Sunday, May 04, 2008

What an amazing day

I spent most of my day yesterday at the Acquire The Fire event down in Oakland. I had volunteered to staff the Compassion booth for the event, and I have to say I'm really glad that I did.
It's kinda funny that as soon as I met the Compassion Event Coordinator the first question out of his mouth was "So, Michael, do you ride?". I get that occasionally since most people expect a guy with a mohawk to be a biker. Unfortunately, my answer is always "Not yet, but someday.". From there we started to get to know each other.
His name was Dave, and he does ride. Dave is actually a volunteer for Compassion, also. He's not a paid employee of Compassion, though they do cover his traveling expenses. But this saves them the expenditure of wages and benefits - which is a great thing for a charity. His "job", as it were, is to simply take the materials to whatever event he's the coordinator for, set up the booth, and make sure the other volunteers, like myself, know what they're doing.
He's an incredibly likeable guy, very funny, and he has stories to tell about so many different events, concerts and festivals that he's been to. He's been doing this for nearly 20 years, so he's had the opportunity to meet and befriend nearly every Christian music act that has ever toured. He's also a huge history buff. He's been to every Civil War Battlefield/Museum there is, more than once, and even knows about Fort Recovery, Ohio (and that's kinda obscure in American history).
But the most important thing about spending my day with Dave, and the other volunteers, at the ATF event was his commitment to the ministry of Compassion. He jokes with everyone that he has a baseball team because he and his wife sponsor 9 kids. And he's had the great pleasure of being able to travel to the countries they live in and visit each of them. Talk about a blessing. And he shared so much about what the ministry of Compassion really does. It's truly amazing.
As for the event itself. It was great to see hundreds of kids gathered with a single purpose; to express their faith in Christ. Now, of course, I do realize that not every one of the kids who were there were actually committed to Christ. Some were only there to see the bands that were playing. And that's OK. But I will say that the majority of the kids were there for their faith and that gives me hope for the future.
This was an incredible experience for me. It was such a blessing to see so many teenagers taking the time to actually sponsor kids through Compassion. Some of them would realize that they couldn't afford to do it alone, so they'd ask a friend to join with them. Sometimes entire youth groups would come up to sponsor a child and then ask if they could sponsor more later if their group got larger. And so few of these kids were being prodded by adults to do this. Most of the parents who came by were asking their teens "Is this the one you were talking about?".
Yeah, these kids were serious about following Jesus, and they wanted to show it in a much more concrete way than by simply wearing a T-shirt.

OK, now I have a challenge for all of you.
I brought home 10 of the information packages from the event. I have 10 children who need sponsors. I've already taken them to church with me today, and some of the people there are considering this. But that's not all. I'm also going to be taking the info packages to work with me, too. I want to get all of these children sponsored before the time runs out on this particular event, which is May 23rd. I'm hoping I can encourage some of you that if you don't already sponsor a child, please prayerfully consider sponsoring one of these children whose information I have here. If you're interested, you can e-mail me. My e-mail address is in my profile.
You can change the world for one child, and that's the best way to change the whole world - one child at a time. And believe me when I tell you this, you'll be changed, too.

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