“All For One and One for All”

Up until my trip to Africa my view of child sponsorship was very limited. I saw a child and failed to see that child’s community. Oh I talked about community and connecting the child, but everything was focused on “all for one.” It was all about that child. What I didn’t realize was how World Vision’s model empowers and maximizes that “one for all.”

Let me explain. When we sponsor a child we promise that “one” an education, food to eat, medical provision, Aids awareness, clean water etc. however when you stop and realize that some of these areas don’t have a school, or clinic, or clean water… Giving a child all the money in the world can’t fulfill the promises. So the genius of the model works like this.

School in World Vision ADP (Area Development Project)

No school… Pool money from each sponsored child in a village and build a school in the village. Outcome… Every sponsored child can now attend school. However so can every unsponsored child in the village…

“All for one” just became “one for all.”

The promise is fulfilled and multiplied to others.

Fresh onions from family farm – because of irrigation project

Lack food... We tend to think that when we sponsor a child money is used to buy that child a bag of rice or a meal. But check this out. We promise that that child will eat as will all the sponsored children in a village. So if we pool resources from each sponsored child we could build irrigation canals and every family can have an onion farm providing resources to feed not just their sponsored child but the whole family.

Hauling water from a WV water source

Gathering water from a WV water source (looks like bad water but all water is boiled from this source)

Lack water… Many children travel many miles a day to collect water. One child in this village cannot attend school because she travels 3 times per day approximately 7 miles per trip to collect water for her family. When water is provided in the village everybody benefits. Children can go to school because their day is not consumed traveling for water.

I think you get the idea… The promises are true… Your sponsored child gets an education, food, clean water, etc but that sponsorship impacts so many more at the same time.

Petro, My sponsored child from Tanzania

WV staff member translating a sponsor’s letter

So what is the difference between my sponsored child and the other children? First and probably most importantly, your sponsored child has a relationship with you. That relationship is personal and the power of that relationship is profound (see previous blog)! The value of this relationship alone is FAR greater than $35 per month. I cannot stress the importance of this relationship enough!

WV staff with file for a sponsored child

The other difference is the relational contact between World Vision staff and your child. Your child receives monthly contact and check ups by staff members in addition to personal visits every time you write your child. These children become ambassadors for their village painting a picture of what is happening in the village with all the children.

WV Core Values on wall at ADP field office

The goal of world vision is to develop a community in such a way that it is self sustaining with all the promises available for ALL the children. Your sponsorship of one impacts all.

We truly are

“ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL”

If you have not sponsored a child and would like to click here. This is our sponsorship page for our Kilimanjaro Team World Vision climb. When you sponsor a child you can simply put my name as “Athlete” to complete the form.

Bee hives from WV honey project

Honey from WV aided honey project

Honey from WV aided honey project

Banking


Irrigation Canal from river

Family Onion Farm

Sampling an onion from a family farm

Maasai family Benefitting from child sponsorship

Obstacles – What stands in your way?

At 20,000 feet the mountain looms with massive beauty and intimidation as it calls out, “go ahead I dare you”.  “I dare you to try and overcome the obstacles I will present and make it to the top.”

Obstacles = “A thing that blocks ones way or prevents or hinders progress.”

Some of the obstacles I face in this adventure are fairly simple to overcome while others still stand before me in the great unknown of their magnitude.  The obstacles to Kili have arrived even before I depart for Tanzania.  There is so much to do and so little TIME to get it all done.  How often does time stand in our way to accomplishing things of importance in life.  I have had to set priorities to overcome this obstacle.

MONEY is another obstacle that stands in the way before the mountain ever comes into view.  I could use all sorts of excuses like “we just moved and the account is running dry”. How often does money stop us from accomplishing the great things set before us.  Again I must prioritize my life and spending for what matters.

There are many other little obstacles that must be overcome before the mountain is seen.  Obstacles like, passports, shots, purchasing gear, physical training, etc.  However it is the mountain itself that holds the real obstacles.  20,000 feet, 5 climate zones, foreign land, physical and mental exertion, Altitude sickness, along with other obstacles I am still unaware of.

Why the blog about obstacles?

As I ponder these obstacles the reason for this climb is made clear.  I am climbing with team world vision in an aggressive effort to change 500 – 1000 children’s lives forever by helping to remove obstacles in their life.  Each climber has an obstacle to overcome and that is to engage 50 to 100 people in sponsoring children (not a simple task).

The clarity has come home to me as I look at the mountain and put the obstacles to getting to the summit in perspective with what is at its base.  At the base of this  mountain is Tanzania  where children travel 4 – 7 miles round trip twice per day to fetch water that is filled with disease.  Where children live with the loss of loved ones  due to aids.  Where children are denied the privilede of education in order that they might simply survive.  Where children lack the resources to meet their basic physical needs.   These are their obstacles to a fulfilling life and often times to life itself. The child mortality rate is very high.

Fetching water stands in their way of gettiung an education.  Lack of education stands in their way their future. Disease filled water stands in their way of health.

Perspective… I can do things to overcome my obstacles.  I can train, raise support,  climb with experienced guides, climb with a team, eat out less, give up an occasional Starbucks, etc.

The promise of Jeremiah 29:11 is as real for these children and their families as it is for me and my family and you and your family.  God says, “I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for a hope and a future.” As I continue to ponder this I am confronted with the reality of obstacles.  What is the hope and future for these childrn and their families?   I can do something about my obstacles.

Their obstacles will continue to defeat them unless someone helps to remove them.  God has chosen to give them a hope and a future and that hope rests in our hands.  All the resources are available.  God has provided everything needed.  The problem isn’t its availability it is its release.

If you would like to help remove the obstacles in a childs life, lessen their vulnerability, provide them with clean water, education, medical resources etc., please click on the following link and for less than you probably spend monthly on entertainment, coffee, dining out etc, you can give a child a hope and a future.

What obstacles stand in your way to making a difference in your world.  can you overcome them or will they keep you from the joy found at the summit.

Click here to make a difference … Team World Vision – Kilimanjaro Climb – Athlete Name… Darrell

Things that make me go WOW!

I have been thinking about how much we take for granted in our world today. After watching a video clip from Conan I thought I would make a list of some of the things that make me go WOW! There are so many things in our world today that should amaze us but instead we simply take them for granted or worse yet find ourselves ungrateful for them. So here is my list…

1) Laptops with wireless internet and the ability to communicate instantly (and yes I said instantly) with people around the world. When I stop and really think about this it makes me go Wow! When you find yourself frustrated with your internet connection and its speed, go back to the old way and get out an envelope, write the letter, put a stamp on it and give it to a guy on a horse who will put it on a slow boat to China and then pray that it even arrives.

2) a cell phone where I can be driving down the road with a little thingy jig hanging on my ear and push a button and say, “call Rob’s cell” and bada bing boda bang I am talking to my wife. When I think about this it makes me go WOW! When you start to get frustrated with dropped calls go to the nearest dumpster and drop in your phone and go back and do it the old way. Go home and plug in your rotary dial phone and wait for the party line and stop complaining.

3) Air travel – When I think of the amazing reality that I can sit in a seat 35 thousand feet in the air and get from point a to point b in an incredibly short period of time it makes me go WOW! Next time things are delayed or you are a little uncomfortable – go back to the good old days and get in the wagon and hope you make it to your destination this year and alive.

4) I pod and mp3 players and the new way we do music and the ability we have to download a song or a sermon or a podcast or a book or a video and plug it into a jack in my car or put on my headphones and listen to what I want when I want makes me go WOW! We could go back in time and only be able to listen on phonographs, 8 tracks, or other “ancient” forms.

5) Electricity – flip a switch – lights come on. Wow! could be candles.

6) sunsets and the expanse of the universe – WOW! God is amazing. Could be all one color.

7) Clothes – WOW! we can walk into a store and find the style we like and buy a different outfit for each day. – Could be a scratchy fig leaf that is the same style for everyone and the same color. Not to mention finding ones that fit.

These are just a few things as I sit here on my laptop that make me go WOW! What causes our dissatisfaction with what we have? Where does our entitlement attitude come from? Why do we have so much and have such a hard time appreciating life and the things we have filled our life with?

  • We live in a world where many will go to bed hungry again. (I have eaten all day)
  • We live in a world where 27 million are enslaved to the demands of another, for their pleasures and greed (I am free to come and go as I please)
  • We live in a world where many would give all treasures for clean water (I get it cold and fresh from my refrigerator with crushed ice)
  • We live in a world where kids are raising kids because of the death of parents (I enjoyed every year of my life taking on responsibilities at appropriate ages)
    We live in a world where…

You get the point! I would love to know what makes you go WOW! Add to the list and lets be grateful people.