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Good Friday: Thirsty for justice

Post Summary: 

On Good Friday, Jesus' next to last words were: "I am thirsty."

Today, Kari Costanza writes about Obed, a young man in Uganda who is also thirsty — thirsty for justice. “If a life is saved,” he says, “there is no greater good than that.”

Read how this Ugandan superhero's initiative and tireless work within his community are helping to save children from the evil of child sacrifice.

***

It’s Good Friday.

I know exactly when it will happen tonight — when my throat will constrict and when I will begin to fight back tears.

It’ll be about 7:40 in the evening. I’ll be sitting in a dark church — our beautiful stained glass window covered with black tar paper to block out the light.

My pastor will be reading the last words of Jesus on the cross. When he gets to that particular phrase — it’ll happen.

“I am thirsty,” Jesus says.

He’s been on the cross for some time at this point. In agony. Watched by people who mock him as he dies.

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    What Disney’s Frozen teaches us about childhood

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    “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.

    ***

    I’ve seen Disney’s Frozen at least four times now. I like it even more each time; I still get chills every time “Let It Go” plays on the radio.

    So many of my adult friends — who don’t even have kids — love this movie, and it’s got me thinking about childhood. We talk about there being a kid inside each and every one of us, but the more I think about it, the more I think we’re still the same people we were as kids — just older and with more responsibility.

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      Salmina escapes from early marriage

      Post Summary: 

      16-year-old Salmina lives in Mozambique. Last year, at only 15, she felt that her life was at stake when she was forced to marry a 58-year-old man and leave school.

      Thanks to a community member who was trained in child protection issues by World Vision, she escaped from the nightmare. Now she is looking forward to going back to school and pursuing her dream – of teaching mathematics. Read how World Vision is helping to raise awareness around this important issue.

      ***

      "The man came [to] our home one afternoon and found us sitting after lunch,” recalls Salmina. “He told my father that he wanted to marry me.”

      Salmina woke up to a destructive truth: she would be one more child with broken dreams in Mozambique, one of 10 countries around the world with high rates of early marriage.

      Here, one in two women gets married before age 18 and one in four gets married before 15.

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        Protection through pierced ears in Uganda

        Post Summary: 

        In certain districts of Uganda, child sacrifice is a real danger. Today, Kari Costanza writes from Uganda about 3-year-old Sharon, whose ear piercing may protect her.

        Read how a World Vision-supported amber alert program is helping to recover children that have been taken.

        ***

        I didn’t realize when I became a mother to a beautiful little girl that we would one day do battle. I thought she’d eat the food I set before her. I thought she’d wear the school clothes I laid out so carefully upon her bed. I never expected resistance. And I never expected a battle over pierced ears.

        Claire wanted pierced ears more than anything — from the time she was little. I wasn’t ready. I was worried she wouldn’t be able to take care of them. I didn’t want her to grow up. So, we battled. I finally gave in, wincing as I watched.

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          World Poetry Day: “Childhood Lost” by Propaganda

          Post Summary: 

          In honor of World Poetry Day today, we’re featuring our partner, spoken-word poet Propaganda, with a video of his poem “Childhood Lost.”

          “Childhood is worth saving, because once it’s gone, it’s gone.”

          Watch this powerful video, and learn more about Childhood Lost.

          ***

          There’s nothing lovely about injustice. Nothing elegant about children being harmed, demoralized, wronged. If only everyone felt this way.

          We know you hold “childhood” to be as sacred as we do. You believe it should be protected. When you learn about the tragedies of what happens to these children, you want to act. We all want to act—and we can.

          Read more on the World Vision Blog about:

            Protecting the poor from the plague of violence

            Post Summary: 

            Today, our friends at International Justice Mission write about the everyday violence that is plaguing the developing world … and the new book they're launching today!

            ***

            Between the Super Bowl yesterday and the Winter Olympics opening ceremony this Friday, human trafficking has been in the spotlight recently. And it should be. There’s a common belief that major sports events exacerbate trafficking, and while that may not be true, it also doesn’t mean that trafficking isn’t a problem at those events.

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              Under the big tree

              Post Summary: 

              This past Friday, our wonderful writer/photographer team (Kari Costanza and Jon Warren) was in Tanzania, where they heard an amazing story of a community standing up to protect a little girl…from a very early marriage. This is what happened!

              ***

              It was a bigger meeting than usual under the big tree in Mbuyuni village, Tanzania.

              Mbuyuni is named for the incredible baobab — a spectacular tree that looks as if it was plucked from the earth and turned upside down, its roots reaching skyward. But strangely, there are no baobabs in Mbuyuni anymore. Other great big trees stand in for meetings.

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                Su Su is finding her own dream

                Post Summary: 

                As a child, Su Su* worked a variety of jobs in Cambodia to help provide for her family, a road that led her into prostitution at the age of 14.

                Through a World Vision recovery center, Su Su has learned the skills she needs to follow her dream. Now, she has real plans for her future.

                This is her story in her own words.**

                ***

                When I was 10 and a scavenger on the street and in the markets, there were many beauty salons. I remember looking at the people getting their hair done, and wished I could become beautiful like them.

                I am the fourth child of seven. I am 18 years old. My goal is to earn money for my family. Since I was 12, I transplanted rice, climbed coconut trees and sold coconuts, and washed dishes at a street restaurant.

                You might wonder why I did these jobs. I come from a poor family and my parents used violence. Before I was 12, I was living with my grandmother.

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                  Roots and wings

                  Post Summary: 

                  A few months ago, World Vision communicator Jeremie Olivier traveled to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and met children benefiting from World Vision’s Rebound project, which helps rehabilitate former child soldiers and prostitutes. Read about his encounter with Zawadi and how this teenager is finding her wings through mechanics.

                  ***

                  As I met with children in the northeast Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) last fall while on a short-term assignment, a quote kept coming to mind: “There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give to our children. One of these is roots, the other wings.” This quote from Henry Ward Beecher, a clergyman known for supporting the abolition of slavery, is particularly meaningful to me as a parent.

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