Discovering a Piece of Ministry History

Throughout our 60 years of ministry, we’ve been blessed by an array of artists and speakers who, through their talents, demonstrate a passion for releasing children from poverty. In fact, many sponsors first hear about our ministry through an artist or speaker.

Michael W Smith in Kenya

Compassion Artist Michael W. Smith in Kenya

I was poking around the ministry archives again when I stumbled upon a commercial recording from a famous ministry spokesperson.

I had NO idea this person was a spokesperson for Compassion so I was thrilled I was when I heard her voice.

Can you think of who this famous woman could be? I’ll give you three hints:

  • She is considered one of the greatest women in country music
  • She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
  • She was the wife of Roy Rogers

I know, I know, the third hint gave it away!

Yes, Dale Evans recorded a series of commercials for us in the 1970s when our offices were still located in Chicago. Here it is:

[audio:] Compassion Radio Commercial

Isn’t that fantastic?! I can’t help but wonder how many children were sponsored due to that 14-second clip.

How about you? Did a Compassion artist or speaker introduce you to our ministry? If so, who was it?

34 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Sue September 14, 2012

    God moved me to sponsor a little girl at a Christian festival, Creation in 1985. She was the same name and age as my daughter. I’ve never looked back, and have sponsoring kids ever since. My daughters are grown, and they both sponsor several kids as well. They grew up with it, and it just came naturally to them, praise God!

  2. Mike Stephens September 14, 2012

    Rich Mullins is by far my favorite artist mainly just b/c of “Awesome God” but my mom introduced me to Compassion, although Rich was a Compassion artist I believe or at least supported Compassion

  3. Marvin September 14, 2012

    …it was I think 1989 or 1990… I think Steve Camp but It’s hard to remember….

  4. Kees Boer September 14, 2012

    I sponsored my first child at a Compassion Sunday. But when I saw the DOC show, having Billy Ray Cyrus’ character be a missionary with Compassion, it affirmed my commitment to the ministry.

  5. Linda T. September 13, 2012

    I went to a Rich Mullins concert in 1994 with my 13 yr. old daughter. she wanted to sponsor a child right then and there, but I just picked up a brochure and took it home to run it by my husband first. He approved, and we sent in a card asking for a teenaged girl from South America. I received the packet, opened it up, and immediately fell in love with 13 yr. old Maria from Ecuador. We’ve been sponsoring children in Ecuador ever since. I went on my first sponsor tour last year. WONDERFUL!

  6. Heather September 13, 2012

    I choose my first Compassion child from a group of packets at a Bebo Norman concert, way back in 2000. I was a senior in college and a friend and I decided to sponsor her together. Eventually I sponsored her myself. She is no longer in the program, but I have two more sponsor children now.

  7. Denise L. September 13, 2012

    I was introduced to Compassion at a B.J. Thomas concert at Red Rocks (Morrison, CO) in 1980. I was just ‘ready’ to take on a commitment like that, a few years out of school and on my own.

  8. Christel September 13, 2012

    I heard about Compassion from 89.9 Light FM 🙂

  9. Birgit September 13, 2012

    I was first introduced to the work and ministry of Compassion International in 2009 by singer/speaker Grant Norsworthy (with Paul Colman Trio or pc3, formerly with Sonicflood, see We have had the privilege of having Grant sing and speak in El Paso several times in the last few years and at practically every meeting, Grant gives an invitation to sponsor children through Compassion Intl. Several hundred children have been sponsored as a result of his visits here – he is a very compelling speaker :-). We started sponsoring a girl from Colombia back in 2009. She has been such a blessing to our family, it’s like she is one of our own…. This also led to me volunteering with Compassion Intl., helping out with sign-up tables at concerts, which I find VERY rewarding.

    Thank you, Grant, thank you Compassion for making me and my family more aware of what we can do to make a difference in the world – one child at a time!

    1. Jacquie Parella September 13, 2012

      Grant came and did chapel for us a few months ago. He had me bawling! It was an amazing chapel.

  10. Emily September 13, 2012

    I heard about Compassion from Robbie Seay. He came to speak to my youth group while we were on a mission trip in the area he was about to have a concert in. He told us all about the organization and the connection that he and the band had to them then showed us pictures from his recent trip to the Dominican Republic to meet their sponsored child. He passed packets around and I came home and sponsored my sweet girl from El Salvador. That was 3 years ago and I have now added 3 correspondent kids to my family and got to go to El Salvador and meet my child this summer.
    Robbie will always have a special place in my heart for connecting me to this wonderful organization!

    1. Jill Foley ~ Compassion Family September 14, 2012

      I know what you mean about the “special place in my heart” – I would love to meet Bart Campolo and tell him how is faithfulness in spreading the word of Compassion has impacted my life.

      I did get to meet Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith (exactly one year ago today) and thanked them for their work regarding Compassion. I admire the artists who speak up, because they are changing so many lives with their influence.

    2. Jacquie Parella September 13, 2012

      LOVE it Emily!!

  11. Holly Morgan September 13, 2012

    It was an insert in a Michael W. Smith cassette tape (Change Your World to be precise) that got me thinking about Compassion. It was around that time a radio special he did for them came on and I recorded it. By the time I was a senior in high school (1996) I had decided that no matter what, I was sponsoring a child. And I did! I’ve been with Compassion International ever since. For the last 6 years as both a sponsor and an advocate. I can still remember my favorite part of that radio special, when Smitty is talking about his sponsored child Gavi “And there was this seven year old girl, making a sprint for Smitty. It was like a Kodak moment.” Yes, and it stuck in my mind, along with all the other good things I learned. Starting with the insert in a cassette tape.

    1. Jacquie Parella September 13, 2012

      So often I wonder what impact the work I do has on others. Your story, Holly is such a great reminder that everything I do matters. And all these years later you are a part of a child’s life because of that insert. I pray that my work will have the same affect on someone. 🙂 Thank you for sharing!!

  12. Aimee September 13, 2012

    Amy Grant

    1. Jacquie Parella September 13, 2012


  13. Jill Foley ~ Compassion Family September 13, 2012

    I heard Bart Campolo (Tony’s son) speak at my college chapel back in 1994. I don’t know how much of his message was about Compassion (I don’t even know if he was ever and official spokesperson), but I did leave chapel knowing I had to sponsor a child. I went back to my room, found an old copy of CCM magazine, cut out an ad for Compassion and sent in a request for a child!

    1. Danielle September 13, 2012

      Bart Campolo was my first exposure too!

      He spoke at my college chapel in 2005. I went out to the table “just to look”. I saw a cute little girl in a dress that looked similar to something I wore as a child. Then someone a little ways down the table seemed to be pointing in her direction, so I quickly picked up her packet myself. That’s when I saw that we had the same birthday! I knew I had to sign up and sponsor her! I’ve since visited her twice and added 5 other kiddos to my Compassion family.

      1. Jill Foley ~ Compassion Family September 13, 2012

        What a great story! Where does she live? And what college did you go to?

        1. Danielle September 13, 2012

          She lives in the Dominican Republic. I went to William Jessup University, in California.

        2. Jacquie Parella September 13, 2012

          Jill and Danielle…both of your stories are great. I got goosebumps when I read them. I know I’ve said this before, but I am just so amazed by God and how He works.

  14. chuck young September 13, 2012

    we met our compassion child at the “Behold the Lamb of God” tour with Andrew Peterson and others Christmas 2007.

    1. Jacquie Parella September 13, 2012

      I love how you worded that Chuck…”we met our compassion child”… because even though it’s just a photo at first, it really does feel like you have met them. That’s how I felt when I first saw my sponsored child’s photo.

  15. JeanT September 13, 2012

    I first learned about Compassion at a Denver and The Mile High Orchestra concert, they came to our area and had a presentation of Compassion on it, and I sponsored a little girl from Bolivia. that was 2 years ago and now I have 6 children, 3 sponsored and 3 correspondence children. I love Compassion and the outreach to the poor and I love being able to write to these kids, and tell them they matter, and to tell them how much God loves them. !

    1. Jacquie Parella September 13, 2012

      That’s wonderful Jean!!

  16. Jean Clark September 13, 2012

    I heard about Compassion through Vision Quest Trio in Sept. 2011 and am so thankful Ithey gave us the message. I have the greatest kids ever!

    1. Jacquie Parella September 13, 2012

      What a coincidence Jean, I have the greatest kids ever too!! LOL

  17. Laurie September 13, 2012

    I loved Dale Evans as a child. I watched her and Roy on TV on reruns. I learned about Compassion via a podcast of the Columbus Vineyard. Wes Stafford shared his vision. Then, I read the book about life experiences in Africa. My home church in New Orleans supports your work. I do in spirit as I have a program for children in Honduras. I was hoping Compassion would come alongside me and help, but God has seen otherwise. Regardless, I am a huge fan of your work in Honduras.

    1. Jacquie Parella September 13, 2012

      Oh Laurie, I was so excited when I heard Dale’s voice in that clip. It’s been fun discovering different aspects of ministry history. 🙂 And that is wonderful Laurie that you have ministry in Honduras. Even though we didn’t come alongside, I am confident God is weaving something very special for you in the work you are doing. He is amazing like that!

  18. melissa cook September 13, 2012

    Rebecca St. James

    1. Jacquie Parella September 13, 2012

      That’s awesome Melissa!

  19. Teresa September 13, 2012

    Compassion had been on my mind for a while, and then I went to a Michael W. Smith concert. Hearing his first-hand accounts of the difference Compassion makes convinced me it was the right time to act. I went to a Compassion table in the lobby of the venue, and asked a volunteer if there were any kids from Haiti (I knew in my heart this was where God was leading me to sponsor). He looked me in the eye and said “I know just the one.” He went down the table and picked up a packet to hand to me. It was love at first sight. That little girl stole my heart in an instant. It was just the beginning though. I now sponsor 8 children. Compassion has proved to me over and over how they change the lives of children, and their family. I’ll never forget that concert.

    1. Jacquie Parella September 13, 2012

      What a great story Teresa. I love how God works!

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