by Jeff Burns

On Sunday, June 3rd, Joy, Mark, Abebe, Abonesh and I had the privilege of attending a very special wedding. Tesfaye, our great friend and our Adoption Ministry 1:27 case manager for Korah, got married to his sweetheart, Helen.

The wedding was part of the church service held in the church in Korah and so we were there to enjoy energetic worship, an excellent sermon (I was told it was since my Amharic is quite inadequate) and a very blessed wedding ceremony. Tesfaye asked if I would take pictures and so I was trying to figure out when church was ending and the wedding was beginning. I was poised in the front and looking towards the entrance when Joy caught my attention and pointed to Tesfaye and Helen who had slipped into the back of the church.


The service was held outside on the front porch under cover of aluminum and a blue tarp extension. This allowed for more people than could fit inside. The ground was covered with colorful shredded paper and there was a string of lights hung as well as streamers looped from the ceiling. It looked very festive!


Much singing, swaying and clapping went along with parts of the celebration. You could sense people’s love for them. Many of the people who came are a part of our AM 1:27 program and I recognized at least two of the families there who had received new beds from Mark Wolbert and the University of Kentucky mission team the week before.





After the service Tesfaye and Helen went inside the church where traditional food was served. Special guests were then ushered in, including Mark, Joy, Abebe and Abonesh. Then others were invited in for a meal as well. Most of these people rarely have enough to eat – they live in Korah and daily food is not a sure thing. For Tesfaye and Helen to provide food for this many people was truly sacrificial and speaks greatly of both their love and of their character.



We enjoyed a great meal and Abebe took a picture of the YWAM guests!

Jeff, Abonesh, Joy and Mark

Abonesh (accountant for AM 1:27) with the bride and groom

Abebe, Tesfaye and Helen

Joy, Tesfaye, Helen and Mark

Lots of young wedding guests!


And so I returned home to unlimited food, a roof that keeps out the rain, a beautiful wife, awesome kids and a renewed desire to make a difference where God puts me. I’m also reminded that there is a battle for children’s lives and futures, for families in tenuous circumstances, for a wonderful newly-wedded couple in the middle of it all and that we are to do something about it. Let’s start with prayer and then see how the Lord moves in us from there.