Recent Posts By Matthew Brennan

Witnessing recovery in Tacloban

Witnessing recovery in Tacloban | World Vision Blog

Rosemarie with her 4-year-old daughter Winnie. She had spent her last money just to salvage pieces of their old home for shelter, but now her new house through World Vision is underway. (Photo: 2014 World Vision)

In our work to fight against the root causes of poverty, it often takes a whole community to come to the aid of another community in need. That’s what you made happen a year ago for communities like Tacloban in the Philippines that were devastated by Typhoon Haiyan.

Our World Vision Bloggers are in the Philippines this week marking the one-year anniversary of the storm and witnessing first-hand the remarkable progress that’s been made this past year and what’s still to come. Follow their trip right here!

Celebrating harvests around the world

Celebrating harvests around the world | World Vision Blog

18-month-old Aminat and his grandfather Ibrahim play in their fields at dawn in Antsokia Valley, Ethiopia. (Photo: ©2014 Alexander Whittle/World Vision)

Halloween traces its roots back to ancient harvest festivals.

Today, five of our staff writers from around the world – India, Ethiopia, Cambodia, Honduras, and Bolivia – describe how the harvest season is traditionally celebrated in their part of the world!

Missed harvest today, famine tomorrow

Missed harvest today, famine tomorrow | World Vision Blog

Families in South Sudan register to receive rations from World Vision. Lentils, sorghum, oil, and salt will help prevent malnutrition. (Photo: ©2014 James East/World Vision)

Today is World Food Day, a day dedicated to coming together in a global movement to end hunger.

One of the hungriest places in the world right now is South Sudan, where conflict has displaced 1.4 million people and created a dire food shortage for nearly 4 million.

Food aid provided by World Vision and other relief organizations has held off an official famine, but there is still a big question mark looming over 2015.

More than social justice

More than social justice | World Vision Blog

Noi (5, left) is learning the Lao alphabet in her Kindergarten classroom. She is sponsored through World Vision’ in Laos. (Photo: ©2014 Mark Nonkes/World Vision)

“There is no tool for development more effective than the education of girls and the empowerment of women.” –Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Against all odds

Against all odds | World Vision Blog

Lopez Lomong and other Nike Pro runner team members training in Flagstaff, Arizona. (Photo: ©2012 Jon Warren/World Vision)

“It feels like I am a million miles away from where I might have been, had God not interrupted my life from the course it was taking. I've gone from being a ‘Lost Boy’ of Sudan to a proud U.S. citizen who is loved and cared for by so many people in this country – no longer ‘lost!’” –Lopez Lomong

Water for Mutchenda

Water for Mutchenda | World Vision Blog

A borehole being drilled — the 13th so far in Mutchenda. This World Vision community intervention will provide people with a convenient, reliable, and safe water source. (©2014 Lindiwe Bandazi/World Vision)

Happening now: As World Vision child sponsorship gets started in our new Mutchenda community in Malawi, our rigs are already drilling boreholes to provide access to clean water!

Read how access to clean water can transform a community, and how you can help advocate for clean water.

The challenges of motherhood

The challenges of motherhood | World Vision Blog

Diana and her children drawing clean drinking water from a pipeline near their home in Kenya. (Photo: 2013 Kenneth Kibet/World Vision)

Happy Mother’s Day! Today, we celebrate and honor our mothers for the mothering they do every day of the year. We acknowledge the challenges they face, and we thank them for persevering.

This past week, three of our mom bloggers wrote about the challenges that mothers face around the world, in countries like Bangladesh, Kenya, and India.

Check out their amazing perspectives on motherhood!

What Disney’s Frozen teaches us about childhood

What Disney’s Frozen teaches us about childhood | World Vision Blog

Children in Romania learn how to build a snowman. (Photo: 1993 Karen Homer/World Vision)

“Do you want to build a snowman?”

What Disney’s Academy Award-winning animated musical Frozen teaches us about childhood, love, and the importance of protecting children.

The children of Syria speak as year four begins

The children of Syria speak as year four begins | World Vision Blog

Syrian children come together in Jordan to write a message to the world. (Photo: World Vision)

As we mark the three-year anniversary of the Syrian refugee crisis today, the children of Syria speak out together, making an urgent plea to the world to listen. To help. Stand with World Vision in helping to prevent a lost generation of Syrian children.

Read more about this report written by children to the world.

Two different crises, three years later

Two different crises, three years later | World Vision Blog

Boys play outside at a Child-Friendly Space after the 2011 earthquake in Japan. (Photo: 2011 Kei Itoh/World Vision)

Three years ago today, the strongest earthquake ever to hit Japan and the subsequent tsunami devastated its northeastern coastal communities, killing more than 15,000 people.

Coincidentally, this weekend will mark three years since the start of the Syrian crisis that continues to impact millions of lives in the Middle East and beyond.

These notable anniversaries — both devastating — depict a marked difference between what the humanitarian world refers to as “slow-” versus “sudden-” onset emergencies.

Why should Christians care about Syria?

Why should Christians care about Syria? | World Vision Blog

Syrian refugee children in host communities are living invisible lives. Only one of the children shown above is enrolled in school. (Photo: 2013 Meg Sattler/World Vision)

In today’s blog, we ask a variety of Christian thought leaders why we as Christians should care about the conflict in Syria, a crisis that day to day often feels very far from us. Or someone else’s problem.

Hear what seven writers have to say about this question, including bloggers Ron Edmondson and Matthew Paul Turner, and our very own president, Rich Stearns.

Messages of love

Messages of love | World Vision Blog

Violet visiting her sponsored child Cedric and his family in Uganda, whom she sponsored at a Casting Crowns concert. (Photo: Violet Galaviz)

Looking ahead to Valentine's Day on Friday, we want to give thanks for the love you have shown us, our work, and the children and communities we serve around the world. We can't do this work without you! Thank you for your love … we love you, too!

In today's photoblog, five teams here at World Vision each highlight one of their supporters that has been influential and inspirational to them.

Olympians for hope

Olympians for hope | World Vision Blog

U.S. Olympian Lopez Lomong gives Travis Blanton a pep talk during an exchange point at the Hood to Coast Relay. (Photo: Wes Kriesel)

As we approach the opening ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia on Friday, we take a look back at the summer games of 2012 in London, and our friend and supporter Lopez Lomong who competed in the Men’s 5,000 Meter.

This photo series and video show Lomong running this past summer with Team World Vision in the Hood to Coast relay event in Oregon.

Ambassadors of hope for the Congo

Ambassadors of hope for the Congo | World Vision Blog

Martine, recently treated for malnutrition, with her nurse Chiquette in the Ledia community, DRC, December 2012. (Photo: Alice Bafiala Mutombo/World Vision)

World Vision's Child Ambassadors are a network of volunteers and sponsors who go out into their communities as advocates for child sponsorship. This year, they're aiming to maximize their impact by focusing their efforts on a new sponsorship community in the Democratic Republic of the Congo called Ledia. Read why!

Top 13 blog posts of 2013

Top 13 blog posts of 2013 | World Vision Blog

A girl in Sri Lanka at a World Vision program's closing ceremony, featured in our photoblog "A beginning and an end" in May. (Photo: Matthew Paul Turner)

2013 was a very busy year! The social media team ran and supported a wide variety of programs and work, sharing joy, answering the question Why World Vision?, promoting books and films, and responding to disasters. Out of the hundreds of blog posts published this year, here’s a list of my – and your! –  favorites.

Vote for your favorite! Whichever post gets the most comments below, I’ll look into doing a follow-up post later in 2014!

Year-end giving: How to choose a charity

Year-end giving: How to choose a charity | World Vision Blog

A dead tree adorned with food colors sealed in plastic becomes a symbol of the holiday season in the Philippines. (Photo: 2013 World Vision)

Within these last few days of the year, many people take this opportunity to squeeze in one more charitable donation as an extra write-off for their taxes. Your tax forms don’t care where that money goes, as long as it’s a charity, but you probably do. You’ll want to make sure that your money is going to a good organization.

But what does that mean? And how can you know?

Top five ways in 2013 to give

Top 5 ways to give of 2013 | World Vision Blog

Ou Sypha, 16, reads the birthday card he received from his sponsor to his friends. (Photo: ©2013 Sopheak Kong/World Vision)

2013 has been an amazing year (but maybe I’m biased; it was my first year with World Vision!) From responding to natural disasters and refugee crises to bringing clean water to a new person every 30 seconds, we’ve been doing great work around the world this year, and we look forward to continuing this work in 2014.

You can help! Are you considering making one more tax-deductible donation before 2013 is over? Here are five categories that have been important in 2013 — to us, to our donors, and to the children we’re serving. Make your choice today!

Day 24: Share your blessings

Day 24: Share your blessings | World Vision Blog

You are our blessing! Thanks to all of our supporters who make our work possible. We’ve encouraged you this month to Share #Joy … here’s a compilation of how our friends have shared and received joy this season.

Day 20: Share comfort

Day 20: Share comfort | World Vision Blog

“When one has nothing, God will open a door for them, is what they say. And He has opened it.” —Aishwarya, India. Today’s video tells her story; see what is giving her #joy!