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World Vision Experience: Hitting the Road to Spread the Word About a Global Crisis

A couple from Washington state sell their home, retire from their jobs, and join forces on the road with the World Vision Experience to enhance public awareness about the AIDS pandemic.

December 2007

Jim and Lynn Kelly of Sumner, Wash., stand in front of the trailer they purchased to travel around the country with the World Vision Experience exhibit.
© 2007 Laura Reinhardt/World Vision
When former police officer Jim Kelly, 54, first visited the South African nation of Lesotho, the words of village chiefs he met there left him deeply moved. They said: "Please don't forget us."

Jim says after witnessing the plight of hundreds of villagers dying slow, painful deaths because of AIDS, it was a call he could not ignore.

He and his wife, Lynn, 49, decided to become Child Ambassadors to encourage other people in their hometown of Sumner, Wash., to sponsor children through World Vision. That way, they could meet some of the dire needs in Lesotho and other similarly devastated communities.


When the couple had the opportunity to retire early, they decided to take their quest further. They sold their home and bought a one-ton Dodge truck and 40-foot camping trailer with the proceeds. That meant they could travel widely and take their message across the nation.

The couple plan to be on the road for at least two years and have begun by accompanying the World Vision Experience: AIDS — a 2,500-square-foot walk-through exhibit currently touring churches and college campuses across the country.

Jim admits the decision has been costly, but he has no regrets. "We're cutting off a lot of ties with work, friends, and church, and it's kind of scary in a lot of ways, but it's kind of exhilarating, too," he says.

Remarkable Results

After the first few months on the road, the couple's enthusiasm remains undiminished.

Jim says it has been wonderful to talk to some of the hundreds of people visiting the Experience every day; the number of people who have elected to sponsor children as a result is double what was expected at the beginning of the tour.

He adds that selling up his material goods has made him realize how much Americans have that they don't really need. The couple decided to give away to charity many of their possessions that would not fit in the trailer.

Learn More

>> Read more about the World Vision Experience: AIDS.
>> Experience the Experience — reserve free tickets online for an exhibit in your area.
>> Get the details about becoming a World Vision Child Ambassador.

Four Ways You Can Help

>> Pray for those who are working to spread the word about the greatest humanitarian crisis in the world today, including Jim and Lynn Kelly. Pray also that the World Vision Experience would move the hearts and minds of people to take action for children and families who suffer at the hands of the AIDS pandemic.
>> Volunteer at the World Vision Experience. Your contribution to the success of this event will make a difference in the lives of children and families affected by the AIDS crisis.
>> Sponsor a HopeChild. Vulnerable children living in communities ravaged by HIV and AIDS need your support.
>> Speak out for AIDS-affected children. Add your name to our Make Your Mark for Children petition to ask Congress to swiftly reauthorize the global AIDS bill and ensure that 10 percent of all global AIDS funds be used to care for orphans and vulnerable children.

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World Vision
Phone: 1-888-511-6548
P.O. Box 9716
Federal Way,WA 98063-9716
© 2014 World Vision Inc.
World Vision, Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All donations are tax deductible in full or in part.