orphan advocate, and disciple of Jesus Christ. I’m the father of 3 beautiful children (Landri – 6,
Kyson – 4, Zion – 19 months). I’m
also married to a wonderful woman for the past 10 years who constantly supports
and tolerates my crazy life.
daughter, Landri from South Korea.
At the time, we adopted really out of necessity, because we were
struggling with infertility. But,
it wasn’t until after we adopted that we began to understand that God was going
to use us to promote the amazing blessing of adoption and also bring awareness
to the worldwide orphan crisis.
overall. It was a relatively easy
process and our little princess quickly became the center of our lives. We suddenly knew how people get
addicted to adoption.
true blessing from God. We were
connected to his birth mother by chance through a long connection of friends
and acquaintances here in southwest Missouri. Just 6 weeks after first meeting his birth mother, he was
born and came home with us from the hospital. We suddenly were the parents of 2 kids. It was scary, but exciting!
pulling to do more good. My
initial feeling was that God was asking us to help other people adopt. We had been blessed so much by
adoption, that we wanted to empower others to experience the same thing we
did. God had provided us with the
financial resources, a supportive family, and the drive to jump through all of
the hoops that are associated with adoption. Unfortunately, not everyone is so lucky.
to give back more. He shared with
me that he had a similar feeling (he is the father of 5, including 2 adopted
children) and we began to talk more about all of the possibilities. Time passed and my calling became
stronger and stronger. I began to
look for mission work opportunities that fit my skill set and passion, but
struggled to find a good fit.
adoption. We quickly found
ourselves immersed in our local Ethiopian adoption community.
Ethiopian adoption group gathering) excited about this “Man Up” mission trip
that he was going on and he wanted me to get on board. Suddenly I had found what I had been
my wife what she thought, but knowing I was going regardless of what she
thought, because I knew in my heart that this is what God had been planning for
adventure with 41 other incredible people that were all interested in Manning
Up for Orphans. The group was exceptionally
diverse and included the Man Up visionary, Roger Gibson, soon-to-be dear friends
Stephen and Wynne Elder, and my childhood friend Jason Clement.
became flipped upside down in those 16 days. I do know that suddenly things that I thought were clear in
life became blurry, and things that were blurry, were now clear. I didn’t know if I was supposed to go
home and live life as if nothing had ever happened, or if I was supposed to move
my family to Africa to live out the rest of my days.
of daily life. We had seen
children eat food from the dump in Korah, explained to widows that I couldn’t take
their children home with me, and spent time with a pastor who had been shot and
left for dead, simply for loving Jesus. I didn’t know how to function in my comfortable life at home.
Man Up movement forward. Over the
next year, my wife and I began fundraising to build a school for the Karamonjong
tribe in JinJa, Uganda. I led a Man Up team back to Uganda and Ethiopia with a
mission to continue to serve God through orphan and widow care. And, finally after 2 ½ years of hard
work, prayer, trials, and tribulations, we recently brought home our son from
Ethiopia. Life has never been
better, and will never be the same.
family. He has changed the way
that I interact with the college athletes that I train every day. He has changed my circle of friends. He has changed the way I read the
bible. He has changed my daily
schedule. I can’t think of one
area of my life that hasn’t been affected by His grace and calling to
one of the greatest choices that I have ever made. I’m beyond excited to be leading another trip to Uganda this
summer. I’m also excited to
continue to grow the school in Jinja that we have worked so hard to
establish. I know that God has
wonderful things ahead of me.
Hey, I'm Wynne!
Hi, friend! First, I truly am so giddy that you are here. I want you to know I believe in you and all the ways you are growing towards living a more intentional life. I genuinely hope you are encouraged from our time together here.
A little about me, I’m a type 7 on the enneagram, a total extrovert + people lover, entrepreneur, connector, storyteller, people gatherer, and passionate wife, mama + friend. I feel most alive when I’m exploring new places and surrounded by people I love. Give me a day in the outdoors disconnected from wifi, and I am a happy girl. I run on oat milk lattes, Jesus, gratitude journaling and kitchen dance parties with my four kids.
Welcome, come on in!