I was sitting in a communications talk yesterday and the speaker was talking about the most effective way to communicate your message. He said four words that really struck me. “Simply tell your story.”

My name is Christina and I am a part of the Beyond 5 team. Often I sit on the other side of this computer, sharing with you stories, information, and reasons about why you should care about Beyond 5. I realize that I have never shared about why having every child reach their fifth birthday is so important to me.

Pictured above are my nieces and nephew. When they were younger, the picture was quite different than the one above. Two of the younger girls were brought into the family through foster care at the ages of 15 months and 4 months. They were undernourished, underweight for their age and not meeting their developmental goals. They were so small and fragile; you would just look at them and your heart would break. Every time I took a moment and was really forced to stop and think about the situation, in my head all I would hear is “why?” and the “how?”

My nieces were blessed to be brought into a family where they were able to be given everything they needed to thrive. We watched as all of a sudden their little faces rounded out as they gained weight. They began to smile, interact and laugh. Soon you would look at them and it was hard to remember when we first met them and they were so close to not surviving.

Now, over five years later, they continue to amaze me.  The other night I was babysitting and tucking them into bed. As we went around the room and prayed, one of my nieces prayed for ‘all the people who don’t have money.’ She said that she heard some people don’t have money so they don’t always get to eat and they might not have a house. She thought this would be really hard, so she wanted to pray.  I believe that these girls are going to make the world better, but they almost never had the chance to prove me right.

Beyond 5 is about health, but it is also about the potential that lies within each child to do something big and the chances they may not otherwise have. I want every child to have the chance to change the world.

P.S. — If you are interested in seeing what one of my nieces is up to, you can check her out here!

Photo: (Photo courtesy of Christina Bradic.)

7 Comments

  • Somehow I must have missed it in your information before, but this is the first time I realized what the explanation was for in the “Beyond Five” name. It is good to know. I also appreciate hearing about the issues that are being promoted, because I then know that someone else out there will most likely respond to those needs. It is unfortunate that I myself am unable to do so these days it seems. I suppose I may have sent something once some time ago, which may be why I may be still connected with this organization. However, even though I still am unable to respond monetarily, I can do what your neices are doing and offer my prayers. Whenever I am able to do better in the future, rest assured I will. On behalf of others like me, we would want to thank all of you who can help for doing what you can. It is indeed gratifying to know there is an organization out here like World Vision, which has the vision to help human needs for all mankind.

  • Thanks for “simply telling your story,” Christina!

    I was really touched to learn more about your lovely nieces and how they became your niece through fostering, which is something that my husband and I have been seriously discussing and praying about as well.

    It’s definitely the personal elements of stories like yours that help motivate and inspire others to care and then speak out about these important issues that World Vision is addressing! Keep up the fabulous work…and story telling!

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