Merry Christmas from the World Vision family.
Merry Christmas from the World Vision family.
Leo, age 4, explains why he loves Christmas and why he would give the gift of a chicken.
Kris Allen, host of the 2012 True Spirit of Christmas Tour, met a Kenyan mother whose family has benefited from a World Vision clean water project in her area. Where drought once caused extreme hardship, there is now new life.
Kris Allen, host of the 2012 True Spirit of Christmas Tour, had the chance to visit Mary's village and farm. Watch and see what he learned about the life-changing impact these goats have had on Mary and her family.
Kris Allen, host of the 2012 True Spirit of Christmas tour, has been traveling with World Vision across Kenya for over a week now. During this time, he's had the chance to meet amazing people, participate in new experiences, and go places he had never been before.
Today, Kris shares what he has been thinking throughout his experience.
Mary knows the True Spirit of Christmas personally -- because she has experienced a life-changing gift for herself. World Vision provided Mary with nine chickens as a source of income and nutrition.
Kris Allen, host of World Vision's 2012 True Spirit of Christmas Tour, had the chance to meet Mary and her seven children -- and hear how these chickens from the World Vision Gift Catalog have changed their lives for the better.
Zakale is the Swahili word for what has been thrown away being made new again.
John Mucheru is a living example of this word. As a young man, John says he engaged in activities that were not pleasing to God. After turning his life over to the Lord, however, he discovered that he possessed a gift in art and handcrafts.
The True Spirit of Christmas tour is right around the corner. We are excited to announce this year's celebrity host-- American Idol Winner Kris Allen!
Kris will be traveling to Kenya with a team from World Vision to see how the gifts you give like goats, chickens, and ducks are changing lives for the better. You will get a first hand look into how these gifts bring help and hope to families in need.
Today's guest post comes from Alexis Dionne, a World Vision sponsor who shares what she does to let her sponsored children know they're loved and cared for during the holiday season.
If you're a World Vision sponsor as well, you can log in to My World Vision for ideas on how to connect with your sponsored child as the holidays approach.
What do Christmas celebrations look like in other parts of the world? In some places, World Vision throws big Christmas parties where disadvantaged children can enjoy the festivities and even receive presents. In other places, children participate in traditional celebrations that might look quite different than our American Christmas.
When USA Today asked me about my favorite Christmas gifts given and received, I couldn’t help but reflect on the gifts I have received through World Vision. As a donor to World Vision U.S. for 25 years -- and as its president for 13 years -- I've found that the best gifts I’ve received come as a result of generous giving.
The follow post was written by Narine Ohanyan, World Vision field communicator in Armenia.
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Do you believe in miracles?
For a mother in Armenia, something miraculous is happening at Christmas.
“I love the ornaments and the lights. I love to stare at them,” says 4-year-old Narek Qotanjyan.
Coming from a child in the United States, this statement wouldn’t be so surprising. However, Narek lives in Armenia with a disability.
Although I wrote this last year, I feel it deserves a repeat-performance. I visited this family again recently and brought their daughter Lilly an actual malaria net, like those World Vision uses in Africa because I know the compassion she feels for those affected by malaria, an experience from a previous visit with her folks. She's a busy 7-year-old now and couldn't remember the entire incident, so I promised to find what I'd written last year and send it to her. Re-reading it blessed me and I hope it blesses you, too.
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This year, we all agreed to forgo the typical presents for our adult extended family members and instead choose gifts from the World Vision Gift Catalog. We'd given some similar "gifts" previously, but this year there was a special abandon to it -- a desire to really make these "thoughtful" gifts for each receiver, a criteria very close to my wife Janet's heart.
I'm often seeking beautiful stories of child sponsorship, because I know so many exist out there. When I find one, I eagerly await the author's permission to republish their words on our blog so it can be shared with so many more. Brynn's post -- which came highly recommended from a World Vision sponsor, who I'm blessed to call a friend -- eloquently captures the beauty of child sponsorship and why it's really a gift to every person it touches. Merry Christmas! —Lindsey Talerico-Hedren, managing editor, World Vision Blog
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This is my most favorite gift that we are giving this year.
Even more than the tablets we are giving the kids, but that might just be because I'm frustrated with trying to set them up and figure out why they won't connect to our wifi. Seriously, Apple has spoiled me because all of their stuff just works and works easily, but with a 10- and 12-year-old, there was no way that we were going to buy them iPads because they are 10 and 12, which means their gifts have to be indestructible or at least not cause their father to cry if they break them.
...And on that point, can I just say I miss the days when you got the kids presents that you spent four hours putting together instead of electronic gifts that require massive hours and Google to set up?
I love to give gifts.
Love. LOve. LOVe. LOVE to give gifts.
It started as a little girl when I would go shopping at the Dollar Store for my family for Christmas.
Then, when I got my first job, I began shopping year-round, seeking the best deals and the perfect gifts for everyone on my list.
15 years later, I still shop year-round. I usually finish shopping in early November and want to start wrapping right away.
I am THAT excited to give the gifts I have purchased.
My favorite part of the classic holiday storybook "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" is near the very end when the Grinch is baffled by the Who's singing after he has stolen their presents and roast beast.
And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.
"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store."
"Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more!"
Every year at Christmas I wrestle with a more mentality. As a naturally selfish human being I always want more.
I’m always a little bit hesitant to talk love languages, because I have the most selfish-sounding of them all. Because my primary love language is gifts. Which basically boils down to, “If you want to show me that you love me, give me stuff.” It’s kind of embarrassing.
Of course, it means that Christmas has a special place in my heart. Sure, there’s the peppermint mocha coffee goo that I put in my morning joe, the plates of Christmas cookies that are passed around at family gatherings, the unending stream of Christmas music in my car, the rehearsals for church services. These are all wonderful parts of the Christmas experience, and I look forward to them every year.
It’s the day after Thanksgiving, and the holiday season gift-buying is in full swing. Black Friday specials have the shoppers out in droves. Downtown Portland is a sea of moving people with packages, shopping lists, and agendas. Me, I’m armed with my Nikon camera, hoping to capture some artistic street photos.
I stand on a street corner for a half hour or so, just getting a feel for the people walking from store to store. I notice that some of the downtown citizens remain outside the retail giants’ doors. There is an older gentleman attempting to hand out copies of his religion’s periodical. There are street performers and musicians demonstrating their talents in hopes that the holiday revelers would donate a bill or two in the spirit of the season. The young man standing next to me has a stack of pirated CD’s and is trying to get a passerby to listen to his iPod long enough to decide to buy a track or two.
Then, there are the homeless. Like in every city, they have cardboard signs about their most immediate needs. When I spotted Cecil, I immediately liked his face. I semi-hid behind one of the large pillars in front of a department store so I could raise my camera without drawing too much attention. It didn’t work. Cecil looked directly at me as I released the shutter.