After thirty-five years at Compassion, and its president for twenty of those, Wess Stafford is retiring. If you’ve read his book “Too Small to Ignore”, you’ll know that Wess was brought-up in Africa and surrounded by poverty as a child. He also attended a boarding-school for missionaries’ children, where he and others were subjected to some terrible abuse, so he really has a heart for those he serves.
It’s an awesome responsibility to be president of such a huge organisation, and to follow in the footsteps of someone like Wess. I remember hearing him say once that the day after he became president, he really noticed a difference in his spiritual life: Intimacy with Jesus seemed to come much more easily, and then he realised a tremendous amount of people must pray for the president of Compassion on a daily basis.
I’ve wondered for a while who Compassion would choose as their new president, and today I got my answer: Jim Mellado. It sounds as if leadership’s not a new thing for Jim: He’s spent the last twenty years co-leading a ministry to local churches, which has pretty much grown tenfold since he took it over. He’s no stranger to poverty either, having been raised in several nations, five of them countries where Compassion works, and one being the Philippines (which is close to my heart). Jim is married with three adult children, and one of his daughters sponsors a child; I guess that makes him a granddad!
Jim’s preparing to start his new job in September. Can I encourage you to do something? Will you do what probably hundreds of thousands of people across the world have committed to do regularly? Will you pray for Jim and his family, that God would bless them in this new chapter of their lives?