third world symphony

I’m a words girl. And this poetic three-word combination makes my heart swirl.




Can you think of a more perfect trio of words? I can’t.

If you haven’t heard, this is the title of Shaun Groves‘ latest CD. It’s amazing. It fits perfectly with what we like to talk/dream about around here. And Shaun’s style is this raw, gripping, heart-inside-out kind of deal. Not pretty or polished, yet somehow easy on the ears. But by no means easy on the head and heart.

Convicting. Compelling. Full of Jesus.

I stink at picking favorites, but if I have to, “Kingdom Coming” and “Enough” are probably my top two songs on the album. You can listen to the entire thing here (awesome, huh?) and pre-order it here. I already ordered mine.

If you don’t know Shaun, he’s a singer/songwriter/husband/dad/speaker/preacher/child advocate for Compassion International. He’s the brave soul who leads the mostly-female groups of bloggers that travel to countries where Compassion does their (amazing) thing, and they get people fired up about sponsoring kiddos.

I love everything about these trips.

Shaun also travels the globe sharing these children’s stories and helping people in the States get involved in making a difference in a child’s life. Shaun and his wife Becky have three kiddos around my kiddos’ ages, and they’re in the process of adopting a couple (five, six?) more.

Shaun was kind enough to answer a few questions I had about some of the things we’ve been chatting about on the blog the past couple weeks.

Me: Hey, Shaun. Thanks for hanging with us on this fine Monday. First question. How do you instill in your kiddos a heart for justice and missions and keep them involved in what you do?

Shaun: Perhaps the most important question I’ve been asked in the last few weeks of interviews. The full answer isn’t short but three things stand out as most worth sharing.

First, this is our ministry. It’s not mine. And I treat it that way. My kids know what daddy does when he leaves home for the weekend. They pray for me and the audience – that lots of kids are sponsored through Compassion International. And when I get home I tell them how God answered their prayers. I give them names and details if I can remember them. And sometimes I write them down on my hand so I won’t forget! “A lady named Patty gave up coffee so she could sponsor a child!”  ”A teenager became a Christian tonight!”  I want them as invested in our ministry together as they want to be.

Second, they each sponsor a child. They come up with some of the money needed for sponsorship. They pray for their sponsored kids most nights. And we sit down as a family every other month and write letters to our sponsored kids. We read the letters we get in return. And great conversations come from all of this. About why a kid in El Salvador is excited to get a goat as a present. About why we have a lot and they live in very little. About why God doesn’t help everybody who’s hungry. Sometimes I give them answers. Other times I ask better questions. but together we love on our sponsored kids and learn about the world and God in the process. This isn’t practice for being a compassionate generous adult. This is being a compassionate generous kid.

Third, every Wednesday my kids and I go to our church’s food pantry and stock shelves, count cans, sack groceries, break boxes down for recycling – that sort of thing. It takes us about an hour most weeks. So it’s an easy way for them to form good habits of serving others right here at home. I want to be careful that they don’t grow thinking “need” is just out there somewhere. It’s all around us. And I want them to not just know that they have something to offer others; I want them to experience it again and again.

Me: Oh, goodness. I love that. Okay, question #2: If the five of you could take a family mission trip, where would you go and what would you do there?

Shaun: Probably…

Me: Oh, crap. Dude, I’m so sorry, but we’re out of time. You got kind of wordy on your first answer, so we’ll have to save the last two for tomorrow. You can come back tomorrow, right?

Shaun: Uh, sure…

Stay tuned tomorrow for Part 2 of my interview with Shaun. For the chance to win a copy of this book (that I loved and will be blogging about later in the week), listen to any one song from Third World Symphony and tell me what you thought of it.

9 thoughts on “third world symphony

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  4. janelle

    ” Come by Here”….. because it hits it from THEIR view point…..”they have nothing”….we ask God to come to us…. while we sit on a cushioned couch with a diet pop…waiting for the pizza to be ready. They…their lives….they have nothing…….if He goes to them….it is enough….and truly He is….if I do not go by them….and HE does…it is enough…..

  5. Sharon W

    I listened to “All is Grace” since my daughters name is Grace. I liked it and I’m gonna listen to the entire CD. I’m working on being more thankful and as I listened to the words “All is Grace” I was reminded that my very existence is only because of the Grace of God. I have one of Shaun Grove’s CD’s, but don’t listen to Cd’s much anymore. I need to go pull it out again!

  6. beth lehman

    i love hearing how other people answer that question you asked about instilling compassion in our children. what great answers. for the record – I’m not sure I’m doing anything in this area – but it’s the question I have been asking myself. what will my children say about their parents and how they showed compassion for others…

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