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World Vision Captures 'Spirit of Christmas' in Global Tour

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  • World Vision Spirit of Christmas
    (Photo: World Vision)
    World Vision has traveled to five countries documenting the struggles as well as the hope found among the poor during its 2009 "Spirit of Christmas" tour. The tour ends this month.
  • World Vision Spirit of Christmas
    (Photo: World Vision)
    Tot Pok, 16, from Cambodia shares his story to World Vision. The humanitarian organization has traveled to five countries documenting the struggles as well as the hope found among the poor during its 2009 "Spirit of Christmas" tour. The tour ends this month.
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By Audrey Barrick, Christian Post Reporter
December 16, 2009|10:19 am

In a village outside of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, an orphaned teenage boy is taking care of his two younger siblings.

Tot Pok, 16, lost both of his parents to AIDS at an early age and was left without shelter or food.

As he told his story to World Vision, his eyes filled with tears and a sadness that affected the organization's staff as they were documenting the moment.

"When it's raining and I hear the thunder, I miss my mom the most," the young Cambodian said. "When I think about rice fields, I miss her."

Today with the support of World Vision, Tot Pok has a roof over his head, food to eat and is able to attend school and take care of his siblings. He dreams of being a teacher.

That is one of many stories World Vision has collected during its "Spirit of Christmas" tour. The Christian relief, development and advocacy organization has been on the road since Nov. 19, visiting children and families in five countries on four different continents, including New York City; Quito, Ecuador; Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Lusaka, Zambia; and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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More than 18,000 fans on the organization's Facebook page have followed the tour virtually, watching short video clips of the struggles as well as the hope found among the poor and the impact donations have been making in changing the lives of people around the world.

"Over the past five weeks, my heart has been broken by the tremendous need in the world, but I've also been inspired by the hope and perseverance of the people we've met," said Devin Hermanson, campaign manager for the tour, in a statement. "This year, we are asking for a Christmas miracle because the need in the world right now is extraordinary."

The humanitarian organization has so far raised more than $9.4 million through the World Vision Gift Catalog and hopes to raise a record $25 million by the end of the journey. If the goal is reached, nearly 625,000 people would be aided.

Fans on Facebook have expressed their support with donations and prayers. One of the traveling team's videographers, Lisa Berglund, commented, "I believe we really have found the true Spirit of Christmas – in the hearts and prayers of each one of you."

On the Web: http://www.facebook.com/TrueSpiritOfChristmas

 

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