“The Easter story is a story of justice and the length that someone would go to bring justice to the world.”
See how a brand-new child sponsorship is helping to bring justice, happiness, and joy to a little girl in Zambia this Lenten season.
For Moriah Rees, it had been an awkward conversation—one that left her uncertain.
“Ever since I started working at World Vision, people would ask me, ‘Do you have a sponsored child?’ I tried. I looked on the web and didn’t connect with any of the children. I asked myself, ‘What’s wrong with me?’”
Moriah started working at World Vision in September 2014 as a graphic designer. A few months later, she was asked to become lead designer on World Vision’s new water website. “I know the dangers of dirty water,” she says. “Dirty water is one of the world’s biggest problems.”
Moriah is right. Every day, more than 1,600 children under 5 die of water-borne disease.
For Moriah, those numbers are more than a statistic. “Clean water is a justice issue,” she says. And dirty water is about more than disease. Fetching water takes time—time children could be spending going to school. “It’s wrong to rob children of their childhoods, just because they have to collect water,” she says.
Moriah graduated from college with a degree in polymer chemistry—“plastics,” she explains—and an uncommon understanding of water issues. But instead of going into chemistry, she followed another calling: becoming a graphic designer. Her skill and her heart for the Lord landed her at World Vision.
And that’s when she began to get the question: Do you sponsor a child?
For months, the answer was no.
“And then,” she says, “I saw Claris.”
It all happened because of her work on the water website. “I started reading stories about dirty water and connecting with the children,” she says.
One of those children was Claris, a diminutive 6-year-old in Zambia who had to fetch water for her family because, as her mother says, “She’s a girl. She has to fetch water.”
Moriah looked into Claris’ eyes.
“That one photo of her with dirty water,” she says. “Where she’s looking right at you. She looks angry with the world. She knows it is unjust. She knows she has already lost a little of her childhood.”
As Moriah worked on the new website, Lent began, a time of sacrifice. “The things I gave up for Lent were things that were distracting me in listening to God.”
Moriah listened. And looked. At Claris.
“During Lent, I decided to sponsor Claris,” she says. “I don’t see it as a sacrifice. It’s a small bit I can do to bring justice to the world.”
She is now waiting for Claris’ picture folder to arrive in the mail, which should happen just before Easter. She can’t wait to write.
“It is so special that World Vision sets up the relationship where you can communicate with the child,” she says. “Anything you can do to bridge that gap makes life better for a child and I think it makes the sponsor a better person.”
It’s a fitting culmination to the story.
“The Easter story is a story of justice and the length that someone would go to bring justice to the world,” says Moriah. “He did so much. It puts what little we do into context.”
Little for us, perhaps, but life-changing for Claris, who now has a sponsor who will write her, pray for her, and watch as the anger in her eyes turns to joy.
“World Vision is all about keeping families and communities together,” says Moriah. “That means a lot to me. Claris will be able to stay with her family. That’s her best chance at happiness. And she can still be a child.”
What you do today could change a child’s tomorrow! Nearly 1,600 children under age 5 die every day from diarrhea caused by dirty water, poor sanitation, and improper hygiene. Sponsor a child in a community in Zambia that desperately needs access to safe water, and be a key part of World Vision’s work to provide a new person with clean water every 30 seconds.
As your child’s only sponsor, you can encourage them through your prayers and correspondence while helping their entire community thrive—not only with safe water, but also through basic healthcare, education, economic opportunities for their families, and a full life. The kind of life God intends.