From the Field

Life frames: Our favorite photos of 2018

When children in West Pokot, Kenya, began to do handstands, World Vision water engineer Charles Kakiti, wearing his Global 6K for Water T-shirt, joined right in. He told me, “I know the struggle and stress on young children and women who carry water that ends up making them sick,” so he not only supervised the building of a clean water system for the village, but he also ran the Global 6K to personally raise money for clean water. I love how our staff around the world pour themselves into the lives of communities they serve.

World Vision’s photographers traveled around the world this year to tell stories of children and their families. They captured moments of struggle and moments of joy. Here are our favorite photos of 2018 and the stories behind them.

Kapinga, 13, lost her father to civil conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and in that war, she lost her chance to attend school. Her life seems dark. But I love this portrait because there is light in her life too. She sings in her church choir, and every weekday she goes to a nearby World Vision Child-Friendly Space to play, learn, and laugh with her friends. (©2018 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

When these Ugandan children at Kasubi Primary School greeted me with a traditional dance at their life skills club, I wanted to share all of the enthusiasm, color, and motion, but wondered how best to do that in a single image. This ground-level view allowed me to fill the image with the swirling skirts and dancing feet, which came close to capturing all that liveliness.

When these Ugandan children at Kasubi Primary School greeted me with a traditional dance at their life skills club, I wanted to share all of the enthusiasm, color, and motion but wondered how best to do that in a single image. This ground-level view allowed me to fill the image with the swirling skirts and dancing feet, which came close to capturing all that liveliness. (©2018 World Vision/photo by Laura Reinhardt)

Photographing second-grade teacher Margarita Romero and her students in Puerto Rico during the aftermath of Hurricane Maria was one of my favorite assignments in 2018. She was reviewing their lessons, which were designed by World Vision, about how to recover from disasters. This shows how much further our staff go to help people in disasters. We helped more than 116,000 Puerto Ricans with critical food and relief items, cash assistance, and child protection programs. Beyond these necessary supplies and programs, we also helped families build back better by training nearly 16,500 students, teachers, and church leaders across the island in disaster preparedness and community resilience. (©2018 World Vision/photo by Chris Huber)

Photographing second-grade teacher Margarita Romero and her students in Puerto Rico during the aftermath of Hurricane Maria was one of my favorite assignments in 2018. She was reviewing their lessons, which were designed by World Vision, about how to recover from disasters. This shows how much further our staff go to help people in disasters. We helped more than 116,000 Puerto Ricans with critical food and relief items, cash assistance, and child protection programs. Beyond these necessary supplies and programs, we also helped families build back better by training nearly 16,500 students, teachers, and church leaders across the island in disaster preparedness and community resilience. (©2018 World Vision/photo by Chris Huber)

While waiting for a group photo, 11-year-old Lightwell took the opportunity to read his book — something he sometimes chooses over eating. I glanced up and saw the golden afternoon sun lighting him so beautifully and was able to grab this quiet portrait of a boy from Zambia and his favorite pastime.

While waiting for a group photo, 11-year-old Lightwell took the opportunity to read his book — something he sometimes chooses over eating. I glanced up and saw the golden afternoon sun lighting him so beautifully and was able to grab this quiet portrait of a boy from Zambia and his favorite pastime. (©2018 World Vision/photo by Laura Reinhardt)

When children in West Pokot, Kenya, began to do handstands, World Vision water engineer Charles Kakiti, wearing his Global 6K for Water T-shirt, joined right in. He told me, “I know the struggle and stress on young children and women who carry water that ends up making them sick,” so he not only supervised the building of a clean water system for the village, but he also ran the Global 6K to personally raise money for clean water. I love how our staff around the world pour themselves into the lives of communities they serve.

When children in West Pokot, Kenya, began to do handstands, World Vision water engineer Charles Kakiti, wearing his Global 6K for Water T-shirt, joined right in. He told me, “I know the struggle and stress on young children and women who carry water that ends up making them sick,” so he not only supervised the building of a clean water system for the village, but he also ran the Global 6K to personally raise money for clean water. I love how our staff around the world pour themselves into the lives of the communities they serve. (©2018 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

In April, John Harris helped his wife, LaDell, down the steps in front of their home along the shores of the Neches River near Vidor, Texas. She had slipped and hurt her arm while waiting days for floodwaters to clear from the porch steps. Their home was nearly destroyed by 15-foot floodwaters during Hurricane Harvey in August 2017. World Vision and its local partner, Wings of Promise led by Pastor Skipper Sauls, helped the couple rebuild with new appliances, Sheetrock, furniture, insulation, light fixtures, and other materials. John and LaDell were able to enjoy their cozy rebuilt riverside home together for a few more months in 2018 before John lost his fight with cancer in August. “During the storm, we were sitting here, helpless,” LaDell says. “These people (Pastor Sauls, and other community members) have been our angels.”

In April, John Harris helped his wife, LaDell, down the steps in front of their home along the shores of the Neches River near Vidor, Texas. She had slipped and hurt her arm while waiting days for floodwaters to clear from the porch steps. Their home was nearly destroyed by 15-foot floodwaters during Hurricane Harvey in August 2017. World Vision and its local partner, Wings of Promise led by Pastor Skipper Sauls, helped the couple rebuild with new appliances, Sheetrock, furniture, insulation, light fixtures, and other materials. John and LaDell were able to enjoy their cozy rebuilt riverside home together for a few more months in 2018 before John lost his fight with cancer in August. “During the storm, we were sitting here, helpless,” LaDell says. “These people (Pastor Sauls, and other community members) have been our angels.” (©2018 World Vision/photo by Chris Huber)

I'm most in my element when I'm blending into the background, able to studiously watch and capture the moments that naturally occur around me. One of these such moments that has stuck with me this year is that of a young boy named Linus scurrying in and out of the shadows, his own small frame creating a contrasting shadow to the light streaming through the skylights. He's racing to pick up two empty boxes at a time, each of which are larger than he is. He often drops one or both along the way and hurries to pick them back up — all to feed the machine that is a World Vision kit event. With the same frenzy, more than 200 people in the next room over and the outdoor courtyard of Menlo Church in California are assembling thousands of kits — including the 1 millionth World Vision kit. Amid the hustle and bustle, all I can do is take another moment in this calm-in-comparison back room, smile to myself, and click the shutter button.

I’m most in my element when I’m blending into the background, able to studiously watch and capture the moments that naturally occur around me. One of these such moments that has stuck with me this year is that of a young boy named Linus scurrying in and out of the shadows, his own small frame creating a contrasting shadow to the light streaming through the skylights. He’s racing to pick up two empty boxes at a time, each of which is larger than he is. He often drops one or both along the way and hurries to pick them back up — all to feed the machine that is a World Vision kit event. With the same frenzy, more than 200 people in the next room over and the outdoor courtyard of Menlo Church in California are assembling thousands of kits — including the 1 millionth World Vision kit. Amid the hustle and bustle, all I can do is take another moment in this calm-in-comparison back room, smile to myself, and click the shutter button. (©2018 World Vision/photo by Heather Klinger)

Say "ahhh" to get your deworming medicine! Twice a year in Uganda and around Africa, World Vision staff participate in Child Health Days, an innovative way to reach children with life-saving healthcare including immunizations, Vitamin A to prevent blindness and boost immunity, and deworming medicines, such as albendazole, that health volunteers pop right into children’s mouths to keep them from getting worms that will stunt their growth. I love how eager this girl was to stay healthy.

Say “ahhh” to get your deworming medicine! Twice a year in Uganda and around Africa, World Vision staff participate in Child Health Days, an innovative way to reach children with life-saving healthcare including immunizations, Vitamin A to prevent blindness and boost immunity, and deworming medicines, such as albendazole, that health volunteers pop right into children’s mouths to keep them from getting worms that will stunt their growth. I love how eager this girl was to stay healthy. (©2018 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

Fourteen-year-old Marie Ngalula waits in the entrance of a local health clinic, where her ill mother is a patient, in Kananga, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Marie is worried her mother is dying, but a health worker expresses a hope for recovery. Here in the U.S., we hear so little about the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The impact on children is heartbreaking to see. World Vision is providing Marie and many others with relief aid, clean water, and a place for to play and learn.

Fourteen-year-old Marie Ngalula waits in the entrance of a local health clinic, where her ill mother is a patient, in Kananga, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Marie is worried her mother is dying, but a health worker expresses a hope for recovery. Here in the U.S., we hear so little about the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The impact on children is heartbreaking to see. World Vision is providing Marie and many others with relief aid, clean water, and a place for to play and learn. (©2018 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

A woman fetches water from Lake Albert, Uganda, in a fishing village where World Vision provides healthcare. On the opposite shore is the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In the midst of storm clouds, a brief shaft of sunlight breaks through.

A woman fetches water from Lake Albert, Uganda, in a fishing village where World Vision provides healthcare. On the opposite shore is the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In the midst of storm clouds, a brief shaft of sunlight breaks through. (©2018 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

Seven-year-old Debby enthusiastically participates at school. She’s able to be there thanks to child sponsorship. I loved hearing from one of the teachers how children at the school will brave the rainy season to get there. She says, “There’s a spirit of learning here.”

Seven-year-old Debby enthusiastically participates at school. She’s able to be there thanks to child sponsorship. I loved hearing from one of the teachers how children at the school will brave the rainy season to get there. She says, “There’s a spirit of learning here.” (©2018 World Vision/photo by Laura Reinhardt)

A chance to play with friends — that’s what children who are forced to quit school and join the labor force say they miss the most. In Bangladesh, I met children who used to work in cracker factories and shrimp depots. Thanks to World Vision’s program, many of them have been removed from these hazardous jobs and have returned to school. I loved seeing these children have that playful opportunity.

A chance to play with friends — that’s what children who are forced to quit school and join the labor force say they miss the most. In Bangladesh, I met children who used to work in cracker factories and shrimp depots. Thanks to World Vision’s program, many of them have been removed from these hazardous jobs and have returned to school. I loved seeing these children have that playful opportunity. (©2018 World Vision/photo by Laura Reinhardt)

Nearly two years ago, I visited Bangladesh as World Vision started its project to prevent child labor. The Bengali name of the child protection project translates to “for a better life.” On this second trip in November 2018, lots of children have that better life thanks to World Vision’s work. I thought 13-year-old Shyamoli’s radiant smile and confidence conveyed the hope she now can have.

Nearly two years ago, I visited Bangladesh as World Vision started its project to prevent child labor. The Bengali name of the child protection project translates to “for a better life.” On this second trip in November 2018, lots of children have that better life thanks to World Vision’s work. I thought 13-year-old Shyamoli’s radiant smile and confidence conveyed the hope she now can have. (©2018 World Vision/photo by Laura Reinhardt)

Jennifer and Brandon Wilson peruse panels of photos of the 1,400 children sponsored in 2018 through World Vision’s Child Ambassador program at their annual conference near Seattle. When the nighttime dinner gathering began, I worried the low light would make it difficult to capture a meaningful moment. But as the volunteer child-sponsorship advocates searched the panels for children they helped sponsor, occasionally someone would recognize a child and smile or turn to their companion and point to the child. I realized this symbolizes a Child Ambassador’s heart, and in many ways, God’s heart for children. They care so deeply for each child’s well-being that they search them out from among the crowd and react with delight when they find them.

Jennifer and Brandon Wilson peruse panels of photos of the 1,400 children sponsored in 2018 through World Vision’s Child Ambassador program at their annual conference near Seattle. When the nighttime dinner gathering began, I worried the low light would make it difficult to capture a meaningful moment. But as the volunteer child-sponsorship advocates searched the panels for children they helped sponsor, occasionally someone would recognize a child and smile or turn to their companion and point to the child. I realized this symbolizes a Child Ambassador’s heart, and in many ways, God’s heart for children. They care so deeply for each child’s well-being that they search them out from among the crowd and react with delight when they find them. (©2018 World Vision/photo by Chris Huber)

Tomas Gonzalez Cruz, 68, left, and his granddaughter, Kimberly Montalvo Gonzalez, 23, fill their family’s generator with gasoline by the light of a portable solar lamp behind their house near Utuado, Puerto Rico. Like many in rural areas, Tomas’ family lived without electricity and clean water for months after hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated the island territory. Ultimately, they survived 11 months without power. The nearly 5 gallons of fuel per day allowed them to care for the two special needs adults and extended family living with them, but proved very costly. Tomas’ wife Ana moved me with her faith and determination in the midst of their struggle. “I was born here, grew up here, raised my kids here,” Ana says. “We’re also pastors. We have to stay and face the situation because so many others lost everything.”

Tomas Gonzalez Cruz, 68, left, and his granddaughter, Kimberly Montalvo Gonzalez, 23, fill their family’s generator with gasoline by the light of a portable solar lamp behind their house near Utuado, Puerto Rico. Like many in rural areas, Tomas’ family lived without electricity and clean water for months after hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated the island territory. Ultimately, they survived 11 months without power. The nearly 5 gallons of fuel per day allowed them to care for the two special needs adults and extended family living with them, but proved very costly. Tomas’ wife Ana moved me with her faith and determination in the midst of their struggle. “I was born here, grew up here, raised my kids here,” Ana says. “We’re also pastors. We have to stay and face the situation because so many others lost everything.” (©2018 World Vision/photo by Chris Huber)

Students, including sponsored children, pray together during a meeting of the Bible club at Itumblule Primary School in Kalawa, Kenya. Here they sing, learn Bible verses, hear the Word of God, and plant and care for fruit trees. World Vision supports 40 such Bible clubs in Kalawa schools. Over and over again this year, all over the world, I've watched children deep in prayer, completely aware of how dependent they are on God. As Jesus said in Luke 18:16, the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.

Students, including sponsored children, pray together during a meeting of the Bible club at Itumblule Primary School in Kalawa, Kenya. Here they sing, learn Bible verses, hear the Word of God, and plant and care for fruit trees. World Vision supports 40 such Bible clubs in Kalawa schools. Over and over again this year, all over the world, I’ve watched children deep in prayer, completely aware of how dependent they are on God. As Jesus said in Luke 18:16, the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. (©2018 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

This isn't the typical photo found in our yearly favorites, but this one in particular showcases a landmark moment for the staff of World Vision U.S. — the anointing of and prayer over our new president, Edgar Sandoval Sr., by President Emeritus Rich Stearns; John Crosby, chair of the search committee; and Joan Singleton, World Vision U.S. board chair. New presidents don't come like clockwork for World Vision; Edgar is only the sixth since Bob Pierce founded World Vision in 1950.

This isn’t the typical photo found in our yearly favorites, but this one in particular showcases a landmark moment for the staff of World Vision U.S. — the anointing of and prayer over our new president, Edgar Sandoval Sr., by President Emeritus Rich Stearns; John Crosby, chair of the search committee; and Joan Singleton, World Vision U.S. board chair. New presidents don’t come like clockwork for World Vision; Edgar is only the sixth since Bob Pierce founded World Vision in 1950. (©2018 World Vision/photo by Heather Klinger)

This was one of those rare moments when my lack of running speed paid off. Zambian children sprinted across the fields to get to the World Vision reading program. These three girls ran arm-in-arm and were so adorable, so I wanted to get their picture. Since I couldn’t catch up to them, I have lots of pictures of their backs. But then, they slowed down for a moment and two of the girls looked over their shoulders. Those glances welcomed me into their world.

This was one of those rare moments when my lack of running speed paid off. Zambian children sprinted across the fields to get to the World Vision reading program. These three girls ran arm-in-arm and were so adorable, so I wanted to get their picture. Since I couldn’t catch up to them, I have lots of pictures of their backs. But then, they slowed down for a moment and two of the girls looked over their shoulders. Those glances welcomed me into their world. (©2018 World Vision/photo by Laura Reinhardt)

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