Yesterday, Mike gave us a lesson on what Compassion’s Leadership Development Program (LDP) is about. Today, he talks about his vision for LDP.

Mike with Ben, a Compassion Kenya LDP student

6. What are the goals of the LDP for each student who graduates?

The LDP is an outcome-driven ministry. Everything we do focuses on our goal of seeing students graduate and serve their communities and the world at large. A young person who graduates from Compassion’s Leadership Development Program demonstrates:

  • Personal commitment to the lordship of Christ
  • Good health practices
  • Personal and professional skills to be economically self-supporting
  • Positive self-worth and healthy relationships
  • Servant leadership

7. Can you tell me about an LDP student who you believe embodies the goals and spirit of the LDP?

Lillian grew up in the care of an aged peasant father and two brothers. They lived each day as it came, knowing that a day to day existence was the best way they could live. As a young child her home was trees, made up of old limbs, cardboard, and scrap metal. She was brought up in a small tribal community based on a patriarchal model, which does not place a premium on educating girls. Women in her village do not dream. They are viewed as insignificant, with little hope for the future than to live in poverty and to raise their children in the same conditions.

But with the help of the Child Sponsorship Program and her sponsor, Lillian saw the first seeds of hope flourish. She became the first in the family to graduate from high school. Now, through the LDP, she has become the first and only girl in her village who has achieved the distinction of being accepted into a university.

With the knowledge Lillian is gaining from the LDP program and her studies, we believe, and with her determination, she will become a school teacher and instill these same dreams and hopes into other young children. In spite of all the hurdles, Lillian breaths life and energy and hope. Lillian has a “can do!” heart. She truly believes God will provide all.

8. Tell me what the LDP graduates are doing now.

Since 1996, more than 600 students have graduated from the program. Based on our most recent contact with our graduates, we know that:

  • More than 80 percent are employed.
  • About 72 percent of graduates are employed within their field of study within six months after graduation.
  • Approximately 99 percent are actively involved in a leadership role within their church.
  • Around 65 percent are currently mentors themselves.
  • About five percent are Child Sponsorship Program sponsors, and more are sponsoring siblings to attend school.
  • More than ten are missionaries to other countries.

9. What is your vision for the LDP?

Our vision is that one day, the country offices that we work in become partner countries. That one day, Compassion Uganda will raise up sponsors, where they are a part of our ministry just like Compassion Italia, Compassion Canada or Compassion Netherlands. And we envision that our leadership development students, that one day a student could be the president of his or her country. An awesome parent, a man or woman of God… a loving spouse. A young person who could be a teacher or a lawyer, walking with the Lord — a leader in the church; an elder, maybe a pastor, impacting family, church, community, nation, and in so being, transforming our world for Jesus Christ. That is the Leadership Development Program.

10. What is your favorite LDP memory?

It was 2 a.m. at a LDP retreat, and I was packed into a small room with 20 LDP guys (no ladies), laughing at goofy jokes, making fun of one another, engrossed in stupid guy humor, singing Christmas carols loud and off-key, praying for miracles — to release the captives and rebuild nations — and not superficial wants. And I knew without a doubt these young men will transform their nation for God’s glory.

Read all of the posts in the 10 Questions series.

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2 Comments Add a Comment
  1. May 7, 2008
    at 11:14 pm

    I’m obviously really late in commenting, but just curious– why can’t other countries become “partner countries” already? It seems that even if there weren’t lots of Compassion sponsors in that country at this time that it could still be developed over time starting from something really small. What kind of relationship does compassion have with some of the better-off churches in various countries that might not have a project associated with them but that could give significantly?

  2. Mike Stephens
    Mar 28, 2009
    at 4:50 pm

    Thanks for sharing the information about LDP Mike!!! It’s great to see the success!!!
    And more on its way!!!

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