I was fortunate enough to be invited to afternoon tea in Milton Keynes at the head office of World Vision - No Child Without A Future. There were many interesting presentations, which I thought you might be curious to know about.
Globally, World Vision reaches 100 countries with 45 thousand staff helping 150 million children. The organisation is making a difference in their world. For example, in 1990, 12.5 million under-fives died of things that could have been prevented. By 2015, that figure had been halved. Good things are happening throughout the world that are making a difference and countries, such as Mozambique or Bangladesh, are much more prepared for the inevitable natural disasters, resulting in thousands of fewer deaths.
World Vision works with the most fragile of countries, mainly through sponsorship of children in developing areas where they also concentrate on digging water holes or providing agricultural knowledge and education for girls. One local initiative was providing school children with bicycles so that they could get to school more quickly, less tired and more able to cope.
World Vision is a Christian organisation but it helps wherever there is a need with the desire to making a better place for the world's most vulnerable children to live. Its recent initiative was called Take the Matthew 25 Challenge. This is a week-long disciple-making experience where, throughout the week, there is a daily challenge based upon Matthew's Gospel, Chapter 25. The focus of the chapter is about feeding the hungry, giving the thirsty a drink, inviting the stranger and looking after the sick.
"For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'"
The challenge before us is do we wish to accept a week of daily, sacrificial challenges, engaging in God's love to care for our neighbour? If anyone from the church is interested, please let me know.
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Rev'd Martin Wheadon