Monthly Archives: August 2012

[Sri Lanka Bloggers] Married at 13

World Vision Sri Lanka blogger Allison Olfelt shares about her remarkable encounter with a young women who was forced into marriage at the age of 13 -- and became pregnant shortly thereafter. The girl's story is a heart-wrenching one -- but thanks to World Vision sponsorship, her daughters can avoid becoming trapped in a similar situation.

This post originally appeared on Allison's blog, O My Family.

Equipping U.S. children for success in challenging times

Early last month, I’d been enthralled each night watching the Olympics. Now that it's September, my focus turns back to school and school shopping lists. You can’t miss the signs or commercials urging you to shop now while the specials are good.

However, as I began shopping for my three children, my heart was somewhat pained.

Our country is a world leader in many ways. The United States won an amazing 104 medals in the Olympics. But many American children who are seeking to take part in that greatness by learning and completing school face amazingly difficult conditions.

Some don’t even have access to basic school supplies.

[Sri Lanka Bloggers] Giving locally, giving globally

Laura Tremaine is traveling with our team of eight bloggers in Sri Lanka this week, visiting children, families, and communities whose lives have been impacted by World Vision's work through our sponsorship programs.

Today, she discusses a provocative question: How do we make international assistance a priority when the need is so great right here in the United States?

Read on for her thoughts -- and then share your own!

Laura's post originally appeared on her blog, Hollywood Housewife.

[Sri Lanka Bloggers] When aid ends

Roxy Wieman, traveling this week with our team of eight bloggers in Sri Lanka, shares her experience with a question that's not often considered but is equally important to World Vision's work: What happens when our development efforts are complete -- and how do we know when a community is ready to be self-sufficient?

Read on to find out what she observed. This post originally appeared on Roxy's blog, Roxy Composed.

Remembering Hurricane Katrina, responding to Hurricane Isaac

After wreaking havoc across the Dominican Republic and Haiti, killing at least 21 people and forcing thousands to evacuate, Hurricane Isaac pounded the Gulf Coast with heavy rains and high winds on the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

Phyllis Freeman, World Vision's domestic disaster response director, remembers that fateful day seven years ago and shares her thoughts on our current response to Isaac.

[Sri Lanka Bloggers] We are one, but we're not the same

As the Sri Lanka bloggers continue their journey experiencing firsthand how World Vision sponsorship helps transform the lives of children and families in poverty, Joy Bennett shares a collection of pictures of a special moment -- meeting her two sponsored boys.

This post originally appeared on Joy's blog, Joy in this Journey.

As you read Joy's thoughts and view her pictures, consider this: How are these children and their mother like families you know right here in the United States? What dreams could they pursue -- and what goals could they achieve -- with the same access to life-giving essentials that we're used to as Americans?

[Sri Lanka Bloggers] Meet Afra, and your life may change

Tony Jones is traveling with World Vision's blogger team in Sri Lanka, experiencing firsthand the impact of our sponsorship programs on the lives of children and families in need. Here, he shares this touching story of meeting 8-year-old Afra, his sponsored child. We hope our readers are as inspired by it as we were.

This post originally appeared on Tony's blog, Theoblogy.

[Sri Lanka Bloggers] The Sri Lankan people: An introduction

Allison Olfelt, traveling with our Sri Lanka blogger team this week to see firsthand how World Vision's sponsorship programs work, presents a snapshot of her first interactions with the people of this island nation.

Allison's post originally appeared on her blog, O My Family.

[Sri Lanka Bloggers] Five reasons why I do this

This week, our blogger team is in Sri Lanka to see firsthand how World Vision's work helps transform the lives of children, families, and communities through sponsorship. Matthew Paul Turner, one of the eight bloggers, shares why he's along for the trip.

The post below originally appeared on Matthew's blog.

Smiles, laughter in the midst of crisis

World Vision's Mariana Chokaa reports from Niger, a country left reeling from the drought and hunger crisis that has devastated Africa's Sahel region. At a local clinic, where one might expect to encounter the desperation of malnourished children, she instead observes a downright cheerful atmosphere.

What explains this? World Vision's early interventions amid increasingly dire conditions have helped save lives.

[Sri Lanka Bloggers] An invitation and challenge to Theoblogy readers

Tony Jones has built a community of readers who discuss faith and theology on his blog, Theoblogy. But as Tony prepares to head to Sri Lanka with World Vision, he has a new challenge for his readers: to move beyond discussion and into action.

Read on to learn how Tony has invited his readers into the Sri Lanka journey.

[Sri Lanka Bloggers] When being terribly afraid is perhaps the best reason for going

Shawn and his family recently returned home after traveling around the United States in a large blue bus.

His next big adventure is traveling with World Vision to Sri Lanka to see firsthand what happens when you sponsor a child. Shawn shares why he loves to continually explore -- and why being afraid is the best reason to go to Sri Lanka.

[Sri Lanka Bloggers] How seven little faces continue to change me…

Photos have the ability to change our perceptions -- and our lives. A photo that Matthew Paul Turner saw as a ninth-grader takes on new significance as he prepares for a trip to Sri Lanka with the World Vision bloggers.

Read on to learn about the exciting new role Matthew is taking on for this year's trip -- the second one he's taken with World Vision after last year's trip to Bolivia.

[Sri Lanka Bloggers] To Sri Lanka with World Vision

Laura Tremaine -- or Hollywood Housewife, as her readers know her -- is going to Sri Lanka with the World Vision blogger team in just a few days.

Following the Bolivia Bloggers trip last year piqued her curiosity, and this year, she has decided to take the leap. Read her thoughts as she prepares for her trip, and follow her journey as we learn what really happens when you sponsor a child through World Vision.

[Sri Lanka Bloggers] Let us bring you a momento from our Sri Lankan adventure!

As you might have heard, World Vision's bloggers are going on another trip. This time, we're headed to the island country of Sri Lanka.

Our hope and prayer is that you'll follow our journey, find hope and inspiration in the stories we share, and perhaps be moved to join the story by sponsoring a child from Sri Lanka through World Vision.

To celebrate this coming journey, we're having a little contest. We've put together four identical prize packages -- a collection of some of our favorite books, music, and World Vision apparel. To each of those four packages, we will add a unique prize made by the people of Sri Lanka.

[Sri Lanka Bloggers] I’m scared, but that’s good

You may remember Joy Bennett from our Bolivia Bloggers trip last year. Joy has graciously agreed to travel with World Vision to the field again -- this time, to Sri Lanka.

This may be her second trip, but that doesn't mean it's not a step out of her comfort zone. Joy shares some of her anxieties about traveling and how she sees God working amidst it all.

At the same time, Joy's husband, Scott, has watched how she has been prepared for these trips -- and how they have shaped her. He is excited to see her through her journey a second time. Read thoughts from both of them below.

Birthday celebrations that mean more than just cake

I recently celebrated my birthday.

Although it wasn’t a milestone year, I still celebrated with cake and flowers with my family -- a far cry from the fanfare and festivities I enjoyed, even demanded, as a child, when our birthdays were all-day and sometimes all-week celebrations, with themed parties, favors, special food, and gifts.

I didn’t grow up in a wealthy family. Even so, as a kid, birthdays were a big deal -- celebrations were a common, expected occurrence. It never would have occurred to me at the time that there are millions of children in the world whose birthdays come and go just like any other day.

They don’t have a party. They don’t get gifts. They don’t eat special food. Most have never heard of or been to a birthday party, much less had one of their own.

[Sri Lanka Bloggers] Sri Lanka Sunday: Spice

From August 26 through September 1, we’ll be traveling with a team of eight bloggers to Sri Lanka to experience firsthand how World Vision is using sponsorship to transform the lives of children, families, and communities who have been caught in the vicious cycle of poverty.

Darrell Dow brings a unique perspective to the Sri Lanka blogger trip. He spent his childhood growing up in the poorer areas of the Caribbean and experiencing life in the developing world firsthand.  After college, he began writing down some of his humorous experiences in the realm of Christianity.

Each Sunday, Darrell blogs about Sri Lanka in preparation for the trip. This past Sunday, Darrell asked for prayers for the trip in a unique way.

[Sri Lanka Bloggers] Let's go to Sri Lanka with World Vision!

In just a couple of weeks, we’ll be traveling with a team of eight bloggers to Sri Lanka to experience firsthand how World Vision is using sponsorship to transform the lives of children, families, and communities who have been caught in the vicious cycle of poverty.

Today's post comes from Allison Olfelt, who shares why she's decided to take the leap and travel with us to the other side of the world. Allison is a wife and mother of two little boys, so coming with us to Sri Lanka is no small sacrifice. Read why she is willing to make it.

Sponsorship provides supplies for back to school

Another school year means advancing a grade level further, but sponsored child Evalyn in the Philippines is most excited to learn new lessons and meet new friends and teachers.

Her new school supplies, given by World Vision, inspire her to excel in her studies. Read on for Evalyn's first-person account of her first day back at school.