Bonus Episode - Wave of Light 2022
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This is a special bonus episode highlighting the program from the Wave of Light event that Bridget's Cradles hosted in Wichita, Kansas on October 15, 2022, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. In this episode, we shared:
The program and announcements from our Wave of Light 2022 event
Scott Evans' remarks and Ashley Opliger's speech and prayer from event
A thank you to our generous corporate and memorial sponsors
The Shine Their Light Award Winners' speech (Jon and Kelcey Crone, parents to David Bruce Crone in Heaven)
Reading of Names of Babies in Heaven (for families that registered/attended or sponsored the event)
You can download a digital copy of our event program below:
CRADLED IN HOPE PODCAST
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Ashley Opliger is the Executive Director of Bridget's Cradles, a nonprofit organization based in Wichita, Kansas that donates cradles to over 1,300 hospitals in all 50 states and comforts over 26,000 bereaved families a year.
Ashley is married to Matt and they have three children: Bridget (in Heaven), and two sons. She is a follower of Christ who desires to share the hope of Heaven with families grieving the loss of a baby.
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EPISODE TRANSCRIPT: Bonus Episode - Wave of Light 2022
Ashley Opliger: [00:00:00] You’re listening to the Cradled in Hope Podcast on the Edifi Podcast Network. I’m your host, Ashley Opliger. I’m a wife, mom, and follower of Christ who founded Bridget’s Cradles, a nonprofit ministry in memory of my daughter, Bridget, who was stillborn at 24 weeks.
Cradled in Hope is a Gospel-focused podcast for grieving moms to find comfort, hope, and healing after the loss of a baby. We want this to be a safe place for your broken heart to land.
Here, we are going to trust God’s promise to heal our hearts, restore our joy, and use our grief for good. With faith in Jesus and eyes fixed on Heaven, we do not have to grieve without hope. We believe that Jesus cradles us in hope while He cradles our babies in Heaven.
Welcome to the Cradled in Hope Podcast.
Ashley Opliger: [00:00:52] Hello and welcome to the special Bonus Episode for Wave of Light 2022. On October 15th, Pregnancy And Infant Loss Remembrance Day, Bridget's Cradles hosted a community candlelight vigil in Wichita, Kansas at Beech Lake in memory of our babies in Heaven. We were so blessed to meet so many of you and give you a big hug at the event, and it was an honor to walk through the rows of twinkling lights together in remembrance of our babies in Heaven.
I know many of you also live out of state and participated in the Wave of Light from your own homes all across the country. So whether you joined us in person in Wichita, or from afar with your candle burning bright for your baby, we hope you know that we were saying prayers for you and remembering your babies in Heaven with you.
The Wave of Light event in Wichita was a sacred time of remembering our babies and celebrating the hope that we have to see them again in Heaven through faith in Jesus. For this episode, we are going to share the program from the event as well as a Reading of Names of all the babies in Heaven whose parents either registered, attended, or sponsored the event.
Let's listen now to the audio recording from the event starting with our emcee Scott Evans’ opening remarks.
Scott Evans: [00:02:04] Beautiful night, isn't it? I don't know if it could be more perfect; for me this is perfect weather, and so thank you all for coming this evening. I know each of you has a story that's near and dear to your heart, so thank you for coming.
If you look around, there are people who are in similar shoes, who can empathize with what you're going through and what you've gone through, so thank you very much. My name is Scott Evans. I currently work for Wesley Healthcare, but I first came across Ashley and her family and Bridget's Cradles, I can't tell you how many years ago.
It's been several years ago, back when I worked at [KWCH] Channel 12, became aware of the work that she was doing and her story. And through some opportunities and the DeVaughn James Helping Hand, we were able to give her some money because of the work that she and her team are doing to help families, not just in the Wichita area, but across the country.
And I'll share some of those stats with you here in a bit and Ashley likely will as well. But when I met with Ashley, I told her about my sister, who died at 24 days old. She'd be 21 years old this year if she lived, and Ashley was kind enough, I think her light cluster is just right over there. Sarah Jane Evans is my sister, who lived 24 days and that in and of itself was a miracle.
So it's an honor for me to be here this evening and to have Ashley ask me to emcee it. Without further ado, I want to turn this over to Bridget's mother. Ashley Opliger.
Ashley Opliger: [00:03:36] Thank you so much, Scott.
Welcome to Wichita Wave of Light 2022, and we say that this is the event that we wish no one had to come to. We wish we didn't have to plan this event and have you all gathered here today. But we believe that grieving together is so much better than grieving alone, because the pain of losing a baby can be incredibly isolating and lonely.
And so just look around you, knowing that there are other families and parents who understand the pain. You don't have to grieve alone and you don't have to grieve without hope.
So why do we do this event every year? Because we want to honor the lives of our babies in Heaven and give everyone a night to remember them and reflect on their lives, to celebrate our babies who are made in the image of God.
And we believe that their lives matter, and so we also want to point you to hope, to the hope of Heaven, that although our babies have died on earth, that they are alive in Heaven and that we will get to see them again through faith in Jesus.
And so you'll see the word HOPE at the entrance and over here by the water, and everything we do hinges on that word HOPE, because we believe that we have the opportunity to see our babies again, and we want to remember that.
And so later on as we go through the lights, there'll be a song that we play and it's called the Hymn of Heaven. And that's our theme for tonight, is focusing on Heaven, that we can grieve with hope. And so I'm going to start us in prayer and then share some announcements.
Lord Jesus, we come to You in prayer on this beautiful night in memory of our babies in Heaven. We know You are cradling them in Your arms as You cradle us in hope on earth.
Lord, we lift up our prayers and tears to You. We miss our babies and grieve for the memories we had hoped to make with them on earth. We wanted nothing more than to raise them, know them, kiss them, and love them. Our hearts ache at the separation that their death has caused. We long for the day we will be together again.
Thank you, Jesus, that You have made a way for us to see our babies again. Through faith in You, we can see and hold our babies again. We will not be separated forever. We rejoice in the hope of Heaven and long for the eternity that is coming. We will get to spend thousands and thousands of years with You and our babies in a good and perfect Paradise.
You are coming back for us. You are coming to earth again. We eagerly await Your return.
Jesus, we ask for You to give us peace and comfort in our time of pain and grief. Wipe away our tears and hold us in our sorrow. Remind us that we are not alone and that You have promised to never leave or forsake us. You will walk this journey with us and we have a community of support to surround us too.
Keep our eyes fixed on You. Fill our hearts with the hope of Heaven. Let us remember that we are citizens of Heaven and that You are preparing an eternal home for us. Our babies are alive and well, living in Y0ur presence in a place without sin and brokenness. You are taking good care of them. Send them all our love as we shine their lights tonight.
Thank you Jesus for dying on the cross for our sins and giving us the best gift of salvation. We love You, Lord, and thank You for who You are. Let us honor You and our babies in Heaven with our lives. In Your holy Name, amen.
Ashley Opliger [00:07:00] During this time, we listened to the song I Will Carry You by Selah and the Hymn of Heaven by Phil Wickham, and walked through the rows of 50,000 pink, blue, and white lights with our candles on and shining toward Heaven.
Afterwards, we headed down to the lake to release our lanterns while listening to our baby's names read one by one. We'd like to now share the reading of the names from the event.
Scott Evans: [00:07:30]
4 Etheridge Babies
5 Hymon Angel Babies
"Abundynce Faith Thomas
Joyana Reign Thomas"
Ada Grace Schuette and her Sibling in Heaven
Adah Dawn Wilmott
Addison Charlotte Murphy
Alexander James "AJ" Paugh
Anara Jack Acevedo Blacksten
Andrew Jaax & Jaax Babies
Ashlynn Marie Akin Davis
Atlas Wicket Ostby
Avery Ryan Gross
Babies of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Cheney
Baby H #1
Baby H #2
Banks Clifford Corwin
Beau Alan Baus
Bezdek Twin A
Bezdek Twin B
Bridget Faith Opliger
Brooklyn Donyelle Chilcott
Carmelo Noe Garcia
Louis Wade Jones
Chandler Adrian Brault
Marlee Lynn Brault
Natalee Lynn Brault
Cooper Dean Anderson and Baby Anderson
Crystal Marie Wright
Dakota Allen Kelly
David Bruce Crone
Daxton Titus Boyd
Eliana Rose Beresford
Ellowyn Grace Marie Singer
Zoey Mae Singer
Emersyn Kay Najera
Kollyn Scott Reide Cozens
Emma Jane Cunningham
Ethan Lee Tague
Eva Grace Price-Coulter and her three Siblings in Heaven
Ezekiel Elijah Hill and Baby Hill
Gabriel Mason Broderick
Gianna Marie Enriquez
Grace Lynn Crippen
Elijah Joseph Crippen
Gideon Ray Crippen
Haddie Ann Molhoek
Harrison Clark and Clark Baby #5
Hattie Ann Jurey
Hazel Rae Ramage
Hudson Tait Sherwood
Imais King Owens
Irona Mikelle Cliver aka Baby Mickey
Isaac Allyn Kaufman
Jack Edward Clayton Sones
Jack Monroe Siegrist
Jackson James Schiefelbein
Jackson Ronald Dawkins
Jaelynn Anell Nedd, Baby Boy Nedd, and Baby Boy Nedd
James Parker Kaiser V
James Paul and Jeremiah
Jennifer Lily Mailloux
Jordan William Hall
Jude Mark Gudenkauf
Jude Samuel Shook
Kade David Lauer
Keenan Luis Montez
Kollyn Scott Reide Cozens
Krew Archer Koob
Landyn Hope Adams
Lane Tucker Burns
Lark May Brazil
Lawson Aiden Swenson-Daigle
Atlas Wicket Ostby
Liam Roy Baker
Lili Danielle Hurst