World Vision and the Gospel

 

Occasionally people ask me if World Vision is really a “Christian organization.” For some feeding the poor and caring for orphans and widows isn”t enough… they want to be sure the Gospel is being preached as well. I understand the concern. While World Vision”s primary mission is to address the root causes of poverty, as a Christian organization, it might encourage you to know they are also pro-active in spreading the Gospel in other ways as well.

This email came in from one of World Vision”s church relations team members traveling in Ethiopia, and I thought you”d really enjoy hearing it, too:

We visited a community that over 10 years ago was holding a 40-day prayer vigil. On day 37, they received a “word from the Lord” that an organization was coming to their area to help them preach the Gospel and save lives. Within a few months, World Vision began work in a village near where they prayed. When WV arrived in the village there were three Christians meeting underground because of persecution. They had been beaten and even jailed for their faith. World Vision began its work with the poor in the name of Jesus living out the Gospel and pointing people to Christ. Today, there are four churches in this village with over 1,000 in attendance. The surrounding community where the church met to pray has¬†grown from four churches to over 70 and there are 30,000 Believers. The lead pastor over these churches told me it was WV that was responsible for teaching them how to spread the Gospel. He said that it”s easy to preach the Gospel, but it”s hard to live it and that”s what World Vision does. Last year, World Vision partnered with the local churches to hold an evangelistic outreach to the entire community. They trained hundreds of volunteers to go from house to house sharing the Gospel and 850 people accepted Christ. World Vision provided funding and leadership for this campaign – it”s a modern day revival.”

I think this is pretty cool! You can be a part of this great work by sponsoring a child!

 

Chuck Neighbors

6 thoughts on “World Vision and the Gospel

  1. ctaya says:

    Take religion out of charity. Don’t prey on those who are weak and vulnerable.

    Just do the charity out of a caring heart on human suffering.

    Reply
    1. Chuck Neighbors says:

      While I can understand that some outside the Christian faith (not sure if you are or not) would hold your viewpoint, to suggest that we “take religion out of charity” would negate the very reason so many of us give in the first place. We give in response to our faith. We give as an act of love and hope from a caring heart in response to what God has done for us. We give as an act of obedience, as our faith reminds us repeatedly to remember the poor. If you strip away those who give to charity because of their “religion” you would see a drastic reduction in charitable giving across the board. Far from preying on those who are “weak and vulnerable,” our giving is a way of rescuing and giving hope to those who are weak and vulnerable.

      As your linked article correctly points out, World Vision does not proselytize, they do however partner with many organizations to help the poor. Some humanitarian agencies, some government agencies, and yes, some religions organizations (and not always even Christian). Part of the mission of World Vision is give hope, and as a Christian, there is no better source of hope that that found in our faith.

      As the article also points out there are other charities you can support if having your giving connected to your faith is not for you. By all means support those if that is your choice. But don’t discourage others from supporting with a response that matches their faith.

      Reply
  2. Steve says:

    Is “World Vision” a Christian organization? I always thought, or assumed they were! We have been giving money to world vision now for close to 10 years. We just received our Spring/Summer 2016 “Gift Catalog” and I read the magazine, all 35 pages from cover to cover and did not find my Savior’s name anywhere in the magazine. WHY? Psalm 127:1 says, “Unless the Lord builds the house,
    They labor in vain who build it;” Why isn’t Jesus’ name anywhere? This is not a Spirit-led organization as I see it and I can no longer support you in any way.

    Reply
    1. Chuck Neighbors says:

      Hi Steve,
      While I am not an employee of World Vision I have partnered with them for many years. I have been to the field to see their work first hand. I can state unequivilently that I believe the organization to be a Christian organization, both by their own description of their work and in the actions I have witnessed. They may not be as “evangelical” as some would like them to be… there are other charities that are probably more so than World Vision. But they are unashamed in their identification as a “Christian” humanitarian organization. I am sorry to hear that you feel you can no longer support their work based on not finding a mention of Jesus in their gift catalog, which is only one small aspect of the greater work that this ministry does. Do you get the regular World Vision magazine? In those stories I know you would find testimony to validify their Christian identity.

      Reply
    2. Lorie Neighbors says:

      Steve, I too just received the spring/summer ’16 gift catalog from World Vision and I have to challenge your comment about not finding your Savior’s name anywhere in the magazine. I just read through the catalog and found many references to God/Christ:
      p. 2 “shining God’s Light” “sharing His love”
      p. 4 “…share the love of Jesus–the Lamb of God” plus a Bible verse at the bottom of the page
      p. 8 Bible verse at the bottom of the page
      p. 9 in a donor quote: “I am passionate about the work you are doing in our Lord’s name.”
      p. 10 line from Christian hymn
      p. 11 Eggs may be God’s perfect food
      p. 12 Bible verse at the bottom of the page
      p. 13 Bible verse at the bottom of the page
      p. 14 Bible verse at the bottom of the page
      p. 19 from donor quote: “opportunity to give back in tangible ways to God’s children.”
      p. 20 Bible verse at the bottom of the page
      p. 22 Bible verse at the bottom of the page
      p. 24 Bible verse at the bottom of the page
      p. 26 Bible verse at the bottom of the page
      p. 28 1/4 of page relates to Bibles! “Share the story of Jesus and the glory of God’s work” “Sunday School: children discovering God’s love” plus Bible verse at the bottom of the page
      p. 30 Bible verse at the bottom of the page
      p. 32 Bible verse at the bottom of the page

      Reply

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