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Walking Through Samaria

May 25, 2021

Meet Terry Johnson. He’s a major-gifts fundraiser for World Vision, a global Christian humanitarian organization tackling poverty and injustice.  Johnson serves as the organization’s area director for philanthropy in the southeastern United States.


A husband to one wife (Suzanne) and father to one daughter (Meredith), Johnson was destined to do something great after he survived tumbling out of the “suicide doors” of a Lincoln Continental at 70 mph and onto the sizzling pavement near El Paso, Texas. He was 3 years old at the time.


Now, he wants to make sure underprivileged kids around the world and their families survive their tumbles — which are far more dire than a momentary case of road rash. The people Johnson tries to help face an ongoing pandemic of poverty, living on less than $2 a day, which makes the coronavirus crisis look mild and short-term by comparison.


“There’s no stimulus check coming to the lion’s share of the world,” says Johnson, whose mission work has taken him to the hardest-hit areas of Ethiopia, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia and Honduras — “places their own governments won’t even go.”


Johnson endeavors to show that Jesus is alive in the places that it’s hardest to be a child and encourages more people to make something good happen.


“If we have the good fortune to travel and see the real need in the margins, how do I fit into that?” he says. “How do I become a part of that? I think those are the questions we need to ask ourselves.”