Sat, May 03, 2008 - Page 2 News List

World Vision Taiwan hopes to make prayers heard

By Loa Iok-Sin  /  STAFF REPORTER

“Dear angel, please take my prayer, take care of my father and lead him safely home. He is a soldier and left home half a year ago for Iraq,” prayed Nica Narcis Andrei, a 14-year-old from Romania.

Andrei is among the 163 children who came to Taiwan to perform in a prayer concert organized by World Vision Taiwan today.

“[My father] said that he will buy a house where I will have my own room, and will have a dog that plays with me after he comes back,” Andrei continued. “But I don’t want my own room and I don’t want a dog — I just want my father to return safely.”

“Dear angel, please take my words to God, and ask him to stop all wars and bring peace on earth,” he said.

The children — from Mongolia, the Philippines, Swaziland, Romania, El Salvador, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, India, Ecuador and Taiwan — are recipients of World Vision Taiwan’s humanitarian aid programs.

“The purpose of organizing such a concert — bringing together children from 11 countries across the world — is to allow the public in Taiwan to see the needs of children around the world, and to give them a hand,” World Vision Taiwan director Hank Du (杜明翰) told a press conference yesterday.

“There are 9.7 million children around the world who die before the age of five, 9.3 million who are unable to attend school, 125 million are sick or die because they don’t have clean drinking water and a billion children are living in poverty,” Du said. “We should hear their prayers.”

Swapnil Gorkhede Rahul, a 13-year-old from India, said poverty is a part of everyday life in India.

“Dear God, I pray that you give jobs to the poor — they work difficult jobs so that their children may be educated. Many people and their children live on streets, suffer hunger and the cold of winter. I beg you to give them jobs so that they may have shelter against the chilling wind and rain,” Rahul said. “There are many children in poverty who cannot go to school because they have to work — I pray that you free them from poverty.”

Vehid Ademovic, from Bosnia and Herzegovina, prayed for the environment.

“I like to sit by the lake, but [I’m] sometimes not happy for its beauty, but depressed for the bad things that people do. I am often shocked to see trash in the lake,” he said.

“Dear God, please protect the lake, please save the environment and make people learn how to love the environment that they live in,” Ademovic said. “I pray to you, for that I know how beautiful it feels to breath clean air in the arms of Mother Nature.”

Some of the prayers will be accompanied by music and sung by the children at the concert.

The concert, with free admission, will be held from 3pm to 5pm today at the NTU Sports Center (台大綜合體育館) at 1 Roosevelt Rd. Sec. 4, Taipei City (台北市羅斯福路四段一號).

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