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Helping Tornado Victims in Alabama

By Church, Encouragement, Innovation, Missions

My friend Casey Graham is a game changer. When he passionate about something, he doesn’t just talk about it, he does something. This past week, Casey’s home state of Alabama was devastated by one of the worst tornado disasters in history.  Knowing that in any disaster, the greatest need is always money. Money allows the team on the ground to do what is necessary to address the greatest needs. In just 24 hours, this effort has raised over $75,000.   You can read more about it HERE. Casey is working through Cross Point Church in Decatur, Alabama.

Casey has set up a leadership team to oversee this process. He’s asked me to be a part of that team. You can read about that HERE.

He’s challenging churches and others to be a part. Read the latest challenge HERE.

There are many great efforts out there. Americans show their generosity during times like this. Casey is attempting to assist people without insurance or under insured. If you’d like to help, click HERE.

What other ways are people helping? Feel free to point people to those ways to support by leaving a comment.

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Compassion Connects with the Local Church: I Never Knew That

By Church, Missions

Did you know Compassion International connects with the local church? Through their child development program and child sponsorship program, Compassion runs its ministry through a local, Bible-believing, Christian church.  I never knew that.

This week I’ve been with a group of pastors learning more about Compassion International in Ecuador. With every project we visited we went to a local church, met the pastor, and saw firsthand the impact the church and Compassion are having on the community. We saw adults who were children in the program, who now are reinvesting into other Compassion children…through the local church.

As a local church pastor, I love that vision!  Did you know that? ]

Learn more about Compassion International HERE.

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Receiving Undeserved Love: Ecuador Day 3

By Children, Church, Culture, Missions

If you’ve been following my blog this week, I’m in Ecuador with a group of pastors on behalf of Compassion International.

We were blown away today as we entered a village in the mountains of Ecuador. It took an hour to drive the curvy dirt road, our bus got stuck, and we walked a short distance to the village. Upon rounding a corner, we saw a crowd waiting for us. Hundreds of children from the village had formed a receiving line where they gave us a rose (Ecuador is famous for their roses) and a homemade card welcoming us to their village. It was slightly overwhelming.

Have you ever received an overwhelming undeserved show of affection?

I can’t help but share this picture. This little boy warmed my heart (as did many others). I’m not sure he knew how cute he is!

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Day 2 of Compassion Ecuador Trip

By Children, Church, Encouragement, Missions

Day 2 of visiting Compassion Projects in Ecuador was my favorite so far, and it happened because of one little boy. He’s one of the boys in this picture. When I went to take his picture he asked if his “best friends” could be in the picture too. I loved that!

Anyway, this little boy was asked what he liked best about Compassion International sponsorship program and he said, “God blessed me with the opportunity to meet my sponsors.” Wow! That’s the part about Compassion I like the best! It’s an open book. Today I saw the records…I saw the documents…I saw the paperworks side…but more than that…I saw the kids who many people sponsor. If you sponsor a child with Compassion International, you can make a visit to that child…and they feel “blessed by God” when you do.

By the way, if you do sponsor a child…

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The Question that Started Compassion International

By Church, Encouragement, Missions

During the 1950’s, Evangelist Everett Swanson traveled to South Korea to preach the gospel to the troops in the Republic of Korea army. During his visit, he encountered children orphaned by the war hanging out in garbage dumps. They were searching for food, shelter, and hiding from the reality of their existence. Sometimes the garbage trucks would avoid them…sometimes they wouldn’t. Obviously, it burdened Swanson’s heart, but not knowing how to solve a mammoth problem, he headed home to the United States.

Soon after his return, Rev. Swanson was challenged by a missionary friend with a haunting question.

“What are you going to do about the orphans?”

He couldn’t continue without doing something, and from that burden, Compassion International began.

Today, Compassion International is changing the lives of children around the world. I love that Compassion connects to a local church and does ministry through that church. Compassion focuses on four aspects of the child’s life; social, physical, emotional, and spiritual. It is estimated that every child helped impacts 30 other people around the child.

Amazing what a small monthly amount can do!

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Where I’m At This Week!

By Church, Culture, Missions

This week I’m in Ecuador with a group of pastors and ministry leaders, including our family pastor Michael Bayne, and my good friend Casey Graham.

We are here on behalf of Compassion International seeing the work they do to improve the world of children around the world.

We will see first hand where an individual’s monthly dollars to support Compassion children goes. I look forward to reporting to you what I see. I’ve never been to Ecuador, but so far it looks much like countries I have seen, such as Costa Rica, Brazil, and Mexico. I have learned, however, that there is a rich uniqueness about each people group and I’m excited to explore this one.

Please pray for our team and check out the ministry of Compassion International.

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