Thanks for asking, Sue. Yup. I do.
First, I love World Vision. Their work makes the work of other organizations like Compassion’s possible sometimes. For instance, a Compassion child development center may serve children water provided by a well World Vision dug. Just a hypothetical. We’re all in this together and what World Vision does is an important piece of the poverty killing puzzle.
1. Compassion ALWAYS works through the local church. Compassion meets the needs of over 1.4 million children in twenty-six of the world’s poorest countries by working exclusively through the local church. Partnering with churches allows children and their families to not only have their physical needs met but also gives them access to spiritual help as well. Because of this commitment to the local church, 500 children, on average, come to faith in Christ every day through the ministry of Compassion. Compassion does not take government funding because doing so may limit its ability to minister “in Jesus’ name” in this way at times. Every teacher, social worker, employee of Compassion International is a Christian able to meet both physical and spiritual needs. World Vision does not require employees to be Christians, some are not, and some who are cannot minister in the name of Jesus because of the laws of the countries they are working in.
2. Compassion International’s sponsors help one child. When you sponsor a child at one of my concerts you are agreeing to pay $38 a month to meet the spiritual and physical needs of your sponsored child. A minimum of 80% of your monthly payment goes to your child’s country’s Compassion office where it’s used to meet your child’s needs. When you sponsor a child through World Vision your child is symbolic of the people your money will assist. Your money is used to build roads, dig wells, or for disaster relief (World Vision has an incredible disaster relief program), but your monthly payment is may or may not have any direct affect on the life of the child you are “sponsoring.” You can write your child letters and those letters certainly have a direct impact on your World Vision sponsored child but your money may not. In this sense World Vision does not offer the kind of “direct sponsorship” of one child that Compassion does. With World Vision the child on your sponsorship packet is actually there to represent the kind of person you are helping. With Compassion it IS the person you are helping.
3. World Vision is a relief organization whereas Compassion is a child development organization. World Vision does a myriad of wonderful things, from making roads, to erecting structures like schools and homes, to rehabilitating child soldiers to providing mosquito nets. They provide relief in many forms. Compassion is a one trick pony. They develop impoverished children into mature Christian adults. They have built a successful model for holistic child development that impacts the child physically, mentally, socially, spiritually and economically. The whole child is impacted, then the child impacts the community. World Vision’s work often compliment’s that work by developing the community that child grows up in.
Compassion International and World Vision are different but together they defeat a common powerful enemy.