World Vision US' new CEO says his first priority when he takes up his role is to be a witness to the love of Jesus Christ

((World Vision/Eugene Lee))Edgar Sandoval with 8-year-old Faith, his World Vision sponsored child, in Kapululwe, Zambia

World Vision US' new President and CEO is coming on board October 1 and he is clear about what he wants to do when he gets started in his new role. 

Edgar Sandoval reveals that his first priority is to "be a witness to the love of Jesus Christ," among other things. 

The 53-year-old is not new to World Vision, having served as the organization's chief operating officer for the past three years. He is following in the footsteps of Rich Stearns who retires as CEO at the end of 2018.

Poverty is something Sandoval has seen first hand.  Although he was born in L.A., he grew up in Central and South America where poverty was something he saw with his own eyes.

According to the World Vision website, he returned to the U.S. alone at the age of 18 with only $50 in his pocket and worked minimum-wage jobs while pursuing further education. 

The hard work and determination paid off as he graduated with honors from the Rutgers School of Engineering and earned his MBA at the Wharton School of Business, before going on to have a successful career with Procter and Gamble for 20 years.

Given his humble beginnings, Sandoval says being selected to become the new President and CEO of World Vision is "an improbable miracle of God."

And he's clear about what he wants to achieve when he gets started in October. 

"My priorities will be to accelerate the impact of our work in the communities we serve with the faithful support of our donors and partners, to strengthen our fund-raising capabilities, and most importantly be a witness to the love of Jesus Christ in everything we do," he says.

"These challenges and opportunities are both exciting and urgent."

As for World Vision, they're delighted to be welcoming him to the position.

"Edgar embodies World Vision's core values and has demonstrated his commitment to the mission of World Vision since he joined three years ago," says Joan Singleton, World Vision U.S. board chair.

"He has a consistent track record of delivering financial growth and organizational health during his successful corporate career and most recently during his time at World Vision. We believe God has been preparing him to lead World Vision for such a time as this."