Passion. Joy. Meaning. Growth. Camaraderie. Fulfilment. These are all words that rise to the surface when we think about a workplace we will love. We want to be passionate about what we do every day. We want it to be a life-giving space that holds significant meaning for us. We want to grow alongside others and ultimately, feel deeply fulfilled in what we do. Are these qualities on your list?

Compassion Canada is in an exciting season of growth and change. New opportunities and ways to use the gifts and skills of Canadians in the mission of releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name are making our workspace fresh and meaningful. The mission is critical and requires men and women who are deeply connected to doing their part. Maybe your heart has been stirred to contribute your gifts and skills to help children thrive? Maybe you want to join a team of like-minded people who have chosen to live out the words of the evangelist Dwight L. Moody:

“If I could relive my life, I would devote my entire ministry to reaching children for God!” -Dwight L. Moody

If that is you, we want you to know you are not alone. And that is why we caught up with four leaders at Compassion Canada to ask them a few questions about what it is really like to work here—the ways that their unique gifts and skills are used, how their faith shows up in the workplace and what it is like to feel connected to something bigger than themselves when they show up for work each week.

These four leaders span our organization and represent some of the diversity of skill that reflects how Compassion Canada puts the mission into action every week. From technology and operations to content and creative, and from office operations to supporter services, these leaders bring a unique and important aspect of Compassion Canada to life.

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Ruth – Director of Technology & Operations

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How does your role at Compassion Canada give you an outlet for your personal strengths and a voice to your personal values?

As both a missionary kid and someone who has spent time studying missions, I believe that in most scenarios the person who is best equipped to do ministry in a given community is a person in that community. While they might be the best equipped, they may not have the necessary resources to be able to minister to that community. I love that resourcing people in the community is a fundamental principle in how Compassion’s ministry works. We partner with local evangelical churches who are passionate about helping children in their community. We come alongside and provide the resources and training so that they can meet the needs of the children and families in their community. I love that we look to equip and empower the local church to meet the needs of their community. And as it turns out, that’s what I look to do here too. I want to equip, empower and release staff to do their best work in their roles as well as equip and empower Canadians looking to join God’s work around the world.

How is your faith [activated/nurtured/stretched] as a leader at Compassion Canada?

There are so many times throughout the day, week, month and year when I have to renew and recommit to trusting and having faith in our Heavenly Father. None of us know what is going to happen tomorrow but He does. There are millions of children in poverty around the world and we are serving and supporting just a fraction of them. The opportunity for Canadians to join God’s work through Compassion helping to release children—and by extension their families and communities—from poverty in Jesus’ name is massive. The staff, systems and infrastructure that we need to have in place to support all of that is also massive. The mountain of decisions and the wisdom required to make the right decisions is daunting. So, we (as my Dad would say) use the “brains God gave us” but also look for the Spirit’s guiding and trust that He is in control.

Another area where my faith is stretched is when I am in one-on-one discussions with staff. Oftentimes in those conversations I’m asking the Lord to help me say that “hard” thing in a gentle, kind and loving way. And actually, I am usually first asking Him for the courage to say the “hard” thing. Or I’m asking Him to help me to ask the right question that helps move our thinking and planning forward. Or asking Him to help me fully understand the situation, the concept or the problem being discussed. So often I am asking for His help as I navigate the many conversations and meetings that happen in my week.

A woman in glasses and a young girl smile at the camera

In what ways has your leadership role increased your passion to serve children and youth? How do you keep the mission of Compassion front and centre in your role?

One of the things that I do daily to help remind myself who it is that we are serving is that I’ve actually made our Sponsor a Child page my home page in my browser. Every morning I open my email and my browser and there, staring back at me, are four beautiful faces of children that are waiting for a sponsor. Sometimes they’re really young children, and sometimes there is a teenager in the mix. But no matter who it is, they help to remind me that what I do that day ultimately has an impact on those children and youth.

A special part of your role at Compassion has been taking new staff to countries where Compassion works throughout your time in the organization. What is something that rises out of those experiences that has fueled your own passion in your role?

It truly has been a privilege and joy to take new staff to the countries where we work as part of their professional development. So many experiences from those training trips have and continue to drive me to do my best in my role. Many times I have had staff and volunteers from the Compassion centres pray for me and my work at Compassion. Those are always such humbling experiences as these are the staff and volunteers doing the hard and often heartbreaking work of loving on and caring for children living in extreme poverty within their own community. They truly are the hands and feet of Jesus in the lives of children and families in their community. And yet, they remind me that we are all one Body, and both of our roles are necessary and important. They might be the hands and feet, but both require muscles and bones underneath the skin to be able to function. I always come home with a renewed determination to be the best muscle or bone I can be in order to support the hands and feet.

Andrew – Director of Content & Creative

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How does your role at Compassion Canada give you an outlet for your personal strengths and a voice to your personal values?

From a young age I was aware of and felt a kinship to people who are overlooked or forgotten. I’ve always found real purpose when I can help others belong and in so doing see them connect to their God-given potential.

I’m also aware of the rich inheritance given to us by believers in the past, especially to creatively address injustice and affirm the value of life. I’m grateful for how my role at Compassion allows me to bring these values, along with my creativity and faith, to answer the call to speak up for those that cannot speak for themselves.

How is your faith [activated/nurtured/stretched] as a leader at Compassion Canada?

My leadership journey at Compassion started just as the pandemic became a global reality, so it’s been a wild ride for the last two years. A constant for me has been God’s presence and help amidst the tumult. Faith is a tether, a necessary and irreplicable lifeline. Time will tell how it grew, but my faith has been activated and stretched in this role and in these times.

A man in sunglasses and a grey shirt talks with a girl in red and white

In what ways has your leadership role increased your passion to serve children and youth? How do you keep the mission of Compassion front and centre in your role?

To keep the mission front and centre, I keep a photograph of Karunia near my desk. Her story was one of the first I encountered when I started work at Compassion. For me, she embodies all that is so essential about championing children to thrive in every way. Her life inspires me.

Through my role I get to serve with a team whose excellence shines light on the story of extreme poverty. We have the privilege to showcase the transformation and triumph that results when Canadian compassion and generosity funnels into the lives of resilient kids like Karunia and their communities. Keeping that story of transformation in front of me and my heart open to the breathtaking tragedy and triumph, fuels me.

What have you loved most about the leadership team you are a part of?

I’m perpetually amazed by the faith at work in this organization at every level, the lead-by-example lifestyles of Compassion staff and just how far the whole team has leaned into the complex and unending challenges of the current moment. At the heart of it all is a conviction to see more kids released from poverty. That we can do it together in Jesus’ name with such incredibly kind and big-hearted Canadians is truly something special. That can only happen with visionary and servant-hearted leadership, and I love that the people who lead us lead in all those ways!

Emily – Director of Supporter Services

A woman in glasses and a blue shirt smiles at the camera

How does your role at Compassion Canada give you an outlet for your personal strengths and a voice to your personal values?

One thing I’ve always appreciated about Compassion is that the staff are known not just for what they do but also who they are. As the Supporter Services Director I get the opportunity to operate in my areas of strength in service to our Supporter Services team and ultimately, our supporters. I am a learner, input seeker, and connector and I’m encouraged to bring my whole being into my role – Christian, mother, wife, child-advocate, teacher, servant. These qualities and values help shape my leadership style and impact the ways I connect with my team and the ministry. Each leader brings their own strengths to their roles, which allows me to be me while simultaneously gleaning from the strengths of my peers.

How is your faith [activated/nurtured/stretched] as a leader at Compassion Canada?

Compassion Canada provides a community where staff are encouraged and provided opportunities for growth in their faith journey. Prayer is an integral part of the ministry and I’m blessed to both receive prayer from my leader and intercede for and with my team in our roles. Walking a life of faith also means seeking out the Spirit’s leading to daily make me more like Jesus, especially as I lead a team. At Compassion I’m encouraged through a community of prayer, challenged to share and grow my faith, I share in a Kingdom mission with my coworkers and I’m privileged to see and be a part of the Church at work around the world serving the needs of Jesus’ children.

A woman in glasses and three young children smile at the camera

In what ways has your leadership role increased your passion to serve children and youth? How do you keep the mission of Compassion front and centre in your role?

As a leader of a frontline team, we act as a line of communication or bridge between our supporters and the children and youth we serve. My passion for the mission is constantly growing as I hear and engage with the stories of the impact our supporters are having. The need for children and youth to be known, loved and connected is so great, and I love leading a team where we encourage supporters to address those needs through their financial support, words of encouragement, and prayers. The passion my team has for the ministry is a source of inspiration for me and helps me keep the mission of Compassion top of mind. I also try to surround myself with visual reminders of who we are and what we do (including pictures and prompts that remind me of my own sponsored children).

What has your leadership journey looked like at Compassion?

I came to Compassion shortly after graduating university, so I’ve grown both as an individual and a leader over the last decade. In terms of roles, my foundation was as an associate within Supporter Services, I then moved to be a Team Lead, Senior Team Lead, Operations Lead and then to my current role as Director of Supporter Services. I’ve had the chance to learn from leaders that have modelled strength of faith, character and vulnerability. I’ve been encouraged, challenged, humbled and continue to grow as I now lead a group of people leaders. I love the time and energy Compassion is investing in their leaders, especially in this season. The journey of learning and growth is never over, but it gives me hope that there’s always the potential to see greater success as we work together to accomplish our mission of “Releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name.”

Brian – Director of Office Operations

A man in a navy shirt smiles at the camera

How does your role at Compassion Canada give you an outlet for your personal strengths and a voice to your personal values?

I had been in a management role at Compassion for a number of years and only more recently taken on the role of a director. It’s been a great opportunity to take the leadership experience that I’ve acquired over the years, combined with everything that was invested in me, and use that to invest in other leaders. I’m able to be a coach and mentor and invest in their leadership and it’s been a great fit to my strengths and my passion for empowering others.

How is your faith [activated/nurtured/stretched] as a leader at Compassion Canada?

My faith has always played a huge role in my leadership. It’s only through God’s strength that I’ve been able to face the challenges that come my way. I’ve had to really rely on God’s wisdom and guidance over the years and have had to lean in and really put my trust in him during uncertain situations or challenging circumstances. Staying grounded in my faith and focusing on Him first has never led me astray and he has taken care of all the other details that come up.

In what ways has your leadership role increased your passion to serve children and youth? How do you keep the mission of Compassion front and centre in your role?

I can admit that it’s easy at times to get bogged down by the business as usual and to lose sight of the bigger picture. The way we live out our culture here has always helped to bring focus back to the people around the world that we serve through Compassion. We have very powerful weekly reminders during team meetings of the great work that is going on and the lives that continue to be changed. It has always fueled my passion for the mission to know that what we do here in Canada may not always seem that impactful in the day-to-day, but it truly has a kingdom impact. I’ve had a chance to see it firsthand in letters from children, stories of lives changed and reports on things happening through our ministry.

You lead a special team at Compassion—the team that in many ways is the most “hands-on” in the daily operations of the organization. What is a unique perspective to Compassion’s mission that comes from that kind of work?

Both of the teams I lead are very service oriented, involved in helping others and equipping them. One team serves our staff to supply them with a great working environment and providing for their practical needs. The other team really serves our supporters and donors through communications, connecting sponsors and their children through letters and supplying event materials to churches and events so more people can be connected to the work of Compassion. It’s amazing to know that we all have a place in the body of Christ and our own role to play to contribute to the whole.

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Compassion Canada is a place where the mission is taken seriously but is done with joy. We do, after all, serve children! Childlike fun is infused into Compassion Canada’s workspace in every corner (and Zoom square), you’ll find it in the laughter of meetings, the debates of the best afternoon snack, the genuine camaraderie that side-by-side work creates and the joy of the work we get to do together. Every leader, team and employee is known, loved and connected.

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Passion. Joy. Meaning. Growth. Camaraderie. Fulfilment.

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Written by: Rebekah Malbrecht

Rebekah Malbrecht is a Content Specialist at Compassion Canada. She loves to wrestle with words, shape stories and document happiness. You're bound to find her where there are books, people and birthday cake.