From the Field

2023 life frames: Storytelling from World Vision photographers

A woman holds an open book while standing at the front of a classroom.

World Vision photographers capture stories of children and their families to inspire us to action and compassion. They capture those intimate moments that illuminate God’s grace and faithfulness as we follow Jesus’ example to show unconditional love to the poor and oppressed.

Discover what’s it like behind the scenes during some of these moments, published biannually in this year’s issues of World Vision magazine.

A young Honduran woman bends down next to a female student in a red shirt, helping her with her schoolwork.
Dassari, a former World Vision–sponsored child, now teaches in her community in Honduras. (©2021 World Vision/photo by André Guardiola)

 

The power of a letter to inspire belief

Written by Catherine Turcios

Photographed by André Guardiola, World Vision

Sony A7 III

24mm lens, 1/200 at f/4, ISO 200

*     *     *

What value could a single letter hold? I found out when I met Dassari (kneeling below). As I listened to her story, I began to connect a series of “coincidences” that were not coincidental at all. They were moments that God worked together to transform Dassari’s life.

Dassari received a letter from her World Vision sponsor, Angie, when she was 15. It arrived at a time when she was trying to face her fears and discover her passions. It’s not easy to be a teenager. It’s not always easy to live in a place like Honduras, a country impacted by disasters both natural and manmade. Getting to know the person who had believed in her for many years would be life-changing.

When Angie wrote that letter, she was a 21-year-old working as a teacher in an elementary school in the United States. In the letter, Angie described her work to Dassari. Even without a photo, the details in the letter helped Dassari imagine her sponsor in the classroom — and it kindled her imagination about her own future as well.

When I met Dassari, she was a 21-year-old schoolteacher, empowering girls by accompanying World Vision in different communities and sharing some of the training that she experienced through sponsorship.

Dassari told me she felt like she was living her sponsor’s life and making it her own. It was evident that someone had taught her to believe in herself. And for me, discovering these types of stories and witnessing moments like this — moments when you see how one person’s small action can change anoth­er’s life in a big way — makes me feel alive and inspired as well.

It all started with a letter. As chil­dren’s author Susan Lendroth says, “To write is human, to receive a letter: divine.” It’s divine what God can make possible through your interactions with others. Your words could make others believe in themselves.

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