Cydil Waggoner, missionary in Albania with husband Nathan and kids Ellie and Reni, loves taking photos and has a great eye for capturing special moments. The family is settling into their new home in a village after living in the capital city, Tirana, for a year. As anyone who has moved to a new place knows, the task of getting to know people and building relationships can take a long time. Cydil had the idea to offer each family in the village the gift of a photo session and a photo mounted on a stretch frame. She blogged:
“While such a task would surely take a lot of time, what better way could we meet the families we don’t yet know (and for them to meet us)? When walking through our village, we will know the names and faces of the people who live behind those gates and walls! And each of those families will have received a personal invitation to the programs and services at the ministry center!”
In the three weeks since Cydil and Nathan (her lighting assistant!) began the project, they have done several photo sessions. The pictures are beautiful – visit their blog to view the families.
And here’s how you can be a part of the Portrait Project:
“Then our thoughts went to our partners back home. What if we could find partners that would agree to pray for a specific family from Vlashaj by name? If a family here was willing, we could even share specific prayer requests! How different could this community look with prayers being sent to heaven, not just for the community of Vlashaj, but for the families and individuals that comprise it? Each with their own sets of concerns and needs? And how much better connected would our partners feel to the work in which they have invested?
It would also be good accountability for us, as missionaries, to be intentional in both sets of our relationships (because, believe me, if a family here knows that they have someone praying for them in America, they will ask us how you’re doing, just as we hope you’ll ask us how they are doing)!
If you can contribute $15, great! That will cover the cost of the canvas print (about 16×24 inches on a thin frame). But prayer partners are what we need even more! We will send you a post card with your partner family’s photo on one side, their names printed on the reverse, as well as any prayer requests that they might want to share with you. We estimate that there may be anywhere from 110 to 120 families in our community, so you are welcome to request more than one family, if you like!”