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70 Years of Hope, and the question that started it all!

Bob Pierce praying, in black and white photo.

In 2020, World Vision celebrates our 70th Anniversary. More importantly, we celebrate the millions worldwide who have received the tools to overcome poverty – and it all began with one man: Rev. Dr. Bob Pierce, an American evangelist and war correspondent who famously said:

“Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.”


A Single Question

While on a trip to China, Bob visited a girls’ school run by Dutch missionaries. Its principal Tena Hoelkeboer came to him with a young girl named White Jade who had been abandoned by her family and left with nothing.

Three postcards from the "Come See My World" series featuring children from marginalised areas.

Tena asked Bob a simple question: “What are you going to do about it?” Deeply moved, he gave the five dollars in his pocket to Tena and pledged to send more when he got home. But that question would continue to haunt him.

In 1950, he served as a war correspondent covering the Korean War. That same year, he founded World Vision to meet the needs of Korea’s war orphans; in 1953, World Vision’s Child Sponsorship Programme was established. In the years that followed, World Vision would grow rapidly, and now reaches children in nearly 100 countries.


From One Man to Millions of Children

Rev. Dr. Bob Pierce’s legacy can be felt keenly as World Vision begins a new decade. With the support of our wonderful child sponsors and donors, we've been able to impact the lives of over 200 million vulnerable children by tackling the root causes of poverty.

One such person whose life was changed is former sponsored child, Oh Sung-Sam. Born in 1947, Sung-Sam grew up struggling to survive after the Korean War. However, with World Vision’s support, he was able to achieve his dream of becoming a university professor and now sponsors many children. Read about his remarkable story of hope here.

World Vision came to be because one person saw a need and answered the question “What are you going to do about it?” with loving action. Millions of lives have been changed because many ordinary people have done the same.

How will you answer that question today?

Sponsor a Child What is Child Sponsorship


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