If you were one of the many who have sponsored a child from a project in Ethiopia during WJTL’s 26 Hours of Compassion, I would love to have you join me and other WJTL listeners August 3 thru 10 on a special trip designed just for us to go meet our children, spend time serving alongside the people in Ethiopia, and see firsthand how Compassion is working through the local church in Ethiopia.
You’ll attend a church service with our brothers and sisters in Addis Ababa, spend time with the children at the projects, lead some VBS style activities, visit some children’s homes, work alongside some church partners on some service projects, get to know students in the Leadership Development program, and of course spend plenty of time playing with our kids and taking them on a special fun day! What an opportunity to join together as a community and go share the Love of Jesus while making memories together. Of course there will be sight seeing and many chances to learn about Ethiopian culture along the way.
STACEY GAGNE -
During our 26 Hours of Compassion events in 2010 and 2013, WJTL listeners have sponsored children from 2 specific projects in Ethiopia through Compassion International. These sponsors are beginning to receive details about a trip scheduled to take place this August 3 through 10! We will be traveling together from the listening area as a team to serve alongside the local church and Compassion staff at our projects in Ethiopia. We’ll worship together, spend time at the student centers and meet with the staff there, play with the children and serve through some fun VBS style activities. Our team will visit some of the children’s homes, participate in service projects like painting, clean up and other hands on work. It’s going to be a treasure to spend time with our sponsored children and even treat them to a visit at an amusement park. There will also be time for sight seeing and more. I can’t wait!!! I know that there are many church staff, children and families eager to meet the people that are impacting their lives!
Our trip will enable us to better sense God’s heart for this country, to join together as a community, to get to know the culture where our sponsored children live, and see the ministry of Compassion International first hand. It will mean so much to the children and their families to know that you would come and visit them! I am confident that lives will be changed as our community joins together to bring God’s message of love to these children and their communities in Ethiopia.
I will continue to give updates and share more about the trip and even give opportunities for those who can’t travel with us to get involved. Please pray for us as we continue to plan details, for God to prepare our hearts and for provision for the listeners who will join us.
STACEY GAGNE - It’s been encouraging to hear the response from listeners who were challenged, reminded and inspired to impact the life of a child during our 26 Hours of Compassion last week. I’ve also gotten to catch up with some adult students that I befriended during my trip.
Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to chat with a couple of the college students in Compassion International’s Leadership Development Program who came up through the Child Sponsorship Program. They were involved in some service projects this past week that included prison ministry, serving at Compassion projects in the local church, serving by painting in the homes of some of the sponsored families, helping to train parents and volunteers and just loving the children. How inspiring to know that these young adults are already having such an impact! This is the kind of God given hope and opportunity that our sponsorship provides!
We have heard from several listeners about ways that God has already reaffirmed things that He was speaking to their heart about missions, child sponsorship and our responsibility during the 26 Hours of Compassion. I (literally) ran into someone in the mall who flagged me down to introduce their family to me and thank WJTL for this opportunity!
We discovered that there are still a handful of students at WJTL’s project that are still waiting to “get into the classroom”. I’m highlighting their photo’s below. Please consider the impact that you can make on a life or share the opportunity and this link with a friend.
STACEY GAGNE – There will be much rejoicing at the Tedecha Mechane Yesus Church, the Ethiopian Compassion Office and the homes of hundreds of children and their family. Wow! As I write this, 287 children have been sponsored and there are still people making decisions to go online and sponsor children! We are thrilled that our community has sponsored another entire project in Ethiopia plus other children all over the world including several that have been on a waiting list for some time. We hoped to sponsor at least 250 children and together have exceeded that goal.
This is something to celebrate! Let’s give God the glory for the lives about to be changed both overseas and here in our community… because child sponsorship not only changes the life of the child and their family but that of the sponsor, too.
In the upcoming weeks and months, we’ll be sharing about an opportunity to travel to Ethiopia where you can meet your sponsored child, see their home, visit a Compassion project and even participate in some sort of service project, too.
So, thank you for listening, for praying, for sponsoring and for your faithfulness to the ministry of WJTL and our partnership with Compassion International.
STACEY GAGNE - “God mobilizes the heart of the world even for just one child”. When I visited the Ethiopian office for Compassion International, the Country Director said this and it really impacted me. Of course He does. God did it for me. He did it for you and He is doing it all over the world… creatively drawing people to Himself. I am confident that Compassion International is one of those ways.
Child sponsorship is so powerful because it focuses in on the individual but then impacts many. As we “honor the image of God” in a young person and value their holistic care we are also speaking to the fact that they matter. As a sponsor you get to be a part of a childs journey as they are fed spiritually, economically, socially and of course physically. You also get to encourage them to follow Jesus as they pursue their dreams. Your sponsorship also encourages that childs family, community and the local church that is hosting their project.
I invite you to pray about taking this journey with a child this week. Call 1-866-392-3690 Wednesday or Thursday or click here to sponsor a child right now.
STACEY GAGNE – The time has come! WJTL’s 26 Hours of Compassion is this Wednesday and Thursday! I am thrilled that we have another opportunity to come together with a church in Ethiopia and sponsor an entire project. One that I had the opportunity to visit just last month! (if you missed them, call in reports are available at our wjtlcasts page)
Our focus for this event is the Tedecha Mekane Yesus Church Student Center located in Dukem, about 20 miles southeast of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in Africa. It’s home to about 22,000. Through child sponsorship with Compassion we have the opportunity to help provide these children with Bible teaching, health screenings, field trips, sports, health education, educational supplies, school fees and HIV/AIDS awareness education. The center staff will also provide opportunities for project involvement for the parents or guardians of your sponsored child. HIV/AIDS, pneumonia, typhoid fever and typhus are a problem in this region. Most adults in Dukem work as day laborers and earn the equivalent of $30 per month.
Together with the local church in Ethiopia and Compassion International; we can help bring the light and hope of Jesus to many! Tune in this Wednesday and Thursday to hear stories about specific children we met, testimonies and more. Visit wjtl.com to check out videos as they are posted and please be praying for this event and consider sponsoring one of these children.
STACEY GAGNE - As we walked up to the home of little Mascelloo, the first thing I noticed was the drawings on the wall (I think drawn with chalk). There was obviously a creative little someone in the home and I was excited to meet them.
Mascello has an adorable little smile. When we entered the home of the little guy in the purple Tele Tubbie tshirt and stitched up clothing, you couldn’t help but love him. He has the sweetest, shy little smile and was hiding behind a curtain separating their one room home into two. He is almost 7 and his name means the cross. He’s registered for the new project that WJTL listeners have the opportunity to sponsor. Mascelloo lives with his older brother and his mother, Trungo. Trungo works collecting dung, carrying it on her shoulders and she sells it to make a living. There was a pile of dung outside her home drying. She also works as a maid to earn money to pay her rent. She is too frail to do any other sort of physical labor. Trungo is divorced and not originally from this village or area… she had moved following an Uncle who left the area once they were settled. Mascello’s older brother is 12 and he was out collecting dung while we were there for our visit. When asked what her wish was for her sons, Trungo shared that she wishes for them to study and grow… to have opportunity that she did not have. I think we were all moved by the amount of work this woman is undertaking as she tries to provide for her family.
Trungo was proud to pull out Mascalloo’s tattered writing tablet and nub of a pen that he had and show us his work. I gladly gave him several pieces of paper and the pen I had with me at the moment and we drew a little together. This little guy has talent and a desire to draw that I am sure could be cultivated as he has opportunities to go to school and learn.
I am excited by the opportunity we have to change the life of this family. With the help of Compassion and the local church, we can help make their life easier, safer and healthier and offer the greatest gift of all … the gospel. A member of our group prayed for Trungo to receive the Lord, though she was hesitant. There is great opportunity for her to see the love and provision available to her family and really commit her life to God. I know our being there in her home offered her hope that things would soon change.
There are so many families like this one … one parent barely hanging on and working so hard doing unpleasant labor that yields very little reward. She’s just trying to keep her family alive. We have the opportunity to make such an impact with a small investment. I pray Mascelloo is sponsored quickly during our 26 Hours of Compassion. Please be praying for him and all the other boys and girls who dare to hope that they will be sponsored.
STACEY GAGNE - This morning in church we sang the song: Healer. As I sang the lyrics “I believe you’re my Healer, I believe you are all I need. I believe you’re my portion. I believe you’re more than enough for me. Jesus you’re all I need” my heart returned to the home where we made our final home visit on Friday.
It was the home of a little boy named Masresh who is registered to be sponsored from the Tedecha Mekane Yesus Church. This is the church project we will be sponsoring during our upcoming 26 Hours of Compassion. When we entered his home, his mother was breast feeding a 2 month old baby and he was sitting on a pile of blankets on the floor… his bed. The father in the home passed away when she was 8 months pregnant. This baby is named Mitiku which means substitute (for her husband) and Masresh means something like compensated… because this 6 year old came into her life after she had lost 2 other babies. The mom was wearing black as she is still in mourning. They are extremely poor… dressed in basically rags. Mom washes clothes and does maid services in the village to try and support her family while Masresh (6 years old) stays home and takes care of the baby. Their rent costs 150 birr per month. When we asked what her hopes for Masresh were, she smiles and says for him to have a job… any job so he can be self sufficient.
After being in the home for a while, we discovered that mom was open to Jesus, and had been a part of a Pentecostal church years ago. I had the opportunity to pray for her and with her and she prayed along with me to receive Jesus as her Savior and commit her life to him. As we were leaving the home, we noticed that there was something that was hanging in her doorway. When Yoseph, our guide from Compasssion, asked her about them, we found out that they were little bags of something (which turned out to be dirt) that someone had promised her would protect her. Yoseph assured her that with Jesus in her life she doesn’t need superstition… that He is her protector and provider. She willingly allowed him to remove them from her doorway and he later dumped them out on the ground. We wonder how much she had to pay for this false protection. Her neighbors had bottles of water hanging on their door, which were related to some other type of superstition.
The heart of Compassion is to “release children from their spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty and enable them to become responsible and fulfilled Christian adults”. It is exciting to know that when Masresh is sponsored there will be people speaking into his life, visiting his home, teaching him about how Jesus is more than enough, and displaying that love through helping meet their desperate physical needs. My prayer is that his mom will see it illustrated that God is with them, protecting and healing her and her family. It would be amazing to have someone from our listening area be the one who helps make a way for this to happen.
I’m thankful that we have this opportunity to speak up for children that otherwise have not had the opportunity to ask for help, themselves. Please consider what you can do and be in prayer as we look ahead to our 26 Hours of Compassion February 20-21. I can’t wait to find out that Masresh has been sponsored and perhaps even take you there to meet him and his family yourself!
STACEY GAGNE – Last night we sat in the presence of 2 young adults that are changing the world. Our staff had dinner with students from Compassion’s Leadership Development program. Bezaye Alehaligen and Sisay Aseta are already dynamic leaders in their community and are being equipped to do even more amazing things.
Love is a powerful thing. As we listened to the testimonies of Bezaye and Sisay and heard from the LDP Specialist Amanuel; it was evident that the love and hope that children receive from their sponsors and the leaders from the churches that invest in their life completely changed them. Thinking about the little boys and girls that I saw yesterday morning and their mothers looking to us in desperation and hope for sponsorship; and knowing that these 2 came out of the same situations and are on their way to being Engineers and Counselors was very inspiring.
As is the case with many children here, both of these students grew up in a single parent home where much was required of them. Bezaye is a young woman who lost her mother when she was 14. Her father worked nights and was unable to give the children any attention. She was required to fill the mother role for her family. She was blessed to have grown up within a Christian home, but as she shared “it was once a normal life but that all changed”. She shared how Compassion came along side of her and besides helping them financially and spiritually… she was very impacted socially as she got involved with the church, gained friends she would never had a chance to have and gained hope for a bright future. Now she is at University studying to be a counselor with the desire to sponsor her own child out of Ethiopia. She also hopes to have a family and adopt one day. She is highly involved in the community and her church and besides all of her studies; she is a film actress, singer, clothing designer and more. She shared about how she would wait in suspense for the letters from her sponsor. LDP Sponsorship is $300 a month. Can you imagine putting someone through college, Biblical and life skills training, mentoring and volunteer programs and more for that price in the U.S?
Sisay is a young man with HUGE dreams for the future. As he is studying to be an engineer with the goal of working in Aviation; his long term goal is to be Prime Minister of Ethiopia. For these students, the goal of seeing their community transformed for Christ is great. He shared both at dinner and during our sharing time that He longs to see someone in leadership that follows the Lord and leads with servant leadership. Sisay lost his father at age 4 and said that his CDSP sponsor from childhood became like a father to him. He would even write letters to him saying “Dear Dad” and “Love your Son”. He shared how he spoke into his life in many ways including socially, spiritually and about education. Sisay’s prayer request was for the rest of his family to know Jesus. He lit up to share that he does have some aunts and cousins that have accepted Christ. Sisay said “Compassion is an angel on my shoulder. When I went out of line there was always someone there to bring me back in line”. He gushed about the church leaders, project directors and social workers that taught him discipline while meeting his basic needs.
We have the opportunity to speak into the lives of children who have the potential to be world changers. Our letters may come at a time that they need to hear the voice of God through us encouraging them to press on and reminding them that they are loved. I hope that you will consider this opportunity to sponsor a child. February 20 and 21 we will be giving you more information and offering you an opportunity that will change lives!
STACEY GAGNE - Today was the kind of day where by the end of the day we had to remind ourselves that we did indeed see and do it all in one day. In quick summary: we visited a brand new project, one of my teammates met her sponsored child, 3 people made decisions for Christ (2 moms and a teenager), took 2 home visits, had dinner and heard testimony from Leadership Development Program students and leaders and even did some shopping and packing. With so many experiences to update you on. I will start by just sharing some photos from the day. Stay tuned for specifics soon! Praise God for the work of Compassion International here in Ethiopia!