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More Than a Question

“Who will speak up for the vulnerable children?”


The tears began to flow as I walked. I was startled at the intensity of my emotion, but even more surprised at the immediacy of their arrival. Aware of my surroundings as I walked through Dublin city centre, I was glad for the typically drizzly day and for the rain drops which hid my tears.

In the moments preceding the tears I had been in dialogue with God asking questions about the work of Tearfund Ireland, the various projects and how I could best contribute. I even asked the Lord if I should continue working there. It was at this moment that I felt the powerful subtlety of the question back to me; “Who will speak up for the vulnerable children?”

The force of that still, small voice surprised me. So clear, so concise, so direct. The faintly whispered shout penetrated all my rational defences and went straight to a deep part of me where, to this day, it continues to reverberate.


“Who will speak up for the vulnerable children?”


For me, the question was more than just a question; it was an invitation. In that moment I knew I was being invited to pursue a cause that is close to God’s heart. But more than that, I realised I was experiencing a degree of his compassion for vulnerable children. In those short few moments on that drizzly street in Dublin His question put an end to my questions. I now had a compassion-led conviction that I, and Tearfund Ireland, would speak up for vulnerable children.

Tearfund Ireland have three ongoing development projects in Ethiopia, Cambodia and Lebanon. While each project targets needs specific to that context, a common theme across all three is that we are addressing the needs of vulnerable children.

In Ethiopia, our Self-Help Groups targets vulnerable women, predominately mothers, to enable them to lift themselves out of poverty. The children of these women are among the most vulnerable.

In Lebanon, we have worked alongside the Church to support needs of Syrian refugees, particularly, the parents of children. For many years we have participated in intervention education and skills-based training for these children who are among the most vulnerable.

In Cambodia, we continue to help children remain with their families. Addressing the cultural practice of sending children to an orphanage when the family is experiencing financial hardship or difficulties accessing education, we are helping parents and communities find ways to keep their children with them. Children who have been sent away from their families are among the most vulnerable.

In a world where women are still undervalued, mistreated or marginalised, Tearfund Ireland is working to restore relationships and enable women to change their circumstances. We regularly hear stories from our local partners about women whose lives are being transformed. These women become change-agents themselves, transforming the lives of their own children and, commonly, children within their community.

I frequently hear the reverberations of the question the Holy Spirit embedded into me that rainy day; “Who will speak up for the vulnerable children?”. When I read the reports from our partners about how the lives of women and children are being changed, I feel a genuine sense of satisfaction that we are, even if in a small way, impacting the lives of vulnerable children.

The team in Tearfund Ireland are committed to demonstrating God’s goodness, love and justice to the most marginalised and vulnerable around the world. As an organisation we are embracing the question the Lord asked, and we are speaking up for the vulnerable children. We are learning to do right and seeking justice. We are taking up the cause of the fatherless and pleading the case of the women who have been left alone (see Isaiah 1:17 & James 1:27).

Personally, I am honoured to work with a dedicated and skilled team of people, who have embraced this mission (invitation) with passion and professionalism.

Will you come alongside us?


Visit our website HERE for more information.


Cover Photo Credit: Charlein Gracia