Compassion International, founded by Rev. Everett Swanson after traveling to South Korea to minister to soldiers fighting during the Korean War, has been on a mission to end childhood poverty since 1952.
While in Korea, Rev. Swanson saw something that changed him forever: Hundreds of orphans flooded the streets of Seoul with no one to care for them amidst the chaos of conflict and violence.
Swanson vowed to find a way to help these orphaned children, some of whom had already perished during the long cold nights with no shelter, and quickly raised funds for an established local orphanage to take them in.
Shortly after, he organized a program where individuals in the Western world could contribute just a few dollars a month to provide food, shelter, medical needs, and a Biblical education to the children now living in the orphanage.
Ever since, the Christ-centered charity he founded has been working tirelessly to extend that same love and support to children in developing countries all around the world.
“Compassion partners with over 6,700 evangelical church partners in 25 developing countries around the world,” reports the organization’s website.
Compassion International grew from these humble beginnings, and now delivers hope to over 1.7 million children worldwide, with the goal of reaching many more in the years to come.
Centered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the non-profit organization receives most of its funds from everyday Christians willing to sponsor a child for just $38 a month. These monthly contributions give children educational opportunities, medical care, food, mentoring through a local church, and opportunities to hear the gospel and accept Christ as their Savior.
Unlike other charities, each sponsor helps one child, so the support is direct and the relationship more personal. When you decide to sponsor a child in need, they are told about you and how much you care for them, and correspondence is encouraged.
Compassion International reports that many of the sponsored children “become Christians” as a result of hearing the Gospel through its programs, and some even end up leading “their family members to Christ” as well!
You see, Compassion International enables its supporters to not only meet a child’s physical needs, but also give them the eternal benefits of a life given to Jesus.
Another program of Compassion International is called Child Survival and is aimed at helping poverty stricken expecting mothers by assisting them and their babies throughout pregnancy and infancy. Over 64,598 moms and their precious bundles of joy, in and out of the womb, have been assisted already!
The care provided through Child Survival donations include clean water, food, prenatal vitamins, monthly check ups, pre and post-natal care, medical resources, immunizations, emotional support, and parenting coaching—just to name a few.
This has had a direct impact in reducing maternal and infant mortality in poor countries, where access for mother and child healthcare is extremely limited.
The work Compassion is doing is desperately needed and has transformed lives in areas where hope was once lost.
Sadly, because of its faith-based program, Compassion’s assistance is not welcome everywhere they would like to help. Most recently, in India last year, representatives of the non-profit were devastated when new governing authorities would no longer accept their funding, cutting off resources for thousands of impoverished children.
The New York Times reports:
“India’s crackdown on foreign aid will claim its most prominent casualty this month, as a Colorado-based Christian charity that is one of India’s biggest donors closes its operations here after 48 years, informing tens of thousands of children that they will no longer receive meals, medical care or tuition payments.”
Compassion International was ultimately shut down, however, because India’s new leadership believed they were trying to convert nationals to Christianity, which was deemed “detrimental to the national interest.”
Please pray that God will soften the hearts of India’s leadership and that the door would be opened once again for Compassion International to continue to bring aid and Truth to children in poverty.
Please also pray for continued success and growth in the 25 other developing nations where they continue to operate.