It began with a nudging that I believe was born many years ago out of challenge and loss. When I spoke of adoption it was as if a light was turned on, a wild flourescent 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.
What I can clearly see today, nearly 7 years later is the fingerprint of God as the great connector. What we thought would be one journey to one little girl became more than a thousand connections, signs of wonder and a literally blueprint set before us that we were to further engage to help the one.
And while many children all over the world are orphaned and need to be brought into forever families I was quickly shown just how many children remain on the streets in deep dark poverty with no place to turn for protection, guidance, food and shelter. Such children might have an ill or struggling family member or perhaps he or she was sent into the city to find work in order to survive. What I saw in the developing world was like nothing I had ever seen before. My life and all the prioroities I had ever known were ripped in two. I was broken and gripped by the one (millions really ) that were left behind all alone in a broken and hurting world. Who would be there for the one?
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, knowing that the action often produces a domino effect. We must be the change, open to being used as a vessel of hope and love for others.
Today it is no secret to many of you that God has orchestrated and surrounded us with a network that defys distance or circumstance, creating a vivid masterpiece of brilliant connected strokes. Nearly everyday I feel His power using me to again say yes no matter if it is with the adoptive Mother in the grocery store or the Missions director of a local church. Maybe it is the hurting child in Ethiopia or the team member in need of a life changing wake up call. My job is to say yes and trust where He will lead.
At Begin With One we seek to be the voice of those already doing great 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 ministries such as No Ordinary Love Ministries and Women at Risk Ethiopia just as we have been called to learn more about Family Promise and Wedgwood Christian Services right here in Grand Rapids. Orphans, widows, trafickked and displaced children and of course those who have been abused and neglected deserve our voice. 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. So many are waiting.
We cannot do this alone. Get to know us, ask questions and share your ideas.
Stay tuned for more information soon as so many things right now are an exciting work in progress!
Join us. Be the voice. Partner. Change a life.
Begin With One.