Our history

One man’s act of compassion for South Korean war orphans has grown into a worldwide ministry releasing millions of children from poverty in Jesus' name

On a war-torn Korean street in 1952, God moved Everett Swanson with compassion. Watching city workers scoop up what looked like piles of rags and throw them into the back of a truck, he walked over to take a closer look. Swanson was deeply troubled to see that the “piles” were not rags, but frozen bodies of orphans who had died overnight in the street.

From Korea to all the world

On the airplane home, Swanson heard a simple message resounding in his head. As the engines whirred, he heard the challenge, “What are you going to do? What are you going to do?” over and over again.

By the time his plane landed, Swanson had made a decision: God had moved him with compassion so he needed to take action.

Everett Swanson con los huérfanos de Corea del sur

One morning he saw city workers scoop up what looked like piles of rags and toss them into the back of a truck. He walked up to the truck for a closer look — and was horrified to see that the "piles" were not rags, but the frozen bodies of orphans who had died overnight in the streets.

Swanson could not turn his back on these unwanted children and vowed to find a way to help them. He raised money to support a Korean orphanage and soon established a unique program that allowed an individual in the Western world to provide Bible-based education, food, clothing, shelter and medical care for a Korean orphan for a few dollars a month.

Compassion in South Korea

Appalled by the great number of small, shivering and starving war orphans he sees on the streets of Seoul, South Korea, the Rev. Everett Swanson begins a ministry to save them.

The very same belief drives us today. When God stirs our hearts with compassion, we take action to share His love.

Compassion in South Korea

«Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way"»

Matthew 15:32 New International Version (NIV)

Compassion in South Korea

Over the last 65 years we've honed our approach to child development - Swanson’s initial act of compassion has grown to a movement releasing more than 1.8 million children from poverty in 25 developing countries. There are thousands of Compassion graduates who've been released from poverty and are bringing change to their families, communities and nations.

Every day we continue to share God’s love in action with children in poverty. Will you join us?

Compassion logo
© Copyright Compassion 2018 - Since 1952 we are passionate about empowering all children to overcome the obstacles poverty puts in their way. We focus on one child at a time, linking them with one sponsor who releases them from poverty.
Compassion South Africa is served by Compassion Italy