Meet Laura Walls.
Her favorite hobbies include photography, reading, and watching the sunset. Many of the Vision Trip photos you'll see on this site, the Child Ambassador website, and the CA facebook page were captured and contributed by Laura.
Laura and her family live in Minnesota. She and her husband, Josh, have five kids: four boys and a little girl. They range in age from 19 to 4 years old. They have been homeschooling for the past three years and love exploring in nature. You can usually find them outside somewhere whenever the weather is nice!
In 2010, Laura was really struggling with depression. She was home with her kids and she says the focus of her life had become very small and inward. It was then that she happened to see the book Radical by David Platt in a bookstore and she bought it on a whim. It completely changed her perspective! In the last chapter, Platt gives 5 challenges and, as she took them on, God led her to World Vision - first as a sponsor and later as a child ambassador. She says it felt like a big step of faith because she knew very few people in their community at that time. She also admits that she is a pretty shy person, so she wasn't sure she'd be able to find a sponsor for even one child! But she felt the Lord say, "Just be faithful to look for, serve, and share in whatever context I give you." Today, He continues to open doors and Laura continues to step through them! As her perspective broadened to include children all around the world, her depression washed away. As a result, she believes that World Vision changes not just a sponsored child's life, but our own lives here, as well!
Laura, could you tell us a little bit about your favorite event/favorite sponsorship story as a CA?
A few years ago I hosted a Journey to Jamaa movie night in conjunction with a Christian college’s Spiritual Emphasis week. There were a lot of different challenges that went into preparing for that night and I needed to work with a couple of other segments of World Vision outreach groups (like World Vision: ACTS and the Jamaa team) to make it all come together. But in the end, the Lord showed up in a powerful way! The students LOVED the movie! They laughed, they cried, they cheered! It was incredible! We had set a stretch goal of $400 for mosquito nets. I was told $300 was the most they had ever raised at an evening service before. The students shocked all of us though. They came flooding out from the service, hearts so soft and open. First one basket filled with money. Then another. And another. They ended up giving over $1,200 for nets! Enough for a whole village!!! And four children were sponsored as well, even though we weren’t able to give a sponsorship appeal from stage. It was incredibly moving to see the way God worked in their hearts and I felt so very blessed to be part of it!
Is there a bit of encouragement you could give to other CA's?
God has placed you in your own specific niche. Don't feel like you need to do things the way others have done them. Rather pray about it and then make a list of possibilities. Include friends and family but also think out of the box in new ways. I've seen CA's share at farmer's markets, shopping malls, craft fairs and festivals, mission fairs, women's teas and men's breakfasts, and children's events. I've even had CA's create their own events - like Water Walks and movie nights. There are so many opportunities to share if you are just willing to give it to the Lord and be bold! Additionally, don't be discouraged. My first couple of years as a CA were very small in sponsorship numbers. But I knew God called me to this ministry and I wanted to be faithful, regardless of the outcome. It's really not about the numbers. It's about serving the Lord wherever we are and leaving the results in His hands. It's a wonderful adventure!
Which scripture/quote gives you encouragement in this ministry?
"God does not require that we be successful; only that we be faithful." - Mother Teresa
You can reach Laura via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Greater Together is a collaborative blog written by volunteer child ambassadors for World Vision.