Thursday, June 25, 2015

He Giveth More Grace {a re-post}

Can I share the words to an old song with you in the hope that it will be an encouragement to someone reading the blog today?  The fact that it was written by a young woman who was adopted is a happy ‘coincidence’ but isn’t really part of the story behind the words. 

The song was written by Annie Flint, who loved to write poetry and had dreamed of becoming a concert pianist.  But as a teenager, she began to suffer from crippling arthritis, the disease that eventually left her unable to even open her hands. She wrote these words – and later put them to music – out of her own discovery of God’s unlimited ability to give her everything she needed.

I can imagine all kinds of situations these words apply to – physical pain and suffering, loneliness, broken marriages, financial stress, relational hurts, repeated defeat and discouragement – and yes, even the emotional journey of adoption. Though it's full of old English ‘giveths’ and ‘sendeths’, these words are SO full of life and hope! And they're straight out of God’s word.

hands 2

by Annie J Flint

He giveth more grace as the burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as the labors increase,
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials His multiplied peace.

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,
Our Father's full giving is only begun.

Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.

His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth and giveth, and giveth again.

I rewrote the words (with no disrespect to the author or her beautiful phrasing) into a prayer and it’s one I love to say out loud, especially when I’m at the end of my own wisdom, strength and ability…

Lord, You give me more grace as my burdens grow greater.
You send me more strength as my needs increase.
To my added afflictions You add Your mercy.
To my multiplied trials You add multiplied peace.

No fear that my need will exceed Your provision
Your resources are endless and You love to share!
I’ll lean all my weight on Your strength given to me
Both myself and my burdens I know You will bear.

When I have exhausted my store of endurance
When my strength has failed before the day is half done
When I reach the end of all my resources
I know Your full giving has only begun.

Your love has no limit. Your grace has no measure.
Your power has no boundary known to men.
For out of Your infinite riches in Jesus
You give and You give and You give again!


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

For the Fatherless at Father's Day

Celebrate the father in your life by giving a gift in his name to the fatherless children in our orphanage in Shashemene, Ethiopia.

Our orphanage is growing and we are in great need of many new cribs, diapers, formula and baby swings.  What a wonderful ‘problem’ to have, right?  Caring for these babies who have been abandoned alongside the road or left at the hospital, likely by a young mother who was unable to feed or care for her child, is our greatest privilege. 

Our YWAM Gift Catalog has many items – something for every budget - that will be gratefully received and so appreciated.

baby swing e

crib2 e

If you order by tomorrow, it’s not too late for us to send a card to your dad saying you’ve given a gift in his name for Father’s Day.  Just send us an email letting us know what you ordered and the name and mailing address of your dad or granddad.

Click on the button below to bless your dad by blessing our babies!

gift catalog button2

Monday, June 15, 2015

Simply Meeting Needs

I don’t give a second thought about the bed I sleep on each night - unless I know I’m going to spend the night somewhere that might be too noisy, not dark enough, too hot or cold and might not have a firm mattress or just the right kind of pillow.  Let’s not even talk about camping in a sleeping bag. 

The reality is that many of the families sponsored in our Adoption Ministry 1:27 program sleep just like so many other people in Ethiopia do: on the ground.   They might have a tarp or blanket spread out on the dirt floor and, if they’re lucky, they have an old piece of foam to share with however many parents and children and grandparents live there.  Beds and bedding are the needs mentioned most often by our case managers when they send us updates on these families.

So it’s not hard to imagine what a BIG blessing it is to receive a new bed frame, mattress, sheets, a blanket and a soft pillow. 

Tewabech is an elderly widow who suffers from back pain.  As you can see in the photo below, she had been sleeping on a very rickety metal bed frame with a poor excuse for a mattress.

This dear woman is so grateful for the monthly help she receives from the family who ‘adopted’ her for regular food to eat.  But it was obvious to our case manager that she needed a better bed.

Thanks to a donation via our Gift Catalog, we were able to purchase a new bedframe, mattress and bedding for Tewabech!

BB-0002 bed1

Her beautiful smile says it all!

BB-0002 bed2

Endayehu lives with her four children in a one room house made of sticks and mud, covered with tarps to keep out the weather.   Most everyone slept on the ground… until recently.  

BB-0009 bed
When we shared the need, Endayehu’s sponsor sent extra money with her monthly support for new bedding and we were able to provide a bed frame and mattress because of a donation to our Gift Catalog.  She is overjoyed and sends her thanks to Aleta!

Astatke and her children are extremely grateful that they will no longer sleep on the floor, thanks to money donated through our Gift Catalog for a bedframe and mattress!

BB-0024 bed

Alamitu is able to feed her children three good meals each day and send them to school, thanks to the faithful monthly support her sponsor sends.  This dedicated mother works in a shoe factory, which provides a very small income, so she was incredibly blessed to receive new bedding and some much-needed clothing and shoes for her children.

MK 0035 Alemitu Markos

MK 0035 Alemitu Markos (2)

Aster’s sponsors, Eric and Sabrina, have truly taken both Aster and her three children under their wing, providing not only basic monthly support but helping with their need for extra food, a solar light and clothes for school.  Her teen-aged girls recently got to go with the case manager to pick out new shoes and clothes to replace very worn and ill-fitting items, all thanks to a family in the U.S. who they’ve never met… amazing! 

BB-0012 clothes1

I love a quote by Kristen Welch
We change the world
when we simply
meet the needs of another.

Our YWAM Gift Catalog is a wonderful way for you to provide a variety of very basic necessities for those we serve in Ethiopia.  We are so grateful for your partnership in this ministry… and so are the many recipients like the ones you read about above.  THANK YOU!!

Monday, June 8, 2015

True Worship

What I’m interested in seeing you do is:
sharing your food with the hungry,
inviting the homeless poor into your homes,
putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad,
being available to your own families.

Do this and the lights will turn on,
and your lives will turn around at once.
Your righteousness will pave your way.

The God of glory will secure your passage.
Then when you pray, God will answer.
You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am.’
Isaiah 58:6-9 The Message

It's a privilege for us to be able to advocate for so many families in Ethiopia who are in great need. Perhaps you are looking for a way to live out God's call to feed the hungry and meet the most basic of human needs...

You can bring life-changing hope to a family in Ethiopia struggling to survive.  Your gift of $50/month meets immediate needs of food and shelter and starts a family on the road to self-sufficiency.  Read about many families waiting to be ‘adopted’ on our website here.  Thank you!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Need Some New Tools for Parenting?

from our friends at Empowered to Connect


by Kayla North
I don’t consider myself a lazy person.  I am up early, I rarely sit down, and I always have a to-do list a mile long. I mean who has time to be lazy when you are a parent?  Yet I find myself parenting lazy.  I find myself saying ‘no’ to my kids out of laziness.  I find myself yelling at my kids out of laziness.

Let me explain…

A few years ago we signed up for the Empowered to Connect parent training. It really made us reconsider some of our parenting strategies.  We had to look at the parenting tools we were using and decide if they were working.

Most of us have four tools in our parenting tool belt:
  • verbal reprimand (yelling)
  • isolation (timeout, sending kids to his/her room)
  • physical punishment
  • consequences
Most days we find ourselves in a vicious cycle of using these tools to no avail.  They seem effective because we see our kids behavior modified in the moment. But rarely does the change in behavior carry over to the next day or interaction. As a result, we find ourselves doing and saying the same things again and again.

The ETC course offered to show us 25 new and different tools that we could use with our kids. We just had to be willing to put the other four to the side.  We agreed, and we were introduced to a crazy new world of parenting. One that has proven to be effective and has taken us to a whole new level of connection with our kids.
Continue reading here…

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