“Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises” (Psalm 47:6).
Andy and I absolutely love music. Not only do we enjoy listening to music, but also we travel to churches, camps, conference centers, and wherever the Lord leads us to share the love of Christ and the message and ministry of Compassion International. I also teach private singing lessons, take piano lessons, and sing in a local college choir. As you may have noticed, music is very important to us. Today, for day 27 of our 31 days of compassion, we want to introduce you to some very gifted musicians who are using their ministries to speak up on behalf of children living in poverty. You may be surprised at whose music you have heard before, and you may find a new favorite or a few along the way too.
Our Compassion story began with music
It was in early December of 2004 when we attended our first concert as a married couple. That night of worship with Michael W. Smith, Point of Grace, and the Katinas was about much more than music for us. It was after Michael W. Smith shared a video that we chose to sponsor our first child with Compassion International. Looking back now, I reflect on how profoundly that night changed our lives forever.
Music makes a difference through the years
Since that blustery night almost nine years ago, we have joined Compassion’s advocates network. As Compassion advocates, we have been humbled to volunteer in partnership with such gifted musicians and bands as the Newsboys, Rebecca St. James, and Tenth Avenue North. These opportunities have given us the privilege of combining two of our passions—music and the ministry of Compassion—to spread God’s love around the globe.
Do you love music?
If so, today is your opportunity to show your support and appreciation to these gifted music artists for their partnership with Compassion International to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name. Choose an artist whose music you enjoy, or find one whose music is new to you. Purchase some of their music to support their ministry. Spend time praying for that musician or band. Pray for their relationships with God and family to withstand the public eye, and that their ministry would glorify the Lord and impact many for Christ. Pray that many children will be released from poverty as the message of Compassion is spread through your chosen musician or band’s ministry. If possible, contact your chosen musician or band via social media and thank them for their music and for partnering with Compassion to speak up on behalf of children living in poverty.
I remember my favorite song by Shaun Groves in high school being “Should I Tell Them?” That song challenged and convicted me as I was humbly reminded of Christ’s work in and through my life and walk with the Lord. Andy and I have since read Shaun’s blog for a few years now, and we have virtually traveled with him and other bloggers as they see the work of Compassion International firsthand.
When Shaun began work on his latest album, “Third World Symphony”, the anticipation in our home grew to unbearable heights. Since the release of Third World Symphony, Andy and I have been challenged and refreshed each time the CD is played—unashamedly loudly and on repeat more often than not. From the first note of “All Is Grace” to the very end of “Just as I Am”, Shaun paints beautifully vivid pictures that capture our hearts. With Third World Symphony, he has without a doubt connected the first and third world in a moving tapestry of song. The first time I heard this CD from beginning to end, I had to simply be still. Shaun had already struck me as a poignant storyteller through his blog, but I was not prepared for the stories that flowed through my stereo and straight to my heart. I learned much about poverty, wealth, the Lord, and myself that day. While I love every song on this album, “Enough” has left me speechless and in tears on many occasions. These songs are as prayers lifted from a broken yet hopeful heart on behalf of a broken world—prayers for mercy, justice and healing. These prayers are lifted to the throne of our merciful healer, the Lamb of God.
If you want a fresh take on music that will challenge and inspire you, then please purchase Third World Symphony from Shaun’s online store or through iTunes, and support his music and ministry. Moreover, would you join us in praying for Shaun and his family as he travels to sing, speak, and lead bloggers in advocating on behalf of the children of Compassion?
Blog Giveaway: Two copies of Third World Symphony for you and a friend!
We have two copies of Shaun’s latest album, “Third World Symphony”, to give to you and a friend. For your chance to win, please comment and tell us about the friend you plan to bless with this music. What is his or her first name, and why do you feel he or she would enjoy the music and message of Third World Symphony? Whether you write to enter this giveaway or not, we would love to hear from you. Have you been blessed by Shaun’s ministry and Third World Symphony?
Official contest rules:
• Previous blog giveaway winners are asked not to enter in order to give others a chance to win
• Only one copy of the CD per household, so please be sure your friend does not live with you
• Both CD’s will be sent to the winner’s address, and the winner is responsible for giving a copy to their chosen friend
• Contest entrants need to be 13 years of age or older, and minors should request parental consent prior to entering
• Contest entrants are asked to reside in the United States due to international shipping costs
• This contest will run through Friday, November 8.
It’s your turn. Music lovers let us unite on behalf of children in poverty. May we spread God’s love to the musicians and bands as they spread God’s love around the globe.