Looking ahead to Valentine's Day on Friday, we want to give thanks for the love you have shown us, our work, and the children and communities we serve around the world. We can't do this work without you! Thank you for your love … we love you, too!
In today's photoblog, five teams here at World Vision each highlight one of their supporters that has been influential and inspirational to them.
Much love goes out to Road to Life Church and their fearless leader John Mefford. This group is incredibly passionate about the 30 Hour Famine and caring for those around the world that are hungry. Their passion for helping the poor is evident in their leadership, the effort they put into their Famine events, and the significant amount of money they raise each year for the hungry.
Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your youth group’s story and for partnering with us in serving those in need!
Rev. James Adams has a tradition: for every couple he marries, he gives them a pig, a sheep, or a goat from the World Vision Gift Catalog along with a brief note. “I give animals from the gift catalog,” says Rev. Adams, “to encourage the couple to think beyond themselves.” What a gift, to receive a humbling reminder of the world around you on a day that you will remember for the rest of your life.
Perhaps the true beauty in this story is seen in the thanks that one couple sent back to their pastor. Alexandra and Jeremy received a goat on their wedding day, and just two weeks later Rev. Adams was surprised to see a World Vision envelope on his desk. “To our wonderful priest, thank you. A flock of ducks has been given to a family in need in YOUR honor. Love, Alexandra and Jeremy.” It’s more than a gift; it’s a way of thinking.
The next time you’re wondering what to give the happy couple, consider giving them a new perspective: a global vision.
Joanna Mockler gave her life to Jesus as a young wife and mother more than 40 years ago. One of her first acts after that was to sponsor a child through World Vision!
20 years ago, Joanna was unexpectedly widowed and began to search for the Lord's plan for her. She traveled on a World Vision vision trip to South Africa, Kenya, and Ethiopia, and as a result, she has become a significant financial partner, the Chair of the World Vision U.S. board, and also served on the World Vision International board.
She prays fervently for our work and opens her home every year to host World Vision events. A few weeks ago, World Vision had the joy to help Joanna celebrate her 80th birthday.
She is a treasure to World Vision!
“The first time I heard about World Vision was at a Casting Crowns concert. That evening I sponsored Cedric. I read Rich Stearns' book A Hole In Our Gospel and was moved by the compassion God had given Mr. Stearns. Months later, I learned about Team World Vision and committed to running a half marathon. I felt in my heart that I was running for Cedric. In the course of 4 years, Cedric and I have corresponded via email and letters. At every meal we pray for him and his community.
“In July 2013, I had the incredible opportunity to visit Cedric! My visit consisted of introductions, a feast, a tribal dance, a Bible story, and Cedric and I finally got to read our letters and share a meal together. Just recently, I volunteered with World Vision partner, Third Day. This time I was on the other side of the World Vision table and I got to share my story and the letters and photos of my journey to Minakulu to visit with Cedric. It was a team effort and 89 children were sponsored! Praise God! Together we are sowing very special seeds in the Kingdom of God.” –Violet Galaviz
Chris Miller is the Team World Vision Super Fan, known for his orange hair, orange socks, and … well, being loud. He's been seen cheering for some of Team World Vision's most dedicated participants. Why does he do it?
He remembers running his first marathon. Team World Vision national director Michael Chitwood had encouraged him to write his name on the front of his jersey. Throughout the race, people cheered for him. They had most likely cheered for hundreds of runners that day, but when they yelled out his name, it gave him the strength to keep going.
Now he cheers for others in hopes that it will give them that same strength: the strength to press on and change lives with Team World Vision.
Tell us below: whose love are you thankful for?
What better way to show love for Valentine's Day than pledging to change the life of a child in need? Consider sponsoring a child today!