Compassion International is a holistic child sponsorship program that aims to free children from various kinds of poverty, all in the name of Jesus. Compassion is unique in that it connects all of the children in the program with their local churches. Compassion partners with thousands of churches and serves nearly two million children around the world.
Reverend Everett Swanson went on a trip to South Korea to minister to the American soldiers in the Korean War. He was deeply concerned and troubled by the hundreds of war orphans left on the streets. Through his experiences, Swanson gathered donations from Christians to purchase food and fuel for the orphans, and, as a result, impacted 108 orphanages and homes in South Korea. Since then, the organization has grown immensely.
The term compassion means “to suffer with,” and this is the driving force behind Compassion International. Compassion provides assistance in a holistic manner. Therefore, Compassion seeks to assist children physically, socially, emotionally, economically and spiritually. Compassion provides food, clean water, education, life-skills training and more. Compassion uniquely tailors their services to each child and his or her age, gender, culture, etc. All of this is also done through partnerships with the local church.
CENTERED ON CHRIST
The organization's name was inspired by Jesus's words in Matthew 15:32: "I have compassion on the multitude. I will not send them away hungry.”
In describing its mission, Compassion states, “We are advocates for children committed to Jesus Christ in all that we do. We are loving. God's love fuels us, and we unabashedly love one another. We are passionate, against injustice and for our cause… Our faith in God and in His promises empowers us to be confident. In the face of evil raging around us, we remain hopeful and lift one another's spirits as we go about our mission of releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name.”
Compassion is dedicated to its mission and finds meaning in its work from the Bible. Compassion states, “There are more than 2,000 references in the Bible to children, poverty, and compassion. That is a big portion of God’s Word. Obviously, children, poverty and compassion are very close to God’s heart.”