Sadly, it has come to an end of another great week for the World Vision Experience. We got to spend our week between Yosemite National Park and the Sequoias in the wonderful city of Fresno, CA. The week started off when our large truck was noticed at a local truck stop, and some people ran up and got all excited to see the exhibit coming to their town.  Apparently our 54-ft trailer is famous!

This was a fun-filled week of youth groups, school groups, Bible studies and a whole lot more. Not only were we able to bring help to many kids in Swaziland (through child sponsorship) but also had two special guest from Swaziland visit the World Vision Experience.  They traveled all this way to help answer questions about the communities that World Vision works alongside, and to thank churches that have been giving support (read more about World Vision’s work in Swaziland here.)  We didn’t only work with one church but eight churches in the community that have come together to bring hope to a community on the other side of the world.

But like every good thing, this week had to come to an end and this one came just like it started.  A gathering of new and old friends, around a family dinner, at the local Dog House Diner.

Next stop: Orlando, FL!  Click here for more info, and make sure to pass it along to all your Florida friends!

— Trooper

Advertisements

This past month, I had the privilege of being in Spokane at the NorthTown Mall as part of World Vision’s Count on Spokane campaign (to learn more about it click here.) It was a unique experience for me, and all together as well.  I normally travel as a tour staff with the Experience: AIDS tour, we stay in cities for 10 days at a time — I was in Spokane, WA for an entire month!  Another unique thing was that we were able to create ‘The Village: A World Vision Experience’ and were able to utilize suggestions that we’ve heard from past visitor and volunteers of the Experience: AIDS tour and other events we’ve been a part of.

One of the stories that sticks out in my mind from The Village is from a single father, in his late 20’s. One day he came through with a friend (who was also a single father.) After watching the video, he decided to sponsor a child. The next day, he came back again, this time with his sister who, after seeing the picture of his sponsored child in his car, decided she wanted to sponsor. The next day (for the third day in a row) he came back, this time with his two children. It was precious seeing him lead his kids through The Village and show them the differences between what their new sister has and what they have.

We have officially taken down The Village from the mall, it was bittersweet to see it all done.  As you’ve read in the past few blogposts, we’ve had 4 former interns join our Count on Spokane team, which was fun and we really became a family during our time together. We’ll miss them, especially as we go to our next stop for the Experience: AIDS tour in Fresno, CA.

— Michelle

PS: I also got to celebrate my birthday, and wore this fantastic sash all day!

Dear friends,

We just finished a great week for the Experience here in Santa Rosa, a city about 45 minutes north of San Francisco.  A group of fourteen Churches in the region came together to bring the Experience to the local fairgrounds and it was a pleasure to work with the people who came to serve here this week.  Each day a different church would provide the volunteers for the day.  It really was an encouragement to see the fellowship of the Sonoma County Churches.

The World Vision Experience was officially endorsed and opened by the Mayor of Santa Rosa, and the city declared it “AIDS Awareness Week. ”  It was great to have the support of the local government for the tourstop as well.

Throughout our mostly sunny and warm week in Santa Rosa, we saw many people come through and we were glad to see many children sponsored.  Now we move onto the next stop: Cincinnati, Ohio~!

Thanks for your prayers,

Shawn

Sad to say, but it’s time for the Experience to leave our wonderful friends at the YMCA in Cary, North Carolina. Not always easy to leave a group like the YMCA, especially when they treat you like family.

We had an excellent group of volunteers! Some of the students who served were having so much fun with us that they decided to serve with us until they had to leave for a school dance. I don’t believe the Experience has yet to have volunteers help while wearing their school dance outfits.

The mission statement of the YMCA is simple:

To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.

I could tell the YMCA was trying to tighten their family internationally as they focused on the African country of Ethiopia; they encouraged the visitors who came through the Experience to sponsor children from this area (there is a YMCA in Ethiopia who they are starting to work closely with.)

A big thank you to the wonderful team of the YMCA NC from your friends at World Vision!

Next stop: Santa Rosa, CA!

— Trooper