We Have Some News!

We have some exciting news to share! (No, we’re not pregnant.) We’re going to Africa this March! It was very hard to come to this decision but we have our tickets and that means we’re really, really going!

my husband has done some medical missions type of work in Zambia and South Africa. He considers his time in Africa as one of the top three most significant experiences in his life. He always knew he wanted to go back. In fact, before we got engaged he made me promise to have an openness to going with him one day. And though I knew Africa was in some way part of the deal of marrying my husband, it still wasn’t an easy decision for me. At first, I wanted to send him by himself so that I could stay behind with Mac but I kept feeling this uneasiness about sending him alone. I felt like this big part of him – a part of him that I don’t know all that well yet – would be pulled further and further to this faraway place. What this means for us I don’t know yet but I am both excited and scared to find out.

Our church has a partnership with an organization called Food for the Hungry which works in the village of Zeway, Ethiopia just a couple hours outside the capital city of Addis Ababa. We will spend time making home visits to the orphans and widows in that village. It is a pretty straightforward trip in terms of it’s mission which is based off James 1:27: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress.”

If you are interested in financially supporting our trip or even just praying for us, please read the info below. Our team collectively still needs to raise about $6000.

Dear Friends, Family and Partners,

Two years ago, God led a small, unqualified group of individuals to say “yes” to stand in the gap for orphans living on their own and raising their siblings in Zeway, Ethiopia. Since then, many of you have heard the hopeful and heartbreaking stories of these orphans and have prayed for and generously supported Grace Covenant’s Zeway Partnership to bring physical, mental,

On March 4th-13th, our group of 10 – (left to right in group photo) Will and Ellen Tuthill, Scott and Heather Thacker, Dawn Patterson, Julie Kouri , my husband and Kathy McClelland, Wendy McMahan, and Chris DeGarmo – will travel to Zeway in continuation of this partnership.

Our primary goal is to visit orphans in their homes (James 1:27) and return to Austin to share the stories of God’s working in the lives of these children. We will also continue our relationship with the local church leaders and Food for the Hungry staff with whom we are partnering to serve orphans and in so doing share the love of Christ in this spiritually dark area. Chris DeGarmo and Wendy McMahon will be filming and creating a promotional video as well as documenting the Partnership’s progress. We are hopefully anticipating other ways God shows us how we can serve!

We are writing to ask that first and foremost, you would please pray for the orphans we will visit. They have lost both their mother and father – many witnessing their deaths first hand. Pray that they would turn to our Lord for hope, that God would use the partnership to be the hands and feet of Christ, drawing these children to their Heavenly Father.

Second, please pray for our team as we travel to Ethiopia, and for our families that remain at home.

Lastly, we ask that you continue to partner with us by donating funds to support this trip. Our team of 10 must raise approximately $10,000 more than has already been raised to travel to Zeway in March (any funds raised greater than this amount will be used to directly support the orphans in Zeway).

Online donations can be made at our church’s website: www.grace360.org. (Click “Give OnLine” on the homepage). You can also send a check payable to Grace Covenant Church, 9508 Jollyville Rd, Suite 200, Austin, TX 78759. Please designate your gift in the check memo line or the website notes with “Zeway 2011 Mission Trip” .

Thank you for considering our request. If you would like to know more, call or email us! You can also meet the sweet faces of these children and read ongoing updates at zewayupdate.blogspot.com.

Julie Kouri Dawn Patterson Heather and Scott Thacker Will and Ellen Tuthill Chris DeGarmo Wendy McMahan my husband and Kathy McClelland

My book, Beauty in Broken Dreams: A Hopeful Handbook for the Early Years as a Special Needs Parent, is now available on Amazon!

Also be sure to check out my list of Favorite Books on Disability!

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