Tuesday, July 5, 2011

re-meeting shaun groves

Years ago, when Matt and I were hanging out with our friends Dave and Kris Bannasch, they handed me a CD entitled "Invitation to Eavesdrop" by Shaun Groves.

Kris was really impacted by the song "Welcome Home" and after listening to it myself, it became one of my instant favorites. Thanks Bannasch fam' for introducing me to Shaun Groves!

About 6 months ago, I had the privilege of "re-meeting" Shaun through his blog. I am always encouraged, most often challenged in the best of ways, and I sometimes find myself laughing to the point of tears. Shaun continues to speak and sing but only if he can take time to promote Compassion International. He doesn't charge a dime to the public or promoters and uses these opportunities to share the needs of children around the world in hopes that the awareness will lead to more child sponsors.

When Shaun posted that he was creating a new CD, I was super excited to support him and I hope you give it a listen (links provided below) and then make a purchase!

Just yesterday, he invited people to interview him via email so I took him up on the offer, forming three questions that I thought would best give you a window into his heart and how that translates into his music.

So, allow me to introduce you to Shaun Groves.

As a parent, what are some practical ways that you have sought to lead your children in caring for orphans, the homeless, and other vulnerable people both here and abroad?

We sponsor a child through Compassion International for each of our children when they reach age five. Our kids come up with some of the money it takes to sponsor these children, and my kids write their sponsored kids letters every other month. It's a great way for my kids to learn generosity, gain perspective, make a friend on the other side of the world...and learn geography and penmanship!

And every Wednesday I take my kids to our church's food pantry to stock shelves, count cans, break down boxes for recycling and fill grocery bags. They understand by now why some families come to the pantry for help and why it is that we're helping them as a family. Lots of conversations have been had about how we're working with God to help other families and about how other families have helped us in other ways over the years.

Our church also has an incredible children's minister who gets older kids involved in serving littler ones. So our oldest - now ten - is a teacher's aid on Sunday mornings every other month. She loves it and has so much fun doing it that she doesn't realize she's establishing a good habit of serving others in her church family.

Lastly, we're adopting siblings from Ethiopia right now - a long process we're halfway through! And this was a decision we made as a family. We talked about the need in Ethiopia and about how their mom and I wondered if we should do something to meet that need as a family. As we learned more about adoption we shared that with the kids and talked through the decision with them. We wanted them to pray and let us know what they thought God wanted us to do. We let them weigh the sacrifices, talk through how they'd divide up our limited space and whether they'd want to limit their extracurriculars so that every kid in the family could do something they love, etc. There was a lot of discussion. And in the end, they decided with that adoption was something God wanted us to begin together. I think this decision, more than any other, has taught them that sometimes generosity requires sacrifice and that what we sacrifice is so often given back to us in unexpected and spectacular ways.

Is there a particular book that has impacted you that might help someone who would like to take a step in reaching out to those in the Third World?

I think anyone who wants to help others - anywhere in the world - should read When Helping Hurts by Brian Fikkert. The book caused me to reexamine the efficacy of every mission trip I'd ever been part of as a young person and turned me into the world's biggest fan of Compassion International and other holistic development organizations and initiatives. They work. The book convincingly explains why. Development, not charity, releasing the whole person from systemic need.

Can I be greedy and name a second book? Announcing The Kingdom by Charles E. Van Engen, Dean S. Gilliland and Shawn B. Redford is a book more about the theology of God's mission. For so much of my life I looked at caring for the poor and preaching the gospel as both good but unconnected. In the bible, they're not at all unconnected. Twice in the gospel of Matthew Jesus, in fact, is said to have "preached and healed" wherever he went. In His mind - the mind of God - ministry to body and soul went together somehow. This book does a good job of explaining why, of helping us understand the word "salvation" as something holistic, present and eternal, the way the authors say Jesus and other Jews did. Helped me understand why I felt compelled by God to care for those in need - it was no longer a feel-good tangent I was going off on for some unknown reason but it was very central stuff to the mission of God on earth.

With regards to your newest CD, "Third World Symphony", is there one song that just really stands out to you; one song that is especially meaningful to you and if so, why?

Depends on the day you ask me. Today I like Awake My Soul. My nieces and nephew just visited for a few days. There've been lots of laughs, watermelon, board games, late nights in our house this week. Awake My Soul reminds me that these are gifts from God, to be slowly savored and remembered and traced back to the Giver. Listening to that song this morning reminded me to notice their faces, every wrinkle, every freckle. To not be annoyed by the noise or merely tolerate it but to really hear it, to give thanks for it while these kids are small, while it all lasts. What a beautiful week we had - awake together.

Take some time to check out Shaun's new CD entitled Third World Symphony:

And here's where the album can be purchased: http://shaungroves.com/store/third-world-symphony/

1 comment:

  1. Very Nice Job!
    Those were some great questions!