Tag Archives: World Vision
Posted on June 25, 2014 by Family Christian
Posted on April 16, 2014 by Family Christian
Posted on January 2, 2014 by Family Christian
262 people traveled with us on 20 mission trips.
29,798 child sponsorships through World Vision.
$50,000 raised to aid an orphanage in China.
43 adoptions through our nonprofit ministry.
4 new widow homes built.
8 widow homes restored.
16 fuel efficient wood-burning stoves installed.
33 water purifiers provided.
114,531 Bibles donated to military members and their families.
And we couldn’t have done it without you.
Together, let’s accomplish even more next year!
When you shop, you give.
How do you put your faith in action?
Posted on July 17, 2013 by Family Christian
View at sunset from hilltop above Morulem Irrigation Project, Kenya, looking down at green fields and surrounding barren hills, with giant cross at the crest of the hill and children from the community.
Summary: Spanning more than a thousand acres, the Morulem Irrigation Project appears as an oasis in the desert in northwestern Kenya. It was initially built in 1978 by Western missionaries, Dr. Dick Anderson and Ben Webster, who handed it over to the community in 1983. But by the early 1990s, the project needed maintenance and expansion beyond what the community could manage.
“World Vision moved in to help,” says Daniel Mwebi, World Vision’s program manager who jump-started the Morulem project in 1992. Farmers redug the canals and created bridges “so people don’t have to jump over the canals,” Daniel explains. World Vision also created gates to regulate the water flow to farmers’ gardens. They are lifted on a strict schedule to ensure that crops receive the right amount of water at the right time—usually every fifth day.
With funding from World Vision and USAID, the project grew from 150 acres to its current 1,110 acres. New crops were introduced, fruits and vegetables the people had never eaten before. A training center with a demonstration garden taught farmers how to grow organic crops. “This training center has been used by farmers all over Kenya,” says Daniel, adding that the farmers go on to start similar projects in their communities. The irrigation project helped these former pastoralists move to a new, secure lifestyle as farmers. “We were able to train farmers to calculate the amount of food they need to consume as a family for a whole year,” Daniel says. “And the rest, they sell as surplus.”
Up the hill from the irrigation project is a food bank where crops are weighed and stored. Farmers can “withdraw” food when they need it during the lean months. “And because of the surplus food they sell,” says Daniel, “they’ve been able to [afford to] connect private water to their homes.” In addition, the Morulem farmers have donated grain to fellow Kenyans suffering from drought. “The act of people who were receiving food [in the past], now donating food—that’s a memorable moment,” says Daniel Mwebi. Not only was the community of 10,000 people now food-secure—it also could respond to the needs of others.
John Atelo Ebunu, chairman of the Morulem Water Users Association, credits the irrigation project with peace in his community—unlike other parts of northern Kenya. “Without this [project],” he says, “it would be like a war zone here. People would be fighting. Without this [project], there would be no life. It is like air.”
“He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor” (Luke 4:18b). World Vision is a community of Christians following Christ’s example to work alongside the poor and oppressed.
Today’s infographic gives an overview of how our faith motivates our commitment to children and the holistic development of their communities.
Posted on April 26, 2013 by Family Christian
Richard Stearns lives in a magic kingdom.
That’s how he describes the wealthy existence of most people in first world countries like the U.S. As World Vision President, however, he’s also familiar with those living in a “tragic kingdom,” where food, clean water and medicine are chronically in short supply. Stearns says the common denominator between the two is what both are missing: both the Magic Kingdom and the Tragic Kingdom need a breakthrough of God’s kingdom.
Richard Stearns encourages readers to discover their unique roles in God’s Kingdom, regardless of where they live. His new book, Unfinished: Believing Is Only the Beginning, describes how to find a life of true significance and meaning. “I believe there is a direct connection between the unfinished work of God’s kingdom and our sense of feeling incomplete in our faith,” writes Stearns. “This is inevitable, because there is a direct connection between our story and God’s story. If we are not personally engaged in God’s great mission, then we have missed the very thing he created us to do.”
Below are some questions about his new book.
Q: Since the release of your first book, The Hole in Our Gospel, you’ve spoken to thousands of people while traveling on behalf of World Vision. What are you hearing from Christians?
A: There is a powerful common thread of longing that I hear from them—a yearning for a
deeper sense of purpose and significance in their walks with the Lord. They want to discover that one thing that God is calling them to do. They long to feel that they are doing something important for God and that their lives really count for something. Many of them tell me they feel incomplete, as if something about their lives is unfinished. They are young and old, male and female, wealthy and not-so-wealthy. They are lawyers and real estate agents, homemakers and students, accountants and engineers, receptionists and CEOs. All of them want to experience the satisfaction of really knowing that their lives matter and that they are living in “the zone” of God’s calling and purpose for their lives. They want to feel complete and whole, living lives in which their faith is integral and not just something they do on Sundays.
Q: What perspective can you offer those who are seeking God’s call on their lives?
A: If I have learned anything about the purpose, meaning, and significance of life over the
years, I have learned that, for a Christian, it is not found in any job, even a job like mine. It is not found in any human relationship, no matter how important. Nor is it found in any
accomplishment, no matter how significant. Meaning, purpose, and significance are found only by aligning our lives with God’s purposes in lives committed to following Jesus Christ. That bears repeating: The meaning, purpose, and significance of our lives are found only by aligning our lives with God’s purposes, in lives committed to following Jesus Christ.
In other words, it is not our work that brings purpose to our lives; nor is it our spouses, our
families, our educations, our abilities, our money, or our accomplishments. Rather, it is the
purpose of our lives that brings meaning to everything else. And we find the purpose for our lives only in Christ.
Q: If it’s that simple, why do so many first-world Christians lack a sense of purposeful
A: We all know the familiar expression “He can’t see the forest for the trees.” It is used to
describe a person who is so absorbed in the things right in front of him that he has lost a sense of the bigger picture. I believe that this is exactly what has happened to many Christians in the twenty-first century—we have become so absorbed by the “trees” of our everyday lives that we have lost a sense of the bigger story within which our lives take place. We grow up, go to school, begin careers, get married, have kids, and struggle daily with life’s challenges.These are the “trees” of our lives that occupy most of our waking hours.
Our church lives aren’t all that different. We go to church each week, sing some songs,
and listen to a sermon. Maybe we even pray before meals, read our Bibles daily, and participate in small group Bible studies. But they can become just more trees in a life already cluttered with trees. What happened to the forest; what happened to the bigger story? Who are we? Why are we here, and where are we headed? How do we fit into God’s big story? A hiker who no longer has a sense of the bigger landscape around him becomes lost and confused, often wandering in circles because he is disoriented and no longer knows where he has come from or where he is headed. If we are ever truly going to find purpose and meaning in our lives, we first have to rise above the trees to rediscover the forest—we have to understand what God is doing in the world and how we fit in.
Q: And this re-discovery of mission is the theme of your new book, Unfinished?
A: As the title of this book suggests, there is some unfinished business for followers of Christ in our world: And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matt. 24:14)
I believe there is a direct connection between the unfinished work of God’s kingdom and
our sense of feeling incomplete in our Christian faith, because there is a connection between our story and God’s story. If we are not personally engaged in God’s great mission in the world, then we have missed the very thing he created us to do. We are like birds meant to fly but living in a cage; fish meant to swim but floundering on the beach. It makes sense when you think about it. If the Author of the universe created us to play a key role in his unfolding drama but we have failed to find our place in that story, then of course we would feel incomplete.
Q: How do you hope readers will respond to this mission?
A: There are as many ways to join the great mission of Christ in our world as there are people. My book introduces just a few of the hundreds of people I’ve encountered who are living their own kingdom adventures. The one thing they all share is the unwavering belief that God made them for a purpose, to serve him and to build his kingdom. They have rearranged their lives to put Christ and his kingdom mission at the center. They have enlisted; they have joined the rescue mission to take back the world for Christ, to serve as ambassadors of his love and to herald the good news of the gospel.
I hope readers respond by looking around them. What can you see? What is yours to do? In God’s expanding kingdom there is no unimportant job and no insignificant person. Is there a single mom who needs your encouragement, a child who needs your love? Do you see the elderly woman, lonely for a friend; a drowning teenager, hungering for a dad? Have you
looked into the hearts of those you work with and seen the desperation in their lives? Is there an immigrant family struggling to adjust, needing a friend to guide them in a foreign place? Is there a social problem that you might mobilize people to solve? Do you have in your bank account the money that a floundering ministry needs to survive, that a homeless man needs to get a fresh start? Do you have skills and abilities that others need— in finance, as a doctor or lawyer, or as a handyman who can repair a broken-down car? Is there an issue of justice for which you can advocate, a wrong that you can right? Do you ache for the children who die from hunger, the orphans lacking a home, or the widow with children who just needs a loan? So many people are crying out to God for his help. Might you be the answer to one of their prayers?
You are needed to help build God’s kingdom. This is where your adventure begins.
As president of World Vision, United States, Stearns is responsible for fundraising among
American donors, program management, and advocacy to the U.S. government on behalf of the poor and oppressed. Working in about 100 countries, World Vision (www.WorldVision.org) is a Christian relief and development organization dedicated to helping children and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty.
Posted on July 30, 2012 by John van der Veen
Long distance runner Ryan Hall is no stranger to notoriety: He won the marathon at the 2008 US Olympic Trials, participated in Beijing, and is currently in London representing the US again. But there’s no question Who gets the glory for Ryan’s life: Christ. In his life and profession, Ryan aims to be led by the Holy Spirit and to touch lives with the Gospel. We were thrilled to be able to bend Ryan’s ear recently for a quick chat…
Family Christian: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, Ryan. Let’s start with a little personal and professional background…
Ryan Hall: Okay, I was born in Big Bear Lake, California about an hour from San Bernardino. I met my wife Sara at Stanford and we married in 2005. We’ve always had a desire to let our professional life affect the lives of others, so in 2009 we founded The Hall Steps Foundation to fight global poverty through better health. As a result we’ve been able to connect with thousands of runners who share our heart and do some cool projects including the building of a new hospital in Kenya’s Rift Valley. We’re humbled and honored by the way God has used and blessed our efforts.
Family Christian: That’s awesome. So do you and Sara have kids?
Ryan: Not yet. We hope to adopt one day, but we want to make sure we’re a bit more settled in our lifestyle before having kids.
Family Christian: Share with us a bit about your relationship with Christ. What has He been showing you lately?
Ryan: I have been a Christian ever since I can remember and continue to grow in my relationship with God. I was blessed to be raised in an awesome Christian family and was introduced to Jesus at a young age. However, I would say my faith really became my own when I was 13. I and was playing baseball, basketball and football (at the time I hated to run) and God gave me a vision to try and run around the lake in my hometown. This was the first time I can remember God communicating with me, or rather the first time I remember being able to hear Him. (I think He is always talking to us but sometimes I am not the best at listening.) Anyway, I listened and obeyed and went on a 15 mile run around the lake. When I got back from the run and collapsed on the couch God spoke to me again (not verbally but I could hear Him in my head) that He had given me a gift to run with the best guys in the world, but He had given me that gift to help others. It took me awhile to realize how to use my gift to love other people but since [then] I have learned to make the most of running with other runners, connecting with others in small moments and then to help others through our foundation.
Most recently I have started what I call "faith-based" coaching, which I began in the fall of 2010. "Faith-based" coaching basically means that instead of having a traditional coach, I apply what I hear from God through prayer, the Bible, and others to my running. In the fall of 2010 I was feeling more and more desperate for God. I was feeling that I needed to position myself where I had to hear from God. Faith became a “must” rather than something on the side. It made me desperate to hear from Him because even though I have had many great coaches that the Lord has taught me through, I realize I am not a coach. God is my Coach and what He says I try to do. I don't always get it right but I am getting better.
The way I apply this to my running is through [practical ways like] obeying the Sabbath by taking one day a week off from running and verses like, "…in the abundance of counselors there is victory." God has built a team of experts around me to help me along the way. I know I am not supposed to be on this journey alone and He has made sure that I have all the support I need to accomplish what He wants me to do.
Family Christian: Are you a book lover? What books are you reading?
Ryan: I do like to read. I am big Bill Johnson fan. One of my favorites is When Heaven Invades Earth.
Family Christian: What music do you like?
Ryan: I love Jesus Culture.
Family Christian: And how many times have you watched Chariots of Fire?
Ryan: Too many to count!
Family Christian: Tell us a little about your connection to World Vision…
Ryan: Sara and I were spokespersons for Team World Vision Chicago in 2008. We were essentially team captains for a team there that helped raise funds for a community of 90,000 people in Zambia through fundraising and racing the 2008 Chicago Marathon. We were able to go visit the community and we were never the same. We continue to support World Vision projects through our foundation and are still close with the staff of World Vision.
Family Christian: Okay, a couple of questions about running. What is your favorite Asics shoe and why?
Ryan: Gel Hyperspeed. I raced my first half marathon in them when the shoe was a prototype. In 2007 I set the American Record of 59:43 in that race. I have been racing in them ever since. I run all my marathons and half marathons in them. They are light, yet supportive and feel great.
Family Christian: Cold or warm weather - what's your preference?
Ryan: Cold, without a doubt. I'm terrible in the heat.
Family Christian: Geographically speaking, what part of the country do you most like to run?
Ryan: Honestly, my favorite place to run is in Redding, California, where I spend half of the year. We spend the other half in Flagstaff, AZ.
Family Christian: Do you personally know the other runners that you will be competing against in the Olympics?
Ryan: I know some of the guys. I know my teammates Meb and Abdi really well. They are great guys. I have been looking up to them since I was in high school, so it is a bit surreal to be on the same Olympic Team as them.
Family Christian: What are your goals for the future? What happens after the Olympics, and after running?
Ryan: Well, I hope to have my very best stuff in the Olympics (whatever that looks like) and hope to experience the joy of knowing that Jesus is the prize no matter what place I finish. After the Olympics I will continue to train and race in hopes of maximizing the talent God has given me and to broaden the impact that runners can make on fighting global poverty. After running, Sara and I hope to do some type of work in developing countries to continue to fight poverty, perhaps through rallying runners as we have done in the past.
Family Christian: Thank you for taking the time to chat with us – especially during this period of your life. Wishing you all the best in London, Ryan!
Do you think that you can run as fast as Ryan? Check out this video of people attempting to do just that.
Want to check out Ryan’s favorites for yourself? Click here for When Heaven Invades Earth by Bill Johnson and here for the music of Jesus Culture. To learn more about the Halls’ non-profit organization, click here.