Tag Archives: churches

Throwback Thursday: Impossibilities made possible

Throwback Thursday: Impossibilities made possible

Members of the community-based committee in Tanzania worship God before starting a training meeting about the HIV-AIDS situation in their community. (Photo: 2001 Nigel Marsh/World Vision)

Fourteen years ago, World Vision launched the Hope Initiative: our groundbreaking effort to engage U.S. donors and churches around the tragic effects of HIV and AIDS around the world, but especially in sub-Saharan Africa, which was hardest hit.

Today, our Chief Catalyst Steve Haas takes us back to 2001 when this initiative began, to look back at the challenges faced … and the "unimaginable" transformation that's happened.

See where the AIDS crisis is today, and how you can continue to help bring hope to those affected.

Beam me up, Jesus

Beam me up, Jesus | World Vision Blog

A visitor tours the World Vision Experience truck. (Photo: 2015 World Vision)

Our new interactive World Vision Experience truck transports you virtually to three of the harshest places on earth: to witness despair and hope in a brothel in Bangladesh, see how God is working in the midst of the Syrian Refugee Crisis, and join Christ in the midst of extreme poverty in Uganda.

Earlier this month, pastor John Torres and Goodwill Church in New York hosted the Experience truck. See what this eye-opening experience is like, and how you can participate!

I wish I could take you with me

I wish I could take you with me | World Vision Blog

Sonali (means "golden") enjoys learning and playing at World Vision's Child-Friendly Space in Bangladesh. (Photo: 2014 Jon Warren/World Vision)

When our writer/photographer team Kari and Jon travel to the field, their mission is to capture amazing stories so they can virtually take you with them to those places.

Through the World Vision Experience, see how an interactive tour brings their stories of children like Sonali in Bangladesh even closer! And how you can experience it, too.

Where is the Church?

Where is the church? | World Vision Blog

This little girl is a Syrian refugee living in the Shatila Refugee Camp in southern Lebanon. (Photo: 2015 Adam Jeske)

Our Chief Catalyst Steve Haas just returned from visiting Syrian refugees and Christian leaders in Lebanon.

“In light of the greatest migration of refugee people in our lifetime, the Church is standing in a critical gap, showing the love and compassion of Christ to their neighbor.”

But do we care enough? Are we doing enough?

Following Jesus into the margins

Following Jesus into the margins | World Vision Blog

12-year-old Babusabya with World Vision staff in the Congo. (Photo: 2013 Muganzi M Isharaza/World Vision)

In the last 25 years, the number of people living in extreme poverty has dropped by almost half! But at the same time, extreme poverty has receded to the most violent and vulnerable "margins" of the world.

Join us today as we take on these most vulnerable issues of our time.

Benny’s smile

Benny’s smile | World Vision Blog

Benny Hampande in Zambia making bricks for their new church. (Photo: 2014 Jon Warren/World Vision)

Meet Benny in Zambia … a father who smiles because his family no longer has to worry about dirty water!

Read his story and see how clean water is helping this community expand their church.

The power of a grandmother’s love

The power of a grandmother’s love | World Vision Blog

Elizabeth with 2 of her 24 grandchildren in Zambia. (Photo: 2014 Collins Kaumba/World Vision)

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!

Messages of love

Messages of love | World Vision Blog

Violet visiting her sponsored child Cedric and his family in Uganda, whom she sponsored at a Casting Crowns concert. (Photo: Violet Galaviz)

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.

An extraordinary Sunday

An extraordinary Sunday | World Vision Blog

Child Ambassador Jim Gross with his Granddaughter Kennady. (Photo: 2013 Jim Gross)

While fans in Seattle and Denver were celebrating their football victories on Sunday, a different wave of excitement was sweeping through a small church community in Houston, Texas. Jim Gross is a World Vision Child Ambassador … this is his story.

Building backpacks: A tangible demonstration of God's love

One of the great joys in my job is getting to meet many of World Vision's great church partners. I met one of these church heroes at a Renton, Washington, church. His name is Alex.

He told his congregation that God had planted them right in the midst of people whom they wouldn’t reach if they didn’t get out of the church pews.

So, Alex walked across the street and introduced himself to members of the staff at Northwood Middle School. This began a partnership with the school in which people from the church mentor students, and the church also hosts a year-end celebration of the teachers.

Four things any church can do to address global poverty

Churches and pastors are often eager to respond to the problems of global poverty and injustice. Yet before they take steps to address these problems, pastors -- like anyone else -- want to know how they can make a difference. Because there are so many hurting people whose communities face complex obstacles, I’m frequently asked what one person or one church can do.

If you’re a fellow church or ministry leader, you know that God doesn’t promise that the odds will always be in our favor when accomplishing the work He has set before us.

When church leaders look today at the scale of global poverty, it’s easy to feel like the numbers are stacked against them.

  • 1 billion people suffer from a lack of adequate nutrition.
  • Half of the children in developing countries are born into poverty.
  • 1.4 billion people live on less than $1.25 per day.

Compared to those staggering figures, the size of the average church in America is just 186 regular attenders. Sounds a bit like Gideon facing thousands of Midianites, “thick as locusts,” with just 300 men.

What can a typical church in Michigan or Oklahoma do when poverty and justice issues are so big, global, and daunting? When pastors ask me what their church can do to help meet the needs of hurting people around the world, I give them four ideas.

I've met the face of AIDS

My name is Ange, and this is my story.

The first time I stepped into Africa was in 2004. It was in Kitale, Kenya, on a mission trip. I met a young boy named Andrew. He captured my heart and my soul, and I still think about him often.

The first time I “Stepped into Africa” was in 2007. It was at my church in Southern California. I met a boy named Kombo. He captured my heart and my soul, and I think about him often.

I know both of these kids’ stories. I've seen where they live. I've seen their families. I've learned their stories. And I feel a strong connection and compassion for both of them.

But what's the difference between these two children? Andrew has seen my face. Kombo has not.

Dreaming with Martin Luther King Jr.

It was 48 years ago this week that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered one of his most famous speeches on the Mall in Washington D.C. His declaration, “I have a dream” remains one of the most stirring addresses in American history as well as a prophetic discourse opposing injustice and the continued oppression of grandchildren and great grandchildren of slaves.

If Dr. King were to deliver his address again this year, I’m sure he would continue to see the need to speak out against the injustices that continue to oppress many black and other minority communities in the U.S. But I believe that Dr. King might also speak out against the injustices, oppression, and poverty that cause suffering in communities around the world, including the suffering caused by the drought and famine now occurring in East Africa.

In The Hole in Our Gospel, I pieced together a letter that God might write to the church today. In remembrance of Dr. King’s magnificent speech, I’ve taken the liberty to imagine how Dr. King might dream again today and challenge the church to “preach good news to the poor.”

Easter in Colombia

Editor's note: Celebrating Easter, including its preparation, is distinct to religious tradition and cultural custom. Candelaria, a World Vision community volunteer, and her daughters Martha and Mara describe how their family prepares and celebrates Easter according to Catholic tradition in Colombia. The following post was written by World Vision field communicators Ivon Curevo and Astrid Zacipa.

There is a Wednesday ever year in which Candelaria, 29, and her husband Carlos, 46, go with their daughters Marta, 11, and Mara, 7, to the nearest Catholic Church to receive from the priest the imposition of the "Cross of Ashes”.

"You are dust and to dust you shall become," says the priest, while drawing the symbol of the cross on their foreheads with ashes. This day is known as "Ash Wednesday” and marks the beginning of Lent -- forty days of preparation for Easter.

"Lent is the time to get together as a family, to feel at peace with God. It is a time to reflect on the positive as well as the negative aspects of our lives and to repent ourselves," says Candelaria.

[caption id="attachment_4130" align="alignright" width="246" caption="Candelaria with her daughters Martha and Mara outside their home in Colombia. (Zacipa & Cuervo/WV)"][/caption]

Especially at Easter, Candelaria and her family abstain from eating meat, except fish, like many of those of Catholic faith. "From what my mom taught me, we do not eat meat [so as] not to desecrate the suffering of Jesus on the cross," says Candelaria.

Because it is Easter, Carlos saves money from his bricklaying work so Candelaria can prepare a special meal for the family on Thursday or Friday. "Mom prepares fish from the river, beet salad, rice with beans and fresh fruit for dessert," says Mara.

As learned from her grandmother and her mother, Candelaria has taught her daughters the Catholic traditions of the Holy Week. The first Sunday of Easter recalls the day that Jesus entered Jerusalem at the beginning of Passover and was acclaimed by the people. That day the custom is to "take a bunch of palm to the church for the priest to bless it," says Mara.