Tuesday, May 31, 2011

News from Matt and John

Today was the first day of the Seed Adoption Conference in Addis Ababa. Matt and John were in attendance along with over 150 pastors and wives from Ethiopia. There were 44 people from Zeway at the conference!

Matt reports that it is amazing to see the teaching of orphan and adoption care in Addis. Here are a couple highlights that he reported:
  • The speakers have not shied away from being very direct about who is called to care for orphans.
  • The speakers have been extremely knowledgeable, professional,and influential in the community including a member of parliament from the Ethiopian government.
  • There have been breakout sessions including the psychological challenges of children who have had difficult and traumatic pasts
  • One speaker was very direct in speaking to the men about the importance of their involvement as fathers
The conference was a full 9 hours with little time to talk with the Zeway pastors Matt said. They did have a special time of greeting as representatives of our church are very welcomed by the Zeway pastors. The conference will be all day Wednesday, and then Matt and John will travel to Zeway on Thursday where they will have a full day to debrief with them.

Please pray for continued strength and energy for everyone.
Please pray that God would move in the hearts of the Zeway pastors to care for the children with compassion and grace.

It was a great day for Matt and John and exciting to see God moving

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Orphan Care Is Not Enough

Orphan care has many different forms. It could be providing for them physically and academically with additional food, shelter and educational supplies. Orphan care is also providing children with mentors or adult support. It can also look like building an orphanage or setting up group homes.

These are all important steps toward caring for children who are without families and parents. But it is not enough.

In the Book of John, Jesus says "I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you."

Orphan care is necessary and a great step, but it leaves children as orphans. And as Jesus does not leave us as orphans, we shouldn't stop there either.

Which is why when the Zeway pastors said they would like to learn more about adoption of the Zeway children two years ago, we were in full support. When we heard of Seed Adoption, an adoption and orphan care conference, sponsored by many great organizations, we told the Zeway pastors about it immediately. They were also very excited to attend.

Orphan care is a step toward the ultimate form of caring for these children and that is making them beloved sons and daughters. In this Partnership, we want to strive for all the children to have forever families. Orphan care just doesn't seem like enough in Zeway.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Seed Adoption: 2011 in Addis

Here is a short video about the conference the Zeway pastors are attending.

Seed Adoption - Ethiopia Project from Wiseacre Short Films on Vimeo.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Goals of the Partnership

One of the most important goals of this partnership beyond caring for the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of orphans and widows is to to ensure sustainability. There is constant evaluation of how much dependency is on us and how much responsibility is being taken on by the orphans, widows and the Zeway church. Our ultimate goal is that the care of orphans and widows is fully sustained by the Zeway church and by the orphans too, but we provide them with a "boost" until that happens.

Sustainability looks very different for all kinds of relief and development. I'm by no means fully knowledgeable on this, but I do know what it means for the Zeway Partnership.

In full agreement and partnership with the Zeway Evangelical Church Fellowship (ZECF -about 10-14 united churches in Zeway), we have agreed to work with them to visualize and come to practice what the Bible says about orphan care and adoption. This is the ultimate way we believe God has revealed sustainability for orphan care in Zeway. The local churches will do it.

One big step in doing this is for the ZECF to understand what orphan care and adoption looks like on a theological and practical level. On May 31 and June 1, an orphan care conference hosted by Seed Adoption will be in Addis. From the help of many sponsors, we are funding 31 pastors and their wives to attend this conference in Addis. They will be attending some amazing sessions on orphan care and adoption taught by local Ethiopians and curriculum provided by Together for Adoption and several other well-known orphan and adoption organizations.

We are very excited to be a part of this. This is a huge step for the ZECF to care for orphans and widows and they are excited to be a part of it as well. Matt Kouri and John Patterson will also be attending this conference in Ethiopia, so we look forward to getting updates from them.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Zeway Pastors

Thank you everyone for sponsoring a Zeway pastor and his wife to attend the orphan care conference in Addis Ababa! We only have two more pastors to sponsor, so let us know if you would like to help out.

We'll keep everyone updated on the blog when John Patterson and Matt Kouri travel to Addis at the end of May to attend the conference and debrief with the pastors. A very exciting opportunity to engage the local churches in orphan care!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Zeway House Gathering

This last weekend we hosted a Zeway House Gathering. It was a post-trip follow-up for all the people who supported us in numerous ways. I loved setting up for this event and seeing everyone have a good time as they were able to learn more about this ministry. I think the great thing about Hope in Ethiopia is that you don't have to go to Africa to make a difference. There is always a need for prayer over these orphans and financial support of course, but there are other ways for our community to get involved. Like stuffing mailings, framing orphan photos, writing stories for our blog http://www.zewayupdate.blogspot.com/ and buying jewelry.

 We served authentic Ethiopian coffee.
 All of the jewelry profits from Funky Fish Designs go directly to Food for the Hungry to support the orphans. Please, please let me know if you need a Mother's Day gift!
 We had framed artwork the kids made for sale as well. 

 Lots of pictures. Too many to do a slide show.

“He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me? Declares the Lord.” ~ Jeremiah 22:16