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Tag Archives: True Spirit of Christmas 2012

Kenya through Kris' eyes

Since I’ve gotten back from World Vision's 2012 True Spirit of Christmas Tour, I'm frequently asked: “Didn’t you go to Kenya?  How was that?”

I’m never one to answer really fast, because I always want to give a real answer. I could just say, “It was great!” -- and the conversation would end there, but that would defeat the purpose of why I went.

I went so I could tell people about what’s going on in Kenya and what World Vision is doing to help out.

From Alabama with Love to India

Andrea Zahler wound her way along a narrow pathway in a small farming village near Sitapur, India, past oxen laying in the sun and mud-walled homes where chai is brewed atop small, open wood-fired stoves.

Andrea was a World Vision Child Ambassador in the truest sense that day. She was going to meet a sponsored child named Laxmi Ramhit, a 12-year-old Indian girl with a shy smile and deep doe eyes.

As Laxmi’s home came into view, Andrea saw a large group of women and children sitting on the floor, waiting patiently in a small courtyard outside the home. They pulled out a patio chair for her, the oldest girl brought her chai, and other children touched her feet as a sign of respect and welcome.

“I was very nervous about visiting [Laxmi] because I knew that it wasn’t just me, but I was representing an entire neighborhood of people,” Andrea says.

A picture of health

The mood is somber as babies wait to be examined and receive immunizations. I meet Purity, 30, and her 2-year-old son, Sheldon, while they were waiting to be seen. Sheldon suffers from high fever, poor appetite, diarrhea, and vomiting.

[Video] Sponsorship: a lifetime of change

Before sponsorship, Brian and his family didn't have a roof over their heads. They didn't have a lamp to see at night.

But all of that changed after Brian became sponsored and received a special gift from his sponsor in the United States.

Kris Allen, host of the 2012 True Spirit of Christmas Tour, was able to meet Brian and his family -- and see firsthand how their lives had been changed.

"Sponsoring a child is something that is going to last them a lifetime, and is something that changes their whole community."

Praying for Turkana

During the True Spirit of Christmas Tour, we have seen how lives in Turkana, Kenya, are being changed through gifts like chickens and goats. While in Kenya, our team also had the chance to get to know John Okere, who helps oversee World Vision's work there.

John has worked for World Vision for six years because he believes in the positive impact of our work on communities.

“We touch people’s lives directly, and we see transformation almost immediately.”

John earned a degree in public health from Moi University in Eldoret, Kenya, and uses his knowledge to help families in the Turkana region.

Today, he shares with us how we can be praying for the people of Turkana.

Sponsorship: A light in Brian’s future

In the most beautiful, mountainous landscape you could ever imagine, the Rift Valley of Kenya is a land of contrasts.

While waterfalls, canyons, and wild monkeys complement glorious sunsets, not all who find themselves in this land have time to appreciate its beauty -- at least, not when basic needs aren’t met.