Joe and Lynn Wilkey gave birth to World Compassion Network on January 1st 2001. They want to tell you the story about the birth of a ministry. This is the beginning of their story. Giving birth to a ministry is almost like giving birth to a child. There is excitement, apprehension, and anticipation. You will be blessed as you read their story of faith.
After pastoring churches in three states we were convinced that God wanted us to work in compassion ministry. We took every opportunity to join with ministries that helped the poor and victims of disasters. After five years of volunteering in these ministries I (Joe) was hired full time with Feed the Hungry in South Bend, IN. During the next ten years I gained valuable experience and became Director of Development and Disaster Relief. God was preparing me to launch WCN. He gave me the vision and mission for a new ministry. It was clear that God wanted us to use compassion ministry to open the door for the Gospel. Our mission was to assist local churches to reach out to victims of disaster and the poor.
We finally came to our senses and early in January 2002 we decided to do it. We had no money and I didn’t even have a job. We wrote a letter announcing our intentsions and sent it to 147 people. We didn’t have that many close friends. We opened a post office box and mailed the letter by faith. Within a week I received an offer from Samaritan’s Purse to handle the logistics for building a hospital in Afghanistan. The war had just started there and so there was going to be a need for a hospital. I accepted the offer but not a job. I had a new ministry and needed a project not a job. Can you imagine my wife’s reaction that evening? Oh great, no job, no money and my husband is going to war.
This is the best part of the story. We went to the post office the day I received my plane ticket to Afghanistan. Walking into the post office to check the mail box with tears in our eyes, we opened the box. There were four envelopes inside. We decided to open them in the order they were stacked. In the first one there was $25, the second one had $50, the third one had $75. I turned to Lynn and said ”Honey, I believe God for $100.” There was a check for $10,000 in the forth envelope. I’m glad God thinks bigger than I do. We had confirmation from God that He would provide.
We have never looked back on our decision and have never doubted God. He has always provided what we needed and still does to this day. We have done relief work all over the world. God has launched projects to meet the needs of the poor in many places where we have done relief work. He has provided us with equipment, facilities and most importantly a wonderful staff and volunteers to carry out His "Compassion Ministry".
Lynn and I currently live in Warsaw, Indiana near our three married children and seven wonderful grandchildren. We hope you will return to read other exciting stories of God’s faithfulness to the call on our lives.