What is a Vision Trip?
World Vision explains the difference between a mission trip and a vision trip as the difference between a short-termeffort of hands-on relief in response to a natural disaster, for example, and the observation of long-termrehabilitation or development programs. The ground-breaking program that Lake Grove Presbyterian Church embarked on in 2014 with World Vision in Bangladesh intends to establish an environment of self-sustainability, in which community members solve their own problems.
December was a month of preparation for the new Bangladesh Vision Trip Team. Amidst writing Christmas cards, we wrote letters to friends and families, describing the Bangladesh program and asking for prayers and/or financial support. Between dressing up for Christmas parties, we tried on previous vision trip participant’s Kurtas and shopped for additional pairs of the traditional long tops and legging-type pants worn by Bangladeshiwomen. While congregants lined up for coffee hour treats after a service, we lined up to receive immunizations for Hepatitis and Typhoid. We prayed for one another, considered the ways of Jesus by reading the Gospel of Luke, and learned more about the program.
The population of Bangladesh is 167 million. New York State’s population less than 20 million, although it is only slightly smaller in size. 47% of the population are farmers, 37% percent live below the poverty line. 60 million people in Bangladesh do not have access to latrines, 20 million live without clean water. 100,000 children die each year of waterborne illnesses. Approximately 1/3 of young girls are married before the age of 15; Bangladesh has the highest rate of early marriage in the world. 89% of the population are Muslim, 10% Hindu, 1% Buddhist. A very small percent of the population is currently Christian.
The need to address child labor issues in Bangladesh is immense. Nearly 1.75 million children, ages 5-17, work 8-6 hours per day, 5-7 days per week. Most (85%) work in hazardous conditions, labor which threatens the health, safety and future of a child. The World Vision program intends to 1) remove children from labor and return to school, 2) increase family income to sustainably replace child income and 3) involve the communities, government and police in the program to create a self-sustaining program. This is an ambitious goal and to date Lake Grove Presbyterian is the sole partner. But progress and success has already been made – and Columbia University is studying the work and offering suggestions for improvements.
We feel blessed at the opportunity to represent the congregation on our upcoming trip in February! We thank you all for your prayers and financial support.
Click play below to meet the team! They recorded this video to introduce themselves to the World Vision staff.