There are a couple of things you should know about me.
Number one, I am a dreamer and an idealist. I literally dream about an ideal world.
I am super-sentimental and hypersensitive about everything. I cry in every sappy movie, every father-son moment, every Hallmark commercial, every touching sermon, etc.
If feelings are involved, good or bad, I will probably cry. It’s a little ridiculous, honestly.
When I was little, I listened to my dad’s old Bob Dylan, ELO and James Taylor LPs and cried. It’s actually quite embarrassing to admit all of this.
What I felt about the music was something that transcended the real world. I could close my eyes and be overwhelmed by the song. The mixture of the sounds and lyrics would pour over me and make me feel things I had never felt before. It’s a place deep in my heart that I can still go to when I listen to good music. I wish it was a real place.
The other thing you should know about me is that I’m a passionate person.
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When something interests me, I become extremely passionate about it, even if it is for a short time.
Something will catch my eye and I will learn as much as I can about it, dream about it, immerse myself in it … and then, move on to something else.
This has been true my entire life.
However, there are a few things that I am passionate about that I will never move away from.
- My relationship with God and my family (including my two dogs, Peabody and Wonder)
- The plight of children in poverty
If you come to one of my concerts you will hear me talk a lot about my journey with Compassion.
I have been sponsoring little Junior in Uganda for several years now, and it has truly changed my life.
A few years ago, I had the opportunity to go to Tanzania and see the work Compassion is doing firsthand. A group of us went to build classrooms for one of the child development centers in rural Tanzania, just outside of Arusha.
While we were there I went with my mom to meet her sponsored child, Baraka, and his family.
He was a shy little guy with a big bashful grin that he hid with his hands. He, his parents and his siblings all lived in a tiny house that is about the size of my living room.
Me and my mom, a translator and Baraka’s family all crammed into the house for a bit and I sat in the corner, all curled up, and we listened to the story of Baraka’s life.
I heard how Compassion was able to get him food when he was hungry, medical care when he was sick, and an education when there was no way his family could afford it.
His life is completely different than it was before Compassion came along. He has an opportunity in his life that, without Compassion, he would not have had.
After we heard about that, Baraka’s mother went and opened a drawer in a little dresser she had tucked in the back of the room. She pulled out a ziplock bag and carried it over to a table in the middle of the room.
As she carried the bag, I could tell that whatever was in it was very special to her. She opened the bag and, with a big smile on her beautiful face, she poured out the contents onto the table in the middle of the room for all to see. A whole bunch of papers.
At first, no one was sure what the papers were, but when she started to open them for us we realized that they were all the letters my mom had written to Baraka since she started her sponsorship.
As I choked back tears, I understood just how precious my mom’s sponsorship is to not only Baraka, but that his entire family has benefited from the sponsorship.
They were so happy, even with the little they had in a place of poverty, disease and great need, because they had God and they had a sponsor.
Compassion is such a different organization because they work through the local church, equipping them to do ministry among the people in their communities. It’s not just a handout.
When I dream of that place deep in my heart, where my passions overwhelm me, I think of the beautiful people in Africa whom I have met through Compassion. I see their big smiles and I hear their captivating songs.
My soul wells up and I envision a world where poverty doesn’t exist. Where children are able to grow to their full potential because hunger, disease and lack of education and clean water don’t exist.
I believe God has called each of us to do what we can to bring His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. One way to do that is by sponsoring a child through Compassion.
“You may not be able to change the world, but you can change the world for one child.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Aaron Hale is a worship leader and artist/songwriter from Kansas City, Missouri (though he’s originally from Texas, and is still a Texan at heart). Aaron has been sponsoring with Compassion for almost 10 years now and has been a Compassion artist for nearly two years.
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