At Compassion, everything we do to serve children in poverty is driven by our local church partners in the communities where we work. We love the Church—it’s one of the first things you’ll learn about us when we introduce ourselves. And that’s not just limited to the 25 countries where we work. Our love for the Church extends to Canadian local churches, too!

We’re so thankful for the many diverse Canadian churches and pastors who choose to partner with Compassion to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name by coming together to sponsor kids, fund other initiatives, pray for our ministry, raise awareness for children living in poverty and so much more.

More: Sunday, May 9, 2021 is Compassion Sunday. Churches across Canada will highlight Compassion’s ministry in their weekly services or gatherings. Pray with us for Kingdom-sized impact!

Today, we want to highlight Canadian pastors across the country as they lead and serve through this global pandemic. Their faithfulness might not make national headlines, but their impact in their local communities and around the world is hard to overstate. Join us in celebrating and praying for them.

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Pastor Matthew Maxwell

Lead Pastor, Journey Wesleyan Church

Fredericton, New Brunswick

Pastor Matt and his wife

What song is getting you through the pandemic? Graves into Gardens by Elevation Worship

What’s your favourite local charity? Boaz Ministries

What’s your favourite local business? Trucarpentry

What’s your favourite book that you read in the last year? Disappearing Church and Reappearing Church by Mark Sayers

In 50 words or less, why do you partner with Compassion? We partner with Compassion because of what they do and how they do it! My wife and I had the privilege of visiting a Compassion project in Nicaragua (where we sponsor a child). Seeing the ins and outs, the passion, the expertise and quality care and Christ-centred missionall I can say is, “Second to none!”

In 50 words or less, how can Compassion supporters be praying for you in this season? As with everyone else, coming out of COVID is proving to be exhausting and energizing at the same time. We have new connections and old friends that we desperately long to connect with in new and fresh ways once restrictions are lifted! God is at work!!!

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Pastor Muriel Tse

English Congregation Pastor, North York Christian Community Church

North York, Ontario

Pastor Muriel wearing glasses and a purple sweater

What song is getting you through the pandemic? Always by Kristian Stanfill, also Not for a Moment by Meredith Andrews, and one more that really is the morning get-up song, Give Me Jesus by Fernando Ortega.

What’s your favourite local charity? Rahab Ministries

What’s your favourite local business? Araya Sushi, because it’s close and good quality sushi. 🙂

What’s your favourite book that you read in the last year? The Pastor: a memoir by Eugene Peterson

In 50 words or less, why do you partner with Compassion? I believe Compassion truly has got something right! The importance of merging helping people in poverty and also sharing gospel of Jesus Christ, must always go hand in hand! Compassion does this right!

In 50 words or less, how can Compassion supporters be praying for you in this season? For continual wisdom and rest, as ministering to people is hard in general. Now adding the online element, and also making difficult decisions during the continuous change of news requires God-given wisdom to maneuver.

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Pastor Gordon Dickinson

Stratford Site Pastor, Cornerstone Baptist Church

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Pastor Gordon wearing glasses and a blue button up shirt.

What song is getting you through the pandemic? A Place Called Earth (ft. Lauren Daigle) by Jon Foreman

What’s your favourite local charity? Island Pregnancy Centre—they serve all kinds of important needs, but I’m especially impressed with how they are serving newcomers to Canada.

What’s your favourite local business? The Lucky Bean Cafe—a great little coffee shop that dared to open during a pandemic!

What’s your favourite book that you read in the last year? The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanna Stabile. An exploration of what motivates different people and the way they approach the world around them.

In 50 words or less, why do you partner with Compassion? Partnering with Compassion has allowed our church to put a name and a face to global issues in a deeply personal and meaningful way. Whether it’s been through individual child sponsorship or supporting other Compassion projects, we’re in this together and seeing lives changed.

In 50 words or less, how can Compassion supporters be praying for you in this season? The prayer I have for myself and my church is that God would use this time to focus us on the reality of the Gospel and what matters most, sparking our imaginations to new approaches to life and ministry that represent the Kingdom more fully than before.

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Pastor José-Luis Moraga

Pastor of Discipleship, Springfield Heights Mennonite Church

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Pastor José in an orange polo shirt

What song is getting you through the pandemic? Because He Lives performed by West Coast Choir

What’s your favourite local charity? Hope Centre Ministries

What’s your favourite local business? Salvation Army Thrift Store

What’s your favourite book that you read in the last year? Reading Revelation Responsibly by Michael Gorman

In 50 words or less, why do you partner with Compassion? Compassion is an amazing organization that embodies Jesus’ message in tangible ways among the poor and vulnerable. Compassion helps churches to connect with children and people around the world who face poverty, violence and other challenges every day. Those connections and relationships change lives and the world.

In 50 words or less, how can Compassion supporters be praying for you in this season? Resilience, strength and courageous imagination are much needed in this current season. If you can pray for these things to flourish in pastors and churches, that will be much appreciated.

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Pastors Sam and Jess Picken

Lead Pastors, C3 Toronto

Toronto, Ontario

Pastors Sam and Jess with their three kids.

What song is getting you through the pandemic? Jirah by Elevation Worship is incredible. And an older one that has really been ministering to me is Waiting Here For You by Martin Smith.

What’s your favourite local charity? Frontlines is an incredible ministry helping children and youth in Toronto.

What’s your favourite local business? Any business fighting to survive right now! We believe in you!

What’s your favourite book that you read in the last year? After Doubt by A.J. Swoboda is key for any Christian struggling with faith or organized religion.

In 50 words or less, why do you partner with Compassion? Apart from the fact that Compassion does incredible ministry all over the world, we believe that this is something we could do as a family. We want our three kids to grow up seeing the story of others, living selflessly and asking God how they can be used to serve others.

In 50 words or less, how can Compassion supporters be praying for you in this season? Thank you for your prayers. We believe this year our church will be able to occupy its first permanent property. We are believing for a ministry centre that will truly serve our city in a missional way. It is our heart to use this resource to serve others.

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Pastor Jay Guptill

Lead Pastor, Hillside Wesleyan Church

Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

Pastor Jay wearing glasses and a dark jacket, in front of a photo of a lighthouse.

What song is getting you through the pandemic? Waymaker by Leeland

What’s your favourite local charity? Margaret’s House

What’s your favourite local business? Canadian Tire 🙂

What’s your favourite book that you read in the last year? Becoming Us by Beth and Jeff McCord

In 50 words or less, why do you partner with Compassion? In Jesus’ name—I love that the central focus is to love and care and serve and come alongside children in need around the world is first and foremost about the love of Jesus.

In 50 words or less, how can Compassion supporters be praying for you in this season? That our threshold would remain steady—many times it can feel like we are on thin ice and and a simple setback can create cause for concern.

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Pastor Karyn Pearson

Associate Pastor, The Open Door Church

Morris, Manitoba

Pastor Karyn smiling and wearing a navy blue top.

What song is getting you through the pandemic? Graves into Gardens by Elevation Worship

What’s your favourite local charity? YFC Morris

What’s your favourite local business? Big Way Morris

What’s your favourite book that you read in the last year? Didn’t See It Coming by Carey Nieuwhof

In 50 words or less, why do you partner with Compassion? We love their ministry model and appreciate that Compassion cares for the world’s children in ways we could never on our own. We appreciate the spirit and servant heart of the volunteers and staff we have experienced through our partnership.

In 50 words or less, how can Compassion supporters be praying for you in this season? Please pray for wisdom and courage as we lead our congregation through these changing and uncertain times. Pray we will be steadfast in truth, flexible to change and remain strong in love.

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Pastor Drew Johnson

Lead Pastor, Summit Church

Calgary, Alberta

Pastor Drew smiling and wearing a blue crewneck shirt.

What song is getting you through the pandemic? Burden by Foy Vance

What’s your favourite local charity? Emmanuel Foundation

What’s your favourite local business? Shawarma Grill & Meat Shop

What’s your favourite book that you read in the last year? The End of Religion by Bruxy Cavey

In 50 words or less, why do you partner with Compassion? Jesus centred, family focused, community rehabilitation.

In 50 words or less, how can Compassion supporters be praying for you in this season? Wisdom, perseverance, hope, creativity, stay on mission.

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Pastor Fredrica Walters

Lead Pastor, Faith Family Christian Faith Outreach Centre

Ajax, Ontario

Pastor Fredrica in a red shirt

What song is getting you through the pandemic? What A Beautiful Name by Hillsong Worship

What’s your favourite local charity? Doors of Compassion and Compassion Canada

What’s your favourite local business? Michael’s Eatery

What’s your favourite book that you read in the last year? The Game of Life and How to Play It by Florence Scovel Shinn

In 50 words or less, why do you partner with Compassion? I believe in the mission and vision of Compassion Canada. Their impact in the lives of children around the world is evident. I have had the opportunity to visit countries where their programs have impacted the lives of families who would otherwise face tremendous suffering. A large portion of all gifts goes directly into programming.

In 50 words or less, how can Compassion supporters be praying for you in this season? Pray that we will be effective witnesses for Christ, reaping a harvest of souls. Pray that doors of opportunity will continually be opened to us and that we would not grow weary in well doing.

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Pastor Ming Wong

Senior Pastor, Brampton Chinese Baptist Church

Brampton, Ontario

Pastor Ming wearing glasses and a purple collared shirt

What song is getting you through the pandemic? Amazing Grace

What’s your favourite local charity? Compassion Canada

What’s your favourite local business? The Brew Centre

What’s your favourite book that you read in the last year? The Epic of Eden by Sandra L. Richter

In 50 words or less, why do you partner with Compassion? I like that Compassion always partners with the local churches, and works for the holistic development of children.

In 50 words or less, how can Compassion supporters be praying for you in this season? Wisdom to preach the Word, whether in season or not.

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Pastor Rob Haslam

Lead Pastor, Pathway Community Church

Winkler, Manitoba

Pastor Rob with his sponsored child

What song is getting you through the pandemic? Drift Away by Dobie Gray

What’s your favourite local charity? Central Station

What’s your favourite local business? Charley B’s

What’s your favourite book that you read in the last year? Growing Young by Kara Powell, Jake Mulder and Brad Griffin

In 50 words or less, why do you partner with Compassion? The discipleship focus through the local church is why I partner with Compassion. Compassion is interested in Kingdom building not empire building.

In 50 words or less, how can Compassion supporters be praying for you in this season? Energy and wisdom to lead people who gravitate to opposite extremes over the pandemic.

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Pastor Gary Schell

Lead Pastor, Church in the Oaks

London, Ontario

Pastor Gary holding a Bible and wearing a suit

What song is getting you through the pandemic? Don’t Miss Now by Downhere

What’s your favourite local charity? Ark Aid Mission

What’s your favourite local business? The Shish

What’s your favourite book that you read in the last year? The Coddling of the American Mind by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt

In 50 words or less, why do you partner with Compassion? The obvious reason we partner with Compassion is that poverty is tragic and it results in untold millions of vulnerable children that need support to cover basic needs. The less obvious, and of significance for us, is that we value Compassion’s model for missions that works through the local church. We’re all about empowering the indigenous church.

In 50 words or less, how can Compassion supporters be praying for you in this season? Please pray that the fulfilment of our vision to be a vibrant community of Christ followers connecting, growing and serving together continues, despite the lockdown that tends to work against it as we are somewhat disconnected and people are battling weariness and discouragement. Related to this, pray for strength and wisdom for our leadership.

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Pastor Joshua Chow

Lead Pastor, Koinonia Evangelical Church

Richmond, British Columbia

Pastor Joshua standing on a stage holding a microphone.

What song is getting you through the pandemic? Waymaker by Leeland

What’s your favourite local charity? Richmond Hospital Foundation

What’s your favourite local business? All local restaurants

What’s your favourite book that you read in the last year? Crazy Love by Francis Chan

In 50 words or less, why do you partner with Compassion? The reason I partner with Compassion Canada is because I truly believe the model of their ministry. By partnering with the local churches to outreach the poor and to serve the community, I believe it is the most effective way to let those who are underprivileged to experience the love of God and the power of the Christian faith.

In 50 words or less, how can Compassion supporters be praying for you in this season? Pray that our eyes could be widened and our hearts could have more love. Pray that our leadership team will have sufficient strength and wisdom to lead our congregation to overcome all sorts of difficulties and continue to walk on a path of generosity and hospitality.

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Pastor Brent MacDonald

Lead Pastor, Rusagonis Baptist Church

Rusagonis, New Brunswick

Pastor Brent wearing a baseball cap and a red plaid shirt.

What song is getting you through the pandemic? King of My Heart by Stephanie Gretzinger and Jeremy Riddle

What’s your favourite local charity? Village of Hope

What’s your favourite local business? Dana’s Collision Centre

What’s your favourite book that you read in the last year? Didn’t See It Coming by Carey Nieuwhof

In 50 words or less, why do you partner with Compassion? Compassion’s three-pillar commitment of being Christ-centred, child-focused and church-based resonates with me on a deep personal level. When I first saw those words in print, internally my heart said, “This is the ministry that I have unknowingly been looking for all my life!”

In 50 words or less, how can Compassion supporters be praying for you in this season? Please pray that I (together with Christian leaders everywhere) would have the ability to see beyond the pandemic to the new opportunity for reinvention and recasting of a vision in a world that is dramatically changing.

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How can you encourage or pray for a pastor in your life today?

Written by: Alyssa Esparaz

Alyssa is Compassion Canada's Manager of Content and Public Relations, telling stories that inspire and equip the Church to live compassionate lifestyles. She is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto, where she studied International Development.