1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 …. yep, they are all there.  The Schmiesing kids get a small allowance for doing chores and from an early age have learned to tithe on money they get.  Last year the older children got ahold of an Adoption Ministry gift catalog and decided to pool their tithe money to buy something for the people in Ethiopia. 
Periodically they would take the saved money out of the oatmeal box bank, count it and look over the gift catalog only to decide they needed more savings.  Finally, after more than a year of saving, the day came when they had $100 and knew it was time to make a selection.  Should it be balls?  Kids need to play, for heavens sakes.  But wait… they need shoes, too.  Clare thought that maybe goats would be nice, but the older boys overrode her in favor of the balls. 
One night at dinner they were again discussing what they should buy with their hard-earned money and Abe, the Schmiesing’s 7-year-old son adopted from Ethiopia who up to now had not expressed an opinion, said emphatically, “Water!  They don’t need balls, shoes, clothes or goats; the people in Ethiopia need water!” 
For the first time in the 17 months Abe has been home, he started recalling events from his life in Ethiopia and sharing with his new family the hardships endured and the bleak survival mode of his Ethiopian family.  Everyone stopped eating and allowed Abe to spill out memories of his young years – sleeping on a dirt floor with no pillow, not having plentiful water or enough to eat.  He recalled some fun times, too, with an older brother or uncle whose name he could not remember.  When he finished, he simply said, “They need water.”
The next day, the oldest child, Jacob, called Adoption Ministry’s office and proudly and confidently said he would like to order a bio sand filter from our gift catalog, please. 

Thank you
Jacob, Clare, Max,
Jude, Abe, Maggie and Tim!
Our new 2012 Gift Catalog is coming out very soon!  It’s a great way for you to give a gift that keeps on giving!!