Advent: The Manger Places
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. ~Isaiah 9:2
During this Advent time of year, my heart is full of amazement—amazement that our Savior was born in a humble stable. And amazement that this same baby invites us to be part of His work in proclaiming the Gospel of love, reconciliation, and salvation to those living in the land of deep darkness.
Through six and a half decades World Vision has been on the front lines of relief and development work, all the while shining the great light of the Gospel. World Vision goes to the humble places. They go to the dark places. They go to the hard places.
In the early 1950s, World Vision could not turn their back on the “throw-away” children left behind in the Korean War. In the late 70s World Vision would not stand by and allow boat people to perish in the South China Sea. In the 80s, World Vision waded into the complex AIDS pandemic and unplugged stigma and cared for the ill and the orphan children. Last year, World Vision intervened in the dangerous ebola zone and brought healing and stopped the spread of disease. In this current season, World Vision is not flinching at the idea of serving children and families in conflict zones, helping all peoples, even those of faiths opposed to our own.
World Vision cares about the children who labor in silence in garment factories and fish markets. World Vision values the lives of women and girls who have been trafficked and raped and exploited so badly their own families have disowned them. World Vision goes to the most remote places on the planet and figures out a way to bring clean water to a village.
World Vision goes to the manger places. World Vision goes to the Bethlehems of the world. Out of the way, but never insignificant.
World Vision is grateful for each one of you who has chosen to go to the humble and dark places with us. I pray for you this Christmas that you will enjoy the blessings of the Baby in the manger and rejoice at the Good News birthed in Bethlehem.