Howdy. I'm Matt Todd. My wife and I have four kids and a dog,. I'm passionate about orphan care. I'm a die-hard fan of the Evansville Aces, the Indiana Hoosiers, and Star Wars. I'm trying to live life by the Todd family motto: "It behooves us to live!"

A Family Reunion with Show Hope

Show Hope Celebration
Back on Memorial Day Weekend, our family had the amazing opportunity to attend a “family reunion,” of sorts, in Franklin, Tennessee. Show Hope celebrated 10 years of changing children’s forevers by inviting anyone who has been impacted by their ministry to come to their stomping grounds for a giant party. As you probably already know, Show Hope is an integral part of our family’s adoption story.  I recently stumbled upon this story that was part of a message I had preached just a few short weeks before we brought Mihret home. I want to share it again because it perfectly illustrates the way God uses people connected with Show Hope…

God is on a mission here on earth. And He has chosen to accomplish His will through the obedience of His people. God wants the Gospel to be shared around the world. Although He could have the good news of Jesus Christ proclaimed through a blast of a trumpet or by writing it in the sky or some other supernatural method, He has chosen to use people like you and me to accomplish His will.

One example of God using the combined efforts of His followers to accomplish His will that has really impacted our family recently has been our experience during this whole adoption process. We know that God has commanded His followers to take care of widows and orphans. But it’s no secret that it can be expensive. One night, as I was tucking Aiden into bed a few weeks ago, he asked me about how we were going to be able to pay for the plane tickets. “Well,” I said to him. “God will provide. We know that God has called us to this and we know that He’ll provide.”

“How?” Aiden asked.

Suddenly, Alyson walked into his room and said, “I know! Maybe God will just make money appear in our bank!”

I paused for a second. “Well,” I said, “He could do that. But let’s don’t plan on that. Lots of times, God likes to use the gifts of people who love Him to help others.” Apparently this satisfied them because they both went to bed and didn’t really say anything else about it.

The very next day, we received notification from a ministry that provides financial assistance to families who are adopting internationally. We were awarded a grant that has allowed us to buy the plane tickets to Ethiopia. The primary way this ministry is able to provide financial assistance to families is through the combined efforts of God’s people using God’s resources to God’s glory.

Everyone who participated in Show Hope’s efforts five years ago made a difference. They helped us bring our daughter home. Because Show Hope is woven into our family’s story, we could not pass up this opportunity to meet our extended family – other people who have been directly impacted by Show Hope’s efforts face-to-face.

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Show Hope Celebration, a set on Flickr.

We toured the Show Hope office and I was excited to finally get to meet Melissa in real life. We had “known” each other on twitter for several years (which probably counts as two decades in twitter-time) and had several opportunities to meet each other in real life over the years, but we kept missing each other for one reason or another. The timing for this meeting couldn’t have been better, though. Melissa has since moved on to join Amazima Ministries. It was great to finally put a name and face with an actual person and voice. Thank you, Melissa, for all the work you’ve done and continue to do. I’m sorry I didn’t think to take a picture of us together. These were the only ones I happened to get…
Show Hope Celebration

Show Hope Celebration
(that’s Melissa in the stripey dress)

Meeting the staff who helped us bring our daughter home was pretty phenomenal. The block party they hosted at Lipsomb the next day? Fantastic! A concert featuring the likes of Laura Story, Andrew Peterson, Audio Adrenaline with both Kevin Max and Mark Stuart, AND Steven Curtis Chapman? Amazing. Walking around campus all weekend without anyone staring at us or doing a double-take because our family doesn’t look like most families?


We were truly celebrating with an extended family that weekend. And it was a beautiful thing.

Congratulations to Show Hope for 10 years of orphan care! They are truly changing the world one child at a time.

**Show Hope has designated August as “Adoption Aid” month. If you would like to partner with Show Hope, even a $5 donation can help change the world of a child who needs a forever family.**

The BEST Hot Dog Toppings?

Grilling hot dogs (thanks, BurninLoveBBQ!)
Image via Burnin’ Love BBQ

Happy Memorial Day, everyone!

Along with what seems like 93.24% of the American population, we’re grilling dinner tonight. We aren’t having a lot of variety, though. Hot dogs are on tap for the Todd Family Memorial Day Extravaganza (that has already included cleaning the Living Room, sorting the garage, and making a trip to the grocery to buy milk. I know, I know. You’re jealous).

I’m looking to spruce these hot dogs up a little bit. So I have a couple of questions:

  1. What are your favorite hot dog toppings? As in, you won’t eat the hot dog unless it has these toppings on them?
  2. What’s the craziest hot dog topping you’ve ever tried on your grilled franks? Maybe you haven’t tried any crazy toppings but you’ve heard of them. That’s OK, too.

I need your help, people! Don’t let the Todd Family Memorial Day Extravaganza suffer from boring ol’ hot dogs in 2012! You can save our franks!

Image  courtesy 
Burnin’ Love BBQ

Lincoln Portrait

I thought this video would be fitting to kick off Memorial Day weekend. I hope you have a safe holiday and take time to remember why we even have such a day.

PS ~ if you can’t figure out who the narrator is, wait until he says “power.” It’s very similar to a helmeted Dark Lord’s pronunciation. 😉



If I understand correctly, this is the only known image of Abraham Lincoln at the Gettysburg Cemetery dedication, three hours before he delivered his address.
Abraham Lincoln at the Gettysburg Cemetery dedication, three hours before he delivered his address. One of three known photos

In addition to my great-uncle’s experience as a POW in World War II, the words, “those who here gave their lives that that nation might live.” 

I’m thankful for the men and women who gave their lives that our nation might live. 

I’m thankful for the men and women who served to protect our country.

I’m thankful for the men and women who continue to serve to protect our country.

I’m thankful for the families of the  men and women who serve. 

In the spirit of Memorial Day, it is altogether fitting and proper to listen to these powerful words and remember…

I’m so glad I was required to memorize these words back in middle school.