Compassion's History - 1990s

History of Compassion International in the 1990s.

Compassion in the 1990s

Compassion in the 1990s | 1950s | 1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 21st century


Bibles for All Kids is organized to provide Bibles for all Compassion-assisted children and supports our goal of giving each child the opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel.

In April, Service d'Entraide et de Liaison (SEL) of France becomes an affiliated partner country.

Both Miriam Swanson and Dr. Gus Hemwall are named Director Emeritus by our board on September 21. Each served in that capacity until their deaths.


The Overseas Scholarship Grant Program is organized to financially support older children who have completed their formal education and would like to continue in secondary school, vocational training or university.


We begin work in the United States with American inner-city and rural youth, as well as Native American children.


We stop working in Korea after 40 successful years of ministry and begin working in Ethiopia.

A group of Ethiopian boys raise their hands in class.

Rev. Wallace (Wally) Erickson retires after serving as president for 18 years, and Dr. Wess Stafford assumes the presidency.

Wess grew up in Africa's Ivory Coast and shared his missionary parents' commitment to the poor.

Wess Stafford

After college, he served as a Haiti representative for six international relief agencies, including Compassion. Living internationally helped him become fluent in several languages. Undergraduate and post-graduate degrees from Moody, Biola University and Wheaton College prepared him for a life of Christian ministry.


We temporarily close our office in Rwanda during the civil war and genocide. It reopens in September, and we initiate relief efforts to help the more than 140,000 children "unattended" nationwide.

Miriam Swanson Westerberg, Director Emeritus and Everett Swanson's widow, passed away on February 4.


The Rev. Ken Stafford, father of President Emeritus, Dr. Wess Stafford, establishes our Prayer Partner Network. The network, which encompasses more than 25,000 people around the world, includes our sponsors in united prayer for the needs of children in poverty.


The Netherlands joins Australia, Canada, France, Great Britain and New Zealand as Compassion Partner Countries.

The Leadership Development Program (LDP) enrolls its first class of students, in the Philippines.

We launch our inaugural Web site.


The LDP launches in Haiti and Guatemala.


Over 250,000 children are now sponsored through our worldwide ministry.

Dr. Gus Hemwall, ministry pioneer and Director Emeritus, died November 22.


We begin child development work in Tanzania. The first partnership meeting with church leaders was held in April, and on June 30 the Child Sponsorship Program starts at five church partners within Arusha town.

A group of Tanzanian children stand outside together.

Compassion UK opens in the United Kingdom.

Compassion in the 1990s | 1950s | 1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 21st century

The Heart of Compassion Beats Stronger Than Ever

Our history begins with one man’s act of compassion in 1952, an act that blossomed into a ministry helping millions of babies, children and young adults.

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