You don’t have to care about everything

Post Summary: 

After almost not joining us in Armenia this winter, while visiting our community in Gyumri blogger Addie Zierman had a moment of epiphany …

See how Addie was able to let go of feeling that she needed to give her whole heart to Armenia, witnessing how families, youth, and staff there are passionate and empowered to care for themselves!

***

I almost didn’t come to Armenia.

I spent a lot of years as that person who tries to Do Everything and Be Everything, and I know what it feels like to burn out. I know what it’s like to overcommit—to feel like you have to overcommit to the world in order to really love it like God does.

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    Love overcomes

    Post Summary: 

    9-year-old Badal is a World Vision sponsored child in India. He is also a special needs student.

    See how attending the World Vision center has helped him find a place where he is loved, accepted, and can be himself, and how he is thriving in that environment!

    ***

    When 9-year-old sponsored child Badal enters the World Vision center in India, he stirs up a commotion in the group as his free-spirited nature invokes him to dance, expressing his love for the art form.

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      Dear Rick and Becky: I hope you get to read this one day

      Post Summary: 

      Rick and Becky sponsor 12-year-old Menua in Armenia.

      When the World Vision bloggers traveled to Armenia this winter, we met Menua and his mother Anoush. 

      See the difference that Rick and Becky are making in Menua's life and how important their letters are to him … and a reply from Becky!

      ***

      Dear Rick and Becky,

      We don’t know each other, and the chances of us meeting or finding each other are pretty rare, but I just had to write this letter to you in hopes that enough people would share it that one day you’d read it.

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        What does a letter mean to your sponsored child?

        Post Summary: 

        What does a letter mean to your sponsored child?

        Everything.

        Sound like an overstatement? It’s not.

        ***

        I’ve seen a child in Malawi hold her sponsor’s letter in her hands as though it was the most precious treasure in her life. And for some children it may be, because a letter from their sponsor gives a child encouragement to learn to read and write, to believe they are valued and important, to think about the world beyond their own community, and to give them hope that they’ll have a future full of possibilities they never had before.

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          Getting Mother’s Day back

          Post Summary: 

          Armenia has a system where children whose parents can't support them because of poverty are sent to government institutions. Yerazik's four oldest children were institutionalized.

          Five years ago, World Vision began working with parents to build more stable homes and bring the children back!

          For many, Mother's Day can be complicated, but this year join us in celebrating with an Armenian mother who was able to bring all of her children home.

          ***

          My relationship with Mother’s Day has been complicated.

          After I lost my mom when I was 18, I felt like I’d lost Mother’s Day. More than a decade later, my son Jack, and later my daughter Margaret, came along and redeemed the holiday for me, filling it with promise for the future.

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            Gor: Man of thunder

            Post Summary: 

            "I can perceive well the state of my country and my city and I have the wish to have a personal contribution in changing that.”

            See how Gor in Gyumri, Armenia and the youth group of many former sponsored children are transforming their community, one family at a time!

            ***

            I had the opportunity to visit Armenia this past winter where I saw the haunting effects of the past—the wars, the Soviet occupation, and a devastating earthquake. But I also saw great pride in all things Armenian, unceasing hospitality, and hearts filled with compassion.

            Despite the hardships of their past, I have great hopes for the future of Armenia and can sum it up in one word—Gor.

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              On letting go of our poverty myths

              Post Summary: 

              When blogger Addie Zierman traveled with us to Armenia this winter, she carried with her myths about what poverty was and what it would look like when she met the boy she sponsors.

              Read what Addie learned about the truth of poverty, and what it means to a five-year-old boy.

              ***

              Most of what I know about poverty are myths.

              What I know about poverty is wide-angles and broad strokes. It’s filtered and fictionalized. I know the story of the good, hard-working, honorable poor, against whom the deck has been stacked. I know, too, the story of the ignoble poor—alcoholics who can’t keep jobs, drug addicts and prostitutes, high-school drop-outs who keep getting knocked up.

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                Hope for Hovhannes

                Post Summary: 

                Hovhannes is two and lives with his parents in northern Armenia. Last month, he got to meet his sponsor, World Vision blog manager Matthew Brennan!

                Having seen World Vision's work in Armenia up close, Matthew has high hopes for Hovhannes's future. See why …

                ***

                Seven weeks ago, I was half a world away in northern Armenia with a group of eight other writers, exploring how World Vision is working to empower vulnerable Armenian families and communities lift themselves out of poverty.

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                  Highlights from Armenia

                  Post Summary: 

                  Our Armenia Bloggers departed Yerevan not quite a week ago: jet lag is fading, we're returning to normal life … but we're all changed by our experience.

                  Take a look at some photo/video highlights from our trip and see what inspired us, what moved us, and how together we're already making a difference for the wonderful people of this beautiful country.

                  ***

                  DAY 1

                  After flying into Yerevan, we spent our first day there before driving north to Gyumri for the week. Near Yerevan, we visited Etchmiadzin Cathedral (left below). Constructed from 301-303 AD, it is considered the oldest cathedral in the world! As you can see, it is in the process of being restored today, and still serves as the mother church of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

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                    [Podcast] Our role in God's story: Agents of reconciliation

                    Post Summary: 

                    Today is our last day in Armenia. From the hopelessness of poverty to the joy and wholeness that child sponsorship brings to communities, families, and children, we've explored the full impact of World Vision's work here in the land of Noah.

                    Join us today for a podcast live from Armenia! The latest episode of That God Show brings you the stories of the families we just visited, and how we play a role in God's big story.

                    ***

                    With the latest episode of the That God Show podcast, Benjamin L. Corey and Matthew Paul Turner come to you live from Armenia!

                    Coming off some moving experiences witnessing the work being done by World Vision in this part of the world, join us in an exploration of what it means to discover our place in God's grand story of reconciliation.

                     

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