Show us your sponsored child, send us your selfie!

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We want to honor our child sponsors this week — and that means we want to see your smile!

Send us a selfie of you holding up a photo of your sponsored child or children (like the ones shown here). When you do, we'll include it in a video we're creating for the world to see on our Facebook page!

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There's something special about getting pictures and letters from your sponsored child. I've experienced it myself. Three years ago, I met Claudia, my sponsored girl in Guatemala. She was 8 years old at the time.

 

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    The challenges of motherhood

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    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!

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    Jill Anderson: “A mother’s wish”

    The challenges of motherhood | World Vision Blog
    (Photo: 2013 Annila Harris/World Vision)

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      On motherhood, sponsorship, and a little girl named Zawadi

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      Mother, sponsor, and author Micha Boyett writes today about her first book – Found: A Story of Questions, Grace, and Everyday Prayer – released last month, along with the joys and challenges of both motherhood and sponsorship, and the role that grace has played in both.

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      Sixteen years ago, I began sending letters and stickers to a little girl named Zawadi who lived in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country ravaged then (in 1998) — and still ravaged now — by devastating violence.

      I found Zawadi’s sweet face in a stack of photos one Thursday night after a spokesperson from another sponsorship organization shared about the needs of children in the most desperate places of the world. I was a sophomore in college, with a limited amount of spending money and a love for Africa.

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        Prized possessions

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        After Typhoon Haiyan, Lorelyn’s family had lost not only their home in the storm, but their means of earning an income: only 4 of their coconut trees remained. The future seemed impossible.

        But then her daughter, 12-year-old Lovely, remembered the letters from her World Vision sponsor: letters of encouragement and hope. When she pulled the letters from the wreckage of their former home, life started to change.

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        A rare smile crosses Lorelyn’s face.

        She’s thinking about past harvests. Days when one of the neighborhood men would arrive at her place with a machete and hustle up the family’s coconut trees, hacking down the fruit.

        She beams, remembering how she collected the fallen fruit with her husband and how they filled a wagon pulled by water buffaloes. 

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          [Video] Meet a sponsored community in Bangladesh

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          Agoilijhara is one of the communities in Bangladesh that sponsors from the United States help support.

          Watch today's video to experience the everyday sights and sounds in Agoilijhara, and learn more about both the challenges the people of Agoilijhara face as well as the ways that sponsorship touches their lives.

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          Today, let’s take a quick trip to World Vision’s Agoilijhara community in Bangladesh, where dirty water, disease, and inadequate school facilities are keeping children and families trapped in poverty … and where child sponsorship is helping.

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            Photoblog: The worst and best story I’ve ever covered

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            Our photojournalist, Jon Warren, was in Rwanda in 1994 during the genocide and has returned several times since, including just last fall.

            Today's photoblog shows Jon's work in 1994 – "It was the worst story I’ve ever covered" – and how almost 20 years later it has become the best.

            Check out Jon's amazing photography ... and see what made such a difference.

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            In 1994, I was a freelance photographer working with a variety of international aid groups. So when refugees began flooding out of Rwanda, I was on my way to the border city of Goma immediately. I knew very little about what was happening – just that there was a mass exodus and rumors of genocide.

            The situation on the ground was unimaginably horrific. The first day in the camps, I was carefully framing a photo of a family cooking when I realized that the woman at my feet was dead.

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              Rwanda 20 years: The story that almost got away

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              When writer Kari Costanza first went to Rwanda in 2007, she heard about an amazing story of reconciliation, but wasn't able to capture it. Last fall, she returned ... and the story found her!

              Sometimes God shows you the story He wants told, often when you least expect it. Watch the story of friendship and redemption after the Rwanda genocide that He gave Kari a second chance to tell.

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              The first time I went to Rwanda, in 2007, I met Juliette and Emmanuel. I’d been asked to shoot a short video with two people who had reconciled after the genocide. We were so busy that we didn’t have much time to spend with them—just enough to know how powerful their story was.

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                A bright future ahead

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                Gihozo is only 4 years old, but he has to walk up to three hours a day alone to fetch dirty water for his family members, who struggle to provide enough food. But the future is looking brighter for him — he was recently registered for World Vision sponsorship!

                World Vision’s Laura Reinhardt writes about meeting Gihozo and the hope she has for his future.

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                In January, my grandson turned 4. We met at a pizza parlor where gifts from family and friends covered one whole table. Everyone ate plenty of pizza and chocolate cake, and even then there were leftovers. He was giddy with all the excitement surrounding his special day.

                A little over a month later, I met another 4-year-old boy, Gihozo. He lives in southern Rwanda with his two sisters, mom, and dad.

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                  All in: A single gift that changed a life

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                  World Vision videographer Brian Crass reflects on a trip to Zambia, where he met former sponsored child Mazuba, whose sponsor had given him a special gift of a cow.

                  Read how Mazuba multiplied that gift into 20 cows, and what his plans are for the future!

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                  I’ve always liked the Bible story of the woman who gave two coins (Mark 12:41-44). She made a decision to give and she was all in. It’s a story about humility and obedience. It’s a story about faith.

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                    Rwanda 20 years: The story in the corner

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                    Next Monday marks 20 years since the Rwanda genocide began. This month, we'll be sharing photos, videos, and perspectives that together tell the 20-year story of recovery and reconciliation in Rwanda, and the role World Vision has played in that story these past 20 years.

                    One of our wonderful storytellers, Kari Costanza, writes today about one of her trips to Rwanda and Jean Marie – the meek man standing in the corner – who was able to show her the story she was aiming to tell.

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                    People often ask me how I go about finding stories for World Vision.

                    I could tell them how I’d been a television newscast producer for 10 years, and how I moved to World Vision where I worked for the magazine, learning to hone in on the perfect story for the World Vision audience—a story that is compelling, representative of the broader community, and has—or will have—some sort of World Vision involvement.

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