Saturday, June 6, 2009

Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit

At the end of April, myself (Dina) and three other team members from "A Voice for His Children" had the privilege of attending the fifth annual Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit. There were awesome keynote speakers such as Dennis Rainey, Dr. Tony Evans and others. More than 50 training sessions covered topics ranging from the mechanics of starting a church-based orphan ministry or an adoption support fund, to building regional networks and international church-to-church partnerships.
On the last night and the last session of the conference, everyone was asked to reflect on what God had been saying to them for the past two days. Then, we were all invited to lite a candle and bring it to the alter, saying a prayer or making a commitment that would be appropriate to what God was speaking to each of us. Here is how God spoke to each of our hearts:

Cecilia Puczek, Brooke Loske, Dina Ackermann & Jo Ann Noble attended the Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit in Dallas, TX

"A Big Thank You to all the contributors that made this trip possible for us! It was an amazing two-day experience packed with God-fearing speakers and helpful, eye-opener sessions. I was very encouraged to see so many people and churches that have the same calling and the same passion to serve the orphans! Through this Summit I learned that educating yourself in the orphan crisis does make a difference! I, myself, had many misconceptions on adoption (countries you can adopt from and the logistics of it); on how the orphan crisis looked like in other places of the world; about adopting children who are HIV positive; and about the various, creative ways to participate in this cause. I realized that so many people may be in the same place I was, not being able to participate due to lack of education...One of the speakers mentioned that God has called everyone in His church to serve the orphans and the widows, not only a few... with this, our hope now is to educate our church about this need and present this opportunity to everybody to be part of what God is already doing and what He would have us do!" Cecilia Puczek

"It was a blessing and a privilege to have been able to attend the orphan conference. First, God really affirmed me in my calling to serve orphans. He made it clear that I was right where He wanted me to be. Second, I gained a confidence and developed a deeper understanding of the issues involved in orphan ministry. I was able to make connections with other people from churches and organizations that are either traveling the same journey or exist to support ministries like ours. And finally, I was inspired by seeing how God is working all across the world to care for his little ones. As I heard one inspirational story after another from people just like me, I was reminded that God is on the move, tugging a people’s hearts, calling His Church to be a voice for his children." Dina Ackermann

"When A Voice for His Children began last August, I wasn't quiet sure what I was doing there. I felt like I was “along for the ride”, in a supportive/administrative way, but not a real personal way. I didn’t have a strong passion and tender heart for the vulnerable children like the others, but I knew God wanted me there. I now know my purpose. God opened my eyes, and my heart at the Christian Alliance for Orphans conference. I wasn’t expecting for God to rock my world, but he did. I now have a passion to raise awareness for domestic adoption.

They had a display in the lobby of the conference called the “Heart Gallery”. It was beautiful pictures of children in the foster care system that are currently eligible for adoption. It put a whole new face and perspective on what those children looked like. As I gazed at these beautiful children ranging in age up to 17, my heart was captivated and I ached for them because I knew that if people where aware of the possibilities there would be a forever family for every one of them. My desire is to bring the Heart Gallery to Willow Creek. I am terrified, but I know that if God called me to take on this task, he will equip me for it. I cannot do this on my own strength, so I will continue to lean on Him and look to Him for direction daily."

Brooke Loske

"I left with a better understanding of the foster care and adoption process and felt my heart bursting with so much to share with others. A heavy burden was also laid on my heart for the broken kids that are in need of a forever family. My husband and I have talked about possibly fostering or adopting many times over the years, but there were always questions.. especially about our age. After attending the conference and hearing so many stories from folks that were many years older than we are and taking children into their home to foster and/or adopt we were convinced! Thank you God for re-confirming to us our plan and purpose for Your kids. May it always be ALL for Your Glory! " Jo Ann Noble

We are already looking forward to next year's conference which will be April 29-30, 2010 in Minneapolis, MN. I hope you will consider joining us. For more information on the Christian Alliance for Orphans, please visit

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