Make An Impact | The Adventurous Life Week 5

An adventurous life comes down to what you do. Will you take action, or will you be passive and let the moment go? Today, Brian gives us an opportunity to make a meaningful difference.

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    - There is a reason you aren't satisfied with the ordinary.
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    You were made for adventure.
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    A life with God doesn't have to be boring.
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    It could be a pulse pumping, heart pounding life of purpose.
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    And we can guide you there.
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    The adventure awaiting you is bigger
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    and more life giving than you could ever imagine.
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    Join us every weekend for 30 minutes of challenge, hope,
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    and encouragement to guide you on your spiritual adventure.
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    - Hey, I'm Brian. I am really excited about today.
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    I'm going to talk about something that's been a passion
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    of mine for decades, it's called Compassion International.
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    We'll have an opportunity later on to actually sponsor child
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    if you want to.
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    Don't tune me out. Please don't.
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    Even if you have zero interest in that,
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    you're going to get some stuff out of the scriptures
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    that is going to be very helpful and impactful for you.
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    And at the end, we're going to show in the last couple years
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    the most emotional moment I think I've had,
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    and you might even see me cry.
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    So if you actually tune out,
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    I wouldn't mind you not seeing me cry.
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    Let's get going.
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    (farting sound) Ah ha ha. (farting sound) Oh, ha ha.
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    That's the way you start a church service. What? What?
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    More on this later.
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    Great to be with you today as we talk about the adventurous life.
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    Here's the basic life hack on how to have adventure.
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    Think about yourself less.
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    I love motorcycle riding, overlanding, you can camp,
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    you can repel, you can paraglide.
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    All those are great.
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    All those things can be adventuresome,but I'll tell you,
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    the hack to get the adventuresome life is
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    to think less about yourself,
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    whether doing those things or something else,
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    and think about other people.
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    Jesus told a story that challenged me massively years ago.
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    I want to share it with you today.
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    It comes to the Book of Matthew 25. Here's what He says:
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    There tends to be two camps in church circles
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    or religious circles or spiritual circles.
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    The one camp is the, I'll just call it the Bible camp.
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    "The Bible, I love by the Bible.
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    The Bible says it, I believe what that says in the Bible."
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    They kind of talk like that too, that's the Bible camp.
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    And then over on the other side is what I'll call
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    the social gospel camp.
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    "Like oh, Bible, Schmible.
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    Let's just help people and serve people and do all that stuff."
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    And these two extremes, it's actually an amazing adventure
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    to bring these together inside of your own life.
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    That was my story.
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    I was mostly on the Bible side and this story rocked me
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    and got me on an adventure that's changed my life
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    and has actually changed our church in many, many ways.
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    And Jesus divides people, basically.
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    People on the right, people on the left.
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    He's not talking politics.
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    Please do not read in Republican, Democrat.
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    Not that at all.
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    But He says, "Over here on the right,
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    I'm going to say to you folks,
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    'Hey, come spend the rest of eternity with Me.
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    I want to be with you because you've done amazing things for Me.
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    You fed Me and you clothed Me.
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    And you've you've seen Me in prison and you've --'"
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    And these people go, "What are You talking about, Jesus? \
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    We've never fed You.
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    We've never seen You naked to give You clothes.
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    We've never seen You in prison."
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    And Jesus says, "Well, when you haven't done it
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    for the least of these, those people in our culture
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    who are going without, you haven't done it for Me.
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    And you've done it for Me and I take it personal."
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    And then on the left, he says, "You folks,
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    just get away from me.
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    I'm not spending eternity with you.
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    Just just be done with Me."
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    They're like, "Whoa, whoa, what are you talking about?"
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    He says, "You haven't done these things to Me.
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    You haven't helped Me, you haven't fed Me."
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    They're saying, "What do you mean?
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    We've never seen you this way."
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    Jesus says, "Yeah, you did because I took a personal
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    when you didn't help people who were in need.
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    And when you haven't done it to the least of these,
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    you haven't done it for Me."
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    Where are you in that tension?
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    Where are you in the adventure hack of thinking less of yourself?
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    Is there anybody who would actually stand up and say,
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    "Oh, excuse me. Excuse me. I know Brian. I know Jameel.
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    I know I know them because they fed me.
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    They clothed me. They took care of me."
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    This is why here at Crossroads we are very concerned
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    about our local communities and people who are in need.
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    They's why I put millions of dollars
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    and millions of volunteer and staff hours
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    on feeding our communities, on CityLink,
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    on tutoring at risk kids through Whiz Kids,
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    on taking mission trips, and funding Undivided,
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    a way that brings the races together and makes us one.
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    Because Jesus cares about those problems
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    and He cares about all those people.
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    And we want Jesus to look at us and go, "Man. Well done.
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    You did that for Me and I want to spend more time with you."
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    That is an adventure.
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    About two decades ago, someone explained
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    that Matthew 25 chapter to me, and it affected me deeply.
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    And he let me know about an organization
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    called Compassion International and said, "Hey,
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    if you want to give some money to this organization,
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    then there will be children who are fed and educated
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    for the rest of their childhood."
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    And I was moved and I wanted to go on an adventure
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    and I said, "Okay, I live on a little bit less
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    and I'll give 30 some dollars to this organization,"
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    and things were fine.
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    I was actually supporting a guy by the name of Towill
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    who lived in Haiti, but I thought to myself,
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    my American cynical self,
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    "Well, it's going to Compassion International,
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    but I don't know if Towill really cares or knows.
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    I don't know if it actually goes directly to him."
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    Even though we were doing some pen pals and some writing,
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    I wasn't all that impressed.
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    I had more than enough things that keep me busy in my life.
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    And then I had the opportunity a few years ago
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    to go see Compassion's work on the ground in Nicaragua.
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    And I was utterly blown away and astounded.
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    God gave me the vision of an adventure
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    to take our whole church on and just try to scoop up
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    as many kids as we couldn't give them a chance.
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    Now, I hear some of you going, "Oh, I know where this is going.
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    Oh, no, no. Turning off the TV, click.
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    No, don't do that. Oh, I know where this is going.
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    I already support Compassion International."
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    Oh, relax, relax, relax.
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    This isn't some Sally Struthers thing where I'm trying
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    to show you emaciated kids with flies on their face.
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    Anybody under 50 has no idea - Sally Struthers,
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    she was an old actress on All in the Family
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    and did some really -- Whatever.
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    Hey, hang in there. Hang in there because your life
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    and somebody else's life could be totally changed,
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    not just for this lifetime, but literally for eternity,
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    because Jesus says He will treat us
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    according to how we interact with the least of these.
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    Let's go on an adventure, huh?
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    Let's take a look at some of the things that God
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    has been doing in our midst through this little video piece.
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    - The Crossroads community partners
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    with Compassion International in Nicaragua and Bolivia.
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    Compassion has been working for more than 65 years
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    to provide impoverished children
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    with a strong opportunity to overcome poverty.
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    For $38 a month, children are given a real chance to succeed.
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    Not only does that money go towards a child's food
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    and educational needs, but it also leads
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    to lifelong relationships between the children and their sponsors.
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    - Hello. God bless you, esteemed sponsor Bill Vasquez.
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    - Hello, and God bless you.
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    - How are you? I'm really glad to write this letter.
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    - I am grateful to God for putting in your heart
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    the desire of sponsoring me.
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    - I want to tell you about my promotion to preschool.
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    - My school teachers name is Nyla, and she has taught me
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    to read, to write, and to pronounce words.
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    - I participated in a parade in September at my school.
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    - I'm on vacation this week and I'll soon start preschool.
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    - I'm happy because I passed my school year.
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    I got good grades and I'm on vacation.
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    - Last week I had an exam in my school
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    and I got a 60 out of 60.
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    With God's help, we can do everything.
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    - I am learning to pray and drawing the project.
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    - I like to see the photos of your grandchildren that you enclosed.
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    - I also like the letters that you sent me.
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    - I ask you to pray for God to guide my family.
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    - I ask you to pray for my grandmother because she is sick.
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    - I ask that you pray for my mother.
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    - You are always in my prayers.
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    - And I will be praying for you and your family.
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    - I will always remember the beautiful moment when I met you.
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    - Goodbye with love and affection. Irvan.
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    - God bless you. Alexander and family.
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    - With much love, Maykies.
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    - Goodbye with a strong hug.
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    - I sponsor Lydia. She is six years old.
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    She reminds me of my daughter.
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    They're around the same age and they're just so happy.
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    It just brings joy to my life.
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    - She was just a beautiful little girl.
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    I just can't imagine somebody not being able to help her.
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    I'm just so thankful that its Laurie and I.
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    - In a little bit you're going to get the opportunity
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    to go on an adventure
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    and to bless a child through Compassion International.
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    It is an amazing adventure.
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    Lib and I have been doing it for years and years.
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    We right now I have two kids. We've got Rudy and Naheera,
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    and it's amazing writing them little letters,
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    hearing back from them,
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    knowing that you're personally affecting a life.
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    Thousands of us do this at Crossroads.
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    Thousands of kids are getting to a new place
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    because we see Jesus in these children.
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    One of those folks who's on that adventure
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    is a person who became a friend of mine
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    when I went on a Compassion trip with her.
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    Her name is Sherrell and her adventure is worth seeing.
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    - I was in service that day
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    Brian had talked about this Compassion event.
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    And honestly, when I saw all the different kids' posters,
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    that was like, "Oh, man, not another ask. Really?"
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    But we sat through the message
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    and it was just so inspirational.
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    And just seeing all those kids and like seeing the video
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    of someone mean their child for the first time,
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    my heart just sunk.
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    And I remember leaving that service,
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    running to get a child's picture,
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    and just being so excited that could be a part
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    of something that is again, expanding beyond Cincinnati,
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    but now going to another part of our continent.
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    So for me when I first met Katherine,
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    my sponsor child, I was very excited.
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    I could tell she was very nervous to meet this stranger.
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    And I'd never been so well received before.
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    I thought it was my birthday.
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    And once she warmed up to me, we're like best buds now.
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    I told her I think in my best broken Spanish,
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    my prayer for her is to always believe in her,
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    love her, and encourage her.
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    In terms of her relationship with Christ, I want her to know Him,
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    knowing that she has a provider.
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    She has a savior who will always care about her,
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    love her, and protect her, and also just provide for her.
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    I just think there's so much more to life
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    when you come to know Christ.
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    It really shifts your focus from you and yourself
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    to bringing His kingdom here on Earth.
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    You know, we never had a lack for anything
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    when it came to our tithing and the giving that we had.
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    And I think we were really intentional about giving
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    a lot outside of ourselves.
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    So I know one year, we actually made a point
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    to give 30% of our income outside of ourselves.
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    We look back, we waste so much money
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    just on stuff that we don't need.
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    So just being really conscious
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    and I'm just really appreciative of that.
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    And I want to see it carry forward.
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    - You know, I understand you
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    because you're an American and I'm an American.
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    You know what I don't like about us?
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    We're cynical, we're skeptical.
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    We think someone's trying to get something over on us.
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    We think someone's not really telling us the whole story.
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    We think, "No way can all this be true?"
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    Yeah, it is. It really is.
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    And Samuel is going to help us to see that.
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    Samuel, it's great to be with you.
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    One question we all have is, "Come on.
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    Is this stuff really real?
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    Are these kids lives going to be any different?"
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    - Oh, my God, it's real because I am real.
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    And I was actually sponsored through Compassion a long time ago.
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    - So you would have been one of these kids on these? Wow.
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    - Yes, sir. I was born in the Dominican Republic
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    and was living in extreme poverty.
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    It was very difficult for me to leave over there.
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    And with having nothing, no hope and no life.
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    Poverty was like a monster.
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    Poverty was not just a lack of money.
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    Poverty to me was the lack of a dad,
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    because my dad passed away when he was 25 years old.
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    So at the age of five, I have to go to the streets
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    of my little town and became a cornbread seller.
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    And the kids used to come at me and laugh at me
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    and tell me, "You're just a cornbread seller.
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    You're good for nothing. You're nobody."
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    So poverty told me that I was nobody, that I had no hope.
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    And it was very hard for me to live that way.
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    - And when did things turn for you?
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    - This ministry called Compassion International
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    came into my life through my sponsor, Terry.
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    Terry to me was like a hero.
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    And Terry to me was like really God.
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    And when when I heard that Terry wanted to sponsor me,
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    I saw God responding to my mom's prayer.
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    And Terry was a grandma from Canada.
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    And she wrote a letter to me telling me that she loved me,
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    that she wanted to sponsor me, that she was praying for me,
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    that God had hope for me, and that I was somebody.
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    I was broken and I couldn't believe that
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    God could use something broken and He could fix me.
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    And He did that.
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    And Terry was the person God used to change my world.
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    And actually, He wants to use me to change the world, you know?
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    And when I think about kids,
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    children that live in extreme poverty,
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    I'm thinking about almost 400 million children
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    that are living right now in extreme poverty,
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    dying because because of malnutrition.
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    I don't want to be a victim. You know?
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    I don't want to be just, "Oh, I'm needing this, needing that."
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    It's not about my world.
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    I want to change the world, too.
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    I want God to use me to change the world, too.
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    And I couldn't believe God could use a cornbread seller
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    to be a blessing.
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    You know, I was able to go to college and graduate
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    and now I have jobs.
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    So now God has given me an opportunity to bless others.
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    So sponsoring a child, it's an opportunity.
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    My wife and I sponsor six kids now,
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    and it's just an opportunity for me to show love back,
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    to give back to others.
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    My kids were able to meet those kids face to face,
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    hug them and tell them, "I was just like you.
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    I had no hope. I had broken shoes.
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    You know, I was struggling in life.
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    And I was able to be released from poverty in Jesus name.
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    And you will be released from poverty in Jesus name."
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    So I now can bring hope to them.
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    So, I want to encourage the people to do it,
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    to sponsor a kid.
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    Going into this adventure to sponsor
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    all these kids from Nicaragua is an opportunity for a person
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    to become God's hands and feet, to change the life of a person.
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    And when you think about the cost of it,
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    when you think about $38, $1.25 a day.
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    If you could afford a Coke a day,
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    that means that you could afford to become a hero
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    to one of those kids.
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    And at the end of the day, we have to say this,
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    "God did it, but He used me."
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    - Well, that's so inspiring, Samuel,
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    to be able to hear your story and see what you've done.
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    Thanks for giving us a vision of what these kids can become,
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    because God's done a great thing within you.
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    Thanks for being with us today.
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    - Amen. God bless you.
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    Being on an adventure with God
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    and being less about yourself brings an amazing feeling.
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    When you can honor God and feel good at the same time,
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    that is amazing.
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    I love seeing what SHerrell has done
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    and thousands of us here are Crossroads.
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    My personal story is I went down to see one of our kids.
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    We have two right now, Naheera and Rudy.
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    I went down to see Rudy the first time a few years ago.
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    And that's where these little fart cups came in.
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    And I'll tell you what, nothing says love,
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    universal language of love to males,
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    is the sound of these things right now.
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    We connected on a very, very deep level
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    and it's taken our relationship to a new place.
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    We've stayed in touch.
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    And then I had the opportunity last year,
  • 00:18:00
    Lib and I went down to visit with him.
  • 00:18:02
    And we've seen that we've not just helped him
  • 00:18:05
    with food, with education, we're a lifeline to him.
  • 00:18:09
    If you're a sponsor, you are Jesus to these kids.
  • 00:18:13
    You represent that they're not forgotten.
  • 00:18:15
    You represent a mother figure, a father figure.
  • 00:18:18
    And that's what I learned.
  • 00:18:22
    - Hola. Good to see you, Rudy.
  • 00:18:30
    My wife, Libby.
  • 00:18:36
    You're such a young man, so tall.
  • 00:18:38
    - Gracias.
  • 00:20:07
    - That was one of the more significant moments of my life.
  • 00:20:11
    What do you think is more fulfilling:
  • 00:20:16
    buying a television or buying that moment?
  • 00:20:20
    What do you think it's more adventuresome:
  • 00:20:22
    an overland trip or motorcycle trip
  • 00:20:24
    or going to Nicaragua and seeing a family
  • 00:20:27
    that's different because of you
  • 00:20:30
    and knowing that Jesus thinks differently of me
  • 00:20:34
    because I stood up and Libby stood up for Rudy?
  • 00:20:39
    Who's standing up for you?
  • 00:20:41
    Is there anybody when you go to see God,
  • 00:20:43
    is there anybody when Jesus says, "Where were you
  • 00:20:47
    when I was hungry? Where were you when I was naked?"
  • 00:20:49
    Is there anybody -- is there anybody anywhere
  • 00:20:51
    there's going to go, "Jesus, me. I was. I was.
  • 00:20:54
    I know that guy. He served me."
  • 00:20:57
    Is there any is there anybody that would say
  • 00:21:00
    that your life is unusual?
  • 00:21:02
    Is there anybody who could point to your life
  • 00:21:04
    and say the adventure this person went on
  • 00:21:06
    has made my life different?
  • 00:21:10
    I'm sickened that we're so used to pleas like this
  • 00:21:13
    being manipulative or strange or something.
  • 00:21:18
    Let me be really clear.
  • 00:21:19
    I get no kickbacks from this.
  • 00:21:22
    Crossroads has no percentage of take from this.
  • 00:21:25
    In fact, this is probably going to hurt us financially.
  • 00:21:28
    I hope it doesn't.
  • 00:21:30
    All of us who give regularly to Crossroads and tithe,
  • 00:21:32
    we get to do this because we get to do things like this now
  • 00:21:35
    and enlist more people.
  • 00:21:36
    Ad please, please do not cannibalize your giving,
  • 00:21:39
    but if you do, I counted the cost and I'm up for it.
  • 00:21:43
    This is an adventure, sometimes you lose to help somebody else.
  • 00:21:48
    I wonder sometimes, maybe God has gotten Crossroads
  • 00:21:51
    to be as big and as it is, maybe God has given us
  • 00:21:54
    the digital platform He has for us right now,
  • 00:21:56
    maybe we've gone into these different TV markets,
  • 00:21:59
    He's allowed us to do that now
  • 00:22:02
    just so you could hear this message.
  • 00:22:05
    Maybe it's all set up right now so that
  • 00:22:07
    thousands of more kids can have a shot at life,
  • 00:22:11
    so that thousands of more kids can be fed and educated and have a shot.
  • 00:22:15
    So that thousands of people like you
  • 00:22:18
    can go on an adventure and be different.
  • 00:22:20
    You want to be different?
  • 00:22:21
    If you want to be different, you've got to do different.
  • 00:22:23
    If you want to be an adventure you can't live
  • 00:22:24
    your normal, civilized life
  • 00:22:26
    that everyone understands and approves of.
  • 00:22:27
    Put a marker in your finances that says, "Every month
  • 00:22:32
    I'm going to support and I'm going to bless somebody.
  • 00:22:34
    I'm going to please my God, my Savior."
  • 00:22:37
    I tell you, it feels pretty frickin' great when you do it.
  • 00:22:47
    The relationship you can instigate,
  • 00:22:49
    the letters you can write has a profound impact.
  • 00:22:53
    A while ago we had somebody was heading down to Nicaragua
  • 00:22:56
    and a friend of theirs said,
  • 00:22:57
    "Hey, if you're going to Nicaragua, would you please
  • 00:23:01
    take a backpack to my child who I sponsor?
  • 00:23:04
    I just want to get her some things."
  • 00:23:05
    And this backpack got to her and here is her immediate response.
  • 00:23:56
    Isn't that good?
  • 00:23:57
    Are you ready to go on an adventure?
  • 00:23:59
    I'm not talking about thinking about an adventure.
  • 00:24:01
    I'm not talking about learning about an adventure.
  • 00:24:02
    I'm not planning an adventure.
  • 00:24:04
    I'm talking about actually going on one right now,
  • 00:24:07
    changing someone's life,
  • 00:24:09
    thinking about someone more than you think about yourself.
  • 00:24:12
    You can do that by sponsoring a child right now.
  • 00:24:14
    You can text NIC to 83393. Text NIC to 83393.
  • 00:24:20
    Now, before you do that, I just want you to count the cost.
  • 00:24:22
    Once you do that, what's going to be sent to you
  • 00:24:24
    is a link with your child.
  • 00:24:28
    Do not text at all unless you're planning
  • 00:24:31
    on being Jesus to this child,
  • 00:24:32
    because if you don't follow through, that child's
  • 00:24:34
    going to go all the way back to the back of the line.
  • 00:24:36
    That's just the way it's got to work with this.
  • 00:24:37
    We want to scoop up thousands of kids in Nicaragua.
  • 00:24:40
    We'd like to scoop them all up in Nicaragua.
  • 00:24:42
    If so we're going to go on to the next country.
  • 00:24:44
    It's going to cost you $38 to do that. $38.
  • 00:24:48
    And assume that God had that child for you.
  • 00:24:51
    Thirty eight bucks.
  • 00:24:52
    There's some of us 38 bucks is a big deal every month.
  • 00:24:55
    Maybe you want to go in with somebody else or two other people.
  • 00:24:57
    There's other other of us, $38 is our coffee bill a week.
  • 00:25:01
    $38 is eating out one dinner that we do
  • 00:25:05
    multiple times every single week.
  • 00:25:07
    For some of us that's the amount of whatever.
  • 00:25:10
    That's not a big deal for a lot of us.
  • 00:25:12
    But it's a big deal for those kids.
  • 00:25:13
    Let's be adventurous.
  • 00:25:15
    Let's say no to ourselves for a little bit.
  • 00:25:17
    Let's be unusual.
  • 00:25:19
    Let's bless somebody else and enable them go to aventure.
  • 00:25:21
    So text NIC to 83393.
  • 00:25:24
    Change someone's life. Change your life perhaps.
  • 00:25:29
    Go on an adventure and experience Jesus.
  • 00:25:31
    Let me pray for you right now.
  • 00:25:32
    God, I thank You for the adventures that You brought us on
  • 00:25:35
    and this one right now.
  • 00:25:36
    God, I just want You to free up mind space for everybody.
  • 00:25:39
    I just pray You move in people, to move in Your people.
  • 00:25:42
    Move in people to move in Your children.
  • 00:25:46
    I pray that Your Grace would fall on us.
  • 00:25:48
    I pray that You'd match up with the right child.
  • 00:25:51
    Lord, we just want You to notice us,
  • 00:25:53
    that we want to be different.
  • 00:25:55
    I pray these things in Your Name, Jesus. Amen.
  • 00:26:00
    Let's sing together right now.
  • 00:34:37
    - We've all been forced to pause, reset,
  • 00:34:39
    and reclaim our futures in light of the chaos of 2020
  • 00:34:43
    There's always darkness in adventure when you're not sure where you're going,
  • 00:34:46
    but even the smallest bit of light can illuminate our paths,
  • 00:34:50
    it can inspire us, show us the next step,
  • 00:34:53
    give us a glimpse of where God is moving.
  • 00:34:55
    Join us for Crossroads Weekend Spark Talks.
  • 00:34:58
    We'll hear from scholars, entertainers, athletes,
  • 00:35:01
    and everyday people who will share what they've learned so far in 2020
  • 00:35:04
    and challenge you with new ideas to ignite your life
  • 00:35:10
    - Crossroads has communities all across the country
  • 00:35:12
    and I want to help you get connected.
  • 00:35:14
    I'm Greg Aukerman and I lead the online church team
  • 00:35:17
    whose job is to do exactly that.
  • 00:35:19
    I'd love to help you find your people,
  • 00:35:21
    get support and prayer
  • 00:35:22
    and take your next step on your spiritual adventure.
  • 00:35:25
    Connect with us at Crossroads.net/onlinecommunity.
Process, journal or discuss the themes of this article - here's a few questions to get the ball rolling...

Welcome to the Weekend Follow Up.

  1. Let’s kick off our time together dreaming a bit. If you could create any business or non-profit what would it be and make sure you hit on the why.

  2. Read Matthew 25:34-46. It’s a long one, but we can do it. What strikes you about Jesus’ instructions?

  3. Let’s stick with Matthew 25:34-46, but we’re going to make it more personal. How would your life look different if you chose daily to be like the first group of people?

  4. If living an adventurous life means thinking about yourself less and others more, what’s one actionable step you can take to do that this week? How can you serve someone, whether they live in your house or in another country?

  5. Living an adventurous life takes intention and focus on following Jesus. Each person go around and pray a blessing over someone else in the group for their adventure. “God, bless {name} on the adventure you’ve called them on. May they get to know you more each day, and every step of the way. Amen.

More from the Weekend

If you are interested in sponsoring a Crossroads Compassion Child click here for more information.

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Jul 25, 2020

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