September 8, 2011

Third World Symphony and Compassion

Over a year ago I stumbled on a blogger trip sponsored by Compassion International.  Basically they choose a handful of bloggers - take them someplace in the world to witness what Compassion does first hand and let them share their experiences with their readers.  Pretty cool.  Pretty radical.
You can't know how someone will react to what they see.  You can't know what someone will write in response to what they experience.  But from what I've seen over the last year or so, it's pretty phenomenal how God is using this specific means to reach people to expose them to a way they can be Jesus' hands and feet in releasing children from poverty through sponsorship with Compassion.
I know - we are part of it now.  And because we are part of it, my parents are now part of it. And only God knows for sure where it will all go further from our two homes and the handful of kids we sponsor between us.
Anyway - on that first trip, and the ones since then that I've followed, there is this guy - well sometimes more than just one guy - but this particular guy is unique.  His name is Shaun Groves and he is pretty interesting and talented and funny... and best of all, he really shares his heart for God and these kids in amazing ways.  The fact that he is a home schooling Dad gives him extra points too. :-)
I started reading his blog.  He makes me really think, he cracks me up a lot - he has kids, he is genuine in his faith and honest beyond belief about his life, struggles, and what God has done and is doing with him and his family.   It's a peek into someone's real Christian life... and I'm just nosey enough to be fascinated.
A while back Shaun put out this idea of making an album and invited his readers to support his project financially - for our efforts (and prayers) we would get a free album!  Woohoo!  Who doesn't love to be part of something really cool and out of the ordinary like a music album?  And get free music?  Add the extra "hoo!" and count us in!

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Shaun's new album Third World Symphony arrived the day before Hurricane Irene was set to hit New England and J promptly ripped it into iTunes for our listening pleasure.  It is completely awesome!
Even the 13 year old agrees!  She loves this album and is hoping that Shaun may eventually make some sheet music available to aspiring musicians who live in our house (J-girl plays piano and B-boy is learning to play guitar) *hint*hint* (just in case Shaun actually sees this - which I doubt - but you never know what God can do on the internet! *S*)
Now Shaun is doing a blog tour with video clips, Q&A interviews and various other cool stuff.  I follow him on facebook and have been reading all sorts of neat blogs because of this 'tour'.   There are some pretty cool and creative people on this web-thing.  And the really amazing thing is reading the hearts of all these people that have been touched by Shaun's music and his heart and  his work with Compassion International.  All these stories of how God is working around the world just blow me away!
People - ordinary people.  Moms with minivans and sticky counters, people with little to spare in their budget and people with more, guys with kids and without, people with words and stories and hearts that God is using - changing the world, reaching the world for Christ.  It's amazing, humbling, and almost too exciting to be able to wrap words around.
Shaun's music on this album, Third World Symphony, is so real.  It is music that has looked into the eyes of hurting and hungry people.  It is cries and praise to the only One who can save (John 3:16-17), the One who is the giver of every good gift (James 1:17), the One who never wastes anything (John 6:12). 
You should go to his album website HERE and listen to the music... buy a copy... let God use these amazing songs to change you in some small way. 

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I'm so thankful that God allowed us the opportunity to be a small part of this project.  We all have a part to play in the symphony that God is writing. 
What is your part?