Compensation At The Top

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Looking at your 2013 990, I see your new president was being paid about $420,000 which is about twice the $216,000 you paid the former president. At least 10 others at the top were making well above $200,000. This helps explain the large increase in your annual compensation budget year-over-year. What is the latest data since this 2013 report? Also, I'm very curious as to WHY this level of compensation for so many and WHY it has been necessary to raise these levels lately?
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Steve Wilson

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Posted 4 years ago

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Adam

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Hi Steve! I hope that I can help to address some of your concerns. Compassion publishes all of their annual reports, Forms 990, and audited financial statements for public inspection on their website, here, and they encourage sponsors to review those. The Form 990 for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013 reported part year total compensation of $419,676 for the outgoing president and pert year total compensation of $216,132 for the incoming president. I think you might have those individuals reversed. Total compensation of officers and key employees for 2013 was reported at $2,688,864. In the most recent Form 990, for the FYE June 30, 2015, total compensation of officers and key employees was reported at $2,430,928, a decrease of roughly 10% from 2013.

Incidentally, I work in public accounting and when I was doing my first research about Compassion before becoming a sponsor I was surprised to see how conservative the compensation of officers and key employees is at Compassion for an organization of it's size and scale. Keep in mind that Compassion is one of the largest charities in the United States. They have to balance offering competitive salaries to attract and keep talented individuals with being good stewards of our contributions. They do a wonderful job of that, in my opinion. I have no doubt that each of those individuals listed as highly compensated could be making much more income in the private sector.

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Lilly Lucas Miesing

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i agree with this. my gosh this is more than what the president of the country earns. i am rethinking my donation.
(Edited)
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Charles Pineda

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Your response is typical of the corporate response used for decades. One could be making more in the private sector? If they could they would have left. To compare the Lord's work to private money making corporations is an affront to His work.

The founder didn't take a large salary to do God's work. And if the Compassion organization needs to pay its CEO and officers those kind of salaries it seriously needs to consider the needs of the children who are being used to make the organization financially successful.

Learned enough at Harvard Business School to see the same arguments used, again, by hundreds, if not thousands, of non-profits organizations to defend their high salaries using the private sector as a standard of compensation. 

I notice that the PRIVATE SECTOR NEVER USES THE NON-PROFIT SECTOR TO DEFEND THEIR ASTRONOMICAL SALARIES BECAUSE THAT'S THEIR GOD OR PURPOSE TO ENRICH THEMSELVES WHILE ON PLANET EARTH. 

IN CONCLUSION, I'M SURE GLAD THAT WE WILL ALL BE JUDGED EITHER AT THE GREAT WHITE THRONE OR BY OUR LORD AND SAVIOR CHRIST JESUS. THERE THE LITTLE MONEY THAT THE CHILDREN GET WILL BE COMPARED TO THE SALARIES THE OFFICERS OF COMPASSION RECEIVED.

IF YOU ARE IN THE HUMAN CHRISTIAN SERVICES YOU NEED TO GIVE BACK AT LEASE FIFTY PERCENT OF YOUR SALARY TO THE CHILDREN. AND, BY THE WAY, MANY CEO'S IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR TAKE A SALARY OF ONE DOLLARS AS THEY ARE BILLIONAIRES OR MAYBE TRILLIONAIRES (THE ONE TENTH OF ONE PERCENT) .

THE FOUNDERS PURPOSE WAS TO FINANCIALLY HELP THE CHILDREN AND BRING THEM TO THE KNOWLEDGE OF A SAVIOR, CHRIST JESUS. THAT WAS HIS MISSION. AND I'LL BET YOU HE IS A MOST HAPPY BROTHER KNOWING THAT WHILE ON PLANET EARTH HE DIDN'T TAKE THE MONEY THAT WAS MEANT FOR THE ORPHANS IN KOREA, AND LATER IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD. WHAT DO THE OFFICERS DO WITH THAT KIND OF MONEY? 

 EL CHUCK FROM CALIFORNIA; UGM PREACHER, AND TOOK NOT ONE PENNEY FOR HELPING STARVING ORPHANS IN YOUN DAK PO, REPUBLIC OF KOREA. CHRIST JESUS TOOK GOOD CARE OF MY FINANCIAL NEEDS, AND THEY WEREN'T TWO HUNDRED OR FOUR HUNDRED PLUS DOLLARS.
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Emily Smith

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Aren't we all ignoring the obvious solution here? No one is forcing anybody to donate to Compassion. There are plenty of organizations that work with children all over the world. Compassion employees have attempted to provide answers to the questions, but people are continuing to argue. If the answers given are not satisfactory, and you still feel negatively toward Compassion, then donate to another organization. It's quite simple. Or, since many of you seem extremely well-versed in how to run a non-profit, start your own. 
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Lilly Lucas Miesing

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I will not stop my donation since I can't imagine my little child going without. My pastor did not let me share Compassion International for Compassion Sunday in my church. I will just continue with my commitment with donation and prayers.

 
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Allen Andringa

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Nothing can justify a salary of almost TEN TIMES the salary of the average American ($45K/year) to the head of a ministry that serves the poor.  Sadly, I will not continue supporting this ministry after the children I sponsor age-out.  Just. Very. Sad. Reminds me of the verse "the heart is deceitful above all things, who can know it?" We can justify anything. 
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William Blair

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I just want to add one thing to this. Compassion had a total income of 776 million dollars this last fiscal year.  Any company in the private sector that has a gross income like that will pay CEO's and top officers 5 to 10 times what Compassion pays. Some ministry leaders I know personally have left behind business opportunities for full time ministry because that's where God led them knowing their needs would be covered. Most people don't understand that especially people I know who follow these prosperity preachers who manipulate the Bible for personal gain.
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Charles Pineda

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FOR A TWO BILLION NON-PROFIT $131.243 IS COMMENDABLE!
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Lilly Lucas Miesing

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Kristen I did google Salvation Army. I wouldn't make things up. In any case OK. I stand corrected. I do agree with Charles Pineda, commendable it is indeed.
(Edited)
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Charles Pineda

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Lilly: We are on the same page, and in line with Christ Jesus's commands.
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Allen Andringa

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It's just sad that you continue to compare Compassion with Corporate America rather than to other ministries to whom God has called people to serve.  You're comparing a ministry to American greed. It's. Just. So. Sad. 
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Charles Pineda

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When one wants wisdom the scriptures tell us to ask God for it and he will grant us wisdom in abundance. As a former peace officer and investigator I see the same kind of strategies and rational used by corporations by many non-profit corporations. For example, every non-profit whose CEO's makes over $200,000.00 dollars uses the corporate rational for making such huge salaries on a ministry that should share more of the CEO's wealth with the poor people that have no say so or voice on the salary of the non-profit. Why do you think the word CORPORATION is used after non-profit?

So, compare the CEO of the Union Gospel Mission in Sacramento, California, He earns $65,000.00 plus per year to the annual salary of the CEO of Compassion.

As the former national and state president of the Mexican American Correctional Association, a non-profit, I didn't take a single dollars for all the work with correctional peace officers, regular peace officers, and probation and parole officers. I foot the bill myself. And as I said before in our society people seem to be hungry for money all the time, yes, including Christians.

Take a look at the Internet site for non-profit corporations and see how much money goes to personnel and how much goes to the poor, hungry, third world people who really need the money to buy food, and not starve rather then the CEO who usually live in the best neighborhoods with all the amenities of the non-profit CEO's.

In conclusion, hopefully you are not an employee or minion of Compassion. Again look at the site on NON-PROFIT SALARIES AND WHAT THE CEO OF THE SALVATION ARMY GET'S AND THEY WERE AROUND LONG BEFORE COMPASSION.

My best,
Charles Pineda, Jr.
Retired Parole Board Judge; California
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Sarah, Official Rep

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Official Response
Hello Steve! Compassion's 2014-2015 990 form shows our CEO, Santiago
“Jimmy” Mellado’s reportable compensation from the ministry as $296,044, which
is well below other ministries within this same field. You can find our 990 form through the link that Adam graciously provided or here. This is from the time period of Jun 1, 2014 through June 30,2015. We usually
compare our CEO's compensation to World Vision’s President, who has a reportable
compensation from that organization as $447,500, because they are an
organization of comparable size and mission.

Our
statement on stewardship says the following: “The ministry of Compassion
belongs to the children, our Implementing Church Partners, our sponsors and
donors, our Supporting Church Partners and ultimately to God. Therefore, we
protect, develop, and deploy all of our resources (people, time, money,
knowledge, reputation and materials) with great care and wisdom.”

In order to develop quality staff at Compassion while at
the same time managing our financial resources with great care and wisdom, we
seek to offer competitive salaries for the various positions necessary to
successfully execute Compassion’s mission statement. Also, please note that our leaders are faithful sponsors
and donors as well, and personally and financially support the ministry.

Thank you so much, Adam and William, for jumping in to help answer Steve's question quickly :). I sincerely appreciate the time you take to go above and beyond for fellow sponsors and the significant help you are to us!
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Stephen

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Sarah why does Christian organizations get such a bad rap
(Edited)
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Charles Pineda

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The Salvation Army has been around much longer then Compassion. Why can't Jimmy live on the salary of the Salvation Army CEO? And they are older and bigger.
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newsponsor

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Yes, I agree, total CEO compensation of $337,667 for a non-profit organization with gross receipts of $800,269,173 would be considered at least 3 times lower compared to other non-profit organizations of similar size, particularly, non-profit health care organizations.
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Allen Andringa

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It's just sad that you continue to compare Compassion with Corporate America rather than to other ministries to whom God has called people to serve.  You're comparing a ministry to American greed. It's. Just. So. Sad.
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Jane

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I am shocked that people think it is OK for CEO's of Christian relief organizations to be earning 6-figure salaries when it comes from sacrificial gifts for impoverished people!  This is not a job.  It's a ministry.  Of course the minister needs to be adequately provided for, but if he/she is looking for riches in this world, he/she should get a job in the private sector.  There are plenty of Christian servants who would do a great job running these ministries without enriching themselves in the process.  People who want very dollar possible should go to the people it was given to help!   What a worldly mentality is expressed by the previous posts!  
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Jane

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And exactly what name-calling did I engage in, Emily? Again, as an attorney, you should know better than to post false accusations about people. Especially when the evidence is right there that I did nothing of the kind.
Nor did I put any words in your mouth or say that you called anyone a loser. But you don't seem to realize that there are many many highly qualified people who serve the Lord out of love, even in very difficult and stressful positions and don't feel the need to be paid a high salary to do so.
You feel sad for me? Please don't. I feel sad for you.
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Steve Wilson

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Emily, please take a deep breath and relax.  Nobody is attacking you.  You are probably a fine person and fun at parties.  We just have a different perspective and disagree with each other.  One of the great failures in our country in the last few years is that we've lost the ability to disagree with one another without believing we're being attacked personally.  Let's all pray that changes.  Soon. 
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Charles Pineda

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One big Amen! I love your position on a ministry vs. a non-ministry job.
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Charles Pineda

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Fully agree Jane! It's if it's God work it's a MINISTRY! How the Lord got me to Harvard Law School only He knows, and as Parole Board Judge I deal with attorney's on a daily basis. Some are sharp and know the Penal Code of California. Other's not so sharp, however, they all have pass the state's Bar Examination. 

Today, people choose careers. Medicine, law, physics, engineering, acting,etc. They are just careers. However, some people think because they have entered a field that get's a lot of television and drama that other person's need to kind of bow down a la royalty to their status, and that is just foolish, and in poor taste.

The proverbs tell me that it is better to be with the oppressed then to be with the oppressors. So, while we are on planet earth we will meet with all kinds of people. Some will like us and some won't. And if you are dealing with lawyers some will not give an inch on an argument or topic. And, of course, a Christian, non-lawyer or lawyer will always be kind, and respectful, for that is what Christ Jesus taught us or left for us in 1st Corintians 13 regarding LOVE, AND GOD IS LOVE. 
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Charles Pineda

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We are on the same page! Yes if one want to make big money get into the private sector or the NON PROFIT corporations.

The Lord has certainly given you a talent of writing for His people, the poor and helpless.

My best,
Chuck Pineda in California
(Edited)
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heather o

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Isn't that being a bit harsh and judgemental? Do you know the administration heart and how they spend their money? Do you know their family size and needs? How do you know that some of the administrators' compensations aren't being reinvested into the Compassion ministry or another ministry? It also seems to me that someone who takes a job that pays half to one fifth as much as they could make elsewhere has done so to serve Christ. People do jobs and they deserve to be paid. CEOs have very high stress levels and their compensation reflects that no matter if they are a Christian organization or a worldly organization. When you divide salaries by the number of sponsorships very little goes towards salaries. To say you won't sponsor your kiddos anymore because someone is being paid to do a job is hurting no one but those children.
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Charles Pineda

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NON OF THE NON-PROFIT CORPORATION INITIATE WHAT THEIR EMPLOYEE'S DO WITH THEIR MONEY. SO, NO ONE KNOWS WHETHER THEY HELP OTHERS OR JUST ADD TO THEIR WEALTH. AND IF ONE DOESN'T SHARE WITH OTHERS IT BETTER THAT NO ONE KNOW. BUT THE LORD KNOWS.
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Jane

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I can sponsor children through other Christian organizations who take a lot less of donors' money for their leadership so that a lot more can go to the needy.  So no one is being hurt by my changing which organization I sponsor through.  But a lot of needy people are being hurt by so much money that was given for their needs going to 20+ people making 6-figure salaries.

No, I don't think that it is being judgmental to say that what companies in the private sector pay their employees should not be the standard for what ministries pay their ministers, or that it is a very worldly viewpoint to think so.  Christian organizations that operate on the basis of donations are merely stewards of those donations.  How how they use those sacrificial gifts is a very different matter from how companies use their profits.
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Maria Eberle

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Children's Hunger Fund is the organization I've chosen.
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Charles Pineda

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JANE: OUTSTANDING COMMENT. GOD BLESS YOU. IN MY HEART I TRULY BELIEVE THAT THE LORD CHRIST JESUS GAVE YOU THOSE WORDS TO BRING HIS PERSPECTIVE INTO FOCUS.

CHUCK PINEDA IN CALIFORNIA
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Victor Miller

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https://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pallott...

Watch this Ted talk. It explains well what I think.
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Lilly Lucas Miesing

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When it comes to a Christian organization I cannot hear the comments of a gay person...
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Alexia StClair

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Then you are no Christian. Jesus would turn away no one. As a so-called Christian you should know that. If your beloved sponsor-child grew up to realize he was gay would you cast him out? You are literally the epitome of what gives Christians a bad name. “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ” -Ghandi
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newsponsor

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"Non-profit" doesn't mean they have to work for free. It only means that company profit is not paid as shareholder distribution, but it is re-invested to business. Hence, all employees, including CEO, are entitled to compensation. Being CEO means unlimited working hours, making strategic decisions, legal responsibility for smooth operation of the charity with multi-million dollar budget. The Compassion International CEO compensation is much less compared to other non-profit organization.  Goodwill CEO was paid $712,202 with total company revenue of $44,941,304. Compassion International CEO was paid $381,073 with total company revenue of $800,169,932. Santiago "Jimmy" Mellado is already taking a big cut in his salary being a CEO of Christian charity. It would be unfair to offer a CEO a salary of an office clerk.
(Edited)
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Lilly Lucas Miesing

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This is why I don't give to Goodwill.
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Charles Pineda

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NON-PROFITS ARE THE WAY TO GO TO MAKE BIG SIX FIGURE SALARIES. JUST TAKE A LOOK AT THE INITIAL SALARIES OF THE "WOUNDED WARRIOR" NON-PROFIT CORPORATION. IT WENT FROM 200,000, TO 300,000, TO OVER 600,000 DOLLARS. I MAY BE  A LITTLE OFF, BUT ONE CAN SEE IT ON THE INTERNET. FINALLY THE BOARD OF DIRECTOR'S FORCE OUT THE ATTORNEYS WHO STARTED IT, AND NOW SOME REAL VETERANS ARE SUPPORTING IT. THESE ATTORNEY'S, TO MY KNOWLEDGE NEVER SERVED THEIR COUNTRY.BUT THERE IS BIG MONEY TO BE MADE IF ONE HAS A BIG POPULATION BASE, AND A GOOD PUBLIC RELATIONS FIRM.

FUNNY, THE ATTORNEYS WHO STARTED THE WOUNDED WARRIOR NON-PROFIT NOW WILL LEGALLY HELP ONE START A NON-PROFIT CORPORATION.

WHAT BOTHERS US VETERANS IS HOW THESE MONEY HUNGRY PEOPLE WILL TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SOLDIERS AND USE THEM TO MAKE BIG MONEY.
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Charles Pineda

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Management 101: The owner or CEO of a company leads, and insures that the subordinates carry out the objective, or work. That's how most of our corporate, and public government systems work. It's the subordinates who do the hardest task, and get the lower salaries, sounds familiar?

So, where is all this stress, long hours, traveling, and, of course, staying at the best hotels. One can be at a village in Guatemala like Monterico in Jutapia, and be at the best hotel along the beach in twenty minutes. Oh, how stressful.

My best,
El Chuck
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Linda Hepperle

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We are uniquely and wonderfully made with intelligence and maybe hearts to stand up for what is right and some may disapprove of one's salary, and feel obligated to try to hold brothers and sisters accountable, but ultimately, and thankfully God is our judge. Money is just a number and worldly wealth is given just as it can be taken away. All things work together for good. We certainly can be the hands and feet of God and He may choose to bless us to have the means to do so. Blessed are those who choose to use His blessings according to His will and blessed are the poor who I pray will be blessed with wealth on this earth, but God may choose to bless them in other ways or in heaven. He is holy and His judgment is holy. I don't know the heart of those who hopefully work so hard to keep this ministry going, but I can only pray that they will be used in a way that God wants them to be used. Maybe their salary allows them to be in places where they encounter others who they can speak to and impact those who may not otherwise be impacted. I think of celebrities who have fame and fortune and still are broken and suicidal, because life doesn't come from money life comes from God through Jesus. I pray that the money donated will be multiplied by God to help children in need in a way that God wants. I cannot judge the heart of the people angry about salaries, maybe their conviction to speak out is justified and led by God. None of us truly know. May God shine light upon any evil, may He continue to work in the hearts of people to impact lives for Him and may we all turn from our selfishness and worldly sins that we are all guilty of. I thank God for His amazing love and grace that none of us deserve.
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Mary N Cooper

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You are right and I agree, I work in business and in comparison their salaries are actually very low, if you want good people, people who can handle and world wide organization you have to pay them something.

My concern is with the parish where the child I was sponsoring left and no one at Compassion getting back to me.

May God Bless you and thank you for your well written response.

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Charles Pineda

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May the Lord Christ Jesus continue to give you the words of love for others, for God is love.
IHS
Chuck Pineda of California

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