I think of a preacher from Chicago in the 1950s who saw the ravages of the Korean war. In the war-torn alleys of Seoul, he saw orphans huddled in rags trying to keep warm in the bitter cold through the night. In the morning, soldiers would come, shaking the piles of rags looking to see who did or did not make it through the night. As this man sat on the plane home to Chicago reflecting on the tragedies he’d witnessed, God moved his broken heart with compassion.Continue Reading ›
What would child development look like in North Korea? 1,100 church leaders from 163 churches met in South Korea at the recent Compassion North Korea Ministry Summit to begin to answer this question.Continue Reading ›
Pity is a feeling many of us have when we come face-to-face with the misfortunes of others — with those whom we perceive to have less than us. We feel pity when we see things we don’t understand. We feel pity when we feel helpless to act. Many people, myself included, feel pity but that’s as far as it goes. Pity can sometimes stop action from happening.
Who is The Shoeshine Pastor, and what does shining shoes have to do with Compassion?
Jang Mi-Ran is the world’s strongest woman. Able to snatch, clean, and jerk better than anyone else in the business, this South Korean woman can lift 718.7 pounds . . . leaving her competition in the dust.
But Jang is made of more than just muscle. This weightlifter has a heart for the small, the weak, the poor, and she is using her fame to help children in desperate situations.
Jang Mi-Ran is a long-time Compassion friend, but today she is the face of sponsorship for the 1 million children we help.
Fellow Blewussi Kpodo was one of the world’s most vulnerable children, but now he is in the hands of the strongest. She says, “It really is my honor . . . This moment makes me forget every difficult moment of my life I went through.”
Though Jang did not grow up in extreme poverty, she knows what it means to struggle, and she understands the power that God has to rescue.
“I was a girl who was very depressed because of my appearance. However, the factor [my appearance] that I thought the weakest became the factor that I think the strongest.”
Jang is able to stand up to weightlifting giants from around the globe with confidence, but she was not always so courageous. In fact, she was once the wallflower.
“It is miracle that I am standing right here and speak in front of the people because I was the timid girl who didn’t like to be in front of the people. It’s all because God is with me.”
She has broken world records and is laden with gold medals, but Jang is humble. And despite the adoration she receives from her fans and the media, she is tentative to embrace their praise.
“Recently I had difficult time because people started to think me as a superwoman who is doing well in everything only through the image that shown through media. In fact, there are more things that I am not good at than things that I am good at.”
Whether good, bad, Olympian or amateur, Jang is making a difference in this world by speaking up for those who can’t speak for themselves. Her life is an encouragement to children everywhere to find their identity, strength, and hope in God.
“I have strong faith that God would never leave me alone.” And she will be able to encourage her sponsored children to believe that same message. “I believe that God can do impossible things when I pray.”
It is my great privilege to introduce you to Fellow Blewussi Kpodo, our 1 millionth sponsored child! Fellow is 8 years old and lives in Togo with his father, two older sisters and one younger brother. And he now has a very bright future! 🙂
And who better to stand alongside this precious little one than the world’s strongest woman? Fellow’s sponsor is Jang Mi-Ran, a long-time Compassion supporter and Olympic gold medalist weight lifter from Korea.
So, the strongest woman in the world is now sponsoring one of the most vulnerable children in the world!
I am overwhelmed with gratitude as I write this. Today, as we do every day, we have the privilege of acting as a bridge between caring sponsors and children in need.
However, this particular day we have a sponsorship that is very special in that it represents a milestone for our ministry. Compassion is currently serving 1 million sponsored children! One million!!
I wish we could all be together today to celebrate this joyous moment. What a day it is!
Thank you sponsors! Thank you for your love of children. Thank you for your faithfulness to God’s call on your lives.
I love you, and I love serving the Lord with you through this amazing ministry!
Updated at 4:30 p.m. MDT
“Look at the nations and watch – and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.” – Habakkuk 1:5 (NIV)
Tune into Fox and Friends tomorrow (May 21) at 6:50 a.m. EDT to “meet” our 1 millionth child and his sponsor.
The newly sponsored child lives with his father outside Togo’s capital city of Lomé. Togo, a country whose population is seriously affected by the devastation of AIDS, is the most recent country to join the growing list of nations where Compassion works.
The child’s sponsor is from South Korea, the country in which Compassion began its mission 57 years earlier. The sponsor is most recently noted for a gold medal she won at last year’s Beijing Olympics.