Dr. Wess Stafford: A warrior for children

April 29, 2012 | 5:56 p.m.

President of Compassion International shares his story at chapel

News | Katie Doose

Dr. Wess Stafford: A warrior for children

Dr. Wess Stafford spoke in chapel on his experiences as a child growing up in an African village. | Erin Gallagher

Chapel started Friday morning with a standing ovation for Dr. Wess Stafford, president of Compassion International. Accrediting the poor he grew up with in an Africa village as his motivation to start the organization, Dr. Stafford used his experience to create Compassion International, one of the largest organizations to aid children in poverty.

In Stafford’s speech, he referred to the Proverbs 31:8 quoting, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.” He stated that this verse has to include children. He also referred to Matthew 25:40, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”

Stafford said that 85 percent of people who are Christians become Christians from ages 4 to 14.  He also cited statistics exemplifying how children pay the greatest price for what goes wrong in society. “We have heard from the Tea Party; I think it’s time to hear from the teething party,” said Stafford. He followed by asking, “How did we get so far away from the heart of God?”

Raised in Africa, Stafford experienced community in a different way, saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” He spoke four languages, had no electricity, and he joked that running water was something he brought to his home with a bucket.

Growing up, many of Stafford’s friends died from a measles outbreak. Even at a young age, he saw it unfair that he had received a vaccination when in the United States, while all of his friends had no such protection. He also said that all the “good ones died” because many of the children thought that the child next to them needed the vaccination more than them, sacrificing  their pill. It was in these moments that Stafford started to realize that action and justice needed to be brought to children all over the world.

Stafford said that while children are not important to the government, they are important to the host of hell and the host of heaven, and the one way that Satan knows how to break God’s heart is to go after children. Stafford also said that Satan wants to go after people when they are weakest and most vulnerable, which is in the womb.

Concluding his speech, Stafford challenged students, “What is your cause? What moves you so deeply that you come to tears in 30 seconds? Find your cause and live it to His glory.”

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