STACEY GAGNE - Today was the day that we spent at the FBI Church, or Faith Bible International Church. WJTL has gotten to be a part of helping this church partner with Compassion as many of our listeners joined the Child Sponsorship Program in 2010.
What a difference a couple of years makes! When we were here in 2010 there was final construction taking place on the building that was newly built and dedicated. Now they have a huge thriving church with plans to build a school on the property in the near future. They also discussed plans to put cobblestone or some sort of pavers in the front entrance area where the kids play futball.
The church holds a weekly healing service on Wednesdays. It was sort of strange to be in a packed out church in the middle of the day on a weekday, however many of the people who were there have flexible jobs, no jobs, or are just so desperate for the Lord and healing that they were there. It was a powerful powerful service full of energetic worship and amazing encounters with the Lord. We saw God move in miraculous ways!!! They honored us as guests and invited us up onto the stage to share with the congregation. That was quite an honor.
We spent a good deal of time playing with the kids that were there at the church that were not in school for whatever reason. I blew bubbles with them, learned some playground games and danced with them.
Our afternoon was very special as we visited the homes of two little boys: Fitsum and Daniel. Fitsum lives with his father, sister and cousin. His mother passed away when he was only 1 year old and so his father has a lot of responsibility trying to make a living as a laborer and pay rent on his one room home. He repeatedly shared his thankfulness for Compassion and for our visit as he has very little camaraderie in his life. We were able to provide the family with several important items including rice, coffee, flour, pasta, oil, and tea.
Visiting little Daniel was special to me, as I am friends with his sponsor! I was able to represent her, bring the gifts that she had purchased for him and his mother and get to hear from his mom. He is blessed to have both parents in his life and they live in one of the nicer homes that I have visited… A two room home that even had a television. His mothers biggest prayer for her children is that they would thrive and grow up with hope and a future that she did not have when she was a child. She was gushing with thanks for Daniels sponsorship. That little boy is beaming and thriving. Praise God.
We wrapped up our day having dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant with traditional food and dance. It was a fun time to spend together as a team and enjoy the rich culture!
I will be posting another blog soon with lots of pictures. I’m thankful for another day well spent here in Addis Ababa hearing and sharing the good news of Jesus and how His love is being spread through the work of Compassion International!
STACEY GAGNE- I think these beautiful photos speak much louder than words.
STACEY GAGNE - Greetings from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia! Our team has had a very full and inspiring day today as we visited Ethiopia’s Compassion Office and the Sadamo Guenet Church project, also the home of Senait, the beautiful little girl that I have the pleasure of sponsoring.
We had the privilege of joining the Compassion staff with their morning devotions this morning. Not only did we receive encouragement as we worshiped with them, but they prayed for us. We spent time the Country Director Tsehaywota Taddesse. He truly shared his heart with us and shared the testimony of how God moved his heart for children. He shared how “God mobilizes the world for the heart of even just one child”.
It was eye opening to hear that there are 370 churches in partnership with Compassion in Ethiopia and many anxious to be added to that list! I love that Compassion has a heart to see local church bodies grow by way of families who become involved in the program and in turn become involved with the church body and learning about the love of Jesus.
This afternoon we headed out to Sedamo Guenet Church where we were greeted by the church staff, compassion site directors and families involved with the program. We were treated to a coffee ceremony, helped feed children their lunch and heard the testimony of several mothers who are a part of the Child Survival Program and have received Jesus as their Lord as a result of how they have been impacted. The CSP program is fairly new for this project, having been established in 2002. There are 36 children and 35 mothers currently involved. 183 children are registered to the Child Sponsorship program.
Our time with all of the children was very sweet; of course mine was focused on Senait and her mother Aberush. Oh how she has grown and looks so much healthier than she did in 2010! We played together, talked, sang, I had the opportunity to visit her home and present them with gifts. Mom, Aberush pulled out a special chest she had tucked away for her most special things and in it were the letters that I have sent to Senait. Wow. That brought me to tears. When it was time to say goodbye, there were many hugs and kisses as we walked out to our van. We were almost all loaded into the van and ready to close the door and Senait’s mom Aberush rushed back over to the van in tears and gave me one final long hug. Aberush and Senait live with the grandmother who pulled me aside earlier in the day to share how much her family has been impacted since Senait’s sponsorship. Though she is extremely young and shy, Aberush’s actions spoke that to me in volumes.
Child sponsorship matters. It impacts children, families and in turn communities and beyond. I welcome you to begin praying now about being involved in a families life and participating in WJTL’s 26 hours of Compassion February 20 -21. I also invite those of you who are current sponsors or even potential sponsors to pray about the opportunity to travel to Ethiopia in August with us to meet your child and get involved with a service project at the church where they receive their care. Our visits are a HUGE encouragement to them.
I hope that you are staying tuned to the live reports. You can also go back to listen to them at our wjtl casts page. More photos are coming soon and video will be edited and posted in the near future.
Serving with joy and delight here in Ethiopia!
STACEY GAGNE - I am thrilled to invite you to tune in next week to follow along as I report live for WJTL from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with Compassion International. I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences with you!
Many listeners will remember that I took a trip to Africa on behalf of the station in the fall of 2010. The trip was life changing for me and also for the children and sponsors who were connected as a result of the trip and WJTL’s 26 Hours of Compassion Event we held upon my return. On this trip, we’ll be following up with the Faith Bible International Church Compassion project and also visiting the homes of some of the children being sponsored locally! I’ll also be visiting Senait, the beautiful little girl that I sponsor, and had the privilege of meeting on our last trip. Needless to say, I’m excited to bring some goodies to share with her and the kids at the projects that we visit.
Our team will also visit Ethiopia’s Compassion Office, meet some students in the Leadership Development program, and spend time at several other projects where I’ll get updates on Compasssion’s work there, where the needs are, and find out how WJTL listeners can get involved during our next 26 Hours of Compassion event February 20-21.
Join WJTL January 21 – 25 as I get a second chance at a once in a lifetime experience. I anticipate sharing many stories with you through live reports, blogs, videos and photos and more.
STACEY GAGNE – Freedom Valley Church will have a box truck at their site in Gettysburg starting until it is filled up (probably this weekend) to take relief items to New Jersey victims.
Collecting: blankets, bottled water, non perishable foods, personal care items, feminine products, diapers, baby items, New sweat pants and shirts for children and adults (those are the only clothing items being accepted), batteries, trash bags.
STACEY GAGNE – Faith Bible Fellowship Church will be taking donations for Samaritan’s Purse to be delivered to NJ and NY victims of Hurricane Sandy. They are asking for specific items only: Baby Diapers, Baby food, Baby wipes and water. These items can be dropped off at the church youth barn located on 151 Donnerville Road, Lancaster. For questions call Dwayne at 717-917-0666. Donations will be accepted Tuesday and Thursday nights between the hours of 7 – 8 pm. Donations can also be written out to the church with the memo section marked “for Samaritan’s Purse Relief Efforts”.
STACEY GAGNE - A local truck driver has coordinated with the Lititz Rec. Center to collect items to be taken to New Jersey this coming weekend. Items an be dropped off at the Rec Center this week and there will be a special collection time on Saturday from 9 to 11 as well.
Specific Items Needed (from belmar.com)
· Work Gloves & Latex Gloves
· Bleach and other Cleaning Products
· Contractor Bags
· Packing Tape
· Markers (Sharpie-type)
· Paper Towels
· Mops & Buckets
· Shelf Milk
· Storage Bins
STACEY GAGNE - As I’m sitting at my desk finishing up a project that our intern and volunteers have been helping us with this week; I started thinking about how valuable volunteers are. So decided to say thanks.
Thanks to everyone who volunteers for WJTL. From those of you who help out in the office or at our live remote table, at concert events and festivals, to those who help in your own way by telling others about WJTL. Thanks to you who have handed someone an extra sticker or flyer you happen to have or just spreading the word about us. You rock!
While I’m at it, I would also like to just say thanks to all of you who volunteer in any way … with your local church, ministry, community organization, school etc, etc, etc. Time is valuable. We all work on prioritizing. We give our time to God (hopefully first), our families, our jobs and/or school responsibilities and social lives. Those moments that we give to serve our community are so precious.
So, thanks to everyone who volunteers officially or unofficially and gives your time to serve the community or your neighbor. You are appreciated here.
STACEY GAGNE - God has a great and creative way of helping us refocus our hearts and minds. When we open up The Bible we’ll come to a scripture that brings us the encouragement, conviction or hope that we need. For me, sometimes I get into a “woe is me” mode about something and then I see it in light of the circumstances of others and I’m humbled and realize how much I have to be thankful for. Some days just seeing something beautiful like a rainbow or a smiling child will be enough to change my outlook.
Today we received a note from a listener along with their donation that said “I look forward to driving places just so I can listen to our station – it is an instant change in attitude for me”.
That is awesome. May we be changed daily to be more like Jesus in our attitude. We are thankful that God is using WJTL as a tool to do this in the lives of many. May our hearts, eyes and ears be open and focused on Him so that we don’t miss those moments.
STACEY GAGNE – This morning we received an email from a listener who heard a message at just the right time… at the wrong time. God is so good. We asked permission to share it because I am quite sure this will bless and encourage more people than just our staff here.
“Hi, all. Just wanted to tell you an interesting experience I had yesterday morning (around 6:25 AM) while listening to WJTL on my way to work. Maybe I should mention that in late July, while spending some days at the shore, the Lord had brought a sweet devotional based on Romans 15:13 to my attention, re: hope. I tucked that verse away in my heart, not realizing that within a few days I would so need it. On the way home I had a minor accident that resulted in a severe ankle sprain and bone break. Not the end of the world, for sure, but it’s been a difficult time of mending, and feeling physically so short of normal. Added to that, my husband lost a good job, and it took us by surprise. Again, trying to cling to Romans 15:13. But I admit, I’ve struggled, and wondered at times where He is in all of it. Though I KNOW He is with us, it hasn’t always felt that way when my fears creep in, drowning out the hope He wants to keep on giving and growing in me. I was driving to work on Rt. 72 yesterday, and right around the spot when I usually hear The Bible Experience, I was hearing the voice of Joni Tada, and I listened not thinking that this was not the usual daily segment. But sure enough, her message on HOPE struck right into my frail heart, and when she mentioned Rom. 15:13, tears ran down my cheeks because it was one of those sweet, personal touches from Him that are so timely, so personal, it’s hard to fathom. And I was still marveling when the announcer mentioned that the Tada message was a mistake and “how did that happen???!!!” I had to laugh out loud, and then wonder how many others out there really needed to hear the wrong message, the one not supposed to be airing! Truly, if I hadn’t been on my way to work I think I would have tried to call, it was just that funny/amazing to me. Just wanted to let you know that God so often uses your station to reach and encourage His wondering, wandering people.