Facing responsibility: The face of a refugee child

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Today begins the seventh year of the Syrian refugee crisis.

In 2013, when the crisis was relatively young, our president Rich Stearns met 10-year-old Haya in Jordan. The poem and letter she read to him that day became a pivotal moment in his life: “Do you ever think of the children of Syria?”

Hear from Rich about the impact of that moment, and three and a half years later, join us in reconnecting with Haya.

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How does God get your attention about something that matters?

For me, God tends to use people, specifically children, to shake me out of complacency. One child’s story can simplify a complicated crisis and bring into sharp focus what’s most important. Statistics and rhetoric fall away when I’m staring into the face of a suffering child. All I want to do is find a way to help.

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    The miracle at Mosul

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    As the world celebrates International Artist Day today, join us in honoring Ibrahim—a painter from Mosul, Iraq who was displaced from his home two years ago.

    His powerful work captures the heart and soul of a Christian artist whose home has been destroyed by a war that is intensifying today.

    See Iraq through his eyes.

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    If you’ve ever been to The Louvre in Paris, you’ve seen it: that mysterious smile and those eyes that seem to follow you. The Mona Lisa is captivating, protected behind a wooden railing from zealous art lovers, raising their camera phones high to capture her mystique.

    I love the Mona Lisa, but my favorite painting in the Louvre hangs directly opposite—The Wedding Feast at Cana by Paolo Veronese.

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      Recipe from Mosul, Iraq: Making Dolma away from home

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      Not only does emergency food aid help keep people alive and nourished in times of crisis, it can also give them a sense of normalcy during times of trauma and change.

      See how innovative projects through the World Food Program are empowering people like Saeeda—who was displaced from Mosul, Iraq two years ago—to cook her favorite recipes from home.

      And try making Dolma yourself!

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      Saeeda Nouri, 45, is one of tens of thousands of Iraq’s Christians who fled religious violence in Mosul, Iraq in June 2014. She now lives with her husband and youngest son in Ashti Camp for displaced Iraqi families in Erbil, in the Kurdish region of Northern Iraq.

      The World Food Program’s Marwa Awad visits Saeeda to hear her story and learn about one of Iraq’s most famous dishes.

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        Waging peace in a time of war

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        The global refugee crisis is an opportunity to demonstrate what we as Christians stand for: compassion, not fear; people, not politics; and concern for others. It’s our chance to show that we don’t see refugees as unloved. We try to see them as God does: as made in His image, full of potential, and beloved.

        This International Day of Peace, join our president Rich Stearns in reaching out to refugees with love.

         

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        Do you hate war? I’m sure I know the answer. Everyone loathes war and its effects. Perhaps you or a family member has seen war up close while serving in the armed forces, and if so, you know better than me how horrific it is.

        We can pray for peace, but there’s not much else we can do as individuals—or even World Vision, as a humanitarian organization—to actually end conflict. That’s the realm of governments and power brokers.

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          The crazy love of humanitarian aid workers

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          What earns humanitarian aid workers the right to speak into the lives of others? Simple: love! Crazy love.

          This #WorldHumanitarianDay, hear from our president Richard Stearns about how the example of our staff provokes the question that only the gospel can answer.

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          Night had fallen in Juba, South Sudan as we pulled out of World Vision’s office after a long briefing. It was risky to drive in the dark in this conflict-prone country, so we—my World Vision colleagues, The Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson, and I—hurried to get back to the hotel. Suddenly, out of nowhere, six men in camouflage fatigues surrounded the vehicle, AK-47s drawn, shouting and gesturing in a language we didn’t understand.

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            True glory: Lessons from Lopez Lomong

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            As athletes compete this week in Brazil, they are striving for the glory of being the best in the world.

            Former Olympic runner Lopez Lomong's story—of being a Lost Boy of Sudan and refugee, to becoming an American and Olympian—shows us what true glory looks like: "a life lived for others."

            Read his story.

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            A little boy who would become an Olympic athlete is flying—running as fast as he can barefoot, kicking a soccer ball on a dirt playing field at a refugee camp in Kenya, aiming for the goal.

            A whistle blows.

            The future 1500-meter champion is called to the sidelines and the ball is taken away. He walks dejectedly to his new position—as goalie.

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              Syrian refugees: Solidarity in song

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              It's all right to feel, even when it hurts.

              Many refugee children don't know how to cope with traumatic memories. Meet Mohammed, who leads children in song at our Child-Friendly Space in Lebanon to help them learn how to express themselves.

              He's expressing his own emotions, too.

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              We heard “the singer” before we saw him.

              Songs came out of Mohammed as naturally as water bubbling up from a spring—but louder.

              A 33-year-old Syrian refugee, Mohammed leads activities for a group of refugee children in a World Vision Child-Friendly Space in Lebanon.    

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                The best people on Earth: Bravery and beauty in Iraq

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                World Refugee Day remembers those who have been forcibly displaced from their homes. Their number is staggering: almost 60 million. Today, one in every 122 people is a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking asylum.

                But these people are more than just numbers. They are some of the most incredible people on earth, as World Vision writer Kari Costanza found in Iraq.

                ***

                I came home from Iraq feeling ashamed.

                For more than two decades, I have traveled to 35 countries to report stories for World Vision.

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                  Syria: Yesterday, today, tomorrow

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                  Meet Chandra and Dan Brissette: they lived in Damascus, Syria, while working with the Foreign Service from 2002 to 2004.

                  In today’s Q&A, they talk about how much they loved pre-war Syria, why they were inspired last fall to help refugees of the Syrian crisis — by starting a fundraiser for socks! — and their hopes for Syria’s tomorrow.

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                  What was it like living in pre-war Damascus, Syria?

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                    LIVE FROM IRAQ: A mother’s story

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                    "As Christians, we smile."

                    Our writer Kari Costanza is in Iraq right now. Just the other night, she had dinner with a mother, Rajaa, and her family who have been displaced by conflict.

                    Meet this family with Kari, hear about their journey, and see what it's like to be a mother away from home.

                    ***

                    My mother is wonderful—smart, beautiful, and interesting—but she has a problem.

                    She cannot resist chocolate.

                    In high school, I brought home Mozart chocolates from Austria as a souvenir, a beautiful round candy, wrapped in gold foil with a picture of the young composer.

                    I didn’t plan to eat it. I just wanted to keep it as a reminder of a spectacular trip.

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