Amazon.com Widgets The Swingles' Dramatic Developments: February 2005

Monday, February 28, 2005

Documentary

While in Honduras I put together a documentary trying to discover whether or not children really like to be sponsored through Compassion. Here it is:
Do you like Compassion?

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Wendy

The Honduran Director of Compassion, Orestes Zuniga, spoke to us this morning.

He compared us, as Compassion artists and speakers, to Miriam, who was the mediator between the princess who wanted to help baby Moses and the mother who raised him. In the end, the slave and child of poverty became the national leader who led his people out of bondage.

He thanked us on behalf of the local churches, who are partnering w/ Compassion.

I got to meet the next child Joyce and I are sponsoring today. Her name is Wendy.

She and the other kids in her class performed some songs and dances for us, and I performed La Gente Que Jesús Conocia (The People that Jesus Knew) for them. At the end I asked if any of them wanted to know Jesus more. All of them I could see raised their hands, including Wendy. I led them in a prayer of Salvation. Without hesitation that was the highlight of the week for me!

I played a game with them in which they would grab hands with a friend, creating a loop and a third child would stand in the loop between their arms. When the teacher would give the command the children would raise their hands and the third student would need to find a different place. It was like musical chairs in that someone would not have a place to go. I was drenched in sweat after five minutes of scurrying and ducking!

Wendy told me she wants to be a doctor! Lord, help Joyce and I to give her all she needs from our letters and gifts to overcome the poverty all around her and bring healing to her patients and to her nation. Amen!

We went to her home but her parents had already left for work. Though the door was locked, I could see that her home was slightly better than some around it. It's made out of concrete and painted green. She has both her parents living there, so that gives me even more hope for her success.

As we were walking away I was told that there have been girls kidnapped from this neighborhood that attended the Compassion project. They believe the girls were taken by a group known to kidnap kids and sell them as sex slaves in Mexico and America.

Wes Stafford, president of Compassion, happened to sit next to me at dinner. He has a vision that one day a Compassion child will grow up to be president of his or her country.

He gave me great hope for Wendy truly becoming a doctor when he told me that Compassion will bring their Leadership Development program to Honduras. On my Compassion trip to Bolivia four years ago I was able to meet students in the program. They are the best of the best Compassion graduates, who are given scholarships. The developing leaders in Bolivia were preparing for careers in everything from medicine to pastoring. One student had a vision to be an influencer on his president.

Wes said every time he visits Compassion kids and their families he takes a picture with about 10 kids who don't receive letters from their sponsors. He writes those sponsors and tells them what a very special child they've chosen and encourages the sponsor to let the child know that.

Wes is our speaker tonight. These are my notes from his talk:

He said 35,745 kids have been sponsored through the artsts and speakers in this room.

He told a story about a 6 year old who had been hit by a bus. The church was packed with kids for the funeral. Someone asked each child why they were there, and 50 of the 60 children there said they came because the 6 year old (before he died) led that child to the Lord . Wes said the sponsor that encouraged that child will be shocked to know how much he or she impacted the Kingdom of God.

The hero in Peter's denial was the rooster. "The look you imagine on Jesus' face as he looked at Peter when the rooster crowed says everything about your concept of who Jesus is and your relationship with Him." Wes brought up all the arguments the rooster might have had: I'm not the right one for the job. I can't be called there! Why should I? He was obedient.

[A note from the present: When we were standing in Caiphas's courtyard on our trip to Israel we heard a rooster crowing!]

Jesus looked at Peter not with anger, not with disappointment, but with love. Peter's only rebuke was that Jesus asked him 3 times if he loved him to match his 3 denials. Jesus request: Feed my sheep.

During the massacre at Littleton Cassie Bernal was asked if she believed in God. Before Cassie heard the pistol she heard, "Cassie, I believe in you." She said yes at the right time and inspired hundreds of thousands of teens. When God says, "Do it now," go for it!


Tonight we debriefed our experience. One of the things that I was encouraged to do is to speak into the childrens' lives powerful names: mighty warrior for God, talented, beloved. Lord help us to communicate how very much they are loved by the Lord.

Craig Timmer, my first liaison for Compassion, talked about how different the sponsorship process would be if the kids were really there in the back of the room after the performance.

They live in poverty, but they are not poor when they have Jesus.

If you would like to sponsor a child click here: Compassion.

Hangin' with the kids


We got to hang out with a lot of kids. A favorite thing of theirs to do was to take "un foto" with our cameras.

Among the best


This family invited us into their home. The three boys are all sponsored through Compassion:
Dwight, 13, is one of the top two students in Honduras.
Hugh, 11, is receiving a scholarship.
Bruce, 9, is ready to conquer the world.

My liaison with Compassion is chatting with some of the neighborhood children to the left.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Compassion Concert

Tonight the Honduran Compassion staff asked for a concert! It was quite awesome to have all these talented musicians get up and bless us all. Most of the songs were either written to help them talk about Compassion or could have been. I put together an iMixicon of all the songs that are on iTunes, so you can press your own CD of almost half of the songs. The rest can be purchased on the album listed here:

 

Phil Keaggy

"Who Will Save the Children" from ReCollections. Randy Stonehill sings the duet with Phil Keaggy. (iTunesicon)

Bruce Carroll

"While I Have this Chance" on the Compassion Sunday DVD.

"Shelter Me" from The Psalm Project.

Geoff Moore

"Every Single One" from Every Single One

Rich Swingle

"La Gente que Jesús Conocia" (RichDrama.com)

Jeremy Camp

"This Man" from Restored. (iTunesicon)

Andrew Peterson

"The Land of the Free" from Clear to Venus. (iTunesicon)

Randal Goodgame

"I Did not Catch Her Name" on War & Peace. (iTunes: Randall's song as performed by Caedmon's Callicon)

Jeremy Casella

"Love That Will Not Let Me Go" from 10,000 Angels.

Danny Oertli

"God Wrote a Song" from Nothing Left to Prove. (iTunesicon)

Shane from Siler's Bald

"Real Life" from Real Life. (iTunesicon)

Peder Eide

"What a Ride" from What a Ride.

Mark Smeby

"All I Want Is You" from Smile for Jesus.

Eli

"Stand" from Second Hand Clothing. (iTunesicon)

Richard Allen Farmer

"I will Make the Darkness Light" on Leadfoot.

 

Tony Campolo

While finishing up our lunch, Wes Stafford, President of Compassion, complimented the staff of this site on the tremendous work they are doing. They told us that 100% of the older kids have accepted Christ as their Savior.

Tonight we got to hear from Tony Campolo.

This is me with Tony and his grandson, Roman Campolo.

Before you read my notes, you should know you can listen to the talk in full on Tony's website. The talk is entitled, "Carpe Diem! - The Last Great Idea." (It's a recording from a different event.)

My notes:


Tony opened by talking about a Francis Fukayama essay entitled "The End of History." Fukayama says that the last great idea is democratic capitalism. It brings great success, but our society has become about stuff. Couples speak less than 12 min./day, and to their kids less than 5. We have been seduced into a delicious slavery to things we don't need. Soren Kierkegaard said this society will die not from sin, but from lack of passion. There is a deadness falling on the land. That is what we should weep about most. The last great idea is that the Kingdom of God is at hand. In the Lord's prayer we pray, "Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven." Hundreds of thousands died and continue to die from the Tsunami and more money has come in than they can handle. But 30,000 children die every day of starvation.

He cited Philipians 1:6: "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." (NIV) We will never make the world perfect, but at the Lord's return He will complete what we've started. World illiteracy has dropped from 80% to 20%. We can alter the course of history. It's part of the movement to bring the Kingdom of God on earth. The extreme poverty we saw today in the Compassion sites was not the result of human error. "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Eph. 6:12, NIV). God is alive in the world. If it weren't for faith-based orgs like Compassion, America would look even more selfish in the eyes of the world: we make up 6% of world population but consume 43% of the resources. We can be the balm of Gilead and bring healing to a sin-sick world. People say they want to leave their resources to their kids. Tony said, "When I die I don't want anyone to be happy!" The beginning of the vision is small. $32/month isn't much for us, but it's the start of life transformation.

Jesus says where your treasure is your heart will be also. The great sin of our time is ignoring the poor. He referrenced Ezekiel 16:49, "Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy." (NIV)

In Harari, Africa, a truck drives through every morning at 6 to pick up the children that die each night and burn them. One day you're going to die. They're going to drop you in a hole and throw dirt in your face, and go back inside and eat potato salad. When you're born you're the only one to cry. What are you going to do so that everyone cries when you die?

If you would like to sponsor a child click here: Compassion.