When I went to Uganda in February, Christian recording artist Shaun Groves was on our team of bloggers. He's a completely down-to-earth, unassuming guy--you would never know he has tons of fans and a very successful music career. He's the real deal.
Shaun and his manager Ben came to our city this weekend for some concerts, and they stayed with us. I didn't mention it to my kids until a few days before they arrived, because I knew the excitement level was going to be pretty high. They know who Shaun is, of course, both from my trip and from listening to my iPod. And my nine-year-old is...how shall we say this...easily star-struck. As in, he thinks the mailman is famous because, "MOM. THEY GAVE HIM HIS OWN. WHITE. TRUCK."
(He also talks in ALL-CAPS most of the time. With LOTS. OF. DRAMATIC. PAUSES.)
Anyway, I casually mentioned Shaun and Ben's upcoming visit, and I waited for the eruption. I wasn't disappointed. Stephen slapped both hands on the table and delivered the following paragraph in one long breath:
"NO. WAY. ROCK DUDE IS COMING TO OUR HOUSE? WILL HE RIDE IN A LIMO? DO YOU THINK THERE WILL BE LOTS OF SCREAMING PEOPLE LINED UP IN OUR DRIVEWAY? OH MY GOSH, DO YOU THINK HE MIGHT WRITE A SONG RIGHT HERE, LIKE, IN OUR HOUSE?"
It actually turned into a great conversation, as I told my son how Shaun uses his platform to tell people about Compassion's work, and how he backs up what he says with the way he lives. My boy was pretty impressed by that, too.
And it was a great weekend. It was so meaningful for my family to meet someone who was on that life-changing trip with me. Shaun and Ben were really great to hang out with my kids and answer their questions. Shaun even signed Stephen's guitar (Stephen: "MAYBE I CAN SELL IT ON EBAY FOR REALLY. BIG. BUCKS!") Stephen was just a tad disappointed that Shaun didn't write a song while he was here. (At least, I don't think he did. Unless his next album has a song about a laundry room that smells like dirty soccer socks. If so, that one's all me.)
Shaun is heading up a team for another Compassion bloggers' trip next month. A group of six bloggers will be heading to the Dominican Republic in November. Two of them--Melanie and Mary--are my dear friends. Also going along are Jennifer from 5 Minutes For Mom, Tim from Challies (one of my favorite thinking-cap blogs) and Marlboro Man, husband of Ree, the Pioneer Woman. Please join me in praying for this group. In this month leading up to such a life-changing event, I can attest that they probably have all kinds of crazy going on in their hearts right now.
While we're on the subject, I'd love to hear from you how your Compassion sponsor kids are doing. I know many of you added to your families this way during the first trip--and many of you long before that. How are they? Our sweet kids seem to be doing really well. Dissan, the nine-year-old boy I met in Kampala, still thanks me for the soccer ball, seven months later. Abraham, 11, told us how he and his grandmother are harvesting ground nuts by digging with their hands, and he asked me, "Does your family dig?" Joseph, age seven, reminds me of my own seven year old, asking pointed questions. After I sent him a recent picture, he wanted to know, "Why don't I look like you? Will I look like you when I'm older?" Sweet little Esther is only four, and her letters are short and sweet, written with the help of a worker at her school. Usually she just tells us over and over how much she loves us.