Last evening, I went to hear Renee Stearns, wife of World Vision president Rich Stearns, speak to a group of women. Renee is fifty-something, a mother of five, ages 31-18, an attorney, a Bible study teacher and student, and…she’s funny! Really, really funny.
For example, when asked about her children, she mentioned each one and their age/marital status. Then, with a big impatient-for-grandchildren kind of sigh, she added, “They have no children yet.”
And then she forgot to mention her youngest child! I have four children, so I can empathize. Hey…it’s hard to keep track of everybody.
She told us stories of individuals she had met through World Vision (btw, World Vision is a Christian humanitarian charity organization, founded in 1950, that serves close to 100 million people in nearly 100 countries around the world). Renee had a gift for taking us with her to an impoverished country and describing the circumstances of someone–a woman or a girl–caught in a terrible spiral of poverty and injustice. As World Vision came alongside to help, the woman’s life was forever changed.
Story after story.
When asked what makes the biggest impact on women in Third World Countries, Renee quickly answered, “Education and self-esteem. If a woman can get an education, she wants more for herself. In turn, she wants more for her daughters. Little by little, a culture is changed.”
Much of World Vision’s focus is on ending human trafficking…particularly, for children.
Renee made a comment that has rolled around in my mind today: “I know many wonderful people who have very small worlds. We need to help others open their eyes to a hurting world.”
She gave wonderful suggestions to help parents spark an interest in missions for their children. The magazine writer in me was starting an article as she spoke!
Tonight, Renee is speaking over at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church’s Mountain View “Open Door” campus. If you can go hear her, you’ll be glad you did. Even on a dark, rainy night like tonight threatens to be. She’s that special.
And if you’re interested in learning more about World Vision, go to www.worldvision.org.