President of Compassion International, Biola University alumnus Wess Stafford (’75), shared his heart shattering, but hopeful story on the cover of the May edition of “Christianity Today.”

A Candle in the Darkness

The president of Compassion International tells his story of childhood abuse and deliverance in a West Africa boarding school. (As published in the May edition of “Christianity Today.”)

At a turning point in my life in 2007, I realized that I needed to allow God to redeem the story of my childhood. That story was so painfully confusing that I did not speak of it for 35 years. Where did my prayers go, my cries for mercy and rescue screamed into my pillow? Did I have the laziest guardian angel in all of heaven?

I received my calling, my purpose, and my life's mission in my darkest and most painful moment, in about 90 seconds at age 10. The moment involved a pink birthday candle, one that had been trimmed with a pocketknife at the blunt end so that it could burn from both directions. The wicks were lit by the man who had authority over me, the houseparent of a boarding school for the children of missionaries in West Africa. The school had been my home for nine months of each year since I was 6 years old. My whole life can be divided into two parts: B.C. (before the candle) and A.D. (after the damage).

Read the entire story at “Christianity Today” here.

Written by Wess Stafford as published in “Christianity Today.”

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