August 2010


We had a great time in Brentwood this past week at Otter Creek Church of Christ.  I must say upfront though, that the weather was considerably warmer here, than in TacomaOtter Creek had a great team of volunteers led by David and Sarah Wilson, they truly did a great job preparing the week and getting people there excited for the Experience.  We focused on two main area of Kenya – Soweto and Motumo…both areas in great need.  World Vision has been active in these areas for some time and it was excited to partner with a church that too reaches out to these areas in Kenya.  Many children were sponsored as a result of bringing the Experience to Otter Creek!

As always, it was exciting to see families come through the exhibit together and sponsor children.  Many times we’d walk around the corner and see a group of folks gathered around the “Connect” table–writing letters to their new sponsor child.  Michelle (one of our awesome tour staff) was just in Zambia visiting her sponsor child and she recalled the incredible, community wide celebration that occurred upon her arrival.  I’ve been working with World Vision for two years, and over this time I’ve heard many stories about children in the World Vision sponsorship program who have celebrations when they receive the news: “you’ve been sponsored!”  Joy and more joy, probably overflowing, and I suppose it’s hard for the kids to focus the next day in school, they just can’t stop talking about their new “family.”

Well, the team is off to Spokane, WA to join in the “Count on Spokane” events for the month of September (click here for more information.)  We will be in the NorthTown mall for 31 days, sharing an interactive, multimedia Village that focuses on the benefits of community development.  It’s a large undertaking, and major “props” to Ange for pulling it all together.  If you have family or know people in the area, we would love for them to visit The Village and volunteer if they have availability.

Thanks, Brentwood!  See you soon, Spokane.

-dean

10, 42, 43, 47

This past week World Vision had the privilege of being in Tacoma, WA at the Champion Centre as a part of their Team Church conference. For this event we used the tent exhibit (a modified, smaller version of the main Experience, but portrays different stories): 3 children are featured in the tent: Beatrice, Stephen, and Olivia. Beatrice is a courageous 9-year-old who single-handedly raises her 2 year-old niece in an AIDS –ravaged village in Zambia. Stephen is a 13-year-old boy who was abducted by rebel soldiers in Uganda and forced to kill his own people. Olivia is a 17-year-old Malawian girl who is sexually assaulted twice by the same man.  All three of these stories are incredibly powerful!

We had many wonderful volunteers and most of them served diligently multiple times.  One volunteer, who served with us three different shifts, had seen a child in The Experience whom she wanted to sponsor. Each day she looked to see if the child had been sponsored and he had not. On the last day, she went to show the picture folder of the child to her own children. When she showed them the picture folder, they said, “that’s the kid we wanted to sponsor.”  It was great to see a family excited to sponsor this child together.

Next stop: Brentwood, TN!

-Michelle