2009: The year that was

By Jane Sutton-Redner

As a new year—and decade—dawns around the globe, there’s just barely time for a quick look back at 2009. Here are some of the highs, lows, and notable events of our year.

Gaza

January: World Vision provided emergency aid for children and families in Gaza after weeks of intense fighting between Hamas and Israeli forces. 

February: World Vision U.S. President Rich Stearns was invited to join the 25-member advisory council for the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

March: Rich Stearns’ first book, The Hole in Our Gospel, hit bookstores. 

April: World Vision provided food and other aid for civilians displaced by Sri Lanka’s civil war. Here in the U.S., World Vision generated “buzz” about a global killer on World Malaria Day (Apr. 25). Also, Ryan Smith got married. 

Pakistan

May: Max Lucado traveled with Rich Stearns, Kari Costanza, Jon Warren, and others to Ethiopia. Meanwhile, World Vision provided relief to families displaced by fighting in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. 

June: Emergency relief efforts targeted families affected by Cyclone Aila in Bangladesh and India. Plus, a great birthday present for James Addis—a newborn son. 

July: Former U.S. first lady Laura Bush and MLB great Rick Sutcliffe joined Congressman Don Payne, U.N. Envoy Ray Chambers, and Malaria No More CEO Scott case on World Vision’s Malaria Advisory Council. And more than 100 teens converged on Washington, D.C., for World Vision’s Youth Empowerment Summit

August: This blog launched with Kari Costanza’s and Jon Warren’s reports and photos from Burundi and Rwanda

India

September: The Furniture Row racecar emblazoned with World Vision’s logo whizzed around the track at the NASCAR Chevy Rock & Roll 400 event. And in a terrible month for natural disasters, earthquakes struck Indonesia, typhoons lashed the Philippines and Vietnam, parts of India flooded, and a major tsunami devastated American Samoa

October: World Vision responded to the unprecedented number of Asia disasters. Also, some 1,200 Team World Vision runners completed the Chicago Marathon, raising more than $800,000 for Africa water projects. 

November: World Vision’s global Child Health Now campaign launched. Mike Ryan’s new baby boy arrived in time for Thanksgiving. And tragically, two World Vision staff members, Dr. Azami and Fairaidoon Rasooly, died in a vehicle accident in Ghor Province, Afghanistan. 

Child health

December: On World AIDS Day (Dec. 1), World Vision raised awareness about mother-to-child HIV transmission. A team (including Kari Costanza’s husband, Tom) circled the globe to capture the Spirit of Christmas. And World Vision’s ACT:S College Activism Network co-hosted a learning track at Urbana09 in St. Louis.

Looking ahead to 2010, we’re working on stories about a new sponsorship opportunity in Burundi, microfinance in Mexico, and projects in North Korea. Also, this year World Vision turns 60! (But isn’t 60 the new 40?)

Blessings and thanks to all of you who assist children through World Vision. Happy New Year!

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