Stacey with Senait, her sponsored child.
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!