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Kingdom Coming

February 8, 2009

 

Jason & Taya at the beach - brrrrrr....

Jason & Taya at the beach - brrrrrr....

It’s week two of the WAYFM tour with Sanctus Real & Matthew West and we’re in Sunny Florida.  Our first stop was in Panama City, and though it was SOOO cold, we were warmly received by the people there. Then we played our biggest audience yet to a sold out show in Fort Meyers, and after a day off where we got to spend a couple hours at chilly Del Rey beach, we play Boca Raton tonight.  It’s a special day since our boys in Sanctus are up for a Grammy tonight!  I feel bad that they’re with us instead of at the ceremony hanging out with U2 & Radiohead.  They’re great guys, however, and though I’m sure a part of them wishes they could be at the Grammy’s tonight, I know their hearts will be fully present to God and the people they will minister to at the show this evening.

This has been a great tour on many levels – the artists we get to work with, the audiences we get to play for, etc. – but what we’re most excited about is that in 6 concerts we’ve seen 262 children sponsored through World Vision!  If you consider that for every sponsorship, 5 lives are impacted (the support that goes to build a school or a clean water well for the sponsored child will also benefit the whole  community) then that means that 1310 of the poorest of the poor have been impacted for the sake of the gospel, and that’s something worth getting excited about.

We recently met a Rwandan man named John at the World Vision retreat who told his story of how his father was murdered in the genocide that ravaged that country in the 90’s.  As a young boy he vowed revenge and nurtured the bitterness in his heart.  In time he was sponsored by a family here in the US, and their support enabled him to go to the school where he was enlisted in the choir.  When they would sing hymns, the teacher would stop after every verse and explain it’s meaning and in that way gently shared the gospel with his students.

John resisted for a long time because of the hatred in his heart and the fear that if he gave his heart to Christ, he would have to surrender his vow to avenge his father.  But the teacher kept sowing seeds of the gospel and one day John finally surrendered to Christ.  He talked about the joy that washed over him as he not only found forgiveness for his sins, but the grace to forgive the man who murdered his father.  Though his brothers and mother ridiculed him for his newfound faith and would beat him for going to church, he kept going, and growing into a man of God.

John is all grown up now and he works in Washington DC advocating for the poor as well as pastoring a church plant.  He is also serves on the national board of education in Rwanda and through an amazing set of circumstances ended up working with the president of their country to rewrite their national anthem in an effort to bring healing to the people who little more than a decade ago ruthlessly murdered each other.  Not only that, but John eventually met the man who murdered his father, forgave him, and now by God’s grace he calls him friend.

An amazing story to be sure, but what is equally amazing to me is the humble beginnings of his journey of redemption when years ago, possibly at some little concert somewhere, John’s sponsors heard the call to sponsor a child, obeyed, and let the Kingdom come through their faithfulness.  Because of their faithful monthly giving, God’s Kingdom came to a broken little boy, and through him to an entire nation.

And the Kingdom is STILL coming.  I’m encouraged to see that God is moving, as he always has, and that he’s not looking at our headlines and saying “whoa, the economy is looking a little shaky, I better dial it back a bit and be cautious…”  Nope.  God’s is still moving forward, still inviting us to take part of what He’s doing, and still promising to meet our needs as we try to be faithful to follow His lead.

I’m not only encouraged by this, but invigorated.  

To learn more about child sponsorship, click here.  We hope you can make it out to a show soon!  Be blessed.

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