by Joy Casey
Spring has sprung in the Pacific Northwest where our office is located, and with the daffodils and tulips and warmer breezes comes a burst of fresh energy! Our Missions Director, Mark Wolbert, and I have been planning for six teams’ travel this summer. Mark will be in Ethiopia from May through August… that is a long time to be away from home!
A day in the life of a mission team …
We are hosting two teams from the University of Kentucky. They will be putting on several sports camps. In the remote village where we are building the first-ever worship center, they are going to have a soccer and volleyball camp for the fifth grade children from the government school. The YMCA donated jerseys and the university group is going to bring water bottles and shoes for the children. The kids, athletes and coaches are going to have a blast!
Streams of Mercy is bringing a team of pastors and some businessmen to Africa to see what YWAM is doing. Joy Casey, Adoption Ministry’s director, will be going with this team to Uganda to see YWAM’s work with women and children there and then host them in Ethiopia for 5 days. One of the days will be spent at a small village called T’ede where we have a widows’ feeding program and sponsor some children. From our gift catalog we are going to give the widows goats as well as flour and lentils. From past experience, that will be a fun, rewarding day.
A large team from Life Church in Kansas will be doing work with two high-needs people groups. They will be spending several days at the Widows and Orphans Home in Adama doing work projects there as well as helping the elderly widows we support in the community. Roofs need repair, walls could use a coat of paint, latrines dug, and basic food items will be stockpiled. Of course, the real ministry comes through the hugs, prayers and attention given to this mostly forgotten segment of society. They will also be working at a church where Adoption Ministry 1:27 has just started a program. The poor families in this church community who have not yet been adopted through AM 1:27 will receive attention from this group of Kansans through practical helps and provision of basic food supplies. Many of these people live in houses covered with tarps or houses that have been condemned, so we know there is much to do to show these people – that God has not forgotten them and that other brothers and sisters in Christ care. There will also be organized prayer-walks to constantly connect with the Holy Spirit and to turn away the plans of the Enemy.
A group of teens and leaders from a church in Oregon will bring the enthusiasm of puppets and skits to many venues where they will provide VBS for young children through elementary age. In another church where Adoption Ministry 1:27 has recently begun helping struggling families, they will go to homes and do service projects. A youth rally will be held in this church as well. How fun it will be for these Oregon kids to connect to a vibrant youth group in Africa! They will learn to worship Amharic-style, have the experience of sharing their faith through an interpreter, and perform skits that surpass all language and cultural barriers. Our prayer is that these teens will go home on fire and a seed will be planted to spend their lives in the service of the only One who can make a lasting difference.
If you are interested in joining a team, there are openings in a group traveling to Ethiopia in August. Visit our Missions webpage and download a mission team application or give Mark a call at (253) 770-2283. You are welcome to join the adventure of a lifetime!