In 2016, I had the opportunity to travel with One Vision to Piripiri, Brazil, where a new church was being planted. Our main purpose for going was to host a VBS and we went from school to school to share our testimonies with the kids and invite them to the event. Ultimately, we were able to use this time to introduce the community to this new church.
One of the things that struck me about this small community was how almost competitive it felt because of its predominately Catholic tradition. Instead of churches working together for the promotion of the gospel, it felt like every man for himself. Few churches were setting the example of Christ for the people of Piripiri, which is why it's so critical to continue ministering to them. Coming back from this trip, it really put everything into perspective. I can see the blessings that we have here which we so often take for granted. People in places like Piripiri go without many of the conveniences we have, yet they live their lives with such joy and intention. It shows me the trap of materialism that we so often fall into and that robs us of the necessity of true dependency on Christ. Going to Brazil helped me to change the lens through which I view Christ and to focus in on his calling.
I have the blessing of sponsoring two children through One Vision. This opportunity is so special to me because it allows us to have a personal connection with specific children in these communities of Brazil and the DR. I love that we get updates on how the children are doing and that I have a picture of each of my children hung up in my house. I just feel so connected to these kids, as if they're truly a part of my family. It's such a rewarding experience to have a direct impact on a specific life. Sadly, I haven't gotten the chance to meet my sponsor kids yet, but I'm hoping to go next year to do exactly that!
Through sponsoring two children, God has shown me how universal his love is. I feel like it sometimes gets lost in all the blessings that we experience here, but it's overwhelming to see his grace and mercy overflowing for these children. I get emotional just thinking about how much he's working in the lives of people who truly need it.
To me, One Vision is truly an organization that is different. They focus on developing long-term relationships in order to make a long-term impact in the communities in which they work. This is so crucial, especially considering how many organizations apply a one-and-done mentality to their trips. I can especially see this in the Seed Project, One Vision's sponsorship program in Brazil. The Seed Project primarily works in the lives of the children in the sponsorship program, but it also uses the children to reach their own parents and bring them into a relationship where they'll be exposed to the love of Christ daily.
- Sherry Bryan