When you think about poverty relief, you might think of non-profit organizations–like Compassion–that devote themselves to responding to poverty. What you might not always think of is the Church. But here at Compassion, we believe God has given the mission of releasing people from poverty not primarily to non-profits, but to His Church. The Church is uniquely called, commissioned and equipped by Jesus Christ as an outpost of His Kingdom, tasked with continuing His mission here on earth. In the final verses of Matthew, we see Jesus commission his followers to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). Earlier in Matthew 16:18, Jesus says that “the gates of Hades will not overcome [the Church].” In Acts, we see how this small group of Jesus’ followers became a community where “there were no needy persons among them” (Acts 4:34). They were a powerful force for the gospel, empowered by the Holy Spirit to “[speak] the word of God boldly” (Acts 4:31). The Church is the only institution Jesus established while on earth, tasked with carrying His message of Good News for the poor (Luke 4:18) to the world. The Church has an incredible legacy of mission—one we continue today.
Partnering with the local church to release children from povertyWhether in a remote community in Thailand or the hustle and bustle of Toronto, the Church plays a critical role in bringing practical and spiritual care to those in need. That’s why Compassion partners with the local church in our mission to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name.
The Church around the worldCompassion partners exclusively with local churches in the 25 countries where we work to implement our programs. Our local church partners are known and trusted by their communities. Community members know them for their outstanding love and care—and because of that, they can reach people like no other organization! We equip our local church partners with resources, training and expertise on holistic child development, to help them best meet the needs of their neighbours. Because they know their communities best, each church is empowered to implement our child development programs in a way that meets the specific needs of their unique context. Approximately 7,000 local churches around the world partner with Compassion, working tirelessly to minister to children and their families living in extreme poverty.
“God has called Compassion to be a bridge–serving the Church both in the developing world and here in Canada.”Barry Slauenwhite, President Emeritus, Compassion Canada
The Church in CanadaCompassion’s focus on church partnership isn’t limited to our work around the world. We partner with Christians here at home, inviting Canadians to take an active role in the lives of children living in poverty. Holistic child development can’t happen without sponsors who commit to giving a child hope through letters, prayers and a financial contribution. Some sponsors even choose to travel and meet their child face-to-face, strengthening their relationship as they spend time together. By working together as the global Church, we get to see local churches continue the mission that started with Jesus’ first disciples–to make disciples by compassionately caring for peoples’ material and spiritual needs.
There are three main reasons our church partners with Compassion: their commitment to Jesus and the Gospel, their commitment to those in need and their commitment to working through local churches. Darcy Kuhn, Pastor of Outreach, Northview Community Church, Abbotsford, B.C.