On Wednesday I talked about my family’s decision to sponsor a child in Armenia. What I did not mention, as a last minute deletion, is how we came to that decision.
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization that I’ve long thought about supporting. My mom has sponsored a total of four children for the past 20+ years and it’s something I’d always hoped to do at some point. You get to hang that child’s picture on your fridge and know that you are making a difference in that one life.
Earlier this week World Vision, and organization that has strict rules of conduct for their employees, announced that they were now going to allow the hiring of people who are in same sex marriages. As you can imagine, the backlash was swift and fierce. Several organizations called upon their followers to transition their support away from World Vision.
As I watched this unfold, and thought about the real victims of that kind of a decrease in support, I knew I had to do something. In my opinion, World Vision’s decision to be inclusive is a good, sound, and Christian one. I thought of all of the children who would lose their sponsors and realized I could help by stepping up to sponsor a child myself.
I found that precious little boy from Armenia, signed-up, and sent my first email to him. I planned for a fun weekend during which we could put together a little package to send his way full of colored pencils, paper, and stickers. My heart was full and I was so proud that my family was able to do this.
That is…until later in that same day when I learned that World Vision had reversed their decision. I felt so deflated. They claim to have spent years praying on the matter before deciding to be more inclusive and then it took a matter of a day or two for them to cave. What a shame.
It amazes me that in 2014, we are still living in a society made up of us and them. The people who make up “them” seems to change, but the blatant discrimination remains the same. The damage it does to a community is so widespread. I will never understand it.
My first inclination was to immediately withdraw my sponsorship. Because let’s be clear. I’m not interested in supporting organizations that discriminate. Then I realized that if I did pull my sponsorship, I’d be doing exactly what others were threatening when they disagreed with World Vision’s initial announcement. Again…sadly…the people who will suffer are the kids.
I’m left feeling incredibly disappointed with World Vision, but also wanting to do what I can to make this little boy’s life just a little bit brighter by supporting him as he grows into a young man.
I’m so sad that fear turned what could have been a fabulous new chapter in World Vision’s history into a big fat debacle.