Max & Ivanna

We are always so excited to share the testimonies we receive from our loan families.  It also brings such joy to our hearts to be able to put faces to the names, and we pray you experience this same joy too.

ABBA Fund assisted Phillip and Charrissa with an interest free loan from one of our funds in late October 2010.  They had been diligent in their monthly repayments, and have just sent in their final pay-off check!  What’s so amazing is that money will be going right back out to another family in need! We are so thankful for this family’s diligent stewardship, and look forward to seeing how the Lord works with this money to once again bring another child home to his or her loving family!

This loan helped the couple bring home their beautiful daughter and handsome son from Ukraine. From the note they included with their lovely pictures:

Thank you so very much for helping us bring Max and Ivanna home! It has been such a blessing.  Ivanna weighed 20 lbs at 5 years old, and now is 38 lbs and has grown 7″.  Max was just months from being transferred to an insane asylum – he is now a beloved son, brother, cousin, etc.



Phillip, Charrissa & their BEAUTIFUL family!

Thank you for sharing Phillip and Charrissa!  If you’d like to find out more about ABBA Fund’s interest free loan program, check out our website for more information.   If you feel led to make a donation to help bring more children like Max and Ivanna home to their forever families, please visit here for more information.

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

Watershed Moments

A kind note came in today to Dan Cruver, Director of Together for Adoption, and we’d love to share it with you all. This adoptive father was excited to share some news about accepting a leadership position at a domestic adoption agency and provided encouragement by sharing some of his testimony.  ABBA Fund was blessed to be a part of this family’s adoption journey by providing an interest free loan through one of our church partners at the end of March this year to help bring their child home!

I wanted you to be one of the first to know, because the Lord has used you as a very instrumental part of this process in our lives over the last few years. Looking back we can see that we were at a watershed moment when we attended the first Together for Adoption Conference in Greenville. Honestly, it’s a little scary to think about the turn our lives might have taken had we not attended the conference. Out of that one weekend the Lord enabled us to joyfully embrace adoption as a picture of the Gospel (as opposed to embracing it begrudgingly as our “Plan B”). Through your ministry, we were blessed to have a Gospel perspective on adoption from the start, and it’s made all the difference in our journey over the last few years.

I can’t really express in an e-mail the passion that we now feel for adoption. I suspect it’s similar to what you feel in your own heart. Suffice it to say that we have a strong sense that this is where the Lord has been leading us for quite some time. Not only have we been blessed to adopt our children, but we are now asking the Lord that He would work through us to advance the Gospel in broken lives all across our state, that many birthmothers would come to know Jesus, and that many children would be saved from abortion. 

Thank you again for your ministry; know that God is working through you and through T4A in very real ways.

To find out about this year’s Together for Adoption Conference, please visit

When Passion Becomes a Burden

I heard someone say something along these lines the other day – “this used to be a passion of mine but now it is a burden.” It struck me because it describes how I have been feeling lately when it comes to the plight of the orphan.

Not that I am no longer passionate about caring for orphans but that passion and excitement to see lives changed – orphans sponsored, fed, adopted – has grown into something that feels deeper and more painful. The excitement and joy and desire to see more lives changed remains but I find myself more aware of the pain and injustice that exists. It makes me ache. It burns. Children in my own city and millions more around the world who have no parent, no one providing for them, protecting them, loving them. Why? How? Surely we can do something. We can and we must do something.

More specifically, I feel this burden growing to see the global church grasp that we are responsible for these children. That together as Christians from the west and east – America, Africa, Asia and other nations – we would seek the permanent care of every orphan we can get too.

That’s what I’m burdened by, dreaming of, and praying for! God is big. He can do it. He cares more about the orphan than I do.

The thing I love is that I am not alone. There are so many others who are passionate and burdened for these precious children. And God is raising up a beautiful mosaic of specific burden carriers who are doing amazing things for their joy and care.

Oh Lord, take this burden and passion that I know also burns in thousands of other hearts and continue to unleash it for the sake of your glory and justice and love towards the fatherless of our world!

My Experience with Infertility

I posted on this over at Here’s an excerpt:

Years ago my wife and I went through a season dealing with infertility. It was one of the most painful seasons of our life and marriage. I was deeply humbled by how unprepared I was to care for my wife in this season. That is why I am so thankful for the story of Hannah in the Bible (1 Samuel 1).

Hannah taught me that it is natural for a woman to desire to have children. Woman all around the world can relate to her. My wife painfully longed to be a mother. Initially I didn’t know what to do with her emotional response to not being pregnant. To me it seemed so disproportionate to how I felt.

Read the whole post here.