Tag Archives: visits to the field

[Sri Lanka Bloggers] Married at 13

World Vision Sri Lanka blogger Allison Olfelt shares about her remarkable encounter with a young women who was forced into marriage at the age of 13 -- and became pregnant shortly thereafter. The girl's story is a heart-wrenching one -- but thanks to World Vision sponsorship, her daughters can avoid becoming trapped in a similar situation.

This post originally appeared on Allison's blog, O My Family.

[Sri Lanka Bloggers] Giving locally, giving globally

Laura Tremaine is traveling with our team of eight bloggers in Sri Lanka this week, visiting children, families, and communities whose lives have been impacted by World Vision's work through our sponsorship programs.

Today, she discusses a provocative question: How do we make international assistance a priority when the need is so great right here in the United States?

Read on for her thoughts -- and then share your own!

Laura's post originally appeared on her blog, Hollywood Housewife.

[Sri Lanka Bloggers] When aid ends

Roxy Wieman, traveling this week with our team of eight bloggers in Sri Lanka, shares her experience with a question that's not often considered but is equally important to World Vision's work: What happens when our development efforts are complete -- and how do we know when a community is ready to be self-sufficient?

Read on to find out what she observed. This post originally appeared on Roxy's blog, Roxy Composed.

[Sri Lanka Bloggers] We are one, but we're not the same

As the Sri Lanka bloggers continue their journey experiencing firsthand how World Vision sponsorship helps transform the lives of children and families in poverty, Joy Bennett shares a collection of pictures of a special moment -- meeting her two sponsored boys.

This post originally appeared on Joy's blog, Joy in this Journey.

As you read Joy's thoughts and view her pictures, consider this: How are these children and their mother like families you know right here in the United States? What dreams could they pursue -- and what goals could they achieve -- with the same access to life-giving essentials that we're used to as Americans?

[Sri Lanka Bloggers] Meet Afra, and your life may change

Tony Jones is traveling with World Vision's blogger team in Sri Lanka, experiencing firsthand the impact of our sponsorship programs on the lives of children and families in need. Here, he shares this touching story of meeting 8-year-old Afra, his sponsored child. We hope our readers are as inspired by it as we were.

This post originally appeared on Tony's blog, Theoblogy.

[Sri Lanka Bloggers] The Sri Lankan people: An introduction

Allison Olfelt, traveling with our Sri Lanka blogger team this week to see firsthand how World Vision's sponsorship programs work, presents a snapshot of her first interactions with the people of this island nation.

Allison's post originally appeared on her blog, O My Family.

[Sri Lanka Bloggers] Let us bring you a momento from our Sri Lankan adventure!

As you might have heard, World Vision's bloggers are going on another trip. This time, we're headed to the island country of Sri Lanka.

Our hope and prayer is that you'll follow our journey, find hope and inspiration in the stories we share, and perhaps be moved to join the story by sponsoring a child from Sri Lanka through World Vision.

To celebrate this coming journey, we're having a little contest. We've put together four identical prize packages -- a collection of some of our favorite books, music, and World Vision apparel. To each of those four packages, we will add a unique prize made by the people of Sri Lanka.

[Sri Lanka Bloggers] I’m scared, but that’s good

You may remember Joy Bennett from our Bolivia Bloggers trip last year. Joy has graciously agreed to travel with World Vision to the field again -- this time, to Sri Lanka.

This may be her second trip, but that doesn't mean it's not a step out of her comfort zone. Joy shares some of her anxieties about traveling and how she sees God working amidst it all.

At the same time, Joy's husband, Scott, has watched how she has been prepared for these trips -- and how they have shaped her. He is excited to see her through her journey a second time. Read thoughts from both of them below.

[Sri Lanka Bloggers] Sri Lanka Sunday: Spice

From August 26 through September 1, we’ll be traveling with a team of eight bloggers to Sri Lanka to experience firsthand how World Vision is using sponsorship to transform the lives of children, families, and communities who have been caught in the vicious cycle of poverty.

Darrell Dow brings a unique perspective to the Sri Lanka blogger trip. He spent his childhood growing up in the poorer areas of the Caribbean and experiencing life in the developing world firsthand.  After college, he began writing down some of his humorous experiences in the realm of Christianity.

Each Sunday, Darrell blogs about Sri Lanka in preparation for the trip. This past Sunday, Darrell asked for prayers for the trip in a unique way.

[Sri Lanka Bloggers] Let's go to Sri Lanka with World Vision!

In just a couple of weeks, we’ll be traveling with a team of eight bloggers to Sri Lanka to experience firsthand how World Vision is using sponsorship to transform the lives of children, families, and communities who have been caught in the vicious cycle of poverty.

Today's post comes from Allison Olfelt, who shares why she's decided to take the leap and travel with us to the other side of the world. Allison is a wife and mother of two little boys, so coming with us to Sri Lanka is no small sacrifice. Read why she is willing to make it.

[Sri Lanka Bloggers] A firsthand look at sponsorship from Sri Lanka

Poverty: It's a word everyone has heard. Much of the world understands it firsthand.

Maybe you've personally experienced physical poverty at some point, with its life-depleting side effects -- lack of nutritious food, clean water, safe shelter, medical care, or education.

Or maybe poverty is a reality that feels distant to you -- something you've heard of but never experienced for yourself.

If you are in the latter category, you might have more questions than answers on the topic: What causes poverty? Why is it so complex? How does poverty affect families and communities? What can I do about it?

The fatherless epidemic

Today's post comes from World Vision blogger Matthew Paul Turner, who traveled to Bolivia on our blogger trip last August to experience the work of World Vision and the impact of child sponsorship. Here, he shares one of his encounters from that trip -- and how it changed his perspective on the idea of fatherhood.

From heartbreak to joy

“Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God.”

As a World Vision employee, I’ve grown quite familiar with the poignant prayer that our founder, Dr. Bob Pierce, scrawled in the margins of his Bible many years ago.

But on a busy afternoon last fall, as I sat at my desk in the World Vision U.S. headquarters, my heart was far from broken.

It was elated.

Surrounded by my coworkers, a giant bouquet of balloons, and even a photographer, I had received the surprise of a lifetime: My name had been selected in a drawing for a trip to see sponsorship in action! I had earned entries by recruiting friends and family members to become sponsors, and would soon be traveling to the nation of Ecuador to get an up-close look at World Vision’s work in the field.

Helping my homeland: Why I sponsor a child in India

Aparna Sen, a World Vision sponsor, shares how her experience as a child growing up in Calcutta shaped her desire to help girls in India get an education and avoid discrimination and early marriage.

Recently, Aparna and her husband, Ritwick Dhar, had the opportunity to travel to India to meet 12-year-old Rebika, whom Aparna sponsored after becoming acquainted with World Vision and our work in her native country.

A story of rooftops and buttercups

Members of Carter's Chord, a World Vision Artist Associate, recently traveled to the Dominican Republic to record the music video "Love a Little Bigger," shown above, and to meet their sponsored child, Franyely, who shares a tiny space on a rooftop with her father and brother. The three musicians got a firsthand look at the challenges faced by the family -- and how World Vision's presence in their community has created a reason for hope.

International Women's Day: Having it all in Cambodia

Today is International Women's Day. We honor the remarkable achievements of women like Konitha, a mother and entrepreneur in Cambodia who used World Vision business loans to build a life of dignity and hope for herself and her children.

*     *     *

When I was 12, my mother bought me Helen Gurley Brown’s book, "Having It All." The book offered advice on how a woman could succeed at everything -- love, work, and family. My mother knew even then that her overachieving daughter would have difficulty choosing between having a family and having a career.

"Be a person who is love"

Have you ever met someone who just radiates the love, light, and peace of God?

Last month, while traveling in Swaziland, I had the privilege of meeting Nomsa, a World Vision volunteer AIDS caregiver. She is one of those people -- so full of the love of God that it can’t help but spill out to those around her.

This Valentine’s Day, I wanted to share her story. Nomsa presented me with a new way of looking at 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV): “Love is patient, love is kind…it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

In a society that often equates the word "love" with romantic love, I had forgotten that this verse is talking about the way we should show love to everyone -- even the unlovely -- without condition, the way God loves us.

Freedom from poverty: The key to life in all its fullness

This past August, I had the honor, for the first time, of visiting World Vision's field programs in Guatemala. This Latin American country is a gorgeous place -- a lush, beautiful landscape, and equally beautiful people.

In stark contrast to such beauty, however, is the presence of poverty across much of the country. Malnutrition is a major problem here -- 45 percent of Guatemala's population is stunted. Particularly in rural areas, families struggle with limited access to education, healthcare, and economic opportunities.

But poverty does not define the people of Guatemala. Nor, as I discovered, does it undermine their ability to find joy and hope. And World Vision is working to help families and communities overcome it -- for good.

PHOTO BLOG: Child sponsorship reaches parents, too

Children, children, children. Everything we do at World Vision is for children. But when I visited a sponsorship area in northeast India earlier this month, program staff first wanted to show me the work they were doing with parents. They believed the most effective way to make a difference in the lives of children was to care about the whole family, improve parents’ livelihoods, and involve the entire community in long-term problem-solving.

As a parent myself, this made complete sense. My life centers around my kids. Make my earning more secure, and I’m better able to care for my family. Improve community structure, and everyone benefits. So I was first shown fish ponds and weaving groups, rubber trees, and orange groves. Making life better for children is our top priority at World Vision. Often that means focusing on the parents, too.

An open letter to our generous donors

In December, World Vision's Kirsten Stearns traveled with our True Spirit of Christmas Trip to Sri Lanka and Zambia to see firsthand how gifts from the Gift Catalog are helping to change the lives of children and families in need. Here, she shares an open letter with our donors, reflecting on how your generosity has helped make stories like these possible.

*     *     *