by Joy Casey
Adoption Ministry Director in Ethiopia

One of the reasons I traveled to Ethiopia this time was to meet with TV host Brad Mattes who is the Executive Director of Life Issues Institute out of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Brad Mattes with Case Manager Tesfaye
Brad Mattes with Tesfaye – AM 1:27 Case Manager in Korah

He came with his film crew to do a documentary on end of life issues and I had the great privilege of introducing him to some of my favorite elderly widows. We spent one day interviewing the women and the case manager for Adoption Ministry 1:27 and the next day we walked to their houses and filmed where they lived. I can’t wait to see the 22 minute documentary when it comes out… we’ll let you know when and where you can see it when it airs. Stay tuned!

I have also met some new people that we are going to serve through Adoption Ministry 1:27. Let me introduce you to a couple of them.
I was quite taken with soft spoken Alamaz Assefa who came with her two adorable daughters.
Her husband died five years ago and she works hard to keep body and soul together. Have you ever lugged sand for cement up wooden ladders or hauled cement blocks on your back up ladders for a mason to construct a building? Because it is such hard work and very hard on her body, Alamaz can only do this 2 days a week and she knows her body cannot tolerate this abuse long-term. Want to know how much she makes a day for this work? About $1.60.

Alamaz daughter Sintayehu    Alamaz daughter Yergalem

Alamaz was so gentle and loving with her two daughters, and they were bright and playful and thoroughly delightful. We hope to find an American family to “adopt” this family in Ethiopia and by so doing reach around the world to this God-fearing woman and alleviate some of the worry and burden she carries by providing daily food for her family.

For some reason, my heart just melts when I greet an elderly Ethiopian woman… their wrinkled faces tell stories that I will never be able to fathom. Those that know Christ radiate love and gratitude that puts me to shame.
Alemitu Zeru
Meet my new friend, Alemetu Zeru, who says she is 68, but of course she nor anybody else really knows for sure. Alemetu birthed five children – four died as children and one died as an adult. Her husband also died, so she has no one. As a young woman she wove baskets and cotton, but now she is weak and tired and can only beg or walk to the garbage dump and scavenge for things to sell.

She lives all alone in a small room. Leprosy affects the nerves in her arms and legs, but luckily medication arrested the deforming affects of the disease. She is blind in her left eye. She also can be “adopted” and whoever sponsors her will have the satisfaction of making the waning years of her life much more comfortable. Food is her biggest need.

Rosa 1
On the opposite end of the life spectrum is a young orphan girl. Rosa is a sweet 17-year-old who is a devoted Christ-follower. At a young age, both of her parents died and she went to live with some relatives. They sent her to school through the seventh grade and recently they asked her to leave because she was old enough to make it on her own. She ended up living with another girl who got Rosa a job as a cashier in a bar where her friend worked as a prostitute.
Right away pressure was put on Rosa to sell her body for money and she was terrified. As fate would have it (I would call it divine intervention), the brothel/bar is right next to the church Adoption Ministry 1:27 works with!  The case manager there got her out of that bad situation and Rosa went to live with another girl and her father. This is a kind family who shares with her what they have, but they are beggars and have very little. After she gets a sponsor, she would like to enroll in hairdressing school.

If you are interested in helping any of these people, you can contact Jamie at and request them by name or go to our web site to adopt-a-family: