Seven reasons to have hope in 2018

by World Vision on January 10, 2018


Hope is infectious, even healing. But in a world that’s often dark, what is there to be hopeful for? Here are 7 reasons to have hope right now in 2018 — and how to pray.
 

 

‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’Jeremiah 29:11
 

1. Cheru will soon walk minutes instead of miles for water that will no longer make her sick.

Even at age 5, Cheru knows her mother worries about water and struggles to carry enough for their daily needs, despite making the round-trip trek twice a day. So every day, Cheru picks up her kettle and walks the 6.88 kilometers (4.27 miles) to fill it. “I help my mother,” she says. (©2017 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

Last spring, we walked the Global 6K for Water with 5-year-old Cheru Lotuliapus, whose daily life in Kenya was consumed with finding water. The effects of this life meant Cheru and so many other girls and women in sub-Saharan Africa were not able to live up to their potential.

Today, World Vision is working in West Pokot County to bring access to clean water to Cheru’s community. So this spring, a standpipe will bring fresh water to Cheru and her family, just steps from where her mother cooks, washes clothes, and prepares tea.

Loving Father, we ask for Your blessings on children, mothers, fathers, and communities who are thirsty. Purify, protect, and multiply their water sources. Strengthen their resolve so they may fully enjoy the benefits of clean water — essentials like education, gardens of fresh produce, and good health. We give thanks for water engineers who work tirelessly around the world to bring girls like Cheru clean water and a new lease on life.
 

2. We can solve the global water and sanitation crisis within our lifetimes.

About 835 children under 5 die every day from diarrhea caused by contaminated water, poor sanitation, and improper hygiene. So the sixth of 17 Sustainable Development Goals created by the United Nations includes achieving universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all by 2030.

World Vision is the largest nongovernmental provider of clean water in the developing world, reaching one new person with clean water every 10 seconds. We are increasing our impact and scope to reach everyone, everywhere we work by 2030. Churches like yours are making this possible by becoming host sites for the Global 6K for Water this spring.

Faithful God, help World Vision to bring clean water to those who desperately need it, and work in hearts to reveal the living water we can receive from You.
 

3. Since the Syrian refugee crisis began in 2011, World Vision has helped millions of people in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq.

Internationally recognized as the worst humanitarian crisis of our time, the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis will enter its eighth year in March. Yet amidst the conflict and hardship, governments are allocating funds to meet this humanitarian emergency, churches are raising a cry of prayer and support for people in desperate circumstances, and people worldwide are finding a way to engage meaningfully for the sake of Syrian children and their families.

“This is what gives me hope — seeing people from all over the world caring enough to help,” says Eyad, a mechanical engineer turned aid worker in Syria. “There is still goodness in this world.”

Good Shepherd, You see Syrians’ needs with a tender heart. Awaken us to the needs of Syrian children and their mothers and fathers. Let us not grow weary in doing what is right and good in Your eyes. Remind us to engage on their behalf as we would if it were our own families who were suffering.
 

4. Communities are beginning to recover and rebuild after Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

The 2017 hurricane season in the Caribbean and Atlantic regions was one of historic proportions, bringing some of the strongest and wettest storms on record in hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. World Vision responded to all three disasters, sending dozens of semi truckloads of relief and rebuilding supplies to communities in the Houston area; Immokalee, Florida; and various sites in Puerto Rico to help some of the worst-affected storm survivors.

As of Dec. 8, World Vision through local churches and partners have helped more than 181,000 people with food, water, hygiene kits, flood clean-up kits, tents, tarps, cash assistance, and other household necessities. World Vision’s goal isn’t only to be the “first in” when responding to the most urgent humanitarian crises, but also be the last out — seeing families and communities through hardship to restoration. Thanks to a generous church partner, World Vision also opened a warehouse in Houston to provide supplies to sustain recovery efforts for the foreseeable future.

Jesus, we thank You for offering hope to those suffering from disaster — the hurricane survivor, the refugee, the family facing famine.
 

5. Children like Constance are experiencing God’s love.

World Vision is empowering local churches, schools, and parents to create engaging, faith-filled environments that help children and youth like 11-year-old Constance from Kenya explore their faith and experience Jesus’ love.

“It felt so nice when the preacher said that we had been forgiven our sins,” says Constance. The sermon she heard that day made her realize she wanted to commit her life to serving Christ. She’s an active member of her Bible club, and now after participating in leadership training from World Vision, she talks to her peers about God and their faith journeys. She has grown in her own faith, as well as in her self-esteem.

Jesus, Your love changes hearts. As children learn to follow You more closely, may they find their value in Your grace. Help them love people around them in ways that point them to You.
 

6. Extreme poverty is giving up ground.

In the last 20 years, the number of children dying around the world from things they shouldn’t — from hunger and poverty and disease — has dropped from more than 30,000 a day to just under 16,000. And the number of people living in extreme poverty, those living on less than $1.90 a day, dropped by more than 1 billion. Now the world’s nations have set an ambitious goal of eliminating extreme poverty by 2030, and we are joinging them in this important work.

Merciful Provider, we thank You for all You have done to make fullness of life possible for people in need around the world. Support us in our critical endeavor of freeing children from the effects of extreme poverty.
 

7. As one of the largest Christian humanitarian organizations in the world, World Vision has the infrastructure, experience, and relationships needed to bring about lasting change.

Our 42,000 staff worldwide — 95 percent of them working in their home regions — apply 67 years of field work to transforming lives. We work in more than 1,600 program areas in nearly 100 countries, including the U.S. Our integrated model addresses the many causes of poverty, and our tailored approach is community-based and community-owned.

Savior, You have prepared this good work for us to do. Thank You for the churches who share their resources so together we can help empower the poor. Show them what amazing things their love offerings are doing in the lives of children in need around the world. Bless them as they bless the poor.

 Previously published on the World Vision blog.

 
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