In September, World Vision introduced our first-ever travel sweepstakes: Supporters who found new sponsors for five or more children in a month's time were eligible to win a trip to Peru to witness the impact of child sponsorship firsthand. Just over a month has passed since the sweepstakes closed, and we are ready to officially announce our two winners!
Congratulations Sarah Baerg of Trabuco Canyon, California, and Terry Adams of Venice, Florida! We're very excited to have Sarah and Terry travel with us to visit sponsorship communities of Huanta and Forjadores del Futuro (Huamanga) in Peru, where they’ll meet sponsored children and their families and local World Vision staff members.
We're also blessed that so many more children have been sponsored because of the encouragement of current sponsors and the generosity of new ones. We thank each person who helped to make this possible -- whether you were a sponsor entering to win, or a new sponsor to a child in need.
* * *
Sarah with her mom, who will be joining her on the trip.
I have supported a World Vision child in the past and always wondered what the everyday process of World Vision looked like. I wanted to see the children in school and to see the communities having their needs met firsthand. Also, I have always wanted to go on a missions trip to a foreign country.
Having grown up in a small church that supported missionaries all over the world, and having gone to a Christian college that put a great emphasis on missions, I always knew that it was very important to do something out of my Southern California comfort zone by going out to help people around the world. Winning this trip at this time of my life is God's perfect timing.
When I was told I won, I was so excited I screamed into the phone and started jumping up and down. I was completely shocked; I couldn’t believe that I had really won! My mom and I were praying about the sweepstakes, and how it was so amazing that I won. I was ready to pack my bags right then and go that day. I danced and paced in my room while calling my family for about an hour. The rest of the week, it was like I was flying. Even today, when I think about the trip, I get so excited.
I can’t wait to meet the people and see how World Vision actually works from a hands-on perspective. I have already started to learn some Spanish to help me communicate with the people in Peru. It will be so fun to serve with the team and my mom, who I have invited to go with me on the trip. I thank God and World Vision so much for this opportunity to serve His people in Peru.
Terry with photos of her sponsored children.
It has always been a dream of mine to visit my sponsored children, but I figured that it was "just a dream." A friend of mine at church who is a Child Ambassador told me about the sweepstakes since I had recently sponsored a child from Peru. My first sponsored child, Yolanda -- who was also from Peru -- was the one who gave me a heart for the children of Peru.
To enter the sweepstakes, I wrote a letter saying I needed help from my friends: I told them about my sponsorship and its rewards and encouraged people to sponsor a child. I sent the letter to everyone on my Christmas card list and passed some out at work, 50 letters in all. Four people sponsored a child. Then, at the last minute, I talked to a girl I worked with about sponsoring a child and she became my fifth sponsor.
I am very excited to see firsthand the work that is being done by World Vision. Most of all I am really praying for the possibility that I might get to meet one of my sponsored girls from Peru. Even just meeting one of them would be my dream come true.
Just because the sweepstakes is over doesn't mean you can no longer encourage your friends and family to sponsor a child!
Continue to get tips from World Vision Bolivia blogger Elizabeth Esther: 5 tips for encouraging your friends to sponsor a child