This October, one of Crystal O’Rourke’s dreams will come true. She will join a team of a dozen going to Ethiopia to participate in hands-on training by the global Christian humanitarian organization, World Vision.

World Vision works with children, families, and communities to overcome poverty and injustice worldwide regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.

Founded in 1950, World Vision is known for a global commitment to community development, child well-being, and disaster response—such as the recent Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Crystal O’Rourke, full-time student, and stay-at-home mom got involved with World Vision in 2009 at a Women of Faith Conference where she learned about the child sponsorship program.

 “I was immediately wrecked as I held my own four-month-old daughter and watched the struggles these kids and moms go through.”

“I was immediately wrecked as I held my own four-month-old daughter and watched the struggles these kids and moms go through. I went out to the concourse and found my first sponsor child, Tumelo, a little boy from Lesotho, a small country in Africa,” Crystal said.

Since then, Crystal and her husband, Patrick, a hospice Chaplain, have become host site leaders to raise money through fundraisers for Team World Vision to raise money for clean water in Africa. The O’Rourke’s also serve as ambassadors which means they assist in finding sponsors for children in poverty.

After a trip to World Vision Headquarters, Crystal was certain she wanted to be involved in taking a trip to Africa to see first-hand the work she and her husband have dedicated much of their lives to.

“The trip to World Vision Headquarters, again confirmed in me that I am most satisfied and feel that God is most satisfied with me when I am serving with World Vision and fighting for the least of these,” Crystal said.

Crystal set up a Go Fund Me to help raise the money needed for the trip and put a rush on her passport. She got shots and immunizations and will start training calls to help with the trip preparations. Senior Representative and event coordinator, Don Lee, will teach Crystal a host of things such as culturally acceptable attire, language and what to expect when traveling.

Along with Crystal’s team going to Ethiopia, there will be two other groups of twelve going to Kenya and Uganda.

Once in Africa, the teams will go the local Established Area Development Programs known as ADPs where they will learn how World Vision works with the local community to build the economy.

Once they have spent time in the local EDPs, all three teams will meet in Nairobi for a 10K marathon for clean water.

“This is known as a ‘vision trip’ where we are educated and can bring back our knowledge to bring awareness of how child sponsorship works and what our organization does,” Crystal said.

Some team members will even have the privilege of meeting their sponsored children face-to-face. 

“We will be able to meet the sponsor children and get to connect with them on a personal level about the impact their sponsors make. This trip is going to be life changing,” Crystal said. “I’m asking for prayers and donations.”

To donate to the O’Rourke’s Go Fund Me

For information on World Vision or to donate to Hurricane Irma Disaster Relief

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Beckie is a wife and a mother of three grown children and two adorable cats. She is an award-winning poet, published freelance writer of magazine, website and newspaper articles as well as devotions and studies. Her desire is to see others not only know the truths of the Word of God, but to also experience them personally and practically in everyday life. Learn more about Beckie on her blog: beckielindsey16.com