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Resurrected this old post from nearly four years ago…

It began with a nudging born out of fertility challenge and loss. When I finally spoke of adoption it was as if a light was turned on, a wild fluorescent glow that could not be dimmed.  My husband reacted with an openness I still cannot believe considering the chaos of our lives at the time with three little guys four and under.

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What I can clearly see today, nearly six years later is the fingerprint of God as the GREAT CONNECTOR.  What we thought would be one journey to one child in need of a family, unfurled into signs of wonder and a literally blueprint set before us that we were to further engage as advocates for those in the margins. 

IMG_0418Our first trip to Ethiopia represents a birth for me. A place where my eyes were opened and my heart ripened to see.  What I saw in the developing world was like nothing I had ever seen before. My life and all the priorities I had ever known were called into question. My very faith was called into question.  With such a deep immersion into how poverty relates to broken families, I became quickly aware of why children are often relinquished. It was that first trip to meet our daughter which boiled everything down to being called to advocate for the ONE. One idea, one action, one trip and one donation became the calling. 

After four years of seeking, listening, going, adopting, serving, trusting, questioning, sponsoring and learning we believe the time is now to move Begin With One into a nonprofit corporation so we might continue to be the voice of those in need both in Ethiopia and right here in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  We know God has placed in us a passion for the fatherless and the vulnerable and we are eager to serve in whatever way possible to change the world for ONE  While we do not have all of this fully defined we do know the power of yes and the redemptive grace provided when investing in and empowering change in the life of others, one prayer, one idea and one action at a time.     Sometimes all each of us can do is change the life of ONE. We must be the change, open to being used as a vessel of hope and love for others and someone must go first. 

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Today it is no secret to many of you that God has orchestrated and surrounded us with a network that defies distance or circumstance, creating a vivid masterpiece of brilliant connected strokes. Nearly everyday I feel His power using me to again say yes, eyes open to the injustices of the world.

At Begin With One we seek to be the voice of those already doing grass roots work in Ethiopia. We hope to advocate for their needs and showcase God’s redemptive power in their works.  We seek to connect our high resource communities of family, friends, neighbors, team families, coaches, teachers, church members and more with daily needs that literally impact women and children ONE life at a time. We want to help others act and advocate for the ONE.

We seek to help the ONE. Just as God showed us that we had a daughter waiting in Ethiopia and then later a son, He also showed us the beautiful community of Chapa. He has connected us to numerous ministries supporting orphans, widows, trafickked and displaced children and those in need of a support to receive an education. They deserve to know that they are valued and loved.  We are called to be the voice, changing the world one child and one vulnerable person at a time. Our actions, donations and prayers matter. 

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We cannot do this alone. Get to know us, ask questions and share your ideas.

Join us. Be the voice. Partner. Change a life.

Begin With One.