Sunday, May 31, 2015

You May Think You Came to Serve...

What do people do when they go on a mission trip to Ethiopia?  There are many end goals that are on the heart of Mark Wolbert, our Mission Director, as he meets a group of travel-weary Americans spilling through the doors of the Addis Ababa airport. 

For many, this is their first experience with a culture radically different from middle class America.  He understands that the first day or so there most likely will be lots of questions and one’s senses might be overloaded.  It is comforting to meet our Ethiopian friends and allow the warmth of a traditional greeting and the taste of strong, good coffee to reinforce what you already know:  God brought you here for a reason.

You may think you came to serve.  To give to those who are without.  To share Christ’s love.  To learn about another culture.  To play with children or to hold babies.  All of these things probably will be part of your days, but God never wastes an opportunity and He usually has much deeper reasons for bringing you to Africa. 

Each day brings a sense of adventure.   But then you are disappointed because traffic stalls or the person you were to visit is not home, or all of a sudden the sky opens and the rains fall leaving everyone a soggy, muddy mess.  Efficiency is not a value of this culture, and the long way of doing even the most simple of tasks will drive you crazy... but is there a small voice whispering for you to have grace and patience? 

Each team of people traveling together has a different personality and each trip addresses something different.  A group of college football players from the University of Kentucky just returned from Ethiopia.  They had culture shock for sure, but also days packed full of getting their hands dirty while a glimmer of understanding soaked in that 85% of their world does not have the advantages they take for granted.

Days were busy bringing supplies to widows, preparing food for prisoners, building things, and playing with children. 

They supplied obvious physical needs, but more importantly the act of lending a hand touched basic desires that lie at a much deeper level.  The children, the women, the prisoners felt valued and important; they felt loved. 

Thanks for helping, guys!

Small businesses in Ethiopia are the way to go!  Unemployment is high and so relying on a small business to earn money is advantageous.   This group of university guys made 30 shoe shine kits that were given through a local YWAM ministry.  The evening the kits were given, there was a time of worship and sharing that has turned into a regular shoe shiner’s fellowship every Friday.

The prison ministry YWAM has been doing for several years is an excellent place to serve.  Big batches of wat (Ethiopian stew) with injera (Ethiopian cultural bread) were made and brought to the prisoners, and a Bible came with each plate of food.  The prisoners’ smiles said it all.

There are no social services for women who have no husband, brother or son to take care of them.  Their lives are extremely hard.  Genet was orphaned when she was 6-years-old and never learned how a family functions.   She is now struggling to raise her own children without a father.  The team brought her some charcoal and food and talked and prayed with her.  Just that little act of kindness encouraged her.  She said, “I was so relieved getting the food and felt loved.”

The team built the Widow Alem a small outdoor kitchen.  The rainy season is coming and it is very difficult to cook out in the open.  She has a stove to bake injera and plans on selling injera to support her family.

Muzirith was widowed four years ago and cares for her four children plus her niece whose mother died during childbirth.  She was visited by the team who brought her much needed food and supplies.  She has recently become a Christ-follower and humbly gave thanks to the team and to her Lord stating, “Through you, He provided for me.”

Traveling with a group of athletes, there are always opportunities to throw a football or kick a soccer ball.  Pick-up games with community children always provide squeals of laughter and opportunities for the “big guys” to expose their playful side. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Persecution Around the World

by Joy Casey
The evangelism thrust in Ethiopia experiences strong push-back in all areas and there are isolated incidences of actual persecution involving bodily harm or economic hardship. While the Ethiopian government remains is stable, religious liberty is upheld and the most radical elements are kept in check. Adoption Ministry partners with Steadfast Global (out of Scotland) and Voice of the Martyrs (out of Canada) to see that evangelism in Ethiopia continues strong. The primary purpose of our partners is to monitor the persecuted church all over the world and to bring humanitarian aid where it is needed. A Steadfast Global team recently returned from Iraq where they rendered aid to the Christian Kurdish refugees ousted from their homes by ISIS.

Here are a few snapshots of some recent news from other nations.
clip_image002Kenya: Radical Isl*mist group, al-Shabaab, once again proved how depraved and callous they are in a devastating attack on students at Garissa University College near the Somali border. Gunmen stormed the campus on Thursday April 2, killing 147 people, mainly Christian students, and injuring at least another 73. We understand that the attackers separated Christian and M*slim students, releasing the M*slims and murdering the Christians. Please remember those who are mourning and those who are injured. In the wake of the attack, calls were made for the closure of the nearby Dadaab refugee camp which houses many thousands of Somali refugees.
clip_image004South Sudan: 37-year-old Pastor Adam Haron is recovering after spending three months in a jail near the border with Sudan. Pastor Haron who was working among M*slims in the city of Aweil, believes that his arrest last November was instigated by M*slim extremists who opposed his work. While imprisoned he alleges that he was tortured and accused of being a spy. He was released on February 18.
clip_image006India: A number of Christians including women and children, have been left with broken bones and other serious injuries following an attack on their open-air meeting by a mob of Hindu extremists on April 8. The attack occurred around 9 p.m. during the last session of a three-day event organized by the Christians in Pebbair in Telangana State. Police have been accused of failing to protect the Christians and also of failing to take action against those responsible for the assaults.
clip_image008Pakistan: A 14-year-old Christian boy has succumbed to the injuries he sustained on April 10 after being beaten and then set on fire by two M*slim men who discovered he was a Christian after engaging him in conversation. Nauman Masih died in a hospital in Lahore on April 15. Police have denied that the attack was religiously motivated.
clip_image010 Uganda: A 17-year-old pastor's daughter was left seriously injured and badly traumatized after a horrific attack in which she was gang-raped as a punishment for her father's refusal to cease Christian worship services. The attack took place around 7:30 p.m. on March 28 as the young woman was walking towards the church building in Budaka District. Her name has been withheld at the request of the family.

There is a spiritual battle raging in our world, and Christians need to be on their knees interceding like never before. 

"...others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection."  
Hebrews 11:35

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Fruit of Faithful Laborers

by Joy Casey

In Mark 16:15 Jesus told us, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.” I am inspired by 36 Ethiopian men who are preaching the Good News in places where doing so could cost them dearly.

missions 5
There are large areas of Ethiopia where Isl*m dominates the culture and the people have never been exposed to the Christian faith. These are the areas that are targeted by the brave evangelists I know, most of whom are former M*slim believers.

The evangelism scene is ever changing, ever challenging. We are waging spiritual battles, for Satan has an assignment on Ethiopia. Thus, the work must begin and end with prayer. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit in one rural village began after two evangelists prayed for seven years. Today, the first Christian church in that village stands firm and outreach from there has resulted in two new church plants in neighboring villages!

In another extremely remote, highly populated area, I met ten men who hold positions of importance in their mosques and are using the Qur’an to preach the Gospel message. Thousands are coming to Christ and there are underground Bible studies popping up all over. A church in Kansas City has provided funding for three church plants to begin in that area to accommodate the new believers.

From another established church in a predominately M*slim town, evangelists have been sent out two-by-two to live in three neighboring areas. Sharing faith in these places sometimes brings violent push-back, yet people are coming to know and accept Jesus as their Savior. The M*slim-dominated local government makes it very difficult for the evangelists to work and live. In one village, landlords were told they cannot rent to any Christian and the evangelists were commanded to leave and never come back. The result? The evangelists refused to give up and a group of U.S. businessmen pooled their money to buy some property and construct a church! Today, despite societal pressure, people are turning to Jesus and the church plant is growing.

Just last month, a new convert in a village gave property to the church with a house on it where they could meet for worship, study and prayer. The M*slims were so angry about this they crept up to the family’s house at 3 o’clock in the morning while husband, wife and three children were sleeping and torched their thatched roof, burning the house instantly to the ground. The people escaped with their lives, but lost everything. A church in Kansas and other individuals gave so the converts could reconstruct their home. Used clothing left by mission teams replaced their clothes and Christian neighbors helped with food. God took this seeming disaster and turned it for good! The couple is building a much better house and the people of their village are astounded at the help and love lavished on them and more and more are coming to Christ.

I am proud to know the men whose passion is leading their neighbors into the freedom of Christ’s mercy and forgiveness. Many evangelists have expressed they feel it is inevitable that they will be killed as a result of their activity. That does not stop them. Their deep love for Jesus and the people they have known all their lives compels them to pray and be alert for divine appointments where they can tell an unbeliever about Jesus. Working alongside these men causes me to be bolder sharing my faith with the people I live among. I am humbled to be aligned with these incredible men and thankful that I can do my part, with the support of other individuals and churches, to expand the capacity for Christ to be shared with the unreached in Ethiopia.

PRAYER NEEDED! Please pray for the evangelism work and other life-saving work God has led us to do in Ethiopia. We have a team of praying people from all over the United States. If you would like to be part of this and receive a monthly prayer guide, please let us know. We need the underpinning of prayer to boldly and effectively do this work in Ethiopia.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Unwanted, Unloved and Uncared For

"We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless.  The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty.  We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty."

A short documentary about a mother's love for her adopted son...

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Noble Indeed

Our ministry director, Joy Casey, has poured her life into creating and overseeing Adoption Ministry of YWAM – first domestically and then in Ethiopia.  Her heart is for women and children.  She has followed God’s lead to create a vital and growing ministry.

She has God-inspired vision...

For children to grow up in families and not in an orphanage.


Eyrusalem & Joy 4-09 (2)

For birthmothers to be loved and supported in their decision to parent or to relinquish their child.


For women to find a way to become self-sustaining and keep their families together.


For the life-changing, life-saving gospel of Jesus Christ to go into all the world.


I might be one of a very few who know how many hours Joy puts in to keep our ministry going… and all with no salary, benefits or retirement package. 

God is using her to bless SO MANY!


Joy was recently nominated for the “She Is Noble” award – “One who works tirelessly, fearlessly, and without recognition to provide assistance, hope, or vision to those in her immediate community or around the world... one who has gone outside of their immediate circle to do noble things for others.”  Joy has most certainly done that. 

You can read Joy’s story on the She Is Noble website here as well as the stories of other noble women.

We are very proud of our fearless leader and are thrilled to see her honored in this way! 

We love you, Joy!!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Helping Mothers for Mother’s Day

We have a great place for you to give a gift to your mom or grandmother that will have a life-changing impact for a mother in Ethiopia!

In our YWAM Gift Catalog you can choose to give bedding for a woman who sleeps on the ground.


Or school supplies and fees so a mother can send her children to school, changing their futures. 

Or formula for a young mother's baby who isn’t getting enough nourishment. 


Or a much-needed set of clothing for a woman wearing rags.


While you celebrate the mothers in your life at Mother’s Day, you will also bless a mother on the other side of the world!

Visit the YWAM Gift Catalog by clicking the button below, then let us know the mother you choose to give in honor of and we'll be happy to send out a beautiful card on your behalf to her. 
gift catalog button2

Happy Mother’s Day!

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