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How to Sustain Your Compassion When Headlines Fade And Problems Persist

How can I be a part of creating change that lasts when I’m too exhausted to even turn on the news? How can I sustain my compassion when headlines fade but problems persist?


We live in an interconnected world. Sometimes, that thought can feel warm and fuzzy, conjuring up images of unity and togetherness. But today, it can also feel overwhelming. 

Across the globe, we’re seeing how the world’s challenges are connected and complicated, and they can’t be solved overnight. Like in Kenya, where Turkana County is currently experiencing its fourth consecutive season of drought — a crisis made worse as the war in Ukraine has turned “agricultural fields turned into battlefields” and blocked the export of millions of tons of wheat and maize. As a result, food prices are rising and millions of people are at risk of malnutrition and starvation.

Even before Ukraine, the world was already bending under the weight of the coronavirus pandemic. Afghan refugees fleeing the Taliban continued to need resettlement. Men, women and children in South Sudan were experiencing historic flooding, and southern Haiti was still recovering from a devastating earthquake and political upheaval after the assassination of their president.

At World Relief, we know you want to be a part of creating change that lasts. Yet as one crisis compounds another, you’re likely asking yourself —  How can I create change when I’m too exhausted to even turn on the news? How do I stay engaged and sustain my compassion when headlines fade but problems persist?

Dennis Mwangwela has been working at World Relief for more than 20 years. He currently serves as the Director of Integral Mission for International Programs. In the wake of Haiti’s earthquake last fall, we asked him how he continues to have hope and persevere in his work even when it feels like progress gets wiped away by conflict or natural disasters. 

His words are a call and an encouragement to all of us as we lean in and look for ways to sustain our compassion when hardship persists and headlines fade. 

“Biblical hope is different from being optimistic. Biblical hope is enduring even in the most difficult circumstances because it’s not based on what I see, but it’s based on God’s unchanging character and promises.”  — Dennis Mwangwela

Hear more from Dennis in the interview below:

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