Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Links you’ll like


A Letter to the North American Church:  Because It Is Time
*Please read this post by Ann Voskamp -
if you're like me, you'll need to reread it and ask God what He's saying to YOU!
You’re famished for More, for hard and holy things, for some real meat for your starved soul, some real dirt under your fingernails, some real sacrifice in your veins – some real Jesus in your blood and in your hands and in your feet… it is us who want hard and holy things because we want more than hollow lives.  We’re all hungry for uncomfortable because we’re hungry for God – and He is outside of our comfort zones.   

What Would Have Happened to Me if You Didn’t Adopt Me?
I felt an ineffable sadness, because in my darkest fears, I sometimes allow myself to speculate what would have happened to K if we didn’t adopt her.  The truthful answer is, I don’t know.

Angela’s Adoption Advice
@lajoyfamily blog
A teenaged adoptee, home for three years, shares her advice for adoptive parents – a great perspective!

The Wait
When you embark on your adoption journey, I think you envision the end result more than the process – at least I did. But much of the process is waiting. Here are some posts with ideas on what to do while you wait…

Adoption Doesn’t Mean Adoption
The Greek word for adoption is a compound of the word “son” and the word “to place.” Taken together they mean placement as a son.

The International Adoption Cliff: Do Child Human Rights Matter?
@Social Science Research Network
Download this article written by a Harvard Law School student characterizing the dramatic decline in international adoption since 2004 as the major human rights tragedy that it is.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Adoption Parenting Links

ETC hope and help
Empowered to Connect is such an excellent source of help and encouragement for adoptive parents!  If you haven’t yet been to their website, be sure to check it out.  On the 'Resources' tab you'll find articles, audio and video covering a wide range of adoption topics.

Today we’d like to highlight three articles that we hope will resonate with you.  Click on the titles to go to each one.

When I see fun-loving moms and dads who are seemingly naturally gifted at playing with their kids, it gets under my skin a bit. I see them and their kids both having tons of fun, and I get a little green with envy. They are good at play and being playful with their kids, and I am not. Play and fun seems easy for them, and for me it is anything but.

When parents make mistakes it can actually be healthy for both them and their children, so long as parents are quick to repair the ruptured connection.

You look around and it seems that other parents (you know the ones) have it all together.  They say “stop” and their kids freeze, they say “no” and their kids instantly comply without a peep, and they say “jump” and their kids seemingly ask “how high?” … So you go home and give it a try with your child, but much like the recipe gone awry or the repair job that fails, all you end up with is a big mess.  It was easy for them to say, but oh so very hard for you to do.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Follow us?

We have a new Pinterest account and we’d be honored to have you become one of our followers!  You can find our boards on Pinterest here and click the “Follow” button to see everything we update or you can also follow individual 'boards' if there is one or two that particularly interest you.  There are lots of great links… on a variety of adoption topics, missions, book resources and more.  We’re just getting started so there is much more to come!

YWAM Pinterest

If you haven’t yet taken the plunge and tried Pinterest, this might be the time to get started.  It’s a great way to catalog links to some really good articles and helps. 

Our goal is two-fold:  to provide you with excellent resources and to promote our ministry in Ethiopia.  When people become followers it increases ‘traffic’ to our website and blog, which in turn brings exposure to our ministry.  So if you follow us on Pinterest or ‘like’ us on Facebook (see box to the right) people who might never otherwise find our ministry may be introduced and want to get involved!

Thank you for helping to shine the light on YWAM Adoption Ministry in Ethiopia in these two simple ways!  We look forward to building our resource base so it is easy for you to find links that are helpful, inspirational and practical.  Won’t you follow us?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Finishing strong

As the University of Georgia mission team finishes up their two week time in Ethiopia, they will leave with many great memories of a fruitful time of ministry. 

Much of their time was spent with children who had never before been a part of anything like the VBS they experienced, many hearing the Gospel for the first time.  Through art projects, songs and illustrated sermons, the children learned of Jesus’ love for them and of His role as King and Lord!  Everybody made crafts and colored pictures.



Working with these large groups was a challenge!  Imagine teaching, helping and corralling 80+ children who have never participated in this kind of organized fun and who spoke a different language than yours!




The team spent lots of time playing and interacting with the children, who gobbled up the love and attention they received! 




Several children who made a decision to follow Christ came up to the front of the church to be prayed for by the pastor.


The team also did several work projects at the church, including a coat of bright yellow paint on the interior walls.





When they returned to their hotel in the late afternoons, they enjoyed the world’s best coffee…


and had the option of eating some very fresh meat for dinner…


Mark has said it’s been a real delight to work with this amazing group of student missionaries!  We pray that their hearts are forever changed and that the faces of those they served remind them of God’s heart for these beautiful people.



Sunday, June 9, 2013

Ambassadors for Jesus

Snack time!
For three days, college students from the University of Georgia spent their mornings in a remote village sharing the Gospel with eager children. The vast majority of these children have never heard any New Testament stories and their knowledge of Jesus is as “Isa” in the Quran.
The story of creation and salvation was taught using skits and other visuals, and then the children were broken up into four groups for a craft that went along with the story.
Abebe and a team member help group the children

We three kings?


The university students had fun teaching songs with hand motions, and after they learned the songs and motions they had competitions between the groups to see who could do the motions the best or faster, and that created great fun for the children. The team brought soccer balls, too, so after the formal teaching time there were pick-up soccer games with barefooted children, some having only a shirt to wear.

After a morning of Bible teaching, the team got down and dirty planting 500 tree starts along the perimeter of the church property with the help of some of the men in the church.



This is the first time this church or this town has ever had a mission team come and serve them!  The group from Georgia displayed servants' hearts, were willing to work hard and go out of their way to forge relationships with the children and the church leadership.



This past weekend (Saturday and Sunday), the UG team lead a Bible time for children in our Adoption Ministry 1:27 partner church in Sheshemene, Gospel Light. Monday, the team goes back again to the same village they had VBS and will spend two days painting the church. Thank you, University of Georgia students, for being valuable ambassadors from the church in the United States!


Mark Wolbert - Missions Director

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A weekend to remember!

Last weekend a group of YWAM adoptive families gathered in Franklin, Tennessee for a reunion/meet-up that we’ll all remember for a long time.  I have to start off by saying that the only thing that would have made it better would have been if all of our families could have been there.  We missed every one of you!

Here are most of the families who attended

I am struggling to put into words what an incredible blessing it was for Joy and I to get to be with these families, most of whom live in the eastern part of the country.  Joy has met some of them in Ethiopia when they were there for court or Embassy appointments but it was the first face-to-face meeting for me.  I have talked with them all at length on the phone and have prayed over each of them and their children from Ethiopia.  But seeing those children in person was, as Joy says, our payday. 

Joy and Addie2
Becky and Matt
“Before” pictures from when they first came into our care at the orphanage kept flashing through my mind.  Many of these children were found abandoned… on a path, in the dirt or left on a hospital bed.  Others were relinquished by a single parent or relative who made a loving adoption plan so their child could be fed, clothed and educated.  I was continually thinking about what the future would have looked like for them had they not been adopted.

We stayed at the Embassy Suites in Franklin and on Friday night met at Chick-fil-A for a fancy dinner! 


Then it was back to the hotel for some swimming in the sauna hotel pool. 


Monica Barlow - a missionary mom who lived in Gimbie, Ethiopia and was instrumental in the lives of many of the children in our Gimbie orphanage - was also able to join us.  What a joy it was to spend time with her and hear many stories first-hand.


Saturday morning all the moms snuck away for coffee…

Along with many other YWAM moms, these women have become close via Facebook, offering lots of support, encouragement and understanding that only an adoptive mom can give.


The dads stayed behind to watch all of the children.  LOTS of children.  These dads are the cream of the crop… loving, involved, devoted to their kids and their wives.

Just a few of the dads who were there

Back at the hotel, kids were changed into their traditional Ethiopian dress and a mad scramble began to get a group photo.

Some seemed to kinda like posing…


Others, not so much…


I have to say that the older siblings of these children were truly amazing, as I know they are at home as well, helping and playing with the kids all weekend.


We all headed to a local park where we brought our own picnic lunches.  Jennifer Johns brought several of her famous pies!

There was face painting…

face painting

Bubbles were blown…


Nails were painted…


And everyone had a great time!


A rain shower changed our dinner plans and sent everybody back to the Marriott for BBQ pork and hot dogs.  Jennifer made a beautiful video of many of our YWAM families adoption stories that was shown after dinner –featuring lots of ‘before’ photos at the orphanage and then pics of the children in their forever families.  It was AWESOME!

Sunday morning we all went to church at Christ Community in Franklin, then headed up to Nashville for lunch at the Old Spaghetti Factory.

Spaghetti Factory

There will be so many good memories.

Lydia and Samuel Steimer enjoying a popsicle with Joy.  Lydia said "It tastes like heaven dancing in my mouth!"
Sahara and Ella

Thanks to all who made this weekend possible, especially to Jennifer Johns who coordinated everything, made reservations and was overall amazing. 

Now… when is the next one??

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