Recent Posts By Lindsey Minerva

Day 11: Melisa, a sponsored child with a special spark

Day 11: Melisa, a sponsored child with a special spark | World Vision Blog

Melisa in Guatemala is 12 and the second oldest of 6. She loves being a big sister and helping her family: walking her siblings to school each morning and feeding the animals her family has received from World Vision.

That's why she's so grateful for World Vision's support – to watch her family grow with the nourishment from farm animals and for them to attend better schools and have the supplies they need!

Read about how she is a growing light for her brothers and sisters, and her whole community!

Top 12 blogs of 2012

 

As a World Vision staff member, I find myself surrounded each day by stories, many of which break my heart. I'm forced to stop whatever I'm doing, gather myself, and say a prayer for someone I have never met.

Other times, my heart swells with hope, and my eyes are filled with tears of joy.

What these stories have in common is that behind each one is a person whose voice needs to be heard. Over the past year, the World Vision Blog has been filled with voices from around the world -- asking for help, grieving, or celebrating progress. These are our top stories from 2012.

Zakale: a new creation

Zakale is the Swahili word for what has been thrown away being made new again.

John Mucheru is a living example of this word. As a young man, John says he engaged in activities that were not pleasing to God. After turning his life over to the Lord, however, he discovered that he possessed a gift in art and handcrafts.

Black Friday: Gifts that give back

Forever long shopping lines. Sleep starved customers arguing over the last item in stock. People losing their lives in pursuit of the perfect flat screen tv.

Black Friday is a day that seems to bring out the worst in people. The terrible irony is that our ruthless desire to acquire comes after a day spent giving thanks. We are grateful, and then shop survival of the fittest style (hunger games anyone?).

Make this year's Black Friday different- put some giving back into gift shopping. Instead of fighting crowds for Black Friday sales, check out this list of gifts ideas. You'll be able to find something for everyone on your list, while helping others.

Get to know Kris Allen

Last Friday, we revealed that this year's True Spirit of Christmas tour would be hosted by American Idol winner Kris Allen.

As Kris and the World Vision team get ready for the journey to Kenya, we had a chance to ask Kris some questions. Read on to learn more about Kris -- and be sure to follow the tour, starting November 25, to hear stories of how the lives of children, families, and communities in need are being transformed by gifts donated through the World Vision Gift Catalog!

The world through the eyes of a child

Violence. Hunger. Lack of education. Abuse.

Children are the most vulnerable to the consequences of global poverty -- but often, they don't have a platform by which to voice how these issues affect them.

When children do speak out, they often aren't taken seriously. Sometimes, they're dismissed by the adults who are charged with caring for them.

To address this problem, World Vision created a child journalist summit in India to give children the opportunity to have their voices heard.

The 2012 True Spirit of Christmas is coming!

Last year, hosts Kirsten Stearns and Alex Boylan traveled to Sri Lanka and Zambia with World Vision's True Spirit of Christmas team to show you how lives were being changed by items donated through the World Vision Gift Catalog.

This year, a brand-new adventure awaits. Where will the 2012 True Spirit of Christmas tour take us? Who will be our celebrity hosts? Stay tuned to find out!

Educate a girl, change the world

“What we are learning around the world is that if women are healthy and educated, their families will flourish. If women are free from violence, their families will flourish. If women have a chance to work and earn as full and equal partners in society, their families will flourish. And when families flourish, communities and nations do as well.”

—Hillary Rodham Clinton, September 1995, remarks for the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women

Top five ways to connect with your sponsored child

Sponsorship is about more than just giving money to help people in need -- it's about letting children know they are loved.

Taking time to write letters or send small gifts and cards can create a meaningful relationship with your sponsored child. Many sponsors find that investing in this relationship is more than a blessing for their sponsored child -- it also changes their own life.

Read on to learn how you can create a lasting relationship with your sponsored child.

There are no words for the loss of the child

My nephew, Archer Beeme, has a unique name because he has a unique story.

A year before Archer was born, my sister miscarried. As I try and think of a sentence to elaborate on what she must have felt, I feel a lump forming in my throat and tears in my eyes.

There are no words for the loss of a child.

PHOTOS: Games that will never make it to the Olympics

Every two years, the world waits in anticipation for the Olympic Games. It is the height of athleticism, competition, and pride in one's country. For athletes who compete in the games, this event can be the realization of dreams or the disappointment of a lifetime.

All of this fanfare, built around games.

While the Olympics represent the upper echelon of games, for many, games are simply a way to pass the time, connect with others, and have fun. The Olympics utilize the best in facilities and technology, but many games for people in developing nations involve found objects and a heavy dose of creativity and ingenuity. These games will never make it to the Olympics -- and that's okay. The joy they bring to their participants is worth more than a gold medal.

[Sri Lanka Bloggers] A firsthand look at sponsorship from Sri Lanka

Poverty: It's a word everyone has heard. Much of the world understands it firsthand.

Maybe you've personally experienced physical poverty at some point, with its life-depleting side effects -- lack of nutritious food, clean water, safe shelter, medical care, or education.

Or maybe poverty is a reality that feels distant to you -- something you've heard of but never experienced for yourself.

If you are in the latter category, you might have more questions than answers on the topic: What causes poverty? Why is it so complex? How does poverty affect families and communities? What can I do about it?

Hunger at home: Five surprising facts on child hunger in America

Recently, a woman approached me and asked if I could spare change for a meal. Without thinking, I said, "I'm sorry, I don't have any money."

My cheeks automatically flushed with embarrassment, and my heart sank. I had meant to say I didn't have cash to give her. It was completely obvious that a lack of money wasn't something I was dealing with.

It was my birthday. I had spent the day exploring downtown Seattle and shopping with my friends. We were just leaving a restaurant, shopping bags in hand, when the woman approached.

Walking back to our car, I was ashamed at the thoughtlessness of my comment. But the uncomfortable pit in my stomach wasn't just that. I was faced with this woman's needs. It hurt to see her lacking something she needed. I felt guilty for what I had. The sadness of the moment lingered with me.

The truth is, hunger is all around us -- even right here in the United States -- and it affects more people than we would like to believe. This woman made her need obvious to me. But hunger is often invisible. When we don't want to see it, hunger's power to harm people only grows.

One of the saddest realities of hunger is that the people most vulnerable to its harmful effects are children. Growing and developing without proper nutrition can impact a child for life. Many people believe that American children are immune to hunger because of school feeding programs.

But the reality is a much bleaker picture. Here are five facts on children facing hunger in America.

Here he comes, the violinist!

Looking at the photo of 5-year-old Abner and his violin, you might think, “How cute!”

But don’t let his gap-toothed smile fool you. Abner is what you might call a child prodigy.

Before he could read or write, Abner could play the violin. He picked it up when he was 3, and from that day on, practicing for an hour a day wasn’t a chore -- it was a joy.

National Day of Prayer: Pray to end the West Africa hunger crisis

Today is National Day of Prayer, a chance for Christians across the United States to come together around the belief that we serve a God who hears us when we pray.

Join us today in lifting up families affected by the food crisis in West Africa. Failed rains have led to poor harvests across the region, affecting as many as 15 million people in six countries -- Mali, Niger, Mauritania, Senegal, Chad, and Burkina Faso. Many families have exhausted their traditional means of coping and are cutting back on the number of meals they eat every day.

Without access to basic nutrition, growing children may suffer developmental issues that can last a lifetime. Your prayers for these families already affected by poverty are urgently needed.

Caring for God's creation on Earth Day

Today is Earth Day, an opportunity to step back and appreciate the care and detail God put into creating our universe. God is an amazing artist, and He has set creation before us to show us His glory and remind us of His love.

Psalm 95:3-5 tells us: "For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land."

In Seattle, where I live, this verse comes to life all the time -- natural beauty is evident all around me. Lush green trees, beautiful mountain ranges, numerous lakes, and the Puget Sound remind me of God’s creativity and craftsmanship daily. Spring has brought cherry blossoms and daffodils in abundance. Everywhere I look, I see His awe-inspiring creation.