We have happy news to share! Two of our babies were adopted recently into strong Christian families. This certainly is wonderful news, but not surprising. All of our little ones in our Mana Gammachuu (Joyful Place) orphanage are adopted by Christ-followers.

What sets the adoption and dedication ceremony of baby boys Murte and Daniel apart is they were adopted by people who attend a large church in Addis Ababa that champions adoption. These little boys will have instant acceptance in their church family where adoption is honored. The secondary outcome of these two adoptions is this highly influential church will inspire many to take care of the abandoned children in Ethiopia.

Pastor Zenebe is a leader in The Presence of God Church in Addis and a well-respected speaker and influencer in Ethiopian evangelical circles. He was an orphan himself and was raised in an orphanage. I don’t know all the details of his story, but somehow he was educated, married a lovely woman and has two children, a boy and a girl. He was the featured speaker at our last adoption conference four years ago.

And now he and his wife Genet have adopted Murte. Rahel, a widow in the church with three daughters (ages 18, 16, 11), also adopted Daniel from our orphanage (read about his adoption here).

Our orphanage director, Ephrem, along with Abebe (country manager) and Abonesh (head accountant) attended the gala dedication of these two children. Abonesh shared about the adoption of their son four years ago and Ephrem briefly explained the adoption process. He invited people to consider adoption and to visit the orphanage in Shashemene. Should you, dear reader, wish to watch a translated clip of the dedication, you can here. It will bless you! Zenebe preached on adoption, challenging his church family to give the gift of family to an orphaned child.*  In his sermon (not in the translated segment) he passionately states, “This orphanage (Mana Gammachuu) should be empty” if the Church would obey God’s directives throughout Scripture to care for orphans.

It was estimated Murte was about a week old when a woman going to a mosque for prayers found him crying and in distress lying next to a fence. She picked up the infant and immediately called the police who took the baby to the hospital. Six days later, he was admitted to our orphanage in a weakened condition. With lots of TLC from our outstanding nannies along with good formula, Murte thrived.

When Murte was one year old, God sovereignly placed this handsome boy in Zenebe and Genet’s loving home. They changed his name to Anasimos (An-ASS-ee-moss) that means ‘useful.’  Anasimos now has a place to belong – his own mom and dad, brother, and sister – family traditions and extended family – all set in a culture that honors Christ Jesus above all.

*currently an adoption is almost completed for another couple who responded to Zenebe’s message