USA (MNN) — Last year Compassion International went over the 1 million mark — 1million children sponsored through their ministry.
Mission Network News got a chance to talk with the President of Compassion International, Wess Stafford, about the work of the children's ministry and what's facing them the rest of the year.
Stafford believes that Compassion International was created by God for such a time as this. "If ever there was a time for Christians to be living out their faith in a world that's obviously groaning and hurting in so many ways," now is the time.
The earthquake in Haiti, flooding in Africa and Asia, children trafficking and more are all issues causing great difficulty for children around the world. Compassion reaches out with several programs including their Child Survival Program, Child Sponsorship Program, and Leadership Development Program.
Stafford says while Compassion International is providing for the physical needs of children, their spiritual well being is also being addressed. "Every single day now–with the size that Compassion has become–our research tells us that every single day, 500 children accept Jesus Christ as Savior," says Stafford.
The great news is that children are coming to Christ because of their connection to the local church, not because of the name Compassion. "Not a single one of them gets touched by Compassion's ministry except through the local church. What we try to do is build up capacity in that local church to be salt and light in that community," says Stafford.
He continues, "By maintaining a pretty low profile in these settings, our hope is that the people of the community will come to that local body of believers and say, 'Why do you care? Why do you love my child?' And, it gives God's people the chance to really speak the Gospel."
Compassion continues to grow. The ministry just opened a new program in Sri Lanka with their Child Survival Program — helping expectant mothers and children from birth to three years old. Stafford says, "When these little ones get old enough when they're about three or four years old, we'll get them sponsors and get them on into our normal program."
The ministry needs your help, however. Sponsors and generous donors are needed to help each child, but also to replenish their emergency response fund. Natural disasters such as the earthquake in Haiti has put pressure on that fund this year. By giving to the program or sponsoring a child for $38 a month, you can not only help a child eat and get an education, but also hear the Gospel.