Changes to the blog, changes for our family

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If you’re a regular visitor to this blog, you’ve noticed a new look this week. Most notably, name (but not the address) of the blog has changed from “Jesus and Teenagers” to “Discipleship Family Ministry.” While most of the ministry posts will continue to center around youth ministry, I’ve found myself writing more on parenting and marriage, as well as being a follower of Jesus while serving in ministry. Hopefully the new name reflects that.

In addition to the new look, there are now advertisements around here, as well as in the blog feed. This blog has always been a hobby and costs only a few dollars a year to maintain (for the domain name), so I’ve never really sought to advertise. The reason for the change is this: my wife Jennifer and I have submitted an application to adopt internationally (from eastern Europe), and we will soon begin the process of raising funds to help pay for the adoption.

While any income from this blog will be only a tiny fraction of the entire adoption cost, Jennifer and I feel that to be good stewards of the money we are asking God to provide for the adoption, we should do our best to scrimp and save as much as possible in our own budget and look for simple ways we can earn extra income. Within a short while, we hope to have a way for people to give tax-deductible donations online toward the adoption, if God so leads them to offer financial support. Of course, if you’d like to give before we get that set up, just let us know via the “contact Benjer” page.

I’ve also set up a separate page for people to easily find posts about adoption on this blog. Every Saturday, we’ll put up a new post to chronicle how the process is going. We’ve found that there’s a LOT of information to wade through in the adoption process, and we hope that the weekly posts will help others who are considering adopting one or more children. In addition, writing about our experience may keep us from going crazy during the long (at least two years, if not longer) process of bringing a child home.

Here is our biggest request for you: please pray for our family during this process, especially for the child we adopt, should God bless us in that way. You see, we feel very strongly led to adopt an older boy from Bulgaria who may be physically or mentally disabled. If that’s what God allows us to do, by his grace, that means that our son could be living in an orphanage in Bulgaria even as I write this. And that is a heart-breaking and emotionally confusing thought. We will certainly soon be asking friends and family for financial support. Yet what would bless us the most is to know that people are committed to praying for our family on a daily or weekly basis until we bring our son home. If you would be willing to commit to praying for us on a regular basis, we would love to hear from you. We have no idea what we’ve gotten ourselves into, and perhaps that’s the way God has meant it to be.

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