Friday, January 13, 2012

World Vision

I know I said this wouldn't be all about our journey, but since this organization spurred us on to making James 1:27 a reality in our lives, I have to share this one. 

I'm not a date remembering girl, never have been, but I do remember moments. (They usually are accompanied by music, but that's another story.)

Back in the mid 90's, Todd and I attended a 4Him concert at Shades Mountain Baptist Church. I know I was still teaching, so it was pre-kids.  It was "general admission seating." We each ate a fast food dinner on our separate drives in from work and met early to sit close to the front.  I don't remember who opened for 4Him that night, but I do remember the World Vision presentation during the intermission. At the end of the presentation, an invitation to sponsor a child in need was delivered. I remember Todd leaning over to whisper, "We need to do this."

As much as I hate to admit it now, what I thought at that moment was, can we really afford to do this? We were newly married, not making much money and saving for our first house. Sponsorship was only $25 a month back then, but with our very limited budget, that felt like a lot.  Thankfully, I didn't say that aloud.

If I had, I might have missed the moment I remember the most from that night- the look in Todd's eyes. He knew we needed to do it and I knew I needed to trust him. (can you hear the music?) So, we looked through a stack of pictures and found a twelve year old boy named Juan Marcos. He lived in Mexico. We became his sponsors that night and sponsored Juan Marcos until his family moved away a few years later.  We are still World Vision sponsors all these years later. Riadul Islam, who lives in Bangladesh, is our little boy now.

Here's a little about World Vision...

In over 100 countries across the globe over 100 million people are served annually by World Vision. Through the sponsorship program, disaster aid and relief and community building programs, World Vision is committed to partnering with families and their communities to break the cycles of poverty and injustice.

Dr. Richard Sterns, the President of World Vision, wrote a compelling book, The Hole in our Gospel about the connection between our gospel and fighting injustice. It's convicting and hard to put down all at the same time.

Here's how you can be involved...

A one time gift through the Life Giving Catalog. The catalog can be a great teaching tool for children to understand the importance of giving. It's an especially fun way to incorporate giving to others into a family's Christmas traditions.

Giving to World Vision's emergency relief fund.

There are also Volunteer Opportunities available.

Here is a snapshot of how donated funds are used.
World Vision Charity Navigator Rating 

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