3 Stories That Show the Importance of Pastors

A pastor and children in Indonesia stand outside wearing the colorful traditional dress of their Torajan people group.
Simon, pastor of a church in Indonesia that partners with Compassion, stands with some of the children he ministers to.

At Compassion, we are constantly in awe of everything our staff members do to help release children from poverty in Jesus’ name. But we also know that some of the most important contributions to our mission come from people who will never be found on a Compassion staff list: the pastors of our frontline church partners.    

From stepping in during crises to working faithfully and consistently in desperate circumstances, pastors have important work to do — empowering local churches to be places of true holistic development for children and youths.

Be inspired by these stories of pastors and their work on behalf of Compassion around the world.  

A Haven Amid Destruction 

In the earthquake that devastated Haiti in August, Soraya and Ana’s small home was destroyed. Out of options, they found a source of help for their immediate needs: their church pastor.  

Pastor Richard’s Redemption Story

When Pastor Richard took up the task of leading a church in his home region of Kenya, he saw the massive challenges in his way.

Poverty ran rampant in his community due to unrelenting violence between two rival groups. And harmful cultural practices such as early marriage and female genital mutilation were all too common.

So Richard got to work, founding a nursery school at his church’s compound and praying that it would also serve as a safe haven for children. But even with his help, parents didn’t pay fees and the school failed.

“Sending the children away after giving them a glimpse of hope was the most agonizing part,” recalls Richard (pictured below). “Although the shame of failure still lingered over me, I purposed to serve my congregation faithfully.”

Pastor Richard is standing in the neighborhood. He is wearing dark pants and a light blue button up shirt. He is smiling at the camera.

About a year later, Compassion was expanding its ministry into the area, and Richard was asked to host a meeting at his church. The meeting lit a fire in his heart — to partner his church with Compassion and rekindle his dream of creating a safe haven for children.

With help from Compassion startup funds and contributions from Richard’s congregation, his church reopened the nursery school that had failed. In 2016, the church officially launched a full child development center with 150 registered children and youths.

Richard watched with joy as stories of transformation unfolded around him. John (pictured below), one of the first children registered at the center, transformed from a malnourished toddler into a growing young boy with access to education and a dream of becoming a teacher.

John is looking at the camera, smiling. He is wearing a gray sweater. There are several children in the background.

Breaking the Cycle

In the red light district of Cebu City, Philippines, Pastor Ian (who speaks at 0:47 in this video) and his church replace desolation with hope on behalf of mothers and infants.  

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