A trip to Seattle

October 19, 2014 | Janie

You may remember that our area recently gained a new World Vision child ambassador. Yay, Barb!

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Barb Holmberg has a tender heart for children and would love to link more of us living here in East Central, MN with children living in extreme poverty, most especially—but not limited to—the children of Kivuruga, Rwanda.

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Barb recently traveled to Seattle, WA for World Vision’s annual Child Ambassadors Conference. When she asked me if I would like to go along, I couldn’t get my “Yes!” out fast enough. I had actually been wanting to visit Seattle, a place I hadn’t seen since the 1962 Worlds’s Fair. Sixth grade. Family vacation. Good times.

The reality is that the Space Needle is pretty much all I remember. Barb and I, and Barb’s former college roommate (who now lives in Washington and guided our “tour”) caught a tiny glimpse of this famous icon from atop the Great Wheel, a giant ferris wheel that provides spectacular views of the waterfront.

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Of course, caffeination was a “must” at the very first Starbucks. That’s Barb and her friend, Gracia.

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But more than Seattle what I really wanted to see was World Vision’s headquarters.

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I loved the greeting printed just above the main doors.

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Special bonus: attendance at the conference included a tour.

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I was especially thrilled that our first speaker was none other than one of my (blush) heroes, Richard Stearns, president of World Vision and author of The Hole in Our Gospel. Let’s just say that Stearns’ message did not disappoint.

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Other highlights included group sessions focused on World Vision’s child protection theme for this next year. Because many millions of children are exploited worldwide through child labor and sex trafficking, the slogan for the year ahead is: “Defend childhood—change how the story ends.”

And because of an urgent emailed request from a WV staff member, we also filled backpacks for children in a Syrian refugee camp in need of school supplies—

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which, of course, brought to mind our recent Medical Kit Build held locally just a couple weeks ago.

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There are several other kits that can be put together. In addition to Caregiver Kits,

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and School Tools Kits,

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there are Hygiene Kits

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and Promise Packs.

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Perhaps your business, organization, youth group, or church would be interested in hosting a Kit Build? If so, please contact Brynn Esbenshade at besbenshade@worldvision.org, or call Brynn at 800.478.5481.

What a wonderful few days we had in the Pacific Northwest. To rub shoulders with dozens of caring women and men from all over the country who are committed to helping hurting kids was quite an honor. There were a couple child ambassadors I found particularly interesting, but more about their unique impact in the next post!