Passion and purpose drive Christy and Colin Zacharias in their life, but most especially in their 18-year commitment to World Vision. Their efforts can vary in size and scope, from taking part in two World Vision-led trips to Africa, to sponsoring a total of 13 children during this time span, to becoming Child Sponsorship Ambassadors. But their goal remains constant: making the world a better place for children.
For all their many efforts, though, the Saskatchewan couple is most proud of the actions of their children, Kylie, 20, and Cole, 16, who each have their own sponsored child. Although they know their parents paved the way, Kylie and Cole note that it was their choice to embrace sponsorship.
Kylie saw a profile of a young girl and “couldn’t forget her face.” Cole decided to use the money from his paper route to sponsor a child after attending a youth conference.
After years of sponsoring children, Christy and Colin joined what is now the Child Sponsorship Ambassador program, and ended up travelling to Zambia in 2010 and Malawi in 2011. During both trips, they were able to see World Vision programs that were at the beginning of their life cycle and programs that were at their end.
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“During our trip to Zambia,” Colin notes, “We saw the practical approach of the agricultural programs and the training of the area’s residents to be self-sufficient.”
Their trip to Malawi solidified their love affair with the children in the area, several of whom were sponsored either by the couple or through their efforts. The experience was transformational.
“We went from writing cheques and not really knowing where the funds were going, to seeing for ourselves the work being done in the field," says Christy.
When they returned home, they shared many cherished stories and photos with Kylie and Cole.
Since then, Christy and Colin have generated over 70 child sponsorships.
“I feel blessed,” she says. “Sponsorship is my purpose, and I will promote it for the rest of my life.”
No doubt, child sponsorship will become a family legacy too.