Tuesday, August 27, 2013

He who is kind to the poor

A re-post from Joy in Ethiopia
Originally written on Feb. 17, 2012

Come with me as I start out on a sunny day in Dembidollo heading up to the Full Gospel Church where I will meet and interview twenty families that the pastor selected to enter our Adoption Ministry 1:27 program. Currently, we have ministry partners that send monthly support to sixty families in Dembidollo and the difference the monthly support has made in lives astounds me.
Yigesu Dubala
Yigesu Dubala came with his only son who is fourteen. Yigesu is crippled, secondary to boils on his leg that went untreated and consequently severely damaged his nerves. I was amazed to learn that this man walks four miles to church one way. He also has a 9-year-old daughter at home who was born with significant birth defects and she cannot speak or walk. Yigesu’s wife died three months after giving birth to their daughter and he has been the sole caretaker for his son and daughter. Life has not been kind to this family. Because of his disability coupled with his responsibility of caring for his daughter, Yigesu’s family struggles for the most basic necessities.
Yigesu dubala and Edosa
I noticed that Edosa, Yigesu’s handsome son, had a deep constant cough and I was concerned, knowing that they could never afford medical help. Their living situation was dire, too, and certainly did not contribute to overall health. They do not have a house to live in and the three of them are sheltered from the elements at night by living underneath a house. This family needed emergency support for food and medical attention. A friend of mine had given me money for just such a situation and I was glad to have it to give (thank you, Anne!). Yigesu is asking for an American family to help him monthly through Adoption Ministry 1:27.
Three hours later I finished interviewing and had identified three more situations that needed immediate attention and worked with our Case Manager on how to tackle the needs. I also wanted to visit some of the families already sponsored to see for myself the ways that Adoption Ministry 1:27 has helped some of the poorest families.
Kasahun and siblings
Last month I knew that a 14-year-old boy of one of our adopted families was given a blood transfusion that saved his life, and I suggested we visit Kasuhun to see how he was doing.
Kasuhun and brother and sister
Kasuhun’s family is extremely poor with deteriorated overall health because of long-term malnutrition and bad water. Four months ago, a generous ministry partner sponsored this family and I was interested to see if there was a noticeable change in the lives of Kasuhun’s mother and father and three other siblings. Kasuhun’s father cannot work much because of bad health and so I wasn’t surprised to have him greet me, but I was concerned to learn that his wife was sick in bed.
Kasuhun appeared to be weak, but he was up and about and said he would be returning to school next week. He suffered from typhoid that caused his red blood count to plummet to a dangerous level and would have died if Adoption Ministry’s Case Manager, Wakjira, had not intervened and taken him to the hospital. The hospital does not have a blood bank, so Wakjira combed the town, found a blood donor and essentially saved Kasuhun’s life. Now his mother was so weak she couldn’t even get up.
Mother with typhoid
When I entered the dark room where she lay, she weakly told me I was welcome to her home… can you imagine? She was sweating profusely and in obvious distress. Pastor Garamu and I prayed for her and made the decision to get her to the hospital immediately. The labs showed that she had typhus, typhoid and advanced giardia.  She was hospitalized and is receiving treatment. I felt that God divinely sent our team to her home to intervene in a potentially disastrous situation.
We want to get water filters to many of our families because typhoid is common among the poor. We also need to double-sponsor this family so are looking for another ministry partner to help them monthly. With four children and the level of malnutrition with accompanying medical problems, more food and medical intervention is needed to address the problems of this struggling family.
There are so many more stories I could share with you… some heartbreaking and some encouraging - perhaps those stories will be told in a subsequent post and in our Adoption Ministry 1:27 newsletter. I fell into bed physically exhausted but also energized and grateful to the Lord for the work He has called me to do. I am completely aware that I might be the face to these stories, but it is the faithful partners at home who month after month give of their hard-earned finances and who also take the time to pray for the family in Ethiopia they have adopted. It is because of these generous people that I have the privilege to bring hope to some of the neediest people on earth.  Our Lord will abundantly bless those who give!
“He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord and He will reward him for what he has done.”  Proverbs 19:17


If you would like to 'adopt' a vulnerable family through Adoption Ministry 1:27, please go to our website here where you can view the profiles of many families in need of a sponsor.


Thursday, August 22, 2013


You are adopting a child from another country...  You have been focused on forms, signatures, notaries, fund-raising.  You have stared at pictures of the child who will be your son or daughter, praying for him or her daily.  You have waited and waited and waited.  You have imagined what their personality is like, how they will respond to this huge transition they face, how you will respond!  Because imagining is really all you can do.

And then comes the day your child is placed in your arms, in your family forever.  You somehow survive the long flight home.  And you begin the lifelong process of healing, bonding, loving. 


But there are so many things about it that you just didn’t expect, even though you read dozens of books and blog posts.

Over the last few years we have asked our adoptive families to share some of these ‘unexpected’ challenges and blessings after bringing their adopted children home, knowing that their experience would be a huge blessing to families preparing to come home with their kids.  Here are some of the things they’ve told us (in no particular order!)…

I was not expecting…
  • how emotionally and physically exhausted I would be
  • I wouldn’t feel a bond with my child when he was first placed in my arms
  • how important a routine would be – both for our son’s sake and for our own sanity – and how hard it would be to get one in place
  • how much our other kids would resent this new sibling and all the attention she was getting – dealing with this took tons of my energy, which I didn’t have much of!
  • how important my time in the Word EVERY day would be to give me what I need to do this job
  • that it would be tough to set boundaries for our daughter because we were afraid to make her unhappy
  • how clueless friends and family can be, even with the best of intentions
  • how long it would take for our daughter to feel loved and safe
  • my son to completely prefer my husband over me – it was so hard
  • our daughter to be terrified of our dog!
  • all of the screaming and tantrums
  • to gradually hear so many painful things in our child’s past
  • how much this little person can eat
  • how annoyed I would get with some of her behaviors
  • I would have to teach my 4 year old son how to chew hard, crunchy foods and to wipe himself!
  • my daughter would be completely overwhelmed by all the gifts and excitement of Christmas, even having been home for almost a year
  • to feel like I was caring for a stranger for several months
  • my child to have a completely different personality than we observed when we first met him
  • how self-conscious I felt being a trans-racial family
  • I would experience post-adoption depression – it seemed impossible before we got home with our daughter
  • how hard it would be to cocoon and for our friends and family to respect that decision – and how isolated it made me feel!
  • defiance from my sweet little guy and how personally I took it
  • how many things in our house were broken – not maliciously but because he had no experience with taking care of personal property
  • the fear and insecurity my son feels whenever someone in our family leaves
  • how important professional help would be for us and how it was worth every penny that we didn’t have
  • that I would doubt my ability to be her mother so often
  • that after a year home, I rarely even think of our son as being adopted

What was unexpected for you?

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Your Church?

Orphan Sunday
November 3, 2013
Defending the cause of the fatherless

"Help your church take its place in the history of Christian love for the orphan."

How church leaders are leveraging Orphan Sunday
Sermon resources, bibles studies and FAQs

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Lotsa Links


Grab a cup of coffee buna (maybe it should be iced!)  and enjoy some great posts…

He Gives and Takes Away
We had a family culture we cherished…  We wanted our new children to fit themselves into the life we had created.  In our struggles to help our children find healing we realized we had to loosen our grip on some of what we held dear.

dear friends of waiting adoptive moms: some things to know (also, we’re sorry)
Some helpful tips to pass along to all the people who love you and are supporting you in your adoption.

How to respectfully ask questions about adoption
Adoption answers we are too polite to say out loud.

Post-Adoption Prep: The First Days Home
How to prepare for the first weeks home after international adoption.

And please don’t forget to make plans to recognize Orphan Sunday at your church!  Here you’ll find some great resources to help you get started:

Thursday, August 8, 2013

To Know That God Sees You

Right now, a team from Everett, WA is serving in Korah, the slum area in Addis Ababa.  This group of adults and youth are bringing personal Proclaimer Audio Bibles to the families they have been matched with to pray for and mentor.  They are cementing relationships with some and forging new relationships with others through serving meals, doing work projects and giving the gift of TIME.  Here are a few updates from Angie Allen on the team…

Tuesday Aug 6
Here we are in rainy Addis Ababa!  We feel like we are in the Pacific NW!  

We had an AMAZING time eating a huge meal with our prayer friend families!  It was so joyful to see the faces of the children we have been praying for all year!  They are so beautiful.  So many of the children said to us that they also have been praying for our kids all year.  They say "I love my prayer friend!"
The best quote so far was after we ate, we told the people sitting how happy we were to be with them and one widow lady said "When we look at you it is as if God came to see us."  Wow, we can come home now right?! 

That is the exact goal of this mission:  To encourage the poor, the lonely and the outcast by letting them know that God sees them.

By the way, God is such a provider that after we fed our prayer friend families there was enough food left over that we were able to feed close to 100 street kids/orphans that were outside the gates!  
audio bible proclaimer
Thurs Aug 8
We have had the great honor to visit 8 homes of prayer friends so far.  The children are excited to have us come and their parents have been so gracious.  Our tie-dye t-shirts and special notes from prayer friends have been received with smiles!  When we presented the Proclaimer Audio Bible in one home, the mother said that it is an answer to her prayers.  

It's awesome to be able to share the burden with these wonderful people by praying with them and for them.  Thank you, Jesus, for using us to answer her prayers!!! 

Thank you for your prayers.  We feel them!

*photos provided by Adoption Ministry of YWAM Ethiopia - not taken on this trip

Monday, August 5, 2013

Passing On The Torch

by Joy Casey
Director, Adoption Ministry of YWAM Ethiopia

Many of you reading this post have an incredible heart for children in Ethiopia and realize that international adoption will never be the answer to the huge orphan problem in Ethiopia.  Much has been written about the need for in-country domestic adoptions and our ministry agrees 100%!  We are taking steps to ignite an adoption culture within the Christian church in Ethiopia. 
front gate
I want to invite you to join us in our exciting new outreach.  Mana Gammachuu, our new orphanage in Sheshemene, has babies that we are preparing for local (domestic) adoption.  One little sweetheart already has a family who has chosen her.  

Adopting outside one’s family is counter-cultural in Ethiopia, and it will take effort and perseverance to instill vision and educate the Christian community about adoption.  Because adoption is so rare in Ethiopia, the governmental offices don’t have experience in processing a domestic adoption nor are there any procedures to guide them.

We are planning our first two-day adoption conference in Sheshemene to provide guidance and education to the government entities on how to process local adoptions.  We have an expert judge from Addis coming to lead the training.  In conjunction with this, we are working alongside several Christian churches to hold a seminar emphasizing Christian adoption philosophy and practical procedures for families interested in adoption.  

To make this happen, I need the help of the adoption community here in the U.S. to raise $5,000.  Please consider giving a donation of any amount to sow good seeds into the fabric of Ethiopian society.  Many of you know firsthand what a difference a nuclear family makes in a child’s life.  Help us to expand ways of providing permanency for children by raising up strong Christian families in Ethiopia to adopt the orphans in their communities.

To make a tax-deductible gift for this adoption training, please go to our website here and under gift designation select 'Other' then type in "Passing on the Torch". Or you can also send a check with a note attached that says "Passing on the Torch" payable to:

Adoption Ministry of YWAM
PO Box 512
Puyallup WA  98371
Thank you in advance for your partnership with us to promote adoption in Ethiopia!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Links You’ll Like

Ordinary People
How is it that he allows huge numbers of people to be born into poverty and to be bound to lesser positions in life by their modest heritage, intellect, beauty, skills, and training?  And why is it that so few are graced with sparkling intelligence, impeccable social instincts, striking appearance, top physical skills, gifts of leadership, and the like?  If God created all of us, isn’t he finally responsible for our low estate?  And, presuming he is, does he even care?

Is the Left Launching an Attack on Evangelical Adoption?
To some, conservative Christians are incentivizing child-trafficking, engaging in a form of cultural imperialism by yanking children from their native cultures and evangelizing them into Christianity, soothing pro-life consciences wounded by lack of concern for babies after they’re born, and trying to engage in charity without adjusting underlying world views about social justice and the need for systemic change.

It Is Not Enough
It's not enough that my soon-to-be daughter believes that a woman who is paid to care for her and a several other babies is mommy. It's not enough that inch-deep love is all she has ever known. She deserves more.
All children deserve more.  But convincing her of this will not be easy.

A great idea for creating ‘facecards’ with your children that express
all kinds of feelings, used to open up conversations about feelings and talking about their stories.

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