Wednesday, April 15, 2015

15-4 MM email

"Slowly [the boys] are beginning to realize they're getting the best...and to also give the best out of their lives."
--John & Mwila, houseparents at Zambia's Student Life Homes



Since January, three Student Life Homes in Zambia are providing a safe environment for 39 students in the freshman class. This move gives them a place where they can thrive in a healthy, family environment away from the temptations and negative influences found in the compound where they were raised. 

As expected, it's been a bit of an adjustment for the 11 boys in John & Mwila's home. Learning to function as a family with roles, rules, and certain expectations has taken some time to get used to for a group of boys who are accustomed to living on their own, answering only to themselves. 

As you heard in their testimony, John & Mwila have not only met hardships along the way, but have experienced great joy of slowly transformed lives of boys like Bernard. Rejoice in God's goodness and work in this home as Zambia's future leaders are being raised today...

Will you join us in praying for John, Mwila, and the 11 boys in their home? Pray for God's Spirit to be among them. Thank God for the growth they have seen in the past few months. Ask God to give John & Mwila wisdom and discernment to parent each of the boys for His glory.

Learn 

More

Thursday, March 19, 2015

New Hope Children's Home ~ Liberia

"We have a new family and a new home and we are now back in school!"

-Famatta, child from New Hope Children's Home 

New Hope Home Liberia


Ebola. The deadly virus that prowled West Africa last year, dominating the news and our newsfeeds. In Liberia alone, taking the lives of over 4,000, and leaving in it's wake sons and daughters to be orphaned and alone.

MM
Meet three of those children: Famatta (14), Olbed (13) and Delight (8), son and daughters of George and Oretha Kanwah, whose lives were taken by the Ebola virus.

In response to this catastrophe, Lifesong staff in Liberia have established New Hope Children's Home, a home to not only provide shelter for 10 children orphaned by the Ebola virus, but also to give caregiver jobs to Ebola survivors.

Fametta graciously shares the devastation they have saw and felt, and of the hope that is slowly shining through...

"My father got the virus when a lady in his church was sick and he took her to the hospital. While at the hospital, the lady died and my father was sprayed with antiseptic and sent home. The next day he started getting sick and when he got to work, they told him not to come back. They also put us out of the company house where we were staying. One week later, my father died in his car and the Ebola burial team came and carried him to be burned in the fire.   

Few days later, our mother got sick and she couldn't eat, but cried all day. She was taken to the Ebola treatment center. Later, the center called our aunt and said our mother has died. 

My siblings and I were put into quarantine at the treatment center for 21 days. We did not get the virus, so the health workers took us back to the community, hoping someone will take us in. No one was willing. We were given a little food supply and some protective Ebola materials.

We were left alone in the community. Everyone is afraid of us. We were not allowed to play with other children or go to other people's houses or buy food from others with money from our hands. I am the oldest, so I tried to watch over my brother and sister.

But now we are have been taken in by Lifesong's New Hope Children's Home. We have a new family and a new home and we are now back in school." 

Please join us in praying for Famatta, Olbed, Delight and the other grieving children in our new home. Pray God would heal and soften their hearts to His Gospel of hope and redemption!

Friday, March 6, 2015

They Don't Tell You About Pajama's ~

Growing up pajama's were nothing special.  Something you put on at night to go to bed, kept on longer for Saturday morning cartoons and stayed in when you were sick.  They had your favorite superhero or princess on them and really that was it - they were just your pajama's.

Fast forward 30 some years and I realize something no one ever tells you about pajama's.  Pajama's are safety and security.  They are knowledge that you are loved and taken care of.  They allow you to be if just for a minute a child with dreams.

You see in my last 5 years I have watched 2 boys who didn't understand pajama's - who from the moment they got up until the moment their heads hit their pillows were perfectly dressed with a bed tightly made.  They needed to be "ready" at all times and at all costs.

As I write this today we are in our 7th 8th or 9th snow day and at 3:27pm my boys are still in their pajama's - playing soccer in the living room while spongebob plays in the background.

I won't take pajama's for granted going forward - for they tell us alot about the world we are in.  At least for this mama they tell me that we are becoming a family more and more everyday.

So next time the kiddos ask to stay in those jammies just a bit longer - know that it is a sign of affection - a little peek into the trust they have in their hearts.

Here are a few of our favorite pajama moments from the last few snow days!





Thursday, January 22, 2015

Meet Roman ~

Roma. New smile_Chernigov
This past Christmas season was extra special for a young man in Ukraine. A 19-year-old young man named Roman.
Unfortunately, at a very young age, Roman lost both of his parents. He was sent to an orphanage and later met local Christians who minister to children and young adults within the orphanage walls and after they age out.
Roman is a very curious kid by nature. He has asked many questions about life, about people, and about God. Another characteristic about Roman anyone would quickly notice is that he would rarely smile, displaying a tight-lipped frown on a somewhat gloomy face. Knowing the hardships of life he had faced, it didn't come as too much of a surprise.
This past September, as he entered a tech school to become a builder, he was invited to attend a Bible Study at a Lifesong Transition Home. He gladly accepted and started to attend. Although, he wasn't quite as quick to accept the invitations that were offered to attend church.The Lifesong staff started to pray for his repentance, as they sensed he was seeking the Lord.
As the staff continued to get to know Roman better, they discovered that his lack of smile had a reason behind it. Roman didn't have any front teeth! Our staff connected him to a charitable dentist who helped Roman at a minimal charge to bring his smile back. And guess what? Roman decided it was time to start smiling again. Shortly after, right around Christmas, he began to walk in fellowship with God, believing in Jesus as his Savior! And now, as you can see in the picture above, he hasn't stopped smiling!
Thanks be to God for drawing this young man to Himself! Please pray for Roman as he starts his walk with Christ, that He would be filled with the Spirit and walk in His Truth!

Learn more about the lives changing in Ukraine at www.lifesongfororphans.org/countries/ukraine.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

ONE

Greetings ~
It's been a big week here in Nashville - my dear friends Gwen Oatsvall and Suzanne Mayernick released their book!!  I mean not only are they wives, mothers to 13 kiddos between the 2 of them, run a successful non profit they know can add authors to their story. How cool is that!!  Anyways a few weeks back I had the privilege to read this inspiring book. And today I want to share the book with you. So leave me a comment on why you want to read the book and tomorrow evening I will select a winner from all the comments!

Want to take a peek inside the book or learn more about what Gwen and Suzanne are doing? Simply click on the photo



Wednesday, January 7, 2015

What is Gena and why do we celebrate it?


BRRRRR - it's a weee bit chilly here in Nashville today and while the boys are at school I thought I would stop by for a second and fill you in on what we are up to today. If you have friends who have adopted from Ethiopia you may have seen some posts last night and today saying Melkam Gena. Today is in fact Christmas in Ethiopia as well as places such as Bethlehem, Athens, Moscow and others that follow the Julian calendar.

So what is Gena? If you ask Tariku he will tell you it's the day he gets to eat all of his favorite Ethiopian dishes in one sitting.  If you ask me I will tell you it's Ethiopian Christmas - Jan 6th and 7th are known as the "Old Christmas Day" since that is the original designation of the birth of Jesus by the 1st christian roman emperor Constantine, in 325A.D. But in 1582 Pope Gregory XIII changed the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar and in doing so the Catholic church moved the celebration to Dec 25th. Since the Eastern church did not have the same beliefs in the pope they did not change their day.

I have been fortunate to be in Ethiopia for Christmas and I can tell you it is greatly different than ours. Church services would begin at 4am or so - everyone dressed in white - candles given out - there was not Christmas splashed in every store or restaurant. No sign of Santa Claus - no in Ethiopia Christmas is far more spiritual - far more simply about the birth of Jesus. And then once church is finished it is time to spend with family and friends. 

 So tonight our Ethiopian American family will celebrate we will dine on the boys favorite Ethiopian dishes, we will talk about the boys birth country it's past it's present and it's future and at the very end we will give our gifts to one another.  So from the Hammons house to yours we say 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Good bye 2014 - Hello 2015

Goodness gracious - another year is wrapping up for people all over the world. In just a few short hours from now we will celebrate the beginning of a new year. And so I thought I would end 2014 with a few photos from our world to yours.
Teddy is now playing club soccer - different team from Tariku but same Club
Soccer - it's apparently ALL we do in the Spring and Fall 
Amazing business opportunities
Photos with Santa - photo courtesy of Karen Halbert Photography
Time with Papa is always time well spent
Disney with Papa Blue
Maybe this should of been our Christmas card this year?  Oh wait I never got the card out!!!
Teddy and his papa blue
Tariku being interviewed for NPR
IF conference in Austin with Jillian and Jess - a true blessing of an opportunity
And when not playing soccer we are on the basketball courts
2nd grade means Leprechaun traps
So proud to be in black for Aris FC
Designing their own golf hole
Hard to believe he is about to begin his 3rd season with this club
Mrs. Clark and Mr. Jim - they made the school world a wee bit easier to navigate
Tariku and Ms. Gatlin (2nd grade)
It's a party when Will is in town and mama is in Ethiopia
 an amazing evening to benefit 147 million orphans and a private screening of Legends of the Knight #wearebatman
Easter 2014
yep a totaled car in the Spring of 2014 
Who cares the water is FREEZING!
Always ready for the next adventure
Off to Uncle Jason's we go
Playing tic tac toe with great-grandma Taeko 
Mama why do Americans think this is fun?  This is just life in Africa! - Tariku
Brothers 
Awards won and parties planned
See a theme?  This boy and his tic tac toe
On the soccer field before 7am - calls for one thing
So happy to see their Amber get married
Summer spent with Kylee
The Christmas gift from Uncle Josh that lives on and on and on
Giggles and all girl
Adventure and Road Trips!
Atlanta GA - Six Flags
A look into the future and look who's driving
Kylee behind the wheel
Cousins and the bestest of friends
One would think they were related by blood - but alas they are not
Summer - welcomed a pool into our yard!!
New friends
Working on their radio voices
Hanging with friends at the radio station
Listening as they remix the Tariku message
Preparing his lines
Ready to go wish America a very happy birthday
Disney day @ Camp Summer Sign
Just over 5 months in this thing 
Halloween
The launch of a non - profit
Wedding help in Santa Fe
Cliff Dwelling in Santa Fe
My little orange boy


So there you have it!!  A look back at 2014 - we are blessed beyond measure and look forward to all that comes in 2015.  From the Hammons House to yours we wish you a very HAPPY NEW YEAR