Too Small to Ignore

Too Small to Ignore

Why Children Are the Next Big Thing

Book - 2005
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Too Small to Ignore is a must read for anyone whose life touches the lives of children to any degree. Although painful and heartbreaking at times, the hope and compassion he delivers encourages a response from every reader.S --Zig Ziglar, author and motivational teacher.
Publisher: Colorado Springs, Colo. : 2005
ISBN: 9781400070435
Branch Call Number: ANF 259.22 STAF
Characteristics: xviii, 269 p. ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Merrill, Dean


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Sam_I_Am Feb 07, 2014

“Lord, if you love me, let me wake up black like everyone else.” -- Wess’s childhood prayer.

About the boarding school abusers:

“I warned them that day not to deny that the abuses had actually happened or to attempt to blame the victims. If they kept doing this, I would join the cause and become their worst enemy.” --Wess Stafford (p. 261, 2005 edition) to the mission people who, when confronted with the abuse, had suggested that the missionary kids (MKs) “causing all this trouble were losers and probably would have been poorly adjusted” anyway.

Sam_I_Am Feb 07, 2014

“I’m not saying it was God’s plan for the abuse to occur. But I do believe He can redeem anything and bring good out of evil. He was shaping me for an epic fight on behalf of abused children.” --Wess Stafford, page 158 (2005 edition).

Sam_I_Am Feb 07, 2014

“You may find it odd that in the midst of all this trauma, I did not turn against the God whose name everyone professed.” -- Wess Stafford, page 148 (2005 edition).

Sam_I_Am Feb 07, 2014

“Hey, you! Skinny kid! What ya scared of? C’mon, give it a try!” – New York City carnival barker to Wess, who’d been growing up in Africa, wearing a slingshot around his neck (page 19, 2005 edition).

Sam_I_Am Feb 07, 2014

“We knew we were headed back to hell, but we loved them too much to say so.” (p. 142, 2005 edition, about keeping the boarding school people’s abusive behavior from his parents, whom he was told he would be harming if he told)

Sam_I_Am Feb 07, 2014

“Speak up for those who can not speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.” –Proverbs 31:8, quoted by Stafford to say that while at his boarding school, “there were no child advocates,” yet by God’s grace, the Africans of his mission village loved him.

Sam_I_Am Feb 07, 2014

“Wess Stafford has asked that all author royalties from the sale of this book be given to Compassion International to minister to impoverished children around the world” (back cover).


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Sam_I_Am Feb 07, 2014

“There will be Africans in hell because of you,” Wess and others were told at boarding school: “If you tell your parents that you are unhappy here, you will be Satan’s tool to destroy their ministry in Africa.” Children were beaten for tiny offenses. Sexual abuse was common. But the children were warned to stay silent. Wes broke that silence. As Wess and his sister were about to be sent back, Wess told his parents: “They beat us all the time for everything. They hate me ....” Back at the school, Wes was punished by being forced to hold a candle burning at both ends. He refused to drop it, and tells what later happened to hold the abusers responsible in his “Afterward.” But most of his warm and sometimes humorous book tells about the differences in his African and American cultures, differences in sports competition (“First of all, everyone got to play”), in material goods, in raising children, in opportunities, and in overcoming challenges. This book is Compassion International leader Wess Stafford’s personal tale of a very interesting life. He grew up in Nielle village on the West Coast of Africa where his family were missionaries. Three months of the year Wess and his sister joined them and it had a joyful time. The other nine months, the two children were sent far away to a boarding school run by conservative Baptists, to be taught in English. “We didn’t have a ball,” at least not a regulation ball—“the leathery sphere we kicked around was … chicken guts!” On vacation in the U.S., he used his slingshot skills at a street carnival stand. Today as President and CEO of Compassion International, a world leader in child sponsorship and fighting poverty, Wess Stafford helps others help over 1.2 million children to have better lives. What is a life worth? Wess Stafford would likely say everyone is of infinite value. In his life story, Wess tells how the young boy who grew up knowing how to use a slingshot, living in Africa, loving the African people, the boy who was abused at boarding school—grew up to see God transform his miseries into a passion to help others. The book id co-authored with Dean Merrill, who has co-authored books with Jim Cymbala of the Brooklyn Tabernacle and others, and who has won the Christian Book of the Year award and twice won Gold Medallion awards. The Forward is by Michael W. Smith, who is a Christian music artist and a Compassion International spokesperson. This book is recommended by Joni Eareckson Tada, Tony Campolo, Rebecca St. James, Stasi Eldridge, and others. All author royalties from the sale of this book are given to Compassion International:; phone: 1-800-335-7676.


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Sam_I_Am Feb 07, 2014

“He was shaping me for an epic fight on behalf of abused children,” says Wess Stafford (page 158, 2005 edition), speaking about how God redeemed the evil Wess experienced growing up. The little boy who stood up to his persecutors by holding a candle, ignoring how it burned him, today holds a candle of another kind. Through Stafford’s leadership at Compassion International, over a million children from around the world are currently being sponsored, receiving supplies and schooling, medical help and other aid. Sponsors pick a child, or let one be chosen for them, and enjoy sharing letters and even visiting their sponsored child. This book tells of Stafford’s early days, loving the time spent with his loving missionary parents, helping his dad, in the African community he cherished as his family. But playing ball (made of chicken guts) and other fun with good friends ended each year when Wess had to leave for a boarding school where he and others were abused. Beaten and sexually abused, instead of losing faith, fired Wess with a passion for reaching out to help young people around the world, strengthening their communities. Though based on a story of overcoming trauma and being wounded, this is a warm and loving book. It tells of of his friends, including “Aleyze,” who helped Wess’s dad translate the Bible. Thoughout, the book gives ideas about how to nurture, value and protect children. Endorsed by Michael W. Smith, Joni Eareckson Tada and others. Contrasts his African and American cultures, especially in material possessions and giving kids responsibilities. Author’s royalties go to Compassion International, . A very fine autobiography, this book is about Wess Stafford's desire to 'marshal a grassroots army" to "change how children are seen and how children are treated" (see video clip I added for rest of quote).

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