Retirement Announcement to the Compassion Family

Having recently closed out our fiscal year, we can see the results of all your hard work. It is clear that Compassion’s 60th year was an exciting and blessed year! Thank you for your faithfulness!

It may seem strange in the middle of all this vision and passion that I have informed Compassion’s Board of Directors that the time has come for me to step aside as president. After 35 years serving in this ministry, and 19 of them as your president, I have a real sense of peace that I have done for Compassion what God called me to do. It is time for me to pass the torch to the next generation of leadership.

I feel this is one of those “fullness of time” moments for Compassion. The past is a heritage we can all be proud of, grateful for, and continue to build upon. The present is dynamic and strong. And the future is bright – I truly believe that Compassion is poised to take off for its best days yet!

"It's Time to Pass the Torch to the Next Generation..."

Compassion President Wess Stafford Announces His Retirement to Compassion's Staff

Compassion International President Wess Stafford

Having recently closed out our fiscal year, we can see the results of all your hard work. It is clear that Compassion’s 60th year was an exciting and blessed year! Thank you for your faithfulness!

It may seem strange in the middle of all this vision and passion that I have informed Compassion’s Board of Directors that the time has come for me to step aside as president. After 35 years serving in this ministry, and 19 of them as your president, I have a real sense of peace that I have done for Compassion what God called me to do. It is time for me to pass the torch to the next generation of leadership.

I feel this is one of those “fullness of time” moments for Compassion. The past is a heritage we can all be proud of, grateful for, and continue to build upon. The present is dynamic and strong. And the future is bright – I truly believe that Compassion is poised to take off for its best days yet!

Words simply cannot express how much my wife Donna and I have cherished these 35 years serving with you. What an honor to have been given by you the “gift of leadership.” Compassion will always have been our life’s ministry, calling, mission and joy. As a family we feel we have been truly blessed. We have made this decision together after a great deal of prayer, soul searching and planning. We will be leaving with the same sense of God’s hand guiding our lives that we felt decades ago in coming to Compassion.

I have not lost any of my passion, vision or drive for Compassion’s cause. I will, of course, continue my ministry to children – writing, speaking, advocating on their behalf. But it will be good to slow my pace, spend more time with family and put down the corporate leadership load. It feels right.

Our Board has established a wonderful CEO Search Committee comprised of seven outstanding representatives from our board as well as our US and global executive staffs. They have also engaged The Dingman Company, Inc., an excellent search firm, to allow us to consider external as well as internal candidates for our future president.

The CEO Search Committee will be very busy the next few months. I urge you to commit to fervent prayer for God’s guidance. In 60 years, Compassion has gone through this process only three times. Each time, God has blessed, clearly revealing the next leader who is perfectly prepared and equipped for their particular chapter of Compassion’s history. I know He will do it again. I look forward to the ideas and skills, the passions and visions of this ministry’s next leader.

When God reveals Compassion’s future president to us, I urge you to join me in welcoming my successor. If you love this ministry as I know you do, commit to the success of this transition. Give my successor the same gift of leading you that you have graciously given to me. They say there is “no success without succession.” I believe that to be true, and am committed to the success of my successor. I will do as much or as little as it takes to prepare them for and then support their presidency in the years to come.

The timing of my departure will depend on the Board’s insight into when the new president is ready – in as little as a year, or perhaps as late as two years. Be assured, I will not let go of the wheel until I’m sure it’s safely in the hands of God’s chosen successor.

I have one very sincere request. As we step into this process, let us stay the course of “releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name.” My schedule, health and emotions will handle this transition period far better if we focus our attention and efforts on faithfully working toward Compassion’s bright future rather than on celebrating our past accomplishments. You would honor me best by working diligently, praying for the Search Committee, and then enthusiastically welcoming our new president. I promise you that when the moment comes, we will pause briefly together to praise God and joyfully pass the torch. But until then, let us not use our time, energy and finances on “farewell” things. Let’s stay focused and committed to our great mission. Thank you.

May God bless you as you faithfully serve Him and the Little Ones of His Kingdom!

Your friend and brother,

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