Last month, our team tried to focus on some of the amazing events and people that we were thankful for in a difficult year. God was on the move, even if there were days, weeks, months, and even whole seasons that felt impossible.

To similarly honor the Advent season, a few of our team members wanted to call out the things that bought them joy this year! Read their reflections below, then share anything that brought you joy this year in the comments section.

“Hearing from two important leaders on women and girls empowerment, Congresswoman Frankel (D-FL) and Congressman Perry (R-PA), at World Vision’s virtual Congressional event on ending female genital mutilation (FGM) made me joyful! I love seeing bipartisanship on important issues like this.

Also, seeing the Keeping Girls in School Act pass the House with more than 100 bipartisan Congressional cosponsors in January brought JOY… and maybe even tears, if that’s not too dramatic!”

— Whitney Groves, Senior Advocacy Associate for Gender and Education

“It brought me joy that advocates enjoyed our bipartisan, faith-based approach to the election and the resources and content we published about it! I think it helped people during a divisive and uncertain time.”

— Steve Reynolds, Director of Advocacy Mobilization

“One of my most joyful moments was pre-COVID, when World Vision was invited to testify before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on health challenges facing women and girls. Being invited to testify in Congress is a big deal and this was the first hearing on the topic in years, so to be one of the four organizations asked to participate was a great honor. It was also a recognition of the World Vision’s reputation as a leader in programs for women and girls, as well as our faith-based distinctive. 

The hearing could have focused on divisive issues, but my joy was compounded when all four witnesses on the panel were able to have a conversation with the Committee members on the vast areas where we agree! God really worked through that hearing to bring about a needed discussion and to show that even in times of political division, we agree on much more than we disagree on.”

— Lisa Bos, Director of Government Relations

In 2019, World Vision advocates were able to gather in Washington, D.C. This year, they remained active, conducting meetings with their members of Congress online instead! (©2019 World Vision/photo by Laura Reinhardt)

“As I look back over the past year, I am filled with so much joy reflecting on the ways our Volunteer Advocates SHOWED UP despite the challenges they’ve faced. They made time to advocate even while some of them were experiencing scary and hard things personally: brain cancer, breast cancer, births of new babies, the stresses of COVID, and immense responsibilities with kids and grandkids.

Is the impact they made important? Absolutely – we’re celebrating lots of new cosponsors to bills and deeper relationships with members of Congress because of their efforts! But what brings me the most joy is how they kept showing up, despite life’s challenges. To me, this is the true fulfillment of the greatest commandment, to care for others even as we care for our own selves and families. Their selflessness has brought me deep joy this year, and has challenged me to live more sacrificially as well.”

— Amanda Mootz, Grassroots Organizing Manager

Yes, the tireless work of all World Vision advocates brought our team so much joy this year. Thank you for sacrificing your time to speak out on behalf of children around the world. All of us at World Vision Advocacy wish you a Merry Christmas, full of peace, wonder, and of course, joy!

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Top photo: Judeness from Zambia shares her joyful smile and spirit. (©2018 World Vision/photo by Laura Reinhardt)

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