From the Field

11 reasons to have hope in 2021

Children laugh while sitting on a stoop.

Though 2020 upended many of our plans, that couldn’t stop God’s miraculous activity throughout the world. While progress on ending global poverty and boosting development has slowed or stalled because of the pandemic, there are still reasons to have hope for the future. Lots of reasons, in fact. We can trust that our sovereign God hasn’t stopped working. Discover 11 reasons to have hope in 2021 and ways we can pray for God’s continued providence.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.—1 Thessalonians 5:16–18
Malawian girl smiles while pumping clean water.
Because thousands of people walked or ran the Global 6K for Water, 9-year-old Ireen and her community got clean water in their village in August! (©2020 World Vision/photo by Atlas Productions)

1. Ireen and her community in Malawi have clean water thanks to Global 6K participants and others.

Last year, tens of thousands of people walked or ran for clean water so kids like Ireen in Malawi wouldn’t have to anymore. And in August of this year, after days of prayerful searching, drillers hit water in her village! Now, with clean water just steps away from her home, Ireen has a better chance of continuing her education and staying healthy.

Provider of all, we praise You for refreshing the hope of Ireen and her community with clean water. You are the One who provides water from the rock and streams in the wilderness. Work through Your people to continue these efforts.

Checking on sponsored children, World Vision Program Manager Elda Solorzano meets with parents and children in Yamaranguila, Honduras.
Checking on sponsored children, World Vision Program Manager Elda Solorzano meets 36-year-old Virginia and her children, 6-month-old Angel and 4-year-old Denilson. (©2020 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

2. The people of Yamaranguila, Honduras, are filled with hope for their futures.

Since the mid-1990s, World Vision’s worked through child sponsorship to equip people to build better lives in Yamaranguila municipality, which encompasses more than 60 communities and has the highest concentration of Lenca people in Honduras. About 100,000 strong, the Lenca are the country’s largest Indigenous group; they’ve long experienced discrimination and challenges like entrenched poverty, lack of education, and more.

Child sponsorship and other World Vision programs have supported social, physical, and spiritual renewal throughout Yamaranguila. Thanks to the partnership of donors and families, our work is bearing fruit there as children and adults build up their community. Poverty is on the run as a world of hope opens up.

God of new beginnings, we give You glory for the transformation in Yamaranguila and we celebrate the renewed hope that children and families here have. Please continue to bless their flourishing.

3. An ambitious partnership between Grundfos and World Vision empowered over 2 million people with clean water ahead of schedule.

In 2015, Grundfos, the world’s largest water pump manufacturer, and World Vision — the largest nongovernmental provider of clean water in the developing world — announced a goal to jointly provide clean water to 2 million people in sub-Saharan Africa over the next five years. In October 2020, before those five years were up, the partnership had already reached 2.4 million people with sustainable water technology, much of it solar powered, that will empower communities with lasting clean water.

God of mercy, we thank You for this successful partnership and the way You’ve used it to bless and transform millions of people’s futures.

Rosy, Zacks, and their children pose with their cattle and ox cart. When the family was able to buy both those items, they felt they had finally made it, as cattle and ox carts are both expensive items. Rosy dreams that her children will not be defined by the poverty their family once knew and will dream of bigger futures.
A Zimbabwean family poses with their cattle and ox cart. When they were able to buy both those items, they felt they had finally made it, as cattle and ox carts are both expensive items. Rosy, the mother, dreams that her children will not be defined by the poverty the family has left behind, with the help of the ENSURE program. (©2020 World Vision/photo by Chris Huber)

4. USAID is helping empower Zimbabwean families to move from fragility to resilience and build food security.

Over the last seven years, the ENSURE program — Enhancing Nutrition, Stepping Up Resilience and Enterprise — has equipped over 215,000 people in eastern Zimbabwe to improve their lives. Farmers have better crops. People are raising more livestock. Families are equipped with sanitation facilities and through hygiene behavior-change programming. Parents have income to buy food and send their kids to school. Children are healthier and have a stronger future ahead of them — one that involves completing school instead of dropping out to get married or work. It’s a future that dares them to dream of the possibilities and hope for a life full of choices beyond the poverty many of them have only known.

Gracious Father, be present with these families as they celebrate their progress, and guide those in our government responsible for foreign assistance with wisdom to make choices that support vital global development.

Twelve-year-old Collins in Mwala, Kenya, was one of the first children to choose his sponsor. He chose Joel from Chicago. Sponsorship is transforming children’s lives in his community.
Twelve-year-old Collins in Mwala, Kenya, was one of the first children to choose his sponsor. He chose Joel from Chicago. Sponsorship is transforming children’s lives in his community. (©2020 World Vision/photo by Susan Otieno)

5. Collins, one of the first kids to choose his own sponsor in 2019, feels the support of sponsorship during the COVID-19 pandemic’s hardships.

When World Vision flipped the script on child sponsorship in 2019 with Chosen, Collins in Mwala, Kenya, picked Joel from Chicago as his sponsor. Because of the community-focused model of child sponsorship, Collins and his friends have a stronger support network to get them through the hard times caused by the COVID-19 restrictions.

And despite the pandemic, kids can still choose their sponsors! At smaller events in countries like Malawi and Kenya, children are getting the power to choose.

Good Shepherd, please watch over sponsored kids like Collins and their families as they face ongoing trials from the effects of the pandemic. Give us words of encouragement and a heart to care for people in need.

The hospital ship Solidarity responding to crisis along the Amazon River
A hospital ship, the Solidarity, operated by World Vision, sailed to isolated communities along the Solimões River (an upper stretch of the Amazon River in Brazil) to deliver food boxes, issue essential first-aid supplies, and provide medical care to 1,000 families hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. (©2020 World Vision/photo by Álvaro Júnior)

6. People in some of the world’s remotest areas are getting support to deal with the pandemic.

When COVID-19 hit, World Vision launched our biggest ever global response to a crisis, and we’ve already reached well over 55 million people with relief. In just one example, the Solidarity ship is reaching remote families along the Amazon River with medical care and health knowledge to keep people safer from COVID-19. Others around the world are receiving food baskets that feed a family for a month, personal protective equipment kits for frontline workers in under-resourced areas, and more.

Sovereign Lord, may Your hand of protection cover people who live in remote areas far from medical care. May vulnerable families know Your loving remembrance of them as they receive tangible help and support.

7. The WASH UP! partnership with Sesame Workshop is reaching vulnerable kids with hygiene behavior-change education.

As the world is hyper-focused on handwashing as a way to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, teaching kids about good hygiene is more important than ever. And what better way to get kids excited about washing their hands than with Muppets? Raya, a special Muppet for Sesame’s global educational programs, shows children good handwashing and hygiene practices through games and songs. In harder-to-reach areas, like remote villages in Afghanistan, this kind of play-based learning is vital to keeping kids healthy.

Zeba, a 9-year-old girl in Afghanistan, says, “I practice good hygiene every morning. My teacher says that I am looking clean and shining like a star!”

Jesus, we ask for Your protection over vulnerable kids and families during this pandemic, and we praise You for the creativity that engages kids’ minds.

8. Globally, as many as 35% more moms and 58% more kids under 5 are surviving than they were 30 years ago.

Worldwide agencies like the United Nations and World Vision stepped up their collaborations in 1990, when global maternal and child mortality rates were staggeringly high. Thirty years later, the efforts have saved millions of lives. While it’s true that the pandemic is impacting immediate progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals, the long view shows us that this kind of progress can carry us forward. With better nutrition; access to quality healthcare, education, and clean water; and other programs, moms and their babies can get a healthier start.

Mighty Healer, bless the world’s efforts to lift up the most vulnerable people, and may our care for others come from our love for You.

9. The world is giving greater recognition to those fighting the global hunger crisis.

In October, we celebrated the World Food Programme’s Nobel Peace Prize, which it was awarded for its efforts to combat hunger. The Nobel Prize’s press release said the award was given “to turn the eyes of the world towards the millions of people who suffer from or face the threat of hunger.”

World Vision works closely with the World Food Programme and has been the U.N. agency’s largest nongovernmental partner for the last 16 years. In a recent partnership, students in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo — who used to be so hungry they couldn’t concentrate in class — are now receiving healthy school lunches, giving them the energy to succeed.

Our King, stir even more leaders and influencers to seek justice and flourishing for the world’s most vulnerable people.

A man stands in front of Shower of Hope in Los Angeles, mobile showers in a church parking lot.
Eric is one of hundreds of people who can stay clean during the COVID-19 pandemic due to Shower of Hope in Hollywood, California. The program for the homeless and unhoused of Los Angeles, California, was set up in the parking lot of Hollywood’s Adventist Church, and World Vision supplies necessities like shampoo, deodorant, and hand sanitizer to participants. (©2020 World Vision/photo by Kari Costanza)

10. Across the United States, communities are getting the resources they need to fight poverty.

In 2020, World Vision’s U.S. programs reached more than 10.3 million people with resources and support ranging from cucumbers to showers. When COVID-19 hit Los Angeles hard, Hollywood Adventist Church, Adventist Health, Kohler Co., and World Vision formed a partnership to provide showers in the church parking lot — via the KOHLER Relief Showering Trailer — to people experiencing homelessness. As many as 200 people come through each week to use the seven showers, equipped with donated personal care items for people to take with them.

Farther southeast, in the Navajo Nation, World Vision distributed nearly 800 personal protective equipment kits to first responders, including EMTs, firefighters, and police officers. They also set up a drive-through station for families to pick up bags of hand sanitizer, masks, and COVID-19 information sheets. Myron Lizer, the Navajo Nation’s vice president, says to World Vision donors, “You sent us a love message by living out your biblical principles to love your neighbor — we are grateful.”

Creator, thank You for moving in the hearts of Your people to love and care for their neighbors in the U.S. May we remember the needs of our brothers and sisters around us.

11. World Vision’s advocacy work is making a difference on Capitol Hill and around the world.

Advocacy efforts with the U.S. government for foreign aid and commitments are a vital piece of ending injustice for vulnerable people around the world. This year, thanks to staff and a mighty team of volunteers, The Keeping Girls in School Act passed in the U.S. House of Representatives in January, and The Ending Violence Against Children Resolution passed in the House in March. These important milestones move the needle closer to passing bills that support more of the work World Vision’s already doing around the world.

Our Just Judge, give our leaders wisdom and a heart for people in need around the world. May Your kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven.

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