Wess is the President Emeritus of Compassion. He served as President and Chief Executive Officer from 1993-2013.
About Compassion, Photos and Videos
Africa / defeat poverty / East Africa / Uganda / What are you going to do? / World Poverty Day
@Shaina M – Hi, Shaina,
I do not have any doubts, at all, about Compassion’s transformational purpose or effectiveness! I would just like to be able to take some facts and figures to my pastor to show him that *communities* have been changed and that countries are being changed as more and more graduates not only break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families, but help others to break that cycle, as well. I know it’s happening, but I need better documentation than I have to show my pastor. If I can ever give him that, he will get more solidly behind Compassion than he is, now.
You are right that Compassion’s ministry is transformational! While I don’t have specific data regarding how many projects and graduates it takes for the transformation to occur, I do know that Compassion is outcome driven.
Compassion (as I’m sure many people know) started as a ministry to orphans in Korea. Reverend Everett Swanson went to Korea in 1952 to minister to the army there. While in Korea, he saw the great need of the children who had been orphaned by the war. In 1954, Americans began sponsoring children in Korea.
In 2004, Korea became a partner country. This means that after 52 years of sponsors taking care of Korea’s children, they are now able to sponsor children in other countries. How exciting is that? I am not saying that Compassion single handedly reformed Korea’s infrastructure and economy, but the ministry did make a significant impact. The generation that started as sponsored children is now sponsoring other children.
If you still have doubts that Compassion’s ministry is transformational, just read these stories on the website:
What an amazing story…I’m honored to be a part of this ministry. Thank you for sharing inspiring stories like this!
Thanks for sharing Wes!!! I need to hear the reality and I love to hear it!!! It’s convicting and encouraging!!!
I agree. I’ve heard this story shared by you before, and it always brings tears to my eyes. It’s the most wonderful story, and I pray it becomes true for all our kids.
Wow, of all of the videos in the series this one made the biggest impact on me. I’m not embarrassed to say I cried my eyes out and I know my husband will, too, when he gets home.
BTW, I’d love to read a post about the alumni association. I think this is such a great idea — it’s kind of the final piece of the puzzle for the Compassion kids. I’d love to hear about who came up with the idea and why, how and when it started, how it’s impacting former Compassion children, etc.
Perhaps there is already a post on this and I missed it? If so, let me know!
Wess was in the Philippines at an LDP graduation ceremony, and he saw a group of about five graduates who pooled their money in order to sponsor a child together. Out of this, came the idea of an alumni association. It’s only been officially implemented in the Philippines and Uganda.
I don’t know when Wess had the idea exactly, but it occurred sometime before 2006, because that’s when the Philippines Alumni Association was launched.
As I wipe my tears…I love these stories. I know this ministry works, and I love hearing how it works!
Also, I hear these stories and I wonder: How many CDSP graduates–let alone LDP–does it take for one community to rise above poverty to the point that a Compassion project is no longer needed?
I know so many factors are at play, where storms can ravage the crops, or lack of rain can doom them before they get started, to name a couple. But my pastor does not see Compassion as truly transformational, at the community level, and I *know* he’s wrong! I just need the evidence, examples of communities in which enough people can say, “Poverty stopped with us!”
This is an amazing message! Thanks Dr. Stafford.
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