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Nathan and Cydil Waggoner

ID: 19567, Region: Europe
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Hello!  We are the Waggoner family, serving in Albania. 
Our journey to Albania began several years before we actually moved there together as a family of four.

I suppose you could say that our family began when we (Nathan and Cydil) met in speech class our second year at Asbury University (Kentucky). It would be a few more years, though, before we began dating and then later, married. After graduation. I (Nathan) moved to Honduras, where I served as a teacher to the children of missionaries at Escuela El Sembrador (a farm school for Honduran boys). Cydil took a job on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. 

After an extended, long-distance courtship, we married in 1999 and returned to Asbury—this time as directors of World Gospel Mission’s Student Involvement Center, where we lived and served for 13 years. 

Feeling called to missions from childhood, we both believed that God had a place for us in international service. We spent many a spring or summer break leading a team of students to one various international field or another asking, “Is this where you would have us serve next, Lord?” Eventually, we realized our role for the moment was assisting the Great Commission through recruitment and mobilization and God would make it clear when He wanted us elsewhere.

In the course of our service at Asbury, our hearts received another calling: to build our family through international adoption. When it came time to submit our application, we chose to adopt from Albania—a country close to Cydil’s family’s heart, due to a ministry her parents founded there in the early 1990s. In 2006, we brought home our toddler-aged daughter, Ellie. In 2010, we returned to adopt our son, Reni. These experiences opened our eyes and hearts to a whole new understanding of our salvation through the analogy of adoption described by the Apostle Paul in his epistles. It also connected our hearts to this little corner of the Balkans in a very personal way.

Midway through our 13th year at Asbury, with Ellie and Reni now 6 and 2, Cydil took a phone call from her parents asking her to pray for an appointment they had the next day. Her parents wanted to approach a particular couple about supervising the ministry in Albania on their behalf. Hanging up the phone, Cydil remembers thinking, “Why didn’t Mom and Dad ask us?” After explaining the reason for her mother’s call, I responded to Cydil with the same question, “Why didn’t they ask us?”

With a bursting sense of excitement that Albania was our next place of service, we had just one more question: Could we continue to serve with WGM, in spite of the fact that WGM did not have a work in Albania at the time? The Lord confirmed His hand on this new direction when WGM agreed to serve as our sending agency in partnership with Planters Seed Foundation—the ministry begun by Cydil’s parents so many years before.

Within six months, we were packing up our young family and moving out of the only home we had ever known together to begin training and raising support for missionary service. In September 2013, 18 months after receiving that providential phone call, we landed in Albania with Ellie and Reni, reintroducing them to their country of birth.

Today, we live in a village of about 600 residents in central Albania. Together, we seek to live out the spirit of adoption, communicating the good news of a heavenly Father who is pursuing the spiritual orphans of the world to bring them into His family. We live in an apartment above a community center, which holds afterschool recreation times, tutoring sessions, English classes, kids’ club, Bible studies, and a weekly church service. We also lend our time and services to helping ministries dealing in orphan care, special needs and disabilities, and networking and evangelism within the greater missionary community in Albania.

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