When you can’t find the words

Post Summary: 

As our World Vision Bloggers trip to Armenia nears its end, Juli Wilson describes her struggle to find the right words for her experience, meeting "some of the most overlooked … heroes of the world."

Read how witnessing these stories painted for Juli a picture of faith, family, and God's good plan for us.

***

I love words. No, really—I seriously love them. They are my medium of choice, my paintbrush, if you will. Sometimes though, I have a terribly difficult time finding just what to say. This is when I know God must be up to something extra good. You know, the kind of something we can’t begin to explain because it’s way bigger than us.

Read more on the World Vision Blog about:

    Zhanna exists

    Post Summary: 

    Sponsoring a child through World Vision is more than setting up a monthly auto-pay from your bank account. It's a relationship with a child, a real child who lives a real life in a country far away.

    Amy Bellgardt of Mom Spark is with us this week in Armenia, and on Saturday she had the chance to meet Zhanna, the little girl she sponsors!

    Read about Amy's dedication to Zhanna's life and well-being.

    ***

    Over the years, I have sponsored a few children who lived in poverty. I would mail a check, or better yet an automated bank draft, and the funds were sent like magic. A handful of letters and emails between myself and the child would go back and forth throughout the year, but I would be fibbing if I said that I ever truly felt connected to the person and family on the other side of the world.

    Read more on the World Vision Blog about:

      The problem with a breadless Gospel

      Post Summary: 

      “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works" –James 2:14

      Blogger and author Jarrid Wilson writes from Armenia: "We cannot ignore the needs of those around us."

      ***

      Today I walked into another home. Not just any home, but a home in the rural hills of Armenia. The house was full of dust, and the cracks in the walls screamed for care and attention. Although the floor was full of dirt and rubble, the joy on the faces of those who lived in this home would make you think otherwise.

      Read more on the World Vision Blog about:

        A mother-woman

        Post Summary: 

        On Day 3 of our Armenia Trip, blogger Anna Whiston-Donaldson reflects on meeting Aida, a mother of seven, and the warmth of her love for her family amidst hardship of winter.

        ***

        “I have my children with me and [they] are healthy,” she said, beaming.

        And in that moment, in the run-down, 2-room house on the side of a snow covered mountain, I envied her. I wanted what Aida had, all of her children healthy and with her.

        A mother-woman | World Vision Blog
        Aida and her husband. (Photo: 2015 Laura Reinhardt/World Vision)

         

        Read more on the World Vision Blog about:

          Light a candle, plant a tree

          Post Summary: 

          After the World Vision Bloggers' first day in Armenia—visiting Etchmiatsin Cathedral and the genocide memorial—Addie Zierman reflects on the ways in which we bear witness to tragedy and poverty, and how we can respond to suffering.

          ***

          This morning, I lit candles in the Church of St. Etchmiatsin—the mother church of the Armenian Apostolic Church. The oldest cathedral (according to Wikipedia) in the world.

          The sanctuary was under construction. The whole place smelled of sawdust and paint, and men climbed on high ladders, banging around in the ancient rafters of this old place of worship. At the altar, a large tapestry hung heavy with the scene of Gregory the Illuminator receiving a vision: Christ descending from the clouds with a golden hammer, telling him where to build the church.

          Read more on the World Vision Blog about:

            Looking for rainbows amid suffering, genocide, and other mysteries of God

            Post Summary: 

            The World Vision Bloggers are in Armenia!

            Author, speaker, and blogger Matthew Paul Turner kicks us off with a reflection on the story of Noah's Ark, Armenia's long and complex history, and his hopes for this trip.

            ***

            As a child, my father loved telling me Bible stories before bedtime. Animated and full of belief, Dad told the stories of God and God’s people with such rich enthusiasm that me and my sister, Elisabeth, would plead every single night for another story. The stories of the Bible played such an integral part of my childhood. The narratives of people like Moses, King David, Esther, and Daniel were potent echoes of hope, faith, and devotion for me, sometimes inspiring my curiosity to know God and sometimes haunting my imagination like ghost stories.

            Read more on the World Vision Blog about:

              Five reasons why I’m excited to go to Armenia

              Post Summary: 

              Our Armenia Bloggers Trip starts this week!

              Join us on our journey to the land of Noah and of second chances as we explore how World Vision tackles the root causes of poverty in this ancient Christian nation … and during the cold, bitter winter.

              ***

              Tomorrow, seven World Vision Bloggers and I will depart our various home airports across the United States for Paris, where we will meet—many of us for the first time in person—and fly together to Yerevan, the capital of Armenia.

              In past roles and now with World Vision, I’ve had the opportunity to lead dozens of trips covering 19 countries on five continents, but I’ve never been more excited for a trip abroad than for this one! Here are five reasons why …

              Read more on the World Vision Blog about:

                The power of a grandmother’s love

                Post Summary: 

                Elizabeth in Zambia is the matriarch of her family. But this grandmother's primary role isn't only to love and dote on them … she's their provider. And for the past few years, she has struggled.

                Through her church and a variety of World Vision programs, Elizabeth can now show her love to her family through food, education, health, and a life transformed out of poverty!

                ***

                At 65, Elizabeth Petulu is a widow, mother to seven children, and grandmother to 24. None of her children have completed their education and, worse still, none of them have entered formal employment.

                Read more on the World Vision Blog about:

                  When Moses got milk

                  Post Summary: 

                  Our writer/photographer team Kari and Jon are in Rwanda this week! On Tuesday, they met 11-year-old Moses, an orphan who was brought back from the brink of death by milk.

                  See how cows and a pay-it-forward spirit are helping to transform Rwandan communities and young lives.

                  ***

                  On Tuesday, I met the most incredible boy, a boy who shouldn’t be alive to tell his story. His name is Moses.

                  Moses lives in southern Rwanda, in a place with the highest level of malnutrition in the entire country. 

                  Nearly half—45 percent of all children who live here—are stunted.

                  Moses was hungry—so hungry that he did the unthinkable: He tried to suckle the milk from goats.

                  Read more on the World Vision Blog about:

                    A second chance at Christmas

                    Post Summary: 

                    Today is Christmas in Armenia!

                    The land where Noah's Ark came to rest after the flood in Genesis, Armenia has long been a land of second chances. See how today, Armenia is getting a second chance after the fall of communism, and how World Vision is helping through child sponsorship and more.

                    ***

                    Merry Christmas!

                    It’s Christmas Day in Armenia today. In the fourth century, the Catholic Church established December 25 as Christmas, but the Armenian Apostolic and Evangelical Churches adhere to an older Christmas Day.

                    I will be joining my Armenian friends by celebrating Christmas in my heart today along with them. Why not celebrate a second time? Especially as Armenia is truly a land of second chances.

                    Read more on the World Vision Blog about: