Photography for a Good Cause

Nathan and Cydil Waggoner are missionaries serving in church ministries in Albania. Cydil is also a talented photographer. Recently, one of her photos was featured in a Christianity Today article! We are proud of Nathan and Cydil for their hard work to present the gospel to those in Albania and for Cydil’s professionalism in photography. It is a great example of how God can use our gifts to tell about a ministry or cause.

Nathan shared from their ministry Facebook wall: “Surprised and honored to see one of Cydil’s photographs featured in Christianity Today! For the last two years, Cydil has photographed the children of the Jonathan Center so they can produce a calendar for fundraising. The Jonathan Center is helping to reshape the culture’s view on Down Syndrome by showing the love of Christ to these special kids and their families!”

Photo credit: Cydil Waggoner

You can learn more about what the Waggoners are doing in Albania on their ministry blog. Also, here is the link to the Christianity Today article.

Connexions

The latest blog post, “Connexions,” by Joy Phillips, WGM’s Wholistic Transformation coordinator, highlights some of the ministries going on around the world. As the Wholistic Transformation coordinator, Joy connects missionaries to other people and resources. Read more to learn how Joy is helping missionaries make valuable connections.

“Social media can be put to good use.  WGM has a new Facebook page (WGMCompassion) and a blog called Life Between the Trees to connect people with stories and resources about reaching out and sharing Jesus’ love with others.  I’m encouraging folks to sign up and I encourage you to join if you’re interested in learning, being challenged and inspired.

“In April I was able to visit Nathan and Cydil Waggoner and their two children.  They live in Albania.  I had to do a lot of studying about Albania before this trip as I knew almost nothing about it.  What a charming country.  The Waggoners were incredible hosts.  It was great to see how God is at work in their neighborhood.  I loved the chance to share some resources and tools that might be helpful as they reach out to Albanians.

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Joy Phillips and Nathan Waggoner (Photo Credit: Joy Phillips)

“I’m very excited to return to Albania in November along with Bonnie and Peder Anderson.  Bonnie was one of my Clinical Instructors in Nursing School way back when at Marion College, now Indiana Wesleyan University.  More recently Bonnie volunteered with Mango Ministries in South Sudan.

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Bonnie Anderson with patients (Photo Credit: Joy Phillips)

“In November she and her husband Peder and I will share about several transformational development tools.  Will you pray for wisdom as we prepare and teach and that the team in Albania will know how best to use what they learn?”

Check out Joy’s blog for the rest of her post and for more stories about how missionaries are being equipped and prepared to make important connections for God’s kingdom work.

Journey with Joy blog

VIA Making a Difference in Albania

This week Nathan and Cydil Waggoner, missionaries in Albania, talk about hosting three Volunteers In Action (VIA) participants. They prepared ahead of time and were ready for God to use these three young women to make a difference on the mission field. Read the Waggoners’ latest blog post to learn how the girls did great things for God’s kingdom.

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Photo Credit: Cydil Waggoner

“On May 25 we were back at Rinas to pick up university students from Cincinnati, Boston, and Atlanta. None of us had ever met in person before but we were committed to sharing life and ministry for the next seven weeks!

“Serving through our Mission’s Volunteers In Action program (VIA), Jenna, Hannah, and Nashana became a valuable part of our ministry team. They slept in the house up the street, but did life (including all lunches and suppers) with us throughout the day every day.

“Three mornings each week began with Albanian lessons facilitated by Eda. We didn’t expect them to become fluent in just a few weeks, but we did want the girls to be equipped to express greetings and needs, to learn the phonetics of the alphabet and understand the signs they would see throughout their stay.

“Prior to their arrival we discussed projects they would undertake. Seven weeks seemed like a lot of time and I was concerned that we would have ‘enough for them to do’. In retrospect, I chuckle.

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Photo Credit: Cydil Waggoner

“We set goals. I made a schedule. We found a rhythm and time flew. Before I knew it, it felt like they had been here forever (in a good way).

“Prior to her arrival, Hannah collaborated with her home church to use the funds they would raise in VBS to purchase back-to-school boxes for the children of Metalle.

“A large part of what they did was just get to know and love on the kids and youth in our village.

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Photo Credit: Cydil Waggoner

“Then how about the entire day Hannah and Nashana cut out, sorted, and organized the flannel graph collection? What a great resource for the new kids club in Metalle?

“Girls night? What can I say? They started it. They rocked it.

“What better way to break up the summer doldrums than to do something fun and new? I challenged them each to create two craft activities with a related devotional message to share with the girls ages 22-25. And boy did they deliver!

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Photo Credit: Cydil Waggoner

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Photo Credit: Cydil Waggoner

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Photo Credit: Cydil Waggoner

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Photo Credit: Cydil Waggoner

“Cross-cultural life is tiring and not easy. It requires intentionality and patience to build relationships with others from different backgrounds, who speak different languages. It means missing family and friends, familiar foods and comforts, experiencing a change in status and often times feeling confused. These girls graciously walked through all those things, motivated by the love of Jesus.

“They left a piece of themselves here, and brought a piece of Albania back home in their hearts through friendships, photos, and memories. We hope they return.”

The Volunteers In Action program allows you to follow God’s call, participate in something bigger than yourself, and go beyond a cookie-cutter style missions trip. You can also earn college credit for your experience. Discover if serving as a VIA participant is for you!

Visit www.wgm.org/via-apply to apply!

Preparing for Teams in Albania

Nathan and Cydil Waggoner were the directors of Global Café at Asbury University prior to being called to Albania. This week on the Waggoners’ Facebook page, they ask for prayer as they prepare to host an Asbury University team in Albania for missions work. Read on to learn about the specific plans and requests God has laid on their hearts for this special team.

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The Waggoner family Photo by Cydil Waggoner

“In 24 hours we will be on our way to the airport to pick up a team from Asbury University! We love hosting teams, and this one is no different (the kids have been counting the days for WEEKS)! The team will hold 3 training sessions with individuals from our little village church to develop a worship team. They will also help us kick off the children’s program in the village of Metalle — a new area of ministry.

“Going into the next two weeks we are feeling a bit depleted. I caught a virus the first of April that my body still hasn’t recovered from. I’ve been trying not to push myself these past weeks, but I won’t have any down time for a while. Would you pray for my healing, as well as for good rest (while we share a room with our kids) and stamina through hosting? If the internet information is correct, I could still have a few more weeks of feeling lousy.

“Finally — more important than our health or the comfort of our guests — would you pray for the ministries planned (and those that will take place un-planned), that they would be attractive, fruitful, glorifying to God, and aiding His Kingdom in Vlashaj and beyond? That those who come on this team will leave with a burden for this special country and that they might be impacted by these days here?”

Will you pray for safe travels, good health, and the Holy Spirit to move in Albania? Read the entire post on the Waggoners’ Facebook page and visit their blog .