Friday, July 26, 2013

Partner with an evangelist

Have you ever met a real, live evangelist?  We’d like to introduce you to Kedir. 

Kedir Bute
This young man was converted to Christianity in 2004 after being raised in the M*sl*m faith.  God radically transformed his life and ever since he has been serving as a missionary to the M*sl*m people in the outlying areas of south/central Ethiopia.  He rides a bike over rough 'roads' to share the message of truth with people living all over the countryside.  God is doing an amazing work in this region and many are being born again into new freedom in Jesus Christ. 

Kedir and his fellow evangelists, discipled and led by Pastor Zerihun, risk their lives in this work of spreading the Gospel.  YWAM has found sponsors for twelve of these young men so that they can continue to do ‘the work of the ministry’ but Kedir is in need of a supporter here in the U.S. 

For $50 per month you can provide Kedir and his family with the means to have food, send his children to school and get any medical care they might need.  This monthly support makes it possible for these men to fulfill their calling and is one way God equips them to serve.  THANK YOU to all of you who are already sponsoring one of these evangelists - they are incredibly grateful!

If you would like to be a vital part of what God is doing through Kedir and his co-laborers to bring the truth of Jesus to a hungry people, please contact us.  We will send you a prayer card for Kedir and updates from our ministry director when she visits these men.  Contact us at:

You can read more about the evangelists on our blog here, here and here.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Family Picnic 2013

Sunday July 21st, many Adoption Ministry adoptive families – both domestic and Ethiopia - gathered at Bradley Park in Puyallup, WA for our annual summer family picnic.  We feasted on great Mexican food and homemade desserts.  The kids played games and took swings at the piƱata.  There was meeting and greeting and catching up.  It was a wonderful afternoon ~ celebrating God's goodness in ADOPTION!


Special thanks to Shelly and Ben Luthi and their amazing crew for all of their hard work, planning, decorating, cooking and helping to make this another fantastic picnic!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Oregon team serving children

We have a mission team from Eugene, Oregon in Ethiopia right now, primarily serving children through VBS in Debra Zeit and in Addis Ababa.  Their leader, youth pastor Jeff Starr, sent us a great report!

We finished the two day VBS in Bole Bulbula yesterday and the team did an outstanding job leading the VBS all by themselves - I am so proud of them.  It was very difficult at times as we battled spiritual darkness but they pressed through with outstanding attitudes and always encouraging one another. I believe they have all grown tremendously.

We had about 75 kids the first day and they brought many friends the second day so our numbers increased to 120+.  Michael and Monty taught a lesson on sharing the love of Jesus with others and we made bracelets that tell the Gospel story.  Amaris had them come up to the front and share with the group what each bead represented and how they would share the Gospel with their friends. The older group made two bracelets, one for themselves and one to share with a friend. 

After lunch we sang songs of worship with the kids. I was outside the church compound while they were singing and I could hear them all the way down the street!  They especially loved to sing ‘Father Abraham’ - every time we would finish they would chant in Amharic for more so we sang it over and over. As we did this we could feel the spiritual heaviness lift.  It was a very powerful time. The team lead the children in worship, skits, amazing teachings about Joseph and the Great Commission, awesome arts and crafts and dynamic games, bringing hope and the love of God to them. It was an outstanding time.

After Michael shared about being fishers of men for Jesus, one young boy said, "I want to be a missionary like these people!" Michael had asked prior to this how many of them would like to serve Jesus to disciple others (he used much simpler words) and almost every single student raised their hand and prayed with him to be Jesus' fishers of men. Every team member did an outstanding job leading the VBS. I am so proud of these young and powerful leaders for God.

Please continue to pray. Today is a day of rest after six straight days of intense ministry. Tomorrow we travel to Adama which is south of Addis about 2 hours and we will work at the Widows and Orphans Home helping with the children and blessing the widows. Friday we will be working in an area where the street kids are and also with Hope ministry helping with their lunch program and sharing the Gospel through our skits. Saturday we will be in Korah, which is the community in the city dump.

In God's most amazing and awesome loving ways,
Jeff and the Christ's Center Ethiopia Team of Champions

Monday, July 15, 2013

Some Perspective For Our Kids (and Ourselves)


We want to see it in our children but we often struggle with how to cultivate hearts of thankfulness when we're surrounded by SO MUCH.

Kristen has written a great post with some very practical ideas for parents:

I also just finished reading Running For My Life by Lopez Lamong and loved it!  It's about one of the 'Lost Boys' of Sudan and his life journey to the U.S. with a goal of running in the Olympics.  But overshadowing all of his accomplishments are his heart of thankfulness to God for rescuing him from life in a refugee camp and his desire to give back to his country out of his own success and blessing. I especially liked Kristen's idea of reading this book together as a family.  It's probably available at your local library.

And if you haven't yet seen this video, gather your children around the computer screen and watch it together. Then spend some time talking about it.  There might be some interesting questions and insights.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Sheshemene… a new area of ministry

by Joy Casey

Six hours south of Addis sits a thriving market town called Sheshemene (Shesh-a-minnie). It is a typical Ethiopian town with churches and mosques, schools and hospitals, but there was no place to take care of children found abandoned, neglected or abused.
mana gammachuu
Mana Gammachuu was licensed as an orphanage to care for these children with priority given to those infected with HIV. The goal is to find Christian families in Ethiopia to adopt the children entrusted to their care.

To complement the orphan care of Mana Gammachuu, Adoption Ministry 1:27* has partnered with Gospel Light Church in Sheshemene to embrace, equip, and empower desperately poor families in this community to prevent children from becoming orphans. Presently, twenty-five families are receiving monthly support, and after the family unit is stabilized, income generating activities (IGA) will be explored so these predominately single mothers can earn money to become self-sufficient. Brooklake Church in Washington state has taken the AM 1:27 project on as a church ministry.

Just outside of Sheshemene is a village of about 30,000 men, women and children of whom 99.5% are M*slim. YWAM is working alongside a church plant in that town to bring the Gospel and humanitarian relief to these people. Just a month ago, a mission team from the University of Georgia served in this village alongside indigenous pastors and evangelists using Sheshemene as their home base. The goal is to start a Christian kindergarten available to anyone at no charge, a chicken and egg project that will support the local missionaries, and to bring water to a large garden on the church property that will augment the food needs of the widows in their congregation.

Fifty predominately M*slim families from this area have been identified for our Adoption Ministry 1:27 program, and members of Lake City Church located near Tacoma, Washington have “adopted” these needy families.

MANA GAMMACHUU … a sweet spot

In January, we officially hired a project manager and began searching for nannies, a bookkeeper, and a good nurse (English proficiency was a prerequisite for this position). Ephriam, the project manager, began ordering furnishings for the center and days after the freshly painted cribs were installed at the first of March, we received our first little abandoned girl. Over the next three months, five other children have been placed in our sweet nursery by the Ethiopian government, all but one abandoned. One sickly baby who we will call Baby “T” was placed under our care because his mother was mentally ill and kept forgetting where she put her baby and generally was incapable of caring for him.

Our primary goal is to find Christian Ethiopian families to adopt these precious little ones, and already one baby girl is spoken for! The family came to the orphanage and chose her to be their very own and they are now in the process of getting a homestudy completed.

These babies are the jewels the Lord assigned to our care, and we know many more will come. I have been extremely pleased with the level of care given by the nannies, the professional oversight of the nurse, and the attention given to every detail by the project coordinator. Paperwork, physicals, birth certificates and laboratory tests are being gathered for these little people and we are trusting God to send the perfect Ethiopian family for each of the abandoned babies. Ethiopians will only adopt abandoned babies, so if we are unsuccessful in finding extended family to care for Baby “T”, we are hoping that the government will allow us to adopt him internationally, but that remains to be seen.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

May We Never Forget

by Kate Hannula

John 15:12 “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

Or to lay down your life for your child. Our children's birthmothers have done this, haven’t they?  They have laid down their lives for their child. First, they chose life for their child. Then they chose to lay down their own lives. They gave up their very own flesh and blood.  The one that was knitted in their womb.

Psalm 139:13 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”

They laid their own desires at Jesus’ feet and they put the needs of their children ahead of their own.

All our children’s days were ordained for them and they were written in God’s book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16   It’s marvelous to know that God chose us to be our children’s parents. It blows my mind some days. However, may we never forget what a sacrifice it was in order to have our children in our families.

May we never forget our children’s birthmothers. Let us not forget them in our prayers. Let us not leave them out of our photo collages. Let us not forget them in our daily conversations. And let us not forget to communicate with them thru letters and photos.

I was in Ethiopia sitting outside on a mat with our son’s birthmother. We were looking through photos. Her photo albums were tattered and torn. I did not recognize them at first. Then, I realized with great sadness that I gave her these very albums. She has looked at the photos so often that the binding was completely undone. The covers were dirty and worn. She opened those albums over and over again to look at the photos that I gave her of her precious son.

Can you imagine the heaviness on our birthmother’s hearts? Did I make the right decision? Is my child healthy? Safe? Happy? Growing? Excelling? Or is she laboring as I am? Hungry as I?

Your letters and photos reassure these precious mothers that yes, they have made the right decision. Their child is loved. Their child is growing and not suffering. And that laying their own desires at Jesus’ feet was indeed a worthy sacrifice. Greater love has no one than this, that she lay down her life for her child. What a demonstration of LOVE. In my own life, I do not know of a more beautiful human demonstration of God’s love.

Hannula-fam-300x233The Hannulas have adopted four children internationally, two from Ethiopia through YWAM in 2009.  They recently returned from a trip to Ethiopia where they visited with their son’s birthmother.  Kate has also written a children's book titled "Forever Jewel".

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