Plenty of Love to Give

It was so exciting to open up the Sunday paper and see a colorful, vibrant spread of pictures of one of our ABBA Fund families! The title of the article was “Plenty of Love to Give” and how true that statement is when it comes to this family!

In 2009, Jimmy and Gayla Renslow adopted their daughter Zuri from an orphanage in Uganda when she was 10 months old.  The Renslows’ attend The Church at 5:14 in Greensboro, NC which is an ABBA Fund church partner.  What a joy to have helped this body of Christ establish an adoption assistance fund and to see these beautiful children come home to their forever families!   Today, we are happy to share that the entire family (Mac, Boe, Leia, Gayla, Zuri and Jimmy) is currently in Uganda finalizing the adoption of their son, Zeke!  Please pray for this family as we await their safe arrival back in America in mid-August.

One thing we love is that not only did this article provide an opportunity for the community to hear of a local family’s adoption testimony, but it was also a chance to inform others about the country of Uganda and transracial adoption.  The article higlighted that out of the 28.5 million people living in Uganda, 2.3 million are orphans and nearly half have lost thier parents because of AIDS (Source:

A correlating article highlighted transracial adoption in which another family, Jenna and Keith Penner of our church partner Salem Chapel Church in Winston-Salem, shed some light on this issue from their own experience with adopting two children from Uganda.  Although there was some hesitation in the beginning of the process, Jenna is thankful that her heart was pulled to Africa:

“I truly believe that most people are just curious.  They don’t mean to be rude.  It’s our job to be graceful and polite and take those times to educate people.”

“The bigger the family, the more ‘full’ and fulfilled we have felt,” Jimmy Renslow says.  “We only have one opportunity to live this life, and we want to make the most of it, and the more we give away, the more we experience life to the fullest.”

The Renslows are active in helping families interested in adopting from Uganda by being a resource to them. They started the “Out of Uganda” fellowship group which aims to “intentially build a community of African Americans – Ugandan Americans – who support each other. ” This group continues to be a blessing to many families.

You can follow the Renslowfamily at  Here’s a blurb from one of Jimmy’s posts:

“This in itself is an answer to prayer because the connection has taken more time than it did with Zuri.  It is like experiencing a miracle to feel love well up for someone who is going to become you child. It boggles my mind to watch it happen to our family with each encounter.”

Courtesy: Greensboro News & Record, Life Section: “Plenty of Love to Give” and “Families Struggle with Transracial Adoption.”  July 17, 2011

Hope For 100 Reaches Goal! Now what?

GOD IS GOOD! In January of 2009, Pastor David Dykes introduced the challenge of Hope for 100 to Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas. The challenge was for 100 GABC families to commit to care for an orphan through adoption or foster care. And we are thrilled to report as of August 2010 that Hope for 100 has exceeded their goal. Now several other churches around the country have begun their own Hope for 100 program as well.

Many are asking Green Acres Baptist Church now that they’ve exceeded their goal of 100 children, what’s next? Pastor David Dykes will unveil Hope For 100 Version 2.0 on November 7th, which is National Orphan Sunday. Be sure to save the date and don’t miss November 7th and the unveiling of the next chapter in of Hope For 100.

For more information on Hope for 100 campaigns and how you might start one in your church visit our website here.

Local Communities Changing the World Abroad

One of the greatest joys in what we do is working with churches around the country. We get to witness some incredible things that churches are doing to care for orphans. One of our newest church partners is New Life Church in Conway, AK. Their orphan ministry, The Refuge, was instrumental in starting what is now known as the Pili Project. This is one example of what God is through local communities in here to change the world abroad for the sake of the fatherless!

The Pili (‘Pie-lee’) Project is a special project striving to improve impoverished orphanages worldwide and create families through adoption.

Despite the awareness of deplorable living conditions for orphans around the globe there is a continued inaction to fight this injustice. It is estimated that there are 100 million orphans worldwide. These innocent children are abandoned due to many factors including poverty, war, and disease. The increased adversity in their lives fosters little hope for their futures. Simply put, there are not enough caring individuals to counterbalance their need. As a result, more innocent children suffer. The Pili Project endeavors to create hope for the hopeless.

The Church and the Global Orphan Crisis

Matt Capps, Associate Pastor for Connections at Calvary Baptist Church, Winston-Salem, N.C. shares a word about the global orphan crisis and the role of the church. I couldn’t agree more. Click below to read his whole post and watch a video their church put together for Orphan Sunday.

As Christians we are adopted as sons and daughters and God uses us as the vehicles by which he demonstrates his love to a lost world. Think about it, the church is the community that gives the world a foretaste of the renewed creation, when all things will be “made new”. We have the responsibility of living now in light of what will one day be. And, who is more fully equipped to address the global orphan crisis than the church is?

We are the people who have been entrusted with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the eternal message of hope. We understand that “one day the very word orphan will be eliminated from the human vocabulary.” But until that day comes we as a church have a responsibility to proclaim the gospel not only in word, but in deed. Remember what James wrote, “religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”

Read the whole post here.

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Desert Springs Adoption Ministry

Picture 55Desert Springs Church started their adoption ministry this past year and just launched their new website. It has been a joy to partner with them in providing administration for their adoption fund. Already a number of families have been helped through this fund by Desert Springs. I love the section on the site listing the families who have adopted, are in the process, and are thinking about adoption. I also love their adoption ministry mission statement:

Spread God’s glory broader and deeper by…

…cultivating a culture of adoption at DSC by purposefully reflecting on our adoption into God’s family through Christ.

…mobilizing couples and families to adopt by offering education and training.

…helping to remove financial barriers.

…mobilizing the body of Christ to support adoptions by adopting the adopters.

…communicating what God is doing through DSC adoptions.