Providing gospel-centered resources to mobilize the church for global orphan care.

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Adopted

by Dennae Pierre Published Apr 5, 2011

[This post was written by our newest T4A writer, Dennae Pierre. Watch an excellent video interview with Dennae and her husband.]

It is a joy to join the Together for Adoption blog. Since this is my first day posting, I thought I would briefly introduce myself.

I was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. Several years ago, I got involved in a church plant in downtown Phoenix where I was blessed to meet my husband (who also happened to be the lead pastor). Shortly thereafter we started our family by becoming foster parents. We now have adopted our two oldest children (9 & 5) and had a baby a little over a year ago.

But long before I became an adoptive parent, I was adopted myself. And I am an adoption success story.

If it were not for adoption, I would still be a slave to sin and death. The cost to adopt me was the blood of Christ and because of that great sacrifice I am now a child of God Almighty.

What I love about Together for Adoption is their mission to provoke thoughts, discussion, and praise within the church regarding OUR adoption. A byproduct of that mission is to then look at the wonderful opportunity we have to mirror God’s adopting love by adopting and caring for the orphans around us. In coming posts, I hope to not only encourage those who have adopted, but exhort all of us who have been adopted by our Heavenly Father.

[See below to learn about this house conference interview]

In the third part of our first house conference, I had the opportunity to interview Craig Juntunen about his global initiative (Both Ends Burning) to transform the international adoption process. Craig is a former professional quarterback whose life took an unexpected turn as a result of a trip to Haiti. Since that trip to Haiti, Craig has become an adoptive father, founder of Chances for children (which has placed over 100 Haitian children in adoptive families), and now the founder and president of the Both Ends Burning Campaign. Although adoption, whether domestic or international, is not the answer to the global orphan crisis, the adoption process certainly needs to be reformed for the sake of children who are waiting for families. Through the Both Ends Burning Campaign, Craig Juntunen and his team are working tirelessly to make this a reality.

This video is the interview segment of our second house conference, which was held in Phoenix, Arizona in partnership with Roosevelt Community Church. In it, I interview Vermon and Dennae Pierre about their foster-to-adopt story. What I love about their story is that it could not have happened without their local church. Vermon is the lead pastor of Roosevelt Community Church.

Both Vermon and Dennae are actively involved in Together for Adoption. Vermon will be doing a breakout session on transracial adoption at our October 21-22 national conference in Phoenix; and Dennae is a new regular contributor to the T4A blog.

Our house conference initiative is an effort to bring teaching on God’s story of adoption and its implications for the global orphan crisis to living rooms in select cities across the United States. Obviously, not everyone can fly across the country to attend a T4A conference. So, in part, our house conference initiative aims to “bring a T4A conference to a living room near you . . . for free.”

House Conference Format: 20-20-20

- 20 minutes of teaching: The Story Behind the Story of Adoption – Sparking the Conversation
- 20 minutes of discussion: In-House Interviews – Continuing the Conversation
- 20 minutes of questions: Q & A – Expanding the Conversation

Our hope is to use house conference to spark continuing conversations about orphan care that move Christians/churches toward greater collaboration and implementation. Why will these conferences be hosted in homes? Because the orphan crisis is something that Christians should grapple with in their living rooms. It should be that personal to us.

In part 2 of our first house conference, I interview Tyler Johnson about the difficult process of their first adoption. It’s an amazing story. If you are growing weary of waiting that comes with adoption, you’ll want to watch this interview.

If you are interested in hosting a house conference in your city, let us know through our contact page.

Our house conference initiative is an effort to bring teaching on God’s story of adoption and its implications for the global orphan crisis to living rooms in select cities across the United States. Obviously, not everyone can fly across the country to attend a T4A conference. So, in part, our house conference initiative aims to “bring a T4A conference to a living room near you . . . for free.”

House Conference Format: 20-20-20

- 20 minutes of teaching: The Story Behind the Story of Adoption – Sparking the Conversation
- 20 minutes of discussion: In-House Interviews – Continuing the Conversation
- 20 minutes of questions: Q & A  – Expanding the Conversation

Our hope is to use house conference to spark continuing conversations about orphan care that move Christians/churches toward greater collaboration and implementation. Why will these conferences be hosted in homes? Because the orphan crisis is something that Christians should grapple with in their living rooms. It should be that personal to us.

House Conference Video (Part 1)

by Dan Cruver Published Apr 1, 2011

Our first house conference was hosted in Chandler, Arizona by Tyler Johnson and very hospitable members of Redemption Church. Here is part 1 of the 3-part evening. In it, I explain my adoption and Trinity diagram.

If you are interested in hosting a house conference in your city, let us know through our contact page.

Our house conference initiative is an effort to bring teaching on God’s story of adoption and its implications for the global orphan crisis to living rooms in select cities across the United States. Obviously, not everyone can fly across the country to attend a T4A conference. So, in part, our house conference initiative aims to “bring a T4A conference to a living room near you . . . for free.”

House Conference Format: 20-20-20

- 20 minutes of teaching: The Story Behind the Story of Adoption – Sparking the Conversation
- 20 minutes of discussion: In-House Interviews – Continuing the Conversation
- 20 minutes of questions: Q & A  – Expanding the Conversation

Our hope is to use house conference to spark continuing conversations about orphan care that move Christians/churches toward greater collaboration and implementation. Why will these conferences be hosted in homes? Because the orphan crisis is something that Christians should grapple with in their living rooms. It should be that personal to us.

Cruciform: Living the Cross-Shaped Life

by Dan Cruver Published Mar 31, 2011

Cruciform: Living the Cross-Shaped Life by Jimmy Davis ships tomorrow (April 1). No fooling. If you were to buy just one book in the month of April, Jimmy Davis’ new book should be it. If you buy (and read it), you’ll want to read it again in both May and June. It’s that good. Plus, he writes about our adoption in Christ quite a lot. Here’s the endorsement I wrote for Cruciform Press’ latest book:

“The cross-shaped life is a life that’s larger than life, far wider, deeper, and higher than we can possibly imagine. If the gospel has become at all routine to you or you simply wish to be freshly amazed at the transformative grace of God to you in Christ Jesus, read Jimmy Davis’ book Cruciform: Living the Cross-Shaped Life. In it, Jimmy provides stunning, gospel-saturated vistas of what a cross-shaped life looks like in real life. If you are like me, you will want to read it more than once. It’s that spiritually helpful.”

You may order it here.

Why Theology Matters for Orphans

by Dan Cruver Published Mar 29, 2011

Jedd Medefind writes:

If our theology envisions an absent or indifferent God, then we have no reason to be anything but absent or indifferent when it comes to children that don’t share our genetic material. But if we truly grasp that every soul bears the image of God, everything changes. If God pursued and adopted us at infinite cost to himself when we were orphans of sin, then we can do the same…with joy at getting to mirror the heart of our Father.

Read Jedd’s entire post. He highlights the Christian Alliance for Orphans’ webinar that T4A is doing tomorrow (there’s still time to register).

T4A House Conference II (Phoenix)

by Dan Cruver Published Mar 28, 2011

If you live in the Phoenix area, you may now register for our March 24th house conference. It’s free! Sign up soon. Only 5 more seats are available.

Together for Adoption’s house conference initiative aims to “bring a T4A conference to a living room near you . . . for free.” Our second house conference is 7:00 PM PST, tonight (Monday), March 28th, in Phoenix, Arizona. We can only accommodate 5 more outside guests for this second house conference. Seats will be reserved for the next 5 who sign up online. Directions to the conference location will be emailed to those who sign up.

Here’s a little information about our house conferences:

Objective: Deliver the theology of adoption (and its implications for orphan care) through face-to-face connections (“theology in your living room”).

Format for tonight’s House Conference: 20-20-20

  • 20 minutes of teaching: The Story Behind the Story of Adoption – Sparking the Conversation
  • 20 minutes of discussion: In-House Interview (with Vermon and Dennae Pierre) – Continuing the Conversation
  • 20 minutes of questions – Expanding the Conversation

Our hope is to use house conference to spark continuing conversations about orphan care that move Christians/churches toward greater collaboration and implementation. Why are these conferences hosted in homes? Because the orphan crisis is something that Christians should grapple with in their living rooms. It should be that personal to us.

Tonight’s House Conference will be video captured and uploaded to our Vimeo channel later this week. Stay tuned.

House Conference #1 is a Wrap!

by Dan Cruver Published Mar 25, 2011

I’m sitting here at a Starbucks in Scottsdale, Arizona, reflecting upon last night’s house conference, our first one. Our primary reason for holding these mini-conferences in homes is because the orphan crisis is something that we as Christians should grapple with in our living rooms. The plight of orphans around the world should be just that personal to us.

What I especially enjoyed about our first one-hour mini-conference is the diversity of people who attended. We had singles, couples (some of whom had already adopted and others that were just beginning to explore the possibility) and others who just wanted to dive deeper into the theology of adoption. The ethnic diversity of all those present was a special highlight for me, too. As far as I’m concerned, it was a wonderful evening.

I spent the first 20 minutes (yes, only 20 minutes!) talking about the Story behind the story of adoption that Galatians 4:4-6 presents. After our 30,000 feet look at the theology of adoption, I conducted two 15-20 minute interviews. The first was with Tyler Johnson about his family’s wonderful adoption story and the second was with Craig Juntunen, President and Founder of Both Ends Burning, about their innovative campaign to reform international adoption. Not only are both interviews well worth watching but they (as well as my 20 minute talk on adoption) will be available on our Vimeo channel next week. Once they are uploaded and ready to go, I’ll announce it on the blog.

So, house conference #1 is a wrap and house conference #2, Lord willing, will happen this coming Monday night, once again in beautiful Phoenix. I’m eager to see what God chooses to do through this simple grassroots initiative.

T4A Down Under!

by Dan Cruver Published Mar 21, 2011

I was recently asked why Together for Adoption was heading to Australia this coming fall to hold a November 18-19 conference. My short answer is that Scripture’s teaching on God’s work of adoption (Ephesians 1:4-5; Romans 9:4; Galatians 4:4-6; Romans 8:15 and 23) sends out lines of implications that penetrate the boundaries of every continent and country on the globe. As a matter of fact, vertical adoption (i.e., God’s breaking into human history to accomplish his mission of adoption; see Galatians 4:4-6) is bigger than the universe itself. It begins with the Communion of Love that the Triune God has forever enjoyed in His own being and climaxes with God renewing the heavens and the earth (Romans 8:20-23) where the Father’s multi-ethnic children will forever participate in the Trinity’s love. The good news of our adoption is that through Jesus Christ the Triune God has enlarged the eternal circle of communion to include us, those who entered this world without hope and home (Ephesians 2:12-13), and will one day renew the earth, making it our eternal home.

That good news has profound implications for how we as Christians care for our society’s most needy, whether they live inside or outside the womb. Together for Adoption has the wonderful privilege of partnering with The Babes Project to explore Scripture’s teaching on our adoption by God and its implications for caring for the fatherless and at-risk children in whichever continent or country they are found. We believe that exploring a subject like this with other Christians is worth traveling across the globe for. This not only accounts for why Together for Adoption is going to Australia but also why we are excited to do so.

Follow the @t4aAustralia twitter account to track what’s going on with T4A Down Under.

On a side note, we have been very encouraged by the number of our friends in the U.S. who have mentioned that they are seriously considering joining us in Australia. Let’s see if we can fill a plane!

Register for Our First House Conference Now

by Dan Cruver Published Mar 18, 2011

If you live in the Phoenix area, you may now register for our March 24th house conference. It’s free! Sign up soon. There are less than 15 more seats available.

House conference details here.

Note: Due to technical difficulties, our first two house conferences will not be video live-streamed. They will be video-captured and uploaded to our Vimeo channel, though. We will let you know when our first two house conference videos are available.

If you wish to get a better understanding of the complexity of the global orphan crisis and learn from churches and Christian organizations that are working toward viable solutions, the Christian Alliance for Orphans’ monthly webinar series is an invaluable resource. Each month the Alliance brings in national experts to address various aspects of a holistic approach to Christian orphan care. Previous webinar topics include: “How to Help Without Hurting,” “The Safe Famillies Model,” “The Post-Placement Journey,” “Partnering with the Local Church to Care for Orphans in Haiti,” “Starting and Growing a Church-Based Orphan Ministry,” and “Help Wanted: Protecting Orphans from Human Trafficking.” If you have missed any of these excellent webinars, the Alliance has made all of them available on its webinar page.

On Wednesday, March 30th, at 2:00 PM EST, Daniel Bennett (author of A Passion for the Fatherless: Developing a God-Centered Ministry to Orphans) and I will lead a webinar entitled “Rediscovering a Theology of Adoption and Orphan Care.” Here’s our webinar’s description:

There are two movements within evangelicalism that are not only experiencing significant growth, but are also wonderfully merging together: the orphan care movement and the reemergence of a deep interest in the theology of adoption. This webinar will explore both how Scripture’s teaching on adoption can inform, shape, and empower evangelicalism’s orphan care movement and how it already is. Join us as we rediscover a theology of adoption and orphan care for the sake of orphans all around the world.

Let me invite you to join us as we consider this important subject. Visit the Alliance’s webinar page to register. It’s free.

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