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Too Small to Ignore: Why Children Are the Next Big Thing
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Too Small to Ignore: Why Children Are the Next Big Thing

4.43 of 5 stars 4.43  ·  rating details  ·  646 ratings  ·  124 reviews
The time has come, argues Dr. Wess Stafford, for a major paradigm shift: Children are too important and too intensely loved by God to be left behind or left to chance. Children belong to all of us and we are compelled to intervene on their behalf. We must invest in children–all across the world.
There are strategic, persuasive reasons–beyond love and kindness–to invest in
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Paperback, 288 pages
Published October 18th 2005 by WaterBrook Press (first published 2005)
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Beth
13 July 2007

there is a part of me that died and a part of me that has never lived before.

the cruelty of people, the strength of compassion, the joys of dusty lessons in Africa and the torment of hell in boarding schools…

the redemption of our God.

children, their wholeness, and the love of God for them.

poverty, its destruction, and the need for God to redeem broken relationships.

he can, he does, do this.

blessed be the LORD, who has heard the cry of the poor and destitute, whose throne is set upo
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Becca
Mar 10, 2010 Becca rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2009
This biography of Compassion, Intl president Wess Stafford was provided free at a conference - which circumstance is usually not associated with great books. But this one - wow.

I was fascinated by how Stafford turned his own childhood abuse at the hands of missionaries - so-called men and women of God - into a life-long passion for the care and shepherding of children. No bitterness, no cynicism, no hate - just a pure desire to feed, clothe and love the "least of these".

The book is compelling
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Mark
After having read Too Small to Ignore: Why the Least of These Matters Most by Dr. Wess Stafford, I find it easier to divide the book into two virtual book reviews. The first would be Dr. Stafford's life experiences growing up in Africa, the insightful cultural comparisons between life there and in the West, the traumatic abuse he and others suffered while students at The Christian and Missionary Alliance's Mamou Christian Academy, the young Wess Stafford transitioning back to life in the United ...more
Christine
I loved this. Dr. Stafford is the president of Compassion International & an advocate for children - this book is his story & a plea to apply the Great Commission to the children of the world & relieve their poverty. There are just a few things holding me back from giving this 5 stars ~ one is that he seems to view children as guiltless, innocents rather than sinners in need of God's grace, and he takes liberties with Bible stories "embellishing" them for his purposes which I think i ...more
Cy
Spectacular book.

If you want to be rocked and I hope you do, this is the one book to start with.

Stafford's personal story is worth the read. But with that you get insight into our role in the lives of the world's forgotten children.

In light of all that is going on in Haiti this might be worthwhile for those of you unaware with what Compassion International is all about.

They have been in Haiti for years. They are still there.

This book is one of my favorites. I could read it again. I don't sa
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Emilie
The book is divided into two parts and the parts are very different from each other. The first part was beautiful storytelling about Dr. Stafford's childhood in Africa that integrated the lessons of why children are too small to ignore. The second part uses biblical stories to further illustrate the point that children were an important part of Jesus' ministry and play an important role in God's calling to His people.

This book was a call to mission/action. It was put forth very real suggestions
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Sarah
This book is life changing. You will never look at a child in the same way again. I want to be this book. I want to radically change the way people around me see the children in their spheres of influence. I want to interact with and value children the way Jesus did to the wonder and amazement of those around Him. I want my life's work to be advocacy and empowerment of children.
Bill
Mar 31, 2014 Bill rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: college students, missions leaders, ordinary people
Wess has lived a powerful story. I admire his devotion to children, especially to children who are living in poverty and in need of encouragement.

I use the term "champion" all the time to talk about the type of relationship I am honored to be in with my "sponsored children" from Kenya. I feel honored to be a part of these kids' lives, and I want to do more that simply send them funds each month. I want to be a champion for them, someone who picks up their causes, and their burdens, and helps the
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Nicole
This book has fueled my love and calling to child ministry. Mr. Stafford clearly articulates why it is so important to minister to kids. His own life story as a missionary kid is amazing to read and see how God used that to prepare him for his place as the president of Compassion International.
Kelly
A great read that challenges you to see the value of investing in young children! Wess Stafford shares his childhood memories growing up in rural Africa and how it has brought him to be an advocate for children in poverty all around the world. Through his own personal experiences, he also strongly yet gently critiques and challenges the way American society views, treats, values, and interacts with children. In what ways can we live differently to show all children we encounter that they have co ...more
Kevin Heldt
I don't give out "5 stars-amazing" to many books not written by Tolkien or Lewis but this one earned it. An excellent counter to our current culture's devaluing of children.
Rachel
Part memoir, part Bible study, part treatise, all call-to-arms. A compelling and important book that deserves to be widely read and acted upon.
Matt Miles
A little repetitive at the end, but worth reading nonetheless.
Rachel
I thought that it may end up being a bit dry, full of troubling statistics about the state of impoverished children around the world, simply an appeal to sponsor children. This book far exceeded my expectations.

I found myself moved to tears several times while reading this book. Stafford has a way of not only bringing readers to the humble African village of his youth, but also vividly relating the details from the perspective of an innocent child.

As a future parent, I appreciated the fact tha
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CB
Between being a father and having spent the last decade and more in education, I fully expected to have an affinity for this book. I'm around kids all the time and, generally speaking, love them (especially mine!). That said, I was not prepared for the outstanding writing I found in these pages. For the vast majority of this book, Stafford is not preaching a world-view (though that comes in due time), but rather he is telling a story, his story. With the help of Dean Merrill, Stafford recounts h ...more
Jo
I'm glad I read this. It was a bit slow at the first, but the middle and end was very good. A few good quotes: The real integration of children into our lives is happening all across the world - just not very much in Western society. Here we have forgotten that there really is no higher calling than to raise a child. We ten to do a lot FOR our children but not nearly enough WITH our children. In many of today's dual-income households, parents hire others to do most of the privilege of child rais ...more
Susan B
Too Small to Ignore should be required reading by church leaders, children’s advocates, parents, and Christian adults. Stafford, the president of Compassion International, is a humble, yet passionate proponent for children around the world. It’s his goal in this book to prompt a paradigm shift in the rest of us, that we too would see the value and importance of children and be motivated to change our actions (more often thoughtless than malevolent – though sadly, the latter can also be true) tow ...more
Ramona
Wess Stafford erzählt in seinem Buch "Liebe, die ankommt" über Kinder und die (meist ignorierten) Kinderrechte.

Der Autor selbst wächst als Sohn von amerikanischen Missionaren in Afrika auf. Er erlebt seine schönsten Kindheitsjahre auf diesem Kontinent, macht viele Freunde und wünscht sich sogar manchmal, schwarz zu sein, wie seine afrikanischen Freunde. Doch sein Leben war nicht immer schön, denn er erlebte auch Missbrauch und Gewalt in einem Internat - weit entfernt von seinen Eltern und Freun
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Tom Bazan
Definitely worth reading. Stafford is extremely passionate about what he is called to. Sometimes I think that he focuses on children at the expense of a legitimate focus on adults and growing people into disciples of Christ. However, there aren't too many people who are going overboard in that way; so it's probably good to have someone challenging us in that area. Plus, if you're going to go overboard, that is not a bad way to go.

Imagine a world where we actually valued children. I would add thi
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Grace Linden
I read the book Too Small To Ignore by Dr. Wess Stafford,It was eye opening to say the least. In it he explains how often adults take the innocence of children for granted. He explains his experiences as a child and through his work as President of Compassion International. It deals with some very real things like child abuse. I found it incredibly powerful and definitely opened up my eyes to how the world including me, how we all treat children. The main point through the whole book is how we a ...more
David
Probably more like 3.5 stars.

Dr. Stafford spent much of his childhood in the Ivory Coast, a small country in West Africa, and he spends the first part of this book telling many stories from his childhood there. As he talks about his horrific experience in a school for Christian missionary children I found him writing himself into a corner. He portrays life in the small, non-Christian African village as wonderful while the world of Christians is terrible. Yet he spends his adult life working for
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Bryon
I just finished one of he best books I've read in awhile. Too Small To Ignore - Why Children Are the Next Big Thing by Wess Stafford is interesting and made me pretty emotional.

Stafford is the director and CEO of Compassion International. His book is the story of his life from growing up as a missionary kid in West Africa, being sent away to a boarding school that was a living hell of physical and sexual abuse, to arriving in America as a teenager to grow up and become the leader of one of the m
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Sarah
Wess Stafford is the president of Compassion International and this book is his story. I enjoyed his conversational style as he compared life in Africa to his first experiences in the US. Being the son of missionaries, he recounted the details of remote village life, how the community operated and what "doing church" looked like. The middle of the book was a page turner focusing on his years in a mission school and the terrible abuses inflicted at the hands of "missionaries." My heart broke for ...more
Helene
I loved this book! I was given this book while attending a conference, so was not sure I really wanted to read it. What a great surprise! It's filled with amusing stories, lots of humor and also grave tragedy and wisdom borne of many trials.

If you have ever coached soccer or watched a children's game, you must read his chapter about coaching, it's a classic. The story of him playing Coney Island games of skill is also hilarious.

Then he contrasts the tragedy of his life at an MK boarding school
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Stephanie Sheaffer
“Too Small To Ignore” is the autobiography of Wess Stafford, the President of Compassion International…but don’t let the word “autobiography” scare you off. This book is anything but boring or narcissistic. In fact, it is quite the opposite. I would go so far as to say that it is the most gripping and engrossing book I read all year.

Stafford shares about his childhood in Africa – his happy memories in the village, his terror and fear at the hands of abusive missionary teachers, and – ultimately
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Kara
Compelling. Heartbreaking. Convicting. Motivating. An amazing story. The book is partly biographical, partly an apologetic and biblical exposition of Wess Stafford's philosophy for caring for the least among us. Dr. Stafford, president and CEO of Compassion International, has been uniquely prepared by God to be an eloquent advocate for children and the disadvantaged. He grew up dividing his time between a remote village on the Ivory Coast where his parents were missionaries and a boarding school ...more
Megan Franks
Wes Stafford is president of Compassion International, a Christian relief agency devoted to rescuing children for poverty, so it's no surprise that he is passionate about loving children. What is surprising is his own story--raised in west Africa as a missionary's son, he saw how poverty and the absence of simple things like vaccines, mosquito nets and fresh water can weaken or destroy people. He also experienced abuse as a child in the boarding school that he attended, so he is very attune to t ...more
Amy
Wess is a brave and courageous man. I appreciate the voice he is giving to children around the world who are the most vulnerable. His story is heartbreaking but the way he is loving and showing compassion to children on a global scale because of it is redeeming, encouraging and beautiful.
Ruth
Everyone should read this book. Wess Stafford is such a compassionate man of God and the trials he went through as a missionary kid was not easy. Yet on the other hand he had an amazing childhood. Sound confusing? well read this book and you will know what I mean.
But really, this book is not about him. It is about children, they are too small too ignore. They are the leaders of the future but they matter NOW! Who will be there for them NOW to encourage them and show them that they matter? It i
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Christy
Great perspective. I appreciate how he weaves in stories of his personal life with how God has used those experiences in his leadership of Compassion International. Applications to both how we structure children's ministry at our church to how we raise our own children.
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“If God places a child before you, and you are too busy to wield either a positive or negative influence...you just did the later! You communicated that the child doesn't matter and isn't important.” 12 likes
“Watch carefully the children around you. In precious moments you will catch a glimpse of your Savior’s face. Listen intently and you will hear his voice. Walk gently among them; his footprints are all around you. Embrace them, for you are embracing him. Respect them, because they are sometimes God’s agents – exactly the kind of instruments he needs. At such times, only a child will do.” 7 likes
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