Missions Blog


Travel Day

stacey : September 26, 2010 5:11 pm : missions, Stacey Gagne

Greetings from Addis Ababa Ethiopia!  Thank you for your prayers, I made it!

My connection at Dulles went off without a hitch.  I took the shuttle to my terminal and found the gate for Ethiopian Airlines.  I wasn’t there long before I ran into my friend Mark Hollingsworth from Compasssion International; the leader of our trip.  Soon , the rest of the team of other radio people started showing up from their various locations.  We quickly began to get to know each other and joke around.   This will be such an experience to have together.  There are several of us that are new at this.

While we waited for the last few radio people to arrive, we sat around, looked at a map of Ethiopia and talked about the upcoming trip.  Soon after that we had dinner and boarded the plane for our 14 hour flight!    The descent and departure in and out of Rome (our fuel stop) was beautiful.   I peeked out the window every once in a while to see mainly water or dessert.   I was able to see the sun set as we made our descent into Addis Ababa and it looked like the sky was on fire!  So gorgeous…thank you Lord!   I can’t believe I’m across the world!

The airport experience and drive from there to the hotel we are staying at was already eye opening and definitely affected me.  I am looking forward to seeing the hope and the provision that Compassion is providing to so many (and through many of you!) and I know that they can provide for so many more like those I saw today!  It will be great to hear the first hand accounts from the children and families.

Looking forward to sharing more of my experiences with you in pictures and reports.

Stacey  Gagne

-Experiencing Compassion in Ethiopia


Traveling Saturday: A Zillion Thoughts

stacey : September 23, 2010 5:20 pm : missions, Stacey Gagne

STACEY GAGNE – I have had a zillion thoughts going through my head as I prepare for leaving on Saturday for Addis Ababa with Compassion International!   What do I pack?   What do I wear?  How do I work certain equipment I’ll be using.  Some thoughts run deeper than others…

  • The icon I will be clicking on every time I send a report home to our WJTL server … is a rubber duckie.  That makes me smile.
  • I will have hours upon hours on the plane to read,  listen to my current favorite podcast (Two Gomers Run a Marathon), watch movies, write, pray, meet people… and who knows what else… oh sleep, maybe?
  • I am going to be VERY far away.
  • When I got my passport for the first time (THIS year), I had no idea I was going on this trip.
  • I remembered the experience I had at our church missions conference this year and knowing that it was time for me to get on the move… again this was before I knew I was going to Ethiopia.

I watched Ashlea’s videos from her Uganda trip today and cried … re-realizing that I get to go and meet some beautiful beautiful children and people in Ethiopia.  This was the thing that I was excited about in the first place.    I will experience their culture,  learn about some of their trials, and opportunities that can be made available to them through Compassion … and play with them.  I also have the amazing opportunity and responsibility to communicate my experiences with Compassion to you, the listener.  Wow.

Tune in next week as I report live from Ethiopia!!! I am certain that it will be an experience that impacts my life and my prayer is that will in turn impact your life and the life of a child, too.

Stacey M. Gagne

Excited to Experience Compassion in Ethiopia

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Heading to Ethiopia, thinking of Miguel

stacey : September 21, 2010 9:34 am : missions, Stacey Gagne

STACEY GAGNE – Wow, it’s hard to believe that in less than a week I’ll be boarding a plane and heading to Ethiopia!  I received my Trip Guide put together by Compassion and it has a wealth of information to prepare me for my adventures.  I’m so thankful that they are already taking good care of me as I head to the other side of the world with them.

People have asked if I have a sponsored child in Africa and I don’t (yet).   I sponsor a (now) young man named Miguel from Bolivia.  I sponsored him during one of WJTL’s 26 Hours of Compassion several years ago.  He’s 15 now.  It’s so fun to receive letters from him and to watch him grow.  At first his letters were mostly pictures and now he sends thoughtful letters.    I know that at the center he is receiving Bible teaching, education, field trips,  and fun activities with people who desire to show him God’s love as they care for him.  He tells me about what he is learning and thanks me often.   It’s always amazing to me how his letters can be so encouraging to me.

Having never been overseas, I am sure that this trip will help me understand even more clearly why Compassion’s ministry is so important and even to relate better to my sponsored child!

Stay tuned for my live reports and blogs next week!!

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It’s Good To Remember

ashlea : July 13, 2010 11:24 am : Ashlea Breneman, missions

ASHLEA BRENEMAN – We recently received an email from a listener wondering if we had any updates about the homes that through your generous giving we were able to build in Haiti with Food For the Poor. (We were able to build a total of 17 new homes!)  The earthquake in Haiti seems like a longtime ago in some regards, but for the people of Haiti their lives are slowly being rebuilt. It is a good reminder to continue to pray for Haiti, especially as they are in the midst of the rainy season.

I emailed my contact at Food For The Poor, and she sent me a link to their six month update after the quake. Please read it and be encouraged. God is working through your generous gifts. Families have been given a fresh start.

Thank you WJTL listeners. You are making a difference around the world. Please remember to continue to pray for the people of Haiti and Food For the Poor as they continue their work in rebuilding Haiti.

Ashlea Breneman

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Resource a Pastor

Guest Writer : June 18, 2010 10:55 am : missions, Promo

JOHN SUMMERVILLE, TWR – GUEST BLOGGER. Stop reading this blog for just a moment, and in your mind, count how many bibles are in your house.  If your home is like mine, it’s hard to count how many our family has.  We have multiple copies of the NIV, NKJV, KJV, NLT, Message, and ESV.

Now count how many commentaries and other resources you have on your shelves.  Too many to count?  Me too.

Now count how many radios in your house.  Don’t forget to count the radios in your cars.

What’s the point?

We are blessed.  The Lord has given us tremendous resources.

WJTL and TWR are joining hands to give these same resources to house church pastors and lay leaders in China who live in the rural parts of China.  Many of them are leading congregations and they desperately need these resources.  These leaders need a study bible with notes, maps and references.  They need a radio to tune into solid bible teaching.  And they need books that correspond to these great radio programs.

You can share these resources with our brothers and sisters in Christ in China when you give a gift to the WJTL campaign.  Be part of something big.  https://www.twr.org/campaign/rck-wjtl2010

John Summerville is the Director of Radio Station Partnerships.
TWR broadcasts Jesus in 220 languages utilizing AM, FM, shortwave and the Internet.

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Being Part of God’s Answer

Guest Writer : June 9, 2010 12:02 pm : missions, Promo

JOHN SUMMERVILLE, TWR – GUEST BLOGGER. Imagine someone getting ready for bed and casually turning on his radio to keep him company and hearing about Jesus for the very first time.  That person is so intrigued that he begins listening every night.  Soon he accepts Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior.  The excitement bubbles inside of him and he begins to tell his friends to listen too.  In just a little while three of his friends are listening, and in the morning when they see each other they discuss what they’ve heard.

The “buzz” about this little radio group continues to grow and their numbers increase from four to six.  Then it grows again to 10 and the group decides that they need a bible and should start a formal study group.

Now when the group gets to be 12 members with others asking if they can join, someone in the group suggests that they ought to start a church.  They choose one person to lead this effort.  They choose one person to be their pastor.

They choose you.

But the only thing you know about the bible is what you’ve heard on the radio.  And you only began listening to it because your friend asked you to just 3 months ago.

Imagine how important it would be for you to receive TWR’s China Radio Church Kit!  How valuable would the hard back study bible with its notes, references, and maps be to you and your ability to share spiritual truths with your new congregation of enthusiastic believers?  How crucial would the text books that correspond with the programs heard over TWR become in giving you solid theology and answers to so many of their questions?

Now imagine someone handing you those resources.  The smile on her face reassures you that despite being unprepared as a pastor, she is part of God’s answer in supplying you with everything you need to lead your congregation.

Let’s change the scenario.  Suppose you are that someone who is able to hand valuable teaching resources to a house church pastor?  Your smile reassures that new pastor that you are giving him these materials for his spiritual growth and you are one of many who are standing behind him in prayer.  Be a part of something big.  Support WJTL’s effort to equip Chinese House Church Pastors with a gift today.  https://www.twr.org/campaign/rck-wjtl2010

John Summerville is the Director of Radio Station Partnerships.  TWR broadcasts Jesus in 220 languages utilizing AM, FM, shortwave and the Internet.

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See how God is at work in Catel, Guinea Bissau

lisa : June 7, 2010 12:11 pm : Lisa Landis, missions

LISA LANDIS – Gibby Mane of Catel Village, Guinea Bissau shares his testimony with Beryl Forrester. God is doing great things in West Africa through the work of Eastern Mennonite Missions.  Help us share Jesus with the good people of Gambia & Guinea Bissau.  Click here for how you can help! And thanks for doing what you can.

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Can Giving a Radio Change a Person’s Life?

Guest Writer : June 1, 2010 12:14 pm : missions, Promo

JOHN SUMMERVILLE, TWR – GUEST BLOGGER.  A few years ago, while I was serving in the military, I was depressed and disgusted with my life. One day when I was on patrol duty around the barracks, I resolved to take my life with my weapon of service. Suddenly, a friend arrived to relieve me of my patrol. Seeing my depression, he held out a small radio receiver and said, “Take this receiver. I received a broadcast from abroad; somebody was speaking our language. Go take a rest and listen well to what the speaker says.”

I turned on the small receiver and a few minutes later I heard a voice read Acts 16:27-31: The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!” The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Through this verse, I believe I heard the voice of Jesus tell me, “Do not give yourself over to death, believe only! I am here to give you life. I will give life to you and to your family, and to your friend that is with you!”

You can change a person’s life by giving a radio.  Your gift of $75 provides a beautiful hard bound study bible, a portable radio, and 7 books that correspond with the radio programs heard over TWR.  Be a part of something big.  https://www.twr.org/campaign/rck-wjtl2010

John Summerville is the Director of Radio Station Partnerships.
TWR broadcasts Jesus in 220 languages utilizing AM, FM, shortwave and the Internet.

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WJTL Listeners & Your Impact

ashlea : May 28, 2010 2:03 pm : Ashlea Breneman, missions

ASHLEA BRENEMAN – In case you didn’t know, WJTL has the best listeners. Seriously. we do! We feel very privileged to partner with our listeners to impact the world for Christ. You’ve helped do some pretty incredible things in the past year, like build over a dozen new homes in Haiti, provide gifts for poor families in Asia and give the precious gift of God’s Word to those who didn’t have it.

We don’t always get to give you updates on how your gifts have impacted people/countries in the long run, but today I’m happy that I get to give you an update! I received a letter from the Chief Executive Officer at Bible League. Here is a portion of his letter.

“God uses your gifts to Bible League International in astonishing ways. Some of the stories bring tears to my eyes, others take my breath away… but they always leave me in awe of the life-changing power of God’s Word.

Look, for example, at the Karen tribes people who live in refugee camps along the Thai border with Myanmar…. The Karen have a folk legend which says that they are orphans who lost their written language after God handed it down to them. They believe this language would one day be returned to them by visitors from a foreign land. So when Christian missionaries first reached them, they assumed these were the special visitors – and readily accepted the message of Christ.

Today more than 30% of the Karen are Christians! But they are poor and persecuted, without resources, often unable to get access to God’s Word, thwarted in their need to grow deeper in their relationship with God.

But that’s where you come in. Thanks to your support of Bible League International, a Karen church at the Maerahmoe refugee camp was reached with Bible study and evangelism training – and they, in turn, have been reaching hundreds of Karen for Christ!

This all came to a head one spectacular day recently when 40 ordained ministers gathered at a nearby river to baptize 444 Karen! Imagine the rejoicing in heaven that day. And imagine the rejoicing of the Karen when our Thai national ministry director personally placed Bibles into the hands of the newly-baptized church members, then turned to share the Word of God with thousands of people watching along the river banks.

It’s a beautiful story, but best of all, it’s your story. These are the everyday miracles you help to create, even among the poorest of the poor, the people referred to in Isaiah as ‘the least of these.'”

Thank you listeners! I hope you are encouraged today with the impact that you are apart of.

Ashlea Breneman, thankful to be apart of an incredible community

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Trials: Predicament or Privilege?

Guest Writer : May 24, 2010 11:43 am : missions, Promo

JOHN SUMMERVILLE, TWR – GUEST BLOGGER. His straight black hair framed a rugged and tan skinned face.   A broad smile swept over him with a twinge of humility reflecting like a pool of water in his eyes.  “I wasn’t going to tell you my story,” started Chang, “But I will tell you.”

Chang shifted his feet and with enthusiasm explained in a gentle voice that he is a pastor of a house church in China.  “The punishment I received for running an unregistered house church in my province is harsh and I was sentenced to two years hard labor.”

“The local authorities came to my church and hauled me off to prison.  Working 12, 14 and even 16 hour days, 7 days a week, making bricks was exhausting.  In the summers, temperatures would become extreme getting as high as 113 degrees.  Prisoners would simply drop from heat exhaustion.  Unsympathetic guards dumped water over my fellow prisoners and forced them back to work.”

Then this broad shouldered man of only 5’3 pointed a thick finger upward finishing his story with this, “Thank the Lord my head is so hard.  They could not beat it out of me.”

They could not beat Jesus out of Chang.  No matter what the authorities did, they could not beat out of him his love for our Lord.

Are you looking at your trials as a predicament or a privilege?  Suffering is something I personally avoid.  Yet, this godly Chinese house church pastor regarded suffering for the Lord a privilege.

And “privilege” is a great word to use when we consider we have the opportunity to partner with committed Christians all throughout China.  Thank you for your gifts to support Chinese house church pastors like Chang. https://www.twr.org/campaign/rck-wjtl2010

John Summerville is the Director of Radio Station Partnerships.  TWR broadcasts Jesus in 220 languages utilizing AM, FM, shortwave and the Internet.

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