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We Are One But We’re Not the Same

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I’ve been listening to U2 in the van as we bounce down dusty roads in rural Sri Lanka. It just fits for the kinds of things we’re doing here.

I met the two boys we sponsor today. I gave them soccer balls and we played. Me, the Christian woman in pants, C a Buddhist, and M a Muslim.

me and the kids

kids in sunglassesC loves to draw and has a little brother who takes his things, just like my boys.

C's family and IM loves to play cricket and volleyball and his mom told me, with a roll of her eyes, that he doesn’t help out much.

Me and M's familThey were magnetized by the Angry Birds game on Tony’s phone, and we took pictures of ourselves with the Polaroid camera. They promised to draw me pictures and send them. I promised to send copies of the photos we took and pictures my kids drew.

talking with M and his mom

I learned that M’s community needs water in a bad way. They have to carry it 2 kilometers one way (over 1 mile), or purchase it at very high rates. C’s community needs jobs that women can do at home so they can care for the children. He just took a scholarship exam, to get some help paying school expenses. His mother couldn’t for the past two months because she needed to take him to exam-prep classes.

I am struck by how much these mothers care about their children’s futures. They are just like me in all the ways that matter, but they are not like me in so many other ways that matter. They have only dreadful options like going hungry and thirsty to pay for education.

That’s the painful truth, isn’t it? The people here, on the other side of the world, are just like us. They may wear different clothes and speak another language, but they are fathers and mothers just like us, with sons and daughters just like ours. They know that life can be better, they know that a good education is the way up, and they are working as hard as they can to make a way for their children. But they can’t do it alone. They don’t have the same resources or supports that we do.

M's mom and I

That’s where we come in. We can help. We can partner with them, with their community councils, and with World Vision to provide their villages with clean water, quality education, vocational training, alternative income-generation activities, and food security (this means a stable source of good nutrition, like a home garden or raising chickens, goats, or dairy cattle).

We’re one, but we’re not the same. We’ve got to carry each other. Carry each other.

Share Joy - Sponsor a Child in Sri Lanka

Sponsor a child today.

Don’t miss any post from the team. Read more of the story here:

Shawn Smucker

Roxy at Roxy Composed

Tony Jones of Theoblogy

Laura at Hollywood Housewife

Joy of Joy in This Journey

Allison of O My Family

Matthew Paul Turner

Darrell of Stuff Fundies Like

The World Vision Blog

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  1. Beautifully done, Joy. Thank you.

  2. Those pictures speak as loud as your words, Joy. I can’t imagine being a mom who didn’t have options for her children. We are so blessed.

    Praying for you, friend.

  3. I think you convey well the dreams and aspirations of so many parents around the world who do not have the choices we have in our Western world. I think we forget when we demonise folks across the world without really knowing them that there are many who also love their children too and want the best for them, the same as we do.

  4. The only difference is where we were born…not a choice any of us makes. Keep the stories coming, they’re great!

  5. Loved catching up your posts ~ it is wonderful to hear your thoughts & experiences. As Kelly says above – we do have options for our children here. And water. ~CA

  6. Anne McCoy says:

    You’re doing a great work for those kids joy. God bless you so much. I love the pictures.

  7. This is an amazing story!

  8. Amazing pictures – such a great post. You are so right on. <3


  1. […] This post originally appeared on Joy’s blog, Joy in this Journey. […]

  2. […] I saw how it touched our sponsored boys’ moms that I, a stranger from the other side of the world, cared enough about them and their sons to bring them presents and partner with them to help them make a better future. They are just like me, when someone cares enough about my children to invest in them. My breath catches in my throat when I remember playing ball with those boys. […]