The Photo That Changed My Heart

Bangladesh boy

It’s not a particularly artistic or perfectly composed photo. It’s even a little hard to tell what’s happening in this photo, which is probably why I paused for a moment while browsing through photos of Bangladesh’s slums.

It was my first week at World Concern, four years ago, and I had looked at thousands of photos of the places World Concern works as part of my orientation. There were many stunning photos of beautiful people, faces, families, and extreme poverty. But this is the one I’ll never forget, because it’s the one I was looking at when it “clicked” for me.

I stared at the image of a little boy, not more than 8 or 9 years old, wearing pants that are cinched at the waist so they won’t fall down, standing in the midst of a sea of garbage. He is smelling what appears to be a piece of rotten fruit. He was doing this, I’m sure, to try to determine if it was edible.

My stomach turned.

Several thoughts slammed into my mind as I stared at the boy in the slum:

  1. He is a real person.
  2. He is hungry enough to consider eating from that pile of garbage.
  3. I must do something.

When I came to work at World Concern, I considered myself a compassionate, caring Christian. I gave regularly to my church, donated to our food bank, and supported a few charities, including humanitarian organizations.

But at that moment, my heart broke for the hungry, the poor, the forgotten ones in the world. I felt compelled to help. I believe God used that photo to break my heart for what breaks His.

I wiped my tears away, glancing around my new office to see if anyone was looking. Then I whispered a prayer: “Lord, help this little boy. Please reach down into that horrible slum and rescue him.”

I felt like God responded, “I will. And you will.”

I knew that didn’t mean I would hop on a plane to Bangladesh and find that one little boy out of the 162 million people in Bangladesh. It meant I would pour myself wholeheartedly into the mission and work of World Concern so that the experts in ending extreme poverty and rescuing children like this boy from its clutches can do their jobs.

Our 234 Bangladeshi staff members, along with our Kenyan staff, our Haitian staff, and all the others in the poorest countries in the world are pouring themselves wholeheartedly into this work. With our support, they provide real, tangible, lasting ways out of poverty. And my job is to spread the word about this cause, this mission, so people like you and I can do something too.

Published by

Cathy Herholdt

Cathy Herholdt

Cathy Herholdt is World Concern's Marketing and Communications Director. With a background in journalism, Cathy honed her writing skills as a newspaper editor and now enjoys sharing the inspiring stories of those World Concern serves. She has served with World Concern since 2010.

2 thoughts on “The Photo That Changed My Heart”

  1. C’est vraiment pitoyable et pathétique de voir comment des personnes sous d’autres cieux vivent dans des conditions de vies extrêmes et n’ont pas même le minimum et doivent s’approvisionner dans les tas de décombres. Regardons avec nos cœurs et participons à abréger et réduire leur force par la volonté et l’amour de notre âme comme cet Homme qui est venu il y a un peu plus de deux mille ans nous AIMER au point de donner sa vie pour que nos conditions d’existence s’améliore.
    FAARO PATALE ROI, WCDO CHAD

    1. C’est vraiment pitoyable et pathétique de voir comment des personnes sous d’autres cieux vivent dans des conditions de vies extrêmes et n’ont pas même le minimum et doivent s’approvisionner dans les tas de décombres. Regardons avec nos cœurs et participons à abréger et réduire leurs SOUFFRANCES par la volonté et l’amour de notre âme comme cet Homme qui est venu il y a un peu plus de deux mille ans nous AIMER au point de donner sa vie pour que nos conditions d’existence s’améliore.

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