Thursday, June 14, 2012

Africa Bound!! Hanna Project!!

As many of you know Africa hold a very special place in my heart. It all started four years ago in Little Rock, AR while I was at our National Association. A friend of mine kept talking about this organization called "The Hanna Project". She told me that they were going to be giving a presentation late in the day. When it was time for the presentation I was beat from walking the convention center all day. I told my friends that I had decided not to make the trip back down to the convention center. They gave up and begin to walk out of the room on their way to the presentation. Something in my mind and heart kept telling me to go. I put my shoes back on and decided to catch up with my group and go to the presentation anyway. Boy am I glad that I did. It was absolutely fantastic! My heart was moved and I begin to weep as I watched a forgotten people struggle to find hope in a dying world. I was hooked. I felt in my heart that I would take this journey at some point in my life. Little did I know that it would be seven months later.

I took an application home with me from the National's and sent it right in. The director of The Hanna Project contacted me and we chatted on the phone about my eagerness to get on a team for the next trip. He asked me to take on a project in my home church that involved collecting school kit items. School kits consist of a pack of pencils, pack of pens, two packs of paper, ruler, erasers, color pencils, and sharpener. These kits would go to Africa and be given out at the village schools. What cost us $3 at the dollar store cost African parents a weeks wages. I took on that project and collected over 200 school kits from our church.








I set up a meeting with the director of THP and personally delivered the school kits and was able to sit down ant talk about the trip. I was accepted as part of the Save A Live III team to West Africa. I can not tell you how excited I was. We left for the trip in February of 2008! Here are some pictures that I was able to take on that trip. 




































This trip changed my life and ministry forever! It has been four years since that trip. I have had a desire in my heart every year since to return. Unfortunately, the timing just has not been right and the doors did not open for me. Well, this year they have. I sent in my application and have been accepted! I will be a team member on the Save A Life VII team to Africa in August! I can not tell you how excited I am to be going! I love the people and have longed to go back there. Especially since Lauren and I have decided to adopt from Africa. It means even more to me now. We will be leaving the US August 30th and coming back September 10th. I can't wait to see what God is going to do.

This project will take place in the area of Bondoukou and will consist of both medical and building work. Our building team will be replacing a roof on the local school while our medical team will assist in eye care and provide much needed basic medical care in the surrounding villages. Please consider making a gift to help me impact lives in the city of Bondoukou. You can visit my fundraising page at http://www.hannaproject.com/fundraising/profiles/zackanderson Most of all we need your prayers. Pray for our team to be ready mind, heart and soul! Also, pray for the people of Bondoukou as we reach out to them in many ways. May God bless and keep you.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

BIG BIG DAY!!!!!!!!

It has been forever since my last blog entry. Oh my, where to start. We have been so busy with so many things. Trips to see family, Memorial Day, Our first adoption fundraiser, planning VBS, planning Mission trip to New York and the list goes on. I am so glad to be able to post something today. Since this is the first post in some time, it will be a long one lol.

video

I will start off telling all of you about the miracle that was our first adoption fund raiser. A few months ago we decided to have two yard sales to help raise money for our adoption. Each step of the adoption process takes a certain amount of money. We have been gathering enough money for one step at a time. Once that step is complete we begin gathering for the next step. We decided to have one yard sale in Paducah, Ky where my wife Lauren is from, and one here in Owensboro, Ky where I am from. Our friends and family began cleaning out their attics and donating those items for our yard sale. My fist thought was, will this really make us any money? You know me, always the realist. Well, by the time June 3rd got here my Father-in-law's garage was packed to the max. We had so much stuff I could not believe it. Then the overwhelming thought of, how in the world will we ever get rid of all this stuff really hit me. lol

video

Our family and friends worked extremely hard unpacking everything and getting it separated and tagging it all. After a very long hard day of unpacking, organizing, hauling, and pricing we were ready to drop. We went to bed excited about the next day. When we got up early the next day I really did not know what to expect. I got up at 6am and was out side by 6:30am. When I walked out we already had people out there looking to buy stuff. 10 hours later we had sold hundreds of items to hundreds of people and walked away with a grand total of $2,056!!!! Can you believe it? Our God is so great! 


This fundraiser made is possible to take our next step. This step for us is the most important step. Today, we are sending off our I600a form. This form will be sent to our governments and they will determine if we will be allowed to adopt internationally or not. This is huge for us!    
We are asking that all who read this blog please pray for this paper to fall into the hands of a Christian person. Pray that they will really read the letters of support and consider them seriously. This is so important to Lauren and I. We want our baby home with us ASAP. The more steps we knock down, the closer we are to holding baby Anderson in our arms. Thank you so much ahead of time for praying.
Our next big fundraiser will be here in Owensboro on July 28th. We have a garage packed to the door with hundreds maybe even thousands of items that we will be selling in our garage sale that day. I can't thank all our friends and family enough for all they have done. We look forward to what God is going to do.

Baby Anderson, Mommy and Daddy are working very hard so that we can see you soon. I have faith that this will happen and that we will hold you in our arms very soon. We love you!

We recognize that adoption may not be possible for everyone, so this might be one way to partner with us in fulfilling our dreams for ministry and family. If you would like to donate toward our adoption, you can make out a check to
             Zachary or Lauren Anderson
Mail to: 2825 West Wayside Dr.
            Owensboro, KY 42301
 PLEASE PUT ADOPTION IN THE MEMO.


Friday, March 30, 2012


Hello friends and family!! I just wanted to give you a quick update on what is going on in the Anderson household as of late. Well, we are moving full steam ahead! Running around collecting paper work for the completion of our home study. It's interesting trying to track down old information, but nevertheless it must be done.

Once again our wonderful adoption worker Meredith has been a great help to us in every way. She has given us a great fund raising idea that I believe can be very fruitful. This one is for all of you coffee drinkers, or those who know someone who loves coffee. There is an awesome organization called "Just Love Coffee Roasters" who helps people raise money for adoptions by donating money from all items sold on our online store. They will donate a portion of everything that you buy from the link I am going to provide. I bet that you didn't know that the coffee bean originated in Ethiopia did you?

While in Ethiopia we hope to be invited to an Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony! Ethiopian coffee ceremony is one of the most enjoyable event you can attend.
The ceremony starts with the woman, first bringing out the washed coffee beans and roasting them in a coffee roasting pan on small open fire/coal furnace. The pan is similar to an old fashioned popcorn roasting pan and it has a very long handle to keep the hand away from the heat. At this time most of your senses are being involved in the ceremony, the woman will be shaking the roasting pan back and forth so the beans won't burn (this sounds like shaking coins in a tin can), the coffee beans start to pop (sounds like popcorn) and the most memorable is the preparer takes the roasted coffee and walks it around the room so the smell of freshly roasted coffee fills the air ...
The roasted coffee is then put in a small household tool called 'Mukecha' (moo-ke-ch-a) for the grinding. Most restaurants at this time incorporate modern coffee grinders into the process, this is to save time and it does not take much from the ceremony. For those interested mukecha is a heavy wooden bowl where the coffee beans are put and another tool called 'zenezena' which is a wooden/metal stick used to crush the beans in a rhythmic up & down manner (pistil and mortar).
The crushed fresh roasted coffee powder then is put in a traditional pot made out of clay called 'jebena' (J-be-na) with water and boiled in the small open fire/coal furnace. Again the boiling coffee aroma fills the room, once boiled the coffee is served in small cups called 'cini' (si-ni) which are very small chinese cups.
As you sip your first cup of coffee, you've gone through the full process of watching seeing the coffee beans being washed, roasted, grinded, boiled & now the culmination you're drinking them. By now the process is finished at most restaurants, but traditionally Ethiopians stick around to get at least a second serving of coffee and sometimes a third.
The second and third serving are important enough that each serving has a name, first serving is called "Abol"; second serving is "Huletegna"(second) and third serving is "Bereka". The coffee is not grinded for the second and third serving, a portion of coffee powder is left on purpose for these two ceremonies.

This is the kind of coffee you can buy from Just Love Coffee Roaster to help support our adoption. Please go and visit our site Here and take a look around! Thank you all so much for the support! Please remember to share our blog and get the word out! May the Lord bless and keep you.

Baby Anderson, the more I read about your country and culture the more I want to share it with you. I can't wait to have Ethiopian Christmas, or have our own Coffee ceremony and keep your family traditions going. I love you and am praying for you daily. Daddy










Thursday, March 22, 2012

Home Study Down!!


Well my dear friends and family, our home study is done! First weight is off of our shoulders. Meredith, our adoption worker came to our home Tuesday evening to complete our home study. OK so many of you have asked, "What is this home study all about?" Well, here you go.

The adoption home study is a detailed written report of your family compiled and prepared by a social worker. The adoption home study requires the prospective adoptive family to gather different documents, answer several questions, and explore their reasons for adopting. Through a series of visits and interviews the social worker can get a complete picture of who you are and what life is like in your family. The adoption home study is a part of the decision making process for both the prospective family and the workers. Not only can the adoption home study help the worker place a child into our home who would best fit into our family, but help the family and the worker decide if now is a good time for our family to adopt.

I have to say again that Meredith is so awesome! She is so much like Lauren it's funny. Very outspoken and tells you just like it is. She had made the whole process very comfortable and easy for us. As Meridith was leaving I asked her if she thought there were any problems that would keep us from adopting and she said no. In fact she said we will be just fine. She also said i could quote her on that in this blog lol. We are just so very excited. God has provided every step of the way for us thus far and I know that He will continue to.

Lauren and I are looking forward to this experience. Not only bringing our child home, but also learning about the Ethiopian culture and lifestyle. We want to be 100% open with this adoption and teach our child about their heritage. We are looking forward to connecting with the adoptive families who have Ethiopian children and learn from them. Our Holidays will be exciting and different. We are looking forward to involving our families in this process as well. A lot to look forward to in the coming years.

Our home study will be typed up and delivered to the adoption agency in about two or three weeks. In the mean time we just have to tie up a few loose ends as far as some paper work goes. Our next step is to fill out a I-600A Form. The I-600A is the first form you will fill out with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This form is completed before an orphan is located or has been identified for an adoption by you.We will have to get a birth certificate to show proof of citizenship, Proof of marriage and the proof of ended previous marriages. Photocopies of divorce decrees, Completed home study with a recommendation by the state agency, and Fingerprints of all adults over the age of 18 who reside in the home. That may not be everything. lol We will see.

We are so blessed to have so many friends and family supporting us. This is still a very long road with a huge financial commitment. We know that God will provide.

Please remember that you can donate to our cause if you feel that is what God would have you to do. We have a personal PayPal account set up and the link is below. Just select an amount and hit pay now. Every penny will go toward our adoption process to bring Baby Anderson home! Anything we receive over that amount will be donated to Care Net Pregnancy Center of Owensboro. Thank you!

Baby Anderson, I can just imagine how you will be and our times together. I can't wait for all of it. The good and the bad. Can't wait to teach you about God's ways. Looking forward to holding you when you cry and supporting you when you fall. I look forward to celebrating your achievements and watch you become a great person. I love you

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Good News!!






Well friends, what a week! Our home study is fast approaching and we are so very excited to have Meredith coming to our home. This is an important step for us. After the home study you can begin the process of applying for our adoption grants and start our fundraising efforts.
The home study is $1,500 and that is a lot of money for us to come up with. I started this past week finding things that could go on eBay. Things like a GPS, Baseball cards, a BodyBug and so on. I was able to collect around $210 from that. Not to mention our angel who dropped $500 in our mailbox a few weeks ago. We knew that we had around $700 for our home study but were racking our brains to figure out how in the world we were going to come up with the other $800. lol If you have not figured it out by now, I am the worrier. lol
So we are cleaning house today and I look at my wife and ask her how in the world are we going to come up with $800 in the next 2 weeks. She looks at me and says, well I don't know but why are you worried about it? You know God's got this. lol Just like my wife. She has much more faith than I do at times. It's like God's voice came out of thin air and reminded me of something I had thought of a few days ago. Get rid of your old gold jewelry. Lauren and I both had gold that we no longer wear or it was broken or kinked. We started going through it and found several pieces. We took it off to see how much we could get out of it with gold prices being $1660 an ounce. We get there and the guy writes us a check for $1,224.00!!!! I almost fell over! We were so excited. OUR HOME STUDY IS PAID FOR!! What a relief and huge weight off our shoulders! Now we can rest our minds and look to the next step of this journey.
Last night we had an opportunity to go to a class on Raising a Multiracial Family. It was awesome. We really enjoyed meeting new people and seeing all the adopted children. We were able to meet a couple who have adopted a son from Ethiopia. He just melted our hearts. It made us long to have Baby Anderson home with us asap lol. We were able to friend them on Facebook and are planning to keep in touch with other families who have adopted from Ethiopia. Looking forward to new friendships.
So, as you know we want to share this journey with the world. We want God to be seen and tell others what He has done for us. I have started asking people on twitter to re tweet our blog to as many people as they can. Well, that has been more successful than I imagined. Last night Leah Remini tweeted me asking about our adoption and what she could do to help. Leah played Carrie on the hit tv show "The King of Queens". I told her to please re tweet our blog. Well, she DID!!! It went out to 174,000 people. Our blog blew up and people from all over the country begin to read it. That is pretty cool I think. So a big THANK YOU to Leah for that. She is not the only one. Others like The Bowling Family, Mark Lowry, After Edmund, Dean Hopper, Ernie Haase, Catalyst, D6 Family, The City Harmonic, The Perry's, and The Nelons have also re tweeted our blog to over 254,000 people! Over a quarter of a million people! How awesome is that! God in deff in control and we can't wait to see what He does next! God bless, and please continue to pray for us and Baby Anderson.
Please remember that you can donate to our cause if you feel that is what God would have you to do. We have a personal PayPal account set up and the link is below. Just select an amount and hit pay now. Every penny will go toward our adoption process to bring Baby Anderson home! Anything we receive over that amount will be donated to Care Net Pregnancy Center of Owensboro. Thank you!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

WAYS TO HELP!!




Hello everyone! The response to our blog has been overwhelming to say the least. God is so good and His people are faithful! I want to start by giving God all glory and honor for what He has and will do during our adoption process. He is truly faithful and able to do great and mighty things.
As many of you know, the financial burden of an adoption is a considerable one. After reading many blogs about adoption journeys, I have come to see that this is a worry and concern for may families. I have also learned something else. In every blog that I read I see people, church family and friends coming together in unity to fulfill God's plan for adoption. James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of
our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their  distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
I want to share with you what God has allowed. 

We decided to do the only thing that we can do about the financial situation. GIVE IT TO GOD! I mean, that should be a no brainer right? lol  It's amazing how faithless we can be some times. Well, about a week ago I felt that God was telling me that I should really try and promote this blog. I kept feeling like the more people that read it, the more people will see God's hand in it all and He will be glorified. I had an idea to start using two of the biggest social media sites out there. Facebook and Twitter. In the last week, our blog has been retweeted by people like Mark Lowery, Ernie Haas, Dean Hopper, The Bowling Family and Catalyst to over 55,000 people!! Can you believe that? 55,000 people have had access to our link! We have had tons of people accessing our blog from all over the US and many different countries.

Well, I have been asking God to move in the hearts of His people and those who are reading to bring them closer to Him in some way. Then it hit me. God is allowing me access to thousands of people who may want to help us in our journey. Many people are looking for opportunities to help with something like this. I then begin to think, what if only half of those people donated $1.00 toward our adoption effort? We would have already raised our funds. lol How awesome would that be. I called PayPal and asked about putting a donate now button on our blogs but they said I would have to have Non-Profit status. Well, we don't so that was out. Then I thought, why can't I just add my personal account with a pay now button? People who want to give online can and people who want to give directly can just send to us.

We are going to accept donations! If you want to help us bring baby Anderson home from Ethiopia and fulfill God's plan for our family then please feel free to donate any amount. Every little bit helps. Our fist step is to pay for our Home Study. That is going to cost $1,500. That money will be due in about a month. We have been selling items on ebay and I have been selling my old baseball cards to help in the effort. So far we have around $700.00. We sill need another $800.00.

We are already fully invested in this process and are planning other opportunities to raise funds as well.  We recognize that adoption may not be possible for everyone, so this might be one way to partner with us in fulfilling our dreams for ministry and family. If you would like to donate toward our adoption, you can make out a check to
             Zachary or Lauren Anderson
Mail to: 2825 West Wayside Dr.
            Owensboro, KY 42301
 PLEASE PUT ADOPTION IN THE MEMO.

OR you can just click the pay now option below and choose an amount. Anything raised over our adoption amount will be donated to Care Net pregnancy center of Owensboro.


Amounts

Another huge way to help us is to partner with us in prayer! Pray for us and our baby! Pray for the health of our babies Mother and the health of our child. God knows what He is doing and we trust Him 100%. Thank you all for praying or donating. May God receive all the Glory and Honor! Great things are coming.
You can follow my wife's blog at rosebud76.blogspot.com

Monday, March 12, 2012

Fundraiser #1

I am writing to announce a big fundraiser that is in the works right now. The weekend of the huge Hwy 68 yard sale (June 1-3 in Paducah) Lauren will be having a yard sale at her parent’s home. I know everyone has a box of stuff sitting in their house somewhere labeled “yard sale” but you either don’t want to mess with it or don’t think you have enough stuff to warrant a yard sale (that's always us). Here is your chance to get rid of that box of said stuff! We will be accepting donations of items for the yard sale to help bring home Baby Anderson from Ethiopia!


Also, for those in the Owensboro area, we will be having a yard sale too, the details haven't been worked out yet but if you have a GREAT location for a yard sale in an area that has a huge yard sale weekend and would be willing to let us set up then please contact me!

You can email Lauren if you have any questions, rosebud76(at)gmail(dot)com
Thank you so much for your time to read this and your prayers.



Lauren and Zack



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Location:Wayside Dr W,Owensboro,United States