delicious shiro wat was spooned onto the injera. YUM! And in true Ethiopian style, delicious coffee was served at the conclusion of the meal. It was a lovely afternoon.

The next stop was at Living Hope Maternity Home. The work in pioneering the Life message in Ethiopia is close to my heart and I always love going and seeing my good friend Meseret. Nine women live at the home … five have delivered and four are in various stages of pregnancy. Almost all of these women were abortion-minded when they learned about the alternative of Living Hope. The young women learn life skills (cooking, cleaning, money management, parenting), learn to make paper bead jewelry from which they earn money, and learn about the saving grace and freedom from a relationship with Jesus Christ. The beautiful home is a refuge of peace and encouragement and we all felt the genuine love of the staff for the women and their babies. On November 1st and 2nd the first-ever pro-life conference is being hosted by Living Hope in Adama, and I am excited to participate and encourage!

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