Founded less than 70 years ago, today World Vision is one the largest nonprofits in America. But its work primarily focuses outside of the US. Throughout its history, the organization has helped Vietnamese refugees, those devastated by the Ethiopian famine, the African AIDS crisis, and those affected by the Syrian civil war. Its sponsor child program assists one million children, in addition to the millions reached by its community health, microlending, and clean water work.
In recent years, due to a combination of economic development and humanitarian work, more and more people around the globe have emerged out of poverty. But those left behind are increasingly those who live in countries marred by incompetent governments or corrupt regimes, says Richard Stearns, who is currently serving his 20th year as president of World Vision.
“There’s kind of a conundrum that we face,” said Stearns. “Countries that have all those human rights abuses and challenges happen to be the places where the most vulnerable people live so we tend to work in those places because we feel like God has called our organization to the most vulnerable.”
Stearns joined assistant editor Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss World Vision’s plan on how not to create dependency, how evangelism factors into their work, and what India’s decision to shutdown Compassion International means for his organization.