Liane, Miles, Debi and I flew to Phoenix on last Thursday. We left changing leaves and brisk air for desert cactus and temps in the 90’s. It really felt like we had landed in a foreign land! But we soon joined hundreds of other ministry-minded folks who love adoption and are passionate about orphan care around the world.
We got our exhibit set up that afternoon and met our partners at Into the Streets of Ethiopia, Tulio and Kara Portilla, who were also setting up a display table where they sold lots of jewelry, t-shirts and scarves with the proceeds going toward formula for the babies in our orphanages.
Bright and early on Friday morning we began meeting so many people – some who are also ministering in Ethiopia, some who work in other countries and many who are or have adopted internationally or through the foster-care system. I even met a woman who told me she was born in Dembidollo (a town in western Ethiopia near the Sudanese border where YWAM has an orphanage)! Her parents were missionaries in Ethiopia and she spent most of her young life there. Another young Ethiopian man working with Food for the Hungry told me his father lives in Dembidollo. A small world indeed!
We heard really insightful messages in the general sessions. The main thing I came away with from these times was that God’s incredible grace has been given to us for the purpose of extending it lavishly to others. There is no patting ourselves on the back for this obedience – any trace of self or ‘works’ in our motivation must be dealt with. It’s all His work – the resources, the strength to obey, the motivation and the glory.
|Becky and Kristen Tober-Halvorson|