19 Reasons to Have Hope in 2019
Hope is infectious, even healing. But in a world that’s often dark, what is there to be hopeful for? Here are 19 reasons to have hope in 2019 — and how to pray for the needs that remain!
1. 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 less than 15,000. And the number of people living in extreme poverty has 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 joining them in this important work. Every 60 seconds … a family gets water … a hungry child is fed … a family receives the tools to overcome poverty.
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 more children from the effects of extreme poverty.
2. We are 99% of the way to eradicating polio globally
Unlike most diseases, polio can be completely eradicated because it cannot survive for long periods outside of the human body. Right now, this crippling and potentially fatal disease is nearing eradication. In 2018, there were only 29 cases globally. If eradication happens, polio will join smallpox as the only other human disease to become extinct.
Great Healer, we pray for children, families, and communities affected by polio — especially in Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean, where polio still persists. Bless the work of doctors and organisations who are working hard to eradicate this disease.
3. The end of the HIV and AIDS pandemic is in sight
AIDS-related deaths have fallen by more than 51% since the peak in 2004 when 1.9 million people died from AIDS-related causes. Countries around the world are working with the United Nations to achieve 90% of these three goals: that people living with HIV will be diagnosed, those diagnosed will be on treatment, and that it will be virally suppressed by 2020.
Almighty Deliverer, You are our strong refuge. Reach out with Your unconditional love to be a refuge and source of hope for HIV-positive men, women, and children around the world.
4. We can solve the global water crisis within our lifetimes
World Vision is the largest non-governmental provider of clean water in the developing world, reaching one new person with clean water every 10 seconds and three more schools every day with clean water. We are increasing our impact and scope to reach everyone, everywhere we work by 2030.
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.
5. Cheru will walk minutes instead of miles for water that will no longer make her sick
Even at age 5, Cheru knew her mother worried about water and struggled to carry enough for their daily needs, despite making the round-trip trek twice a day. So every day, Cheru picked up her kettle and walked 6.88 km to fill it.
Today, World Vision is working in Cheru's community to bring access to clean water, so a standpipe will bring fresh water to Cheru and her family, only steps from where her mother cooks, washes clothes, and prepares tea.
Loving Father, 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. We ask for Your blessings on children, mothers, fathers, and communities who are thirsty. Purify, protect, and multiply their water sources. Enable them to fully enjoy the benefits of clean water: gardens of fresh produce, good health and more.
6. World Vision has partnered with other organisations to launch a global partnership to End Violence Against Children
Together, we are supporting the efforts of those seeking to prevent violence, protect childhood, and help make societies safe for children. By 2030, we hope to end abuse, exploitation, trafficking, and all forms of violence and torture against children.
Loving God, reach out Your helping, healing, and loving hands to keep children safe from harm. Bless this work to protect Your children.
7. Men in India are taking a stand against a harmful tradition — child marriage — that has tarnished the worth of girls for centuries
Instead of conforming to a skewed understanding of a girl’s worth — merely as a profit-and-loss commodity — Men Care Groups in India educate and equip men on the inherent value of women and girls. Members of this World Vision programme also support one another in leading their families with empathy and encouragement, convincing other community members not to marry off their teenage daughters.
Wonderful Counselor, show Your compassion to the multitudes of girls and women who endure the damaging physical and relational effects of child marriage. Reveal alternatives to parents or change the hearts of those who consider giving up their daughters for social status or financial gain.
8. We are working toward a more open, inclusive, and fair world for people with disabilities by 2030
Individuals with disabilities can face a lot of barriers — in their living environment, in the form of outdated laws and policies, and in the attitudes and prejudices of people in their community. But now, five of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals created by the United Nations address needs in sectors such as education, economic growth, employment, governance, and infrastructure. World Vision operates disability-specific programming as well as disability-inclusive programming around the world.
Infinite Comforter, equip community leaders, families, and Your followers as they support children with disabilities. May we continue to focus on meeting the needs of people who are vulnerable due to physical and mental limitations.
9. Rosemary doesn’t know the hunger and hardship her family did
This 9-year-old from Moyo, Zambia, knows of contentment — about plenty, learning, sharing, and being free to follow her dream of being a chef. Five World Vision Gift Catalogue goats, her family’s hard work, and child sponsorship helped to lift her and her family out of poverty.
Gracious Lord, we sing Your praise, giving thanks for Your blessings in the lives of people around the world like Rosemary and her family. May we carry Your hope within us.
10. Innovative technology is transforming remote communities around the world
Mobile technology and other innovations allow humanitarian organisations to work better and smarter, improving efficiencies so more resources can help people in poverty and communities in crisis. World Vision is expanding our efforts to apply new methods and technologies for development work. For example, the Last Mile Mobile Solutions that World Vision developed is being used by a dozen other organisations, and it is revolutionising how disaster survivors receive food, cash assistance and relief supplies in their time of greatest need!
Alpha and Omega, we express our gratitude for new knowledge and technology. May we continue to learn more to further help Your children.
11. Restored relationships and lives are possible — even in the worst of situations
In April 1994, when Rwanda erupted into violence, neighbor turned on neighbor, family turned on family, and love turned to hate. The genocide turned friends, like Andrew and Callixte, into enemies.
After Callixte was part of a group that killed Andrew’s wife’s entire family, Andrew turned him in to the authorities. Callixte was imprisoned. Yet after going through training in peace and reconciliation, the two men are as close as brothers again.
Merciful Redeemer, we thank You that Andrew and Callixte are no longer prisoners of their pain. Each new day reminds us of Your grace and the hope found in You.
12. Since the Syrian refugee crisis began in 2011, World Vision has helped millions of people in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq
Internationally recognised as the worst humanitarian crisis of our time, the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis will enter its ninth year. Yet amid 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 World Vision 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.
13. Communities in Sulawesi, Indonesia are recovering and rebuilding after the earthquake and tsunami
When an earthquake of magnitude 7.4 hit Central Sulawesi on 28 September 2018, massive destruction in Donggala, Palu and Mamuju was caused. A 2-metre high tsunami struck the coast in the aftershocks. According to reports, more than 2.4 million people were affected: 2,101 people died, 133,631 people were displaced, 4,438 were seriously injured and 1,373 went missing.
Six months after the disaster, families are on the road to recovery. A total of 194,947 people have benefitted from interventions such as food assistance, child-friendly spaces, shelter and hygiene kits, temporary classes and more.
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.
Jesus, we thank You for offering hope to those suffering from disasters all over the world — the earthquake survivor, the refugee, the family facing famine.
14. Jennifer Nyirmbe is back in church
After her baby died during a home birth that resulted in complications from an obstetric fistula, 21-year-old Jennifer would only pray outside her church in Uganda. She felt she couldn’t step inside for fear of losing control of her bladder. World Vision brought surgeons specialising in fistula repair to Jennifer’s community. Her surgery was successful. The Sunday afterward, Jennifer was back at church — this time inside.
Sovereign Lord, thank You for healing Jennifer and other women of fistulas in Uganda.
15. 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 our sins had been forgiven,” says Constance. The sermon she heard that day made her realise she wanted to commit her life to serve 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.
16. The standard for a basic education has changed from simply attending school to ensuring students can read, write, and do basic math
World Vision’s education programs prioritise equitable access for all and measurable learning outcomes, so we can ensure children have the education they deserve — and a solid start to reach their God-given potential. And with 1 in 4 children living in a country grappling with humanitarian crises, we are providing education along the continuum from disaster relief to development.
Righteous King, You created every one of Your children with great potential. May we empower every child to achieve their best and walk into Your plan for them.
17. Moms around the world are tapping into their vast potential
With help from World Vision, moms around the world are raising, harvesting, and preparing food to make their children healthy and their communities more prosperous. We’re equipping them with the economic tools and training they need to build a brighter financial future.
Wise Father, thank You for inspiring people to invest in the futures of moms so children and communities can thrive.
18. As one of the largest Christian humanitarian organisations in the world, World Vision has the infrastructure, experience, and relationships needed to bring about lasting change
Together we’ve impacted the lives of over 200 million vulnerable children by tackling the root causes of poverty. Our nearly 40,000 staff worldwide — 95% of them working in their home regions — apply 68 years of relief, development, and advocacy work to transform lives. We work in more than 1,600 programme areas in nearly 100 countries. 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 people who share their resources so we can help empower the poor. Show them what amazing things their gifts are doing in the lives of children in need around the world. Bless them as they honour You by blessing the poor.
19. Because of our community-focused solutions, for every child you help, four more children benefit, too
Seven-year-old Debby and her friends live in Zambia, and although only Debby is sponsored, they are all benefitting from child sponsorship. Debby’s best friend, 12-year-old Brendah — like every child in the community, sponsored or not — has access to clean water. Five-year-old Adam benefits from the new health facility, a necessity for a little boy battling stomach trouble. Debby’s neighbor, 11-year-old Lightwell, goes everywhere with a book in his hand and attends World Vision’s reading camp, held on weekends. Eleven-year-old Beatrice is as funny and feisty as her friend, Debby. She and her family benefit from World Vision’s agriculture work.
Kind Father, help us show Your love to children like Debby and her friends. Thank You for multiplying the effect of child sponsorship to impact many more of Your children. Empower children, families, and their communities to stand tall, free from poverty.