December 2, 2008

Christmas sweaters, Advent & Raquel

Friends,
It's December already. How does that sneak up on me every year?

December means Tank demands that RSB dress alike in reindeer sweaters for the band christmas party.
December also is the beginning of Advent.
Growing up, I wasn't really sure what that meant.
I tended to focus on Christmas - and not necessarily on the 'birth of Jesus to a virgin in a barn with a star as bright as a moon to mark the glorious occasion' holiday.
No.

I was focused on the other Christmas - the "here's a list of crap i want and if my expectations are not met & i'm left without something i desired - the the day was a failure" kind of Christmas.

Anybody relate to that?
I guess its Christmas, American style.

These last few years, I've tried, with the help of friends and community, to leave my December consumeristic instincts behind and shift focus to the mystery and the beauty of a hopeful waiting - one that greatly anticipates a second chance at life. A Saviour coming in the most remarkable form - that of a baby.

Just writing that still baffles me.
I've had babies in my house and babies are messy.
Endearing, yet messy.

Anyway, as i sat down to write today there were a few things i wanted to share and invite you to join us in:

one

Liz and I are reading an advent guide together and its not too late to join us.
Buckner, a great organization commited to loving and helping children worldwide, has created the ADVENT GUIDE '08
download the guide here: BUCKNER ADVENT CALENDAR

two
Join us in deconstructing our views of Christmas and then hopefully rebuilding what a true Christmas celebration looks like. How do we spend our time, energy and finances during this season. What if we gave clean water to children who are dying from water that is contaminated - rather than junk to people in our lives who don't need them? I'm not Scrooge saying don't give gifts . I guess I'm suggesting that we all try giving thoughtful gifts and focus attention to something larger than giving out of obligation.

ADVENTCONSPIRACY.org is a movement that is leading the way - watch this video, visit the site and join the mission



three


Raquel led us through her neighborhood - one of many slums in Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic. As a band, we signed up to sponsor this 8 year old girl, 1 of 10 children in her family, a few months before with COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL and now here we were - entering a shack the size of my bathroom where a family of 12 call home. Raquel's mother greeted us and we made small talk for a few minutes. When I asked what our sponsorship of Raquel has meant to the family, the mother replied: "The news of Raquel's sponsorship was life changing! We have prayed for this and the director informed us She was the first child sponsored in this new program at the church a few blocks away. We have hope for her and other children that they can dream and be healthy."

With tears in her eyes and in ours, I knew that the work of Compassion was something I wanted to be a part of for life.
When we left that day after visiting Raquels project, we were informed that there are dozens of kids in her project that are awaiting sponsorships. Since our visit, 3 hurricanes have pounded her community and the need for sponsors like you and I is even greater. I can think of no better way for us as friends to be connected and to view this season in a new light than this -- beginning and continuing a partnership with a young child who is longing for the chance to dream and hope - just like Raquel.

The Compassion project is called INTEGRAL DEVELOPMENT MANANTIAL DE VIDA and i'm hopeful there are 50 of you who will join us in sponsoring a child in this specific community.

**Here's how this will work -- if you are interested in finding out more about how to join us, email Brian Seay - bseay@us.ci.org and he will walk you through the steps to begin this partnership with a child in the Dominican project.

-Robbie

By the way, As I'm writing this today - Liz just handed me this letter from Raquel --

"Hello Robbie & friends! How are you? I loved that you could visit me and hope you can come again. I'm going to the center in the mornings because I now get to go to school in the afternoon. Thank you for the money gift you sent me. My mother bought me a very nice pink dress and I am going to wear it today when i go out. It was raining a lot and the water of the rain came into the house but now it is sunny. Take care a lot. Hugs and kisses to all of you. How is the music going?"

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love how your Sponsored Child calls you Sir Robbie Seay.

I'm a Compassion Advocate and I live out in Katy. I attend Crosspoint Comm. Church (Frank Hart et al.) I've seen your band there in the past.

If you can take a look at my blog, you'll see that Crosspoint has agreed to do a Compassion Sunday. I'm so excited about it!

If you're ever back at Crosspoint and get a chance to speak about Compassion there too, look me up.

Andrea G. said...

I love how your Sponsored Child calls you Sir Robbie Seay.

I'm a Compassion Advocate and I live out in Katy. I attend Crosspoint Comm. Church (Frank Hart et al.) I've seen your band there in the past.

If you can take a look at my blog, you'll see that Crosspoint has agreed to do a Compassion Sunday. I'm so excited about it!

If you're ever back at Crosspoint and get a chance to speak about Compassion there too, look me up.

Jim H. said...

Ditto from Compassion supporters and RSB fans in Virginia. It was such a pleasure to finally visit Ecclesia and say hi last weekend. I don't visit Houston often, and was frankly stunned by the positive spirit and vibrancy throughout the city. The soul-lifting worship service I attended brought me to tears on several occasions, as I felt such love for my hometown, and the way God is using Ecclesia.

Jim in Manakin Sabot, VA
Astro Buddy - Jim Wynn