[, Music, ], so [, Music, ] welcome to the scott harness podcast hey. I want to welcome you to the podcast. Today we have got some incredible stuff in store. The conversation is going to be. I mean off the chart before i introduce our guest who’s going to be with us.
Let me just share with you a couple of quick things as always: um to to stay on top of the new videos that we produce and what’s going on like and subscribe click that bell get the alarm so that you know when we’ve got new stuff. Coming up, remember: we stream both facebook and youtube. You can get the content in either place because you didn’t catch us live, doesn’t mean that this is not available to be available at a different time. A later time, because we’re going to dock it there but like and subscribe, makes a big difference in in our reach and how we we’re going to you know, get more people to uh, get a chance to hear um. Some of the conversations that we’re diving into and remember, we love raising the topics and we love for you to bring your friends.
So this is a great opportunity for that today is going to be a very special day in addition to the people we have in the room and i’ll talk about them in a second. We have today one of my good friends and probably one of the people that i respect the most um. If it really came down to – and you said, hey, scott, you – you need somebody’s opinion, that’s really really on this really important issue. You need to hear from somebody that you would trust that that you would listen to that. You believe their heart and their perspective is one that that could help you with this problem.
That you’re in this is the guy that i’d call the guy i’m talking about is guy, it is paul. Loyalis and paul is just one of my favorite people in the whole wide world. I i don’t know i look forward to talking to him. So maybe that’s even why this show is happening today is because i just love, love talking to paul and uh. Paul is with compassion international, and he just brings a lot to the table and today’s going to be a great conversation paul.
How are you doing bud doing great thanks for having me today, i’m looking forward to catching up yeah, absolutely absolutely we’re going to jump into that conversation. Let me run around the room: real, quick and just kind of tell you who’s here. Um across the the table from me is stacey, my wife um stacy and i have have traveled with compassion international, with paul um to uh. Well, we went to peru together yep and we had a chance to see some really cool stuff. We’Re gon na we’re gon na discuss that kendall.
Harness is here today. He’S gon na he’s our cabinet campus, pastor and and uh kendall has, you know, always got a cool angle on stuff faith. Gill is here as well she’s in the room and as always the guy that makes all the stuff work and spends all the plates steven. Our producer and stephen is going to be. You know, making sure that we don’t mess things up paul.
Let’S do this, let’s jump into this conversation, because there’s so much that i want to cover and talk about and those kind of things tell everybody a little bit about who you are, what you do and just you know, give us a little bit of a snapshot. Yeah, okay, thanks. I’Ve been at compassion now for uh, almost nine years and i serve on the church relations team. So my role of compassion is to go out and meet pastors in the central part of the u.s, get an idea of what their vision is for.
Reaching the nations with the gospel and then seeing that there’s some way that we can uh align what we’re doing with one another and go make a dent in the world make a dent with the gospel somewhere. So that’s, basically my role at compassion again. I’Ve been here in nine years, i’ve been happily married for well since 1997. So i think we’re coming up on 24 years, kendall you’re good with math help me with that private school. So i’m married not quite my high school sweetheart, but but almost that hey we met.
I don’t know if you know this stacy uh and scott, but um. I met my wife stacy same spelling as six flags over texas texas baptist youth day. Oh yes wow! How about that so neat and so and then we uh we connected again in college and i’ve been married ever since and so god’s blessed us with two amazing daughters of a 14 year old and 11 year old and they’re, each very unique um and a blessing To us in unique ways as well, so i live in birmingham alabama compassion is in colorado springs. But since i work you know through the central us, i can live wherever wherever my family and i want to be, and so birmingham’s been our home since 2001 and we are weekly attenders um at a covenant church here in birmingham alabama, we love our church.
We love our faith community, it’s our home, so that’s kind of me in a quick, quick nutshell. So, good so good! You know paul’s family, your family is just a beautiful, just a beautiful picture. Um. The one thing that i love about when you talk about your wife and when you guys, you know when, when anytime we’ve been together, just to hear where your heart is with stacy and your family and just the way that you guys sort of operate as a Team, you know – and i know sometimes in ministry and mission – there’s sometimes there’s that isolation there’s that kind of wall, but you guys sort of move like a.
I don’t know just you’re in sync and i think that’s i think, that’s an important part, especially when you’re in a really high pressure, pushing and you’re constantly traveling on average – and i know i know we’re going to talk about the pandemic cove and that kind of Stuff how that’s affected that, on average about how many days a year, do you find yourself traveling around the world paul when, in normal conditions, yeah um i’d, say 80 nights a year, i’m in a hotel room, 80 nights or asleep on a plane somewhere, yeah yeah? It’S a lot, and you know how i can tell i will say this: i can how you can tell somebody that travels a bunch. Paul can navigate any airport anywhere in the world, no matter what the language barrier is we’re like going through places, i was like yeah a little cut through the bookstore right here. There’S this back door, there’s a secret passageway and we’re gon na go over through. Here.
Oh, you need to download this app by the way, because if you download this app, you go to the front, and i remember there was this one point: we were kind of coming into some place and we downloaded this app put our passports and stuff in and He’S like yeah, see this huge line. We don’t have to go through that line. Watch this and we go straight to the front, and i remember looking at these people’s faces and they were so mad. Oh, my gosh, like we had cut in line paul, was like just i mean it was like a and he never made eye contact with any. I mean just kept moving.
No, he just kept going it’s like we, it’s like we were supposed to be doing this stuff. It was oh yeah, it’s impressive, i mean it’s it really for a person. I struggle with directions, but going with you guys through the airports and travel, and i was like man. This is the best thing ever. I don’t even have to think i just try to keep up.
That’S all. So there are a lot of hacks out there. There’S for sure, so let’s talk a little bit. Let’S talk a little bit about. Let’S talk about the pandemic.
Let’S talk about these. You know developing countries. How has the pandemic affected missions work and how does it affect? How has it affected the the utterly poor um that we find around the globe today? Paul?
What’S what’s going on with that? Yeah? It’S uh! It’S really interesting, because you know we’re sitting here. I’M assuming most of most of your listeners are here in the u.
and you might have some others, and maybe a g8 country in canada, maybe or somewhere. You know that has uh government infrastructure and listen, let’s, let’s just let’s just call it what it is. Our lives have been impacted by this pandemic. Yeah i mean big time. They’Ve been impacted big time, whether it’s you can’t find toilet paper at a grocery store for a little while yeah um or you don’t even know.
If you should go to the grocery store um. Can you my kids go to school? I mean our lives have been impacted. Big time uh i mean they’re many of your church members, i’m assuming still because of health reasons, aren’t going to church. That’S right, that’s a really really big deal but listen um.
Our inconvenience by this pandemic pales in comparison to how this pandemic is really impacting the global poor yeah, and so you think about this right, everybody’s supposed to go into isolation, everybody’s supposed to social distant. How do you social distance in a hut, a one-room hut that 18 people live in yeah? How do you social distance when you share a full-size bed with eight other people? You know how do you social distance when you’re a day laborer and you don’t eat unless you go into the fields and work today, yeah and so the the pandemic? Has it’s just really wreaked havoc on the global poor um and if i start to think too much about it, i really get really get torn up and and emotional about it.
Uh 150 million people who had been released from from abject poverty over these past five years, 150 million people are now back living in abject poverty, all over again and and abject poverty is, is less than a dollar what ninety cents! That number goes up a little bit. I don’t know what the new number is. Maybe it’s a dollar 30 at this point, it’s kind of like a postage stamp. It keeps going up and i can’t keep up with that and that’s pretty and that’s we’re talking about people who live on that or or less per day.
That’S when we’re talking about abject object, poverty, yeah, that’s exactly right and so uh. Unicef says that 150 million kids, 150 million kids – have slid back into poverty over the past 12 months. 463 million of them are no longer going to school right now because they don’t have access to. Like our kids, i mean anybody who thought they wanted to be a school teacher before covid. They know now whether or not they want to be a school teacher.
Like me, i don’t want to be a schoolteacher. I’M not i’m not great with my parents, with my kids right being a parent and a teacher 463 million kids in the in the developing world. Don’T have access to an ipad or chromebook or the school issued whatever it might be, plus the the internet connection. So they they’re just they’ve, lost to your school yeah and i mean – and i really believe even for us for those of us. I mean we’ve struggled with our own kids, trying to balance and have enough computers and – and we don’t have enough bandwidth – i can’t even fathom i cannot even fathom – where you’re in a developing country where the infrastructure is certainly not there.
I can see that this thing’s going backwards in a hurry. Um yeah, that’s huge, so when, when we’re when we’re dealing with with poverty um, what are some of the biggest obstacles or, let’s just let me say it this way. What do you see are some of the the most devastating issues that that poverty people in poverty living in poverty that they’re facing right now, um, i mean obviously there’s there’s nutrition. There’S there’s you know hygiene, those kind of things. What do you see as some of the biggest obstacles that they’re facing right now and is that different now than what it was before the pandemic came it?
It is different. Now, um, and, and so what i would say is it’s it’s the same, but it’s different, and so it’s it’s the same issues, but it’s different because they’ve been amplified. They’Ve been leveled up they’re at 10x, 20x, 30x, 40x, whatever it might be. So an example that might be uh one of these kiddos and families that had escaped abject poverty right. They were living probably now in four dollars a day, as opposed to a buck.
25 Food security wasn’t an issue to them, yeah, you know they were having their daily bread, but they were pretty consistent with their daily bread. Well now, they’re, not you know. Now they don’t have food security, yeah and then health, health infrastructure, so think about this, and you know with the global poor you’re trying to get vaccinated, not covet vaccine but just regular vaccinations and just regular health checkups. So yeah you have these over taxed health systems. During the best of times now you have coven and now they’re overtaxed, because not only do you have your regular health issues, but now you have covet on top of that, and so an example that i mean you can google this today, just google covet in mexico.
You have people literally fighting over oxygen tanks, because the difference between life and death in some places in mexico right now with people with covet, is whether or not they can get oxygen. Just oxygen uh to get you know, get their pulse socks up high enough, so they can survive so people are fighting over oxygen well. This was not an issue that people had you know 14 months ago in these places in mexico, but they did have some health. They did have health issues. So to answer your question, scott, it’s the same old issues.
It’S food security, it’s health, it’s water and sanitation, yeah, it’s all those things, but just it’s just dialed up what parts of the world do you see right now, um in the developing world? Do you see that that are and do you have some stories? Maybe that you could share with us where, where they’re being hit the hardest, where do you see some of this just really really exacerbated just because of the circumstances that may have been there even before the the pandemic yeah the places that are always getting hit the Hardest are your land, locked countries, yeah? Okay, it’s so malawi in in east africa: it doesn’t, it has no port, and so you have to go through mozambique to do any gdp or you have to go through tanzania or whatever it might be, or burkina faso, for example, in west africa. You have to get through benin or togo or the ivory coast to do any business or to get any power and electricity right um.
So when you’re land locked you don’t you can’t trade and if you can’t trade within you’re, you’re, regulated by by your borders and your neighbors, and so all of your landlocked countries, whether you’re in asia or if you’re in uh africa um. There are only a few central american countries that are landlocked but bolivia’s one of them it’s been hit, i mean just so hard by covid, so your landlocked countries, um, are the ones that have been hit the hardest. I mean all data points to that, and usually when you do the deep dive into in even before koben, your deep dive always shows you that those are the countries with the with the most with the most poor uh, with with the least opportunity for for uh Economic growth and development, and so that’s what we’re seeing and then you know uh scott. You know how compassion you and stacey sarah work. You know we’re a church-based ministry, yeah um, and so you know we we’re seeing 35 year old pastors pass away.
Yeah. You know young guys they’re passing away just because they don’t have access to the medical attention that that are the medical resources that they could. They could use to survive this pandemic, and literally i do not exaggerate. It is something as simple as they just had access to oxygen sure, so the impact’s, huge yeah and painful well, and you know i feel like that – that i think one of the things that that i love about compassion and one of the reasons why that we Are a supporter of compassion both as a church and stacey, and i and our family? We we sponsoring kids, but but moreover, one of the things that i’ve always loved about compassion is that i think when it comes to a world.
That’S that’s constantly facing obstacles, pain, difficulty and and facing more complexities to try to share the gospel you guys, y’all, have this pivot y’all have this ability to pivot – and i know that you – and i discussed this at one point about how that you know at one Point you know you were supplying pastors with with what they needed to be able to do the the functional ministry work in their community, but now you’re, you guys, have shifted gears and you’re trying to supply to the pastor themselves and trying to keep you know trying To do what you need to do so that they might be able to maintain some level of health personally um in them. You know their family and themselves. Um talk about that a little bit yeah! It’S really interesting! You know, typically, when you think about beneficiaries of our program in in most programs that that you’d associate with child sponsorship.
It’S it’s the you think. It’S the child, that’s the greatest beneficiary, it’s not always the case, but in in the case of compassion. It almost is always the case yeah. Do you guys follow me there? So, when you’re giving your 38 dollars a month, that’s going to to help that child to develop.
You know it says the christ grew in wisdom, so education, you grew in stature physically and favored with god. You know spiritually in man, sacco and socially, and so that’s how your investment in a compassion, kid! That’S how that impacts that kid, and so i’ve not been in compassion as long as some others, but in almost 10 years i’ve never ever seen what we call an intervention or a grant that we’re trying to raise money for which is for the caregivers right. It’S for the pastors and it’s for the people that work at the church and work in the program to say: hey, listen. We want to help you with your rent.
We want to help you with your food security and we want to help you with health. If you can get access to health, we want to pay for that, and so we were raising money for the first time ever to my knowledge to to help the caregivers um yeah, i mean that the people that are doing the the ministry of compassion at the Local church uh, so that’s it’s it’s a very unique time. I’Ve never seen that before. I will tell you this. It’S been awesome, uh to see pastors here in the states say we want to get behind that.
We want to support our fellow pastors and rally behind that yeah yeah, and you know one of the things that that i think has stood out to us even in ministry and mission is that is it felt like that when, when we, when we jump into what Feels like survival mode personally, when we feel like that we personally are in this, like, oh, my gosh, we’re just trying to you, know batten down the hatches and hang on. You know a lot of times you you tend to see benevolence diminish. You begin to see you know giving beyond yourself because we’re just trying to survive we’re going to hang on to what we’ve got, keep what we got. You know, but one of the things that we’ve experienced – and i think you can talk to this too in compassion’s experience – is that it it’s there’s actually been an unlocking of generosity among and which talks about faith. I believe, which is one of those few things that i can look at as a gage and go man praise the lord look at this.
We actually maybe have raised up some people who are believing god beyond their circumstances but um. I know that you discussed this as well, and we talked about this that that you know where we would expect generosity to diminish. It hasn’t yeah, and that’s that’s exactly what we’ve what we’ve witnessed. You know this past year, you know compassion. We had our.
We had our best year ever uh calendar or fiscal year – 2020. I mean it’s it’s a record-breaking year and you know you can look at other great ministries. So so, for example, tear fund in the uk is a ministry that have a great deal of respect or hope international out of lancaster pa. They do women’s savings groups and some some other. You know gold, star, uh, just awesome, faith-based faith, implementing uh ministries that do work in the developing world they’ve had really great years and and we’ve seen, we’ve seen the we’ve seen the church here in the us.
Um rise up and we’ve seen members of the church here in the u.s rise up and say: hey, listen, it’s great! Well, it’s been tough. We still want to give you know. That’S that’s thug.
I’Ve got a buddy uh who just had a baby and he’s calling to facetime me, so i can just meet his little baby, [ Laughter ]. I apologize. I turned up. Oh not my computer. That’S all right!
Man, that’s cool, happy birthday! Baker driscoll’s that little guy’s name. Oh my gosh, that’s so good! Oh that’s awesome! So we have we’ve seen it in the us and listen in all of our what we call global global partner alliance country.
So this is the u.s. This is canada. This is australia. New zealand, all of your ga countries, um they’ve, had record-breaking uh years in terms of gifts.
I’Ll tell you this, though i i think i think one of the reasons that we’re seeing this is it’s not all organizations, but i’m i’m actually we’re seeing the church get behind the church. That’S right what i mean by this: it’s not just people writing checks to you, know american red cross, which is it’s a it’s a fun organization or a unicef or whatever it might be, but it is people of god rallying behind their brothers and sisters around the World, that’s right, it’s been awesome well, and you know stacey now both can testify to this one of the things that we love about, and i’ve been on a few different mission, trips with compassion and i’ve had the chance to see the work of compassion firsthand in Multiple places, one of the reasons why we believe in compassion and we love compassion and again this is not about competition. It’S not about us saying one organization is better than the other. Well, i’m just given our experience. Our experience has been that we went into communities that had established long-term compassion work and you guys um.
I remember looking at the children – and i remember every i mean just just simple things like dental these kids, you would see their teeth and their teeth look different. You could tell it the hygiene and you could tell that there was clean water. You could tell that there was an education system you could tell, and all of this by the way this is the part that i love about. Compassion was all run through that local pastor that local church, it was all in support of them. Everything we did when we were.
There was in support of that local pastor in that local church um. Yet what i saw in a community that had an established compassion work, you could distinctly see physically physiologically and spiritually a difference. I mean absolutely and we went into other communities where the work was fledgling, where compassion hadn’t been there very long. I remember yes and the kids the everything from the way that they, the their health, their health care, their physical. You could see physically, where these children were suffering the effects of of poverty absolutely and uh, and that was one and you know even prenatal, stuff things that you don’t really think about, but watching how compassionate and educated we went to one um pregnant mother’s home um.
In an established, you know, village and established compassion, work and um, just helping her to understand the the need for the prerequisites before this baby got there and gosh. You know she had a little. They had a little space in this little hut, but in that corner it was painted. It was pink, remember that right and then the walls were painted and they had prepared a bed and why that was important was because um it helped emphasize the the the needs that this new baby was gon na have, and that was the effect of compassion in That community – and it was at that moment, states now both looked at each other. I said i can see god’s work here.
I can see what god’s doing absolutely and just the i hate to say that i did not know much about compassion before we went on that trip and was not a supporter of compassion, not because of any reason other than i just didn’t know about it and Um when we went on that trip, i my eyes. Oh sorry, my eyes were open so much as to what um compassion was doing in those communities yeah and just being able to see those children and the work that was being done there and y’all. I i’m a, i am a like type a personality and i want to know where every dime is going and i want to know where everything is, how it’s making a difference, and i want to see all the records and i want to whatever and every place. I went into, i saw the work that compassion does to prove that every penny is used wisely, to prove that every child gets an opportunity that they can possibly uh work for that that every pastor gets taken care of that ever i mean just. I was blown away without i saw records of families and kids that these that these pastors and workers were keeping up with yeah to show that this is what is happening in this community, that spiritually and mentally and physically.
These people are being cared for and i was like, oh my gosh. I was like why i felt so much immediate guilt of. Why have i not been sponsoring this before, and then we got the amazing opportunity to be able to meet our compassion child, which most people never get to do um we got to meet our compassion child and see exactly what he was doing get to look into His eyes look into his face and realize that our little 38 dollars a month was changing a life, that’s right and and an eternity an eternity not just a life but an eternity, and we had we. I just i am such a supporter after that trip of just being able to see – and i know not, everybody gets to do that sure, and so i am very very grateful for the opportunity that we got um to do that, but i can speak for that. Now, um – and i believe god has given me the platform to be able to do that – um – that it is real and it is life-changing, is eternity changing, and i just i wouldn’t trade that that opportunity to go on that trip for anything.
So it’s good. It’S good it’s good the week with paul louis is a great week, [ Laughter ]. I remember that. I remember that, though scott, when we rolled into that place, that the ministry had just gotten started and uh man you, i remember, you were phenomenal, like you’re down with those kiddos and just loving on them, i’m like bro scott’s, going to get lice [ Laughter, ] Seriously, i never seen that i’ve never seen even in west africa, where i’ve seen some really really rough stuff. Those kids were just in bad shape.
I mean i know exactly where that is i’m here to tell you all uh y’all, don’t know this um a church in texas actually paid i’ll, give a shout out real, quick to pastor mark howell and uh, if in hunters, glenn church and in dallas. If you’re listening, they actually plant, they actually built a church infrastructure there, scott, that’s great and, and the kids are doing great there, they’re thriving and those kids. Now look like those kids at the other place. You know that you visited you know. Their teeth are in good shape.
Remember their their hair was red because of malnutrition. That’S extended bellies, i mean it was sub. It was sub-saharan uh africa, poverty that we experienced in peru. It was just it was it was. It was a tough day but to see the difference in what that’s right and to see that these few years difference, because this was a well-established compassion international.
You know mission over on one side and then we saw the very beginning of it on the other side and then just to be able to see the difference that compassion can make in a community yeah. That’S the story of the gospel. That’S the gospel story. That’S that’s the story that that church is making in cabot and sherwood and hopefully around the world. You know we’re we’re renewing we’re restoring we’re reclaiming, what’s god’s and what he loves.
That’S right. That should be actually the testimony of our lives, amen, yeah! It is that’s. That’S exactly right, you know. I do think, though, that i think the beautiful stewardship of it, though, where um there’s an intentional understanding of what, how to layer those pieces in and one of the things that i loved was.
I even loved the architecture when we were having discussions where you know it’s like hey, we could just come in here and build this you’re like no. No, no. We don’t need to do that. Here’S! What we’re gon na do we’re gon na provide the material we’re gon na do this and there was a way of helping without hurting, and i think that was.
I think that even that strategy – you, don’t you don’t understand how important that is. There’S times in the western philosophy of missions work that we want to feel good about, having done something, although we may leave someone worse off than what we, what we found them and so having having the mission wherewithal from an organization that says. Okay, let me let me from years of experience, let me show you we’re not. We can’t do it that way. This way is better um.
The return might not be the same that we want. You know sometimes, as a western as the western church. You know you kind of want to have that return. Look what we did. Look we built whatever, and, and sometimes you get that but a lot of times the help needs to come in in a certain way in a certain order, and by doing that, you actually have long-term help.
The other thing is: is that the support of that local pastor in that local church is critical, right um and that’s the part that i absolutely love about it without it, the gospel will not be sustained. That’S right! That’S right! It could be proclaimed once maybe twice, but for it to be sustained for there to be a gospel witness, you have to have a church, that’s right. The church of god must be there.
That’S right! Well – and you know, every community has that those people of peace that god has designed and desired to be an answer to carry his gospel, and this our support of those people is so much more important than than our own. You know glory, you know and absolutely so it’s good stuff paul. Let me ask you this um when it comes to when it comes to the work that compassion’s doing. What do you feel like?
Is your big biggest obstacle right this minute? I know it’s a big open-ended question, but i’m just yeah it’s a it’s a it’s a really big question. You know because most people would always go man. If i just had more money, i would do xyz right, and so i mean i’m sure. That’S the case.
If we had more money, we could plant more churches, you know there we could. We could feed more pastors and more kids for sure i think the biggest obstacle right now, uh and and i’m i’m sorry it’s it’s such a simple answer, but it is coveted. I mean kobet has disrupted our all of our plans in yours, too, mine too personally and and professionally and even my local church. It’S it’s changed. You know what our plans are.
I mean something as simple, as you know: we’re not teaching what we’re going to teach. This quarter in sunday school sure because you know we’re doing it differently, so um, so our biggest obstacle, i would say, is, is good. Making really is edge is education. I think i think we’re going to be able to catch all these kid kiddos up in communities up quickly with infrastructure infrastructure is easy. Maybe all you need is money to bring in infrastructure.
So i mean you, we could we can raise money. You know we, you know people the the church of god is generous, so we can raise the money. But how do you make up for tom yeah? How do you make up for tom and and what happens what’s critical to and very important to understand? Is you have a 13 year old boy who is doing great in school, he’s been out of school?
Your family has gone from making more than a dollar 25 a day and now you’re back to making less than a dollar 25 a day and now you’re a 13 year old boy who’s great in school. It’S not an option for him anymore yeah. You know you could go to school and that’s great, but we got to feed our family today, yeah or or the same thing could be said of a daughter and when you think of you know you think of how east african sub-saharan africa works. Well, all of a sudden, your daughter also has cash value. Yeah, your daughter gets married, you get a dowry and all of a sudden, you know you as a father, you might have an incentive to marry your daughter off sure in order to provide for the rest of your family.
I mean that’s, that’s a terrible choice to have to make isn’t it, but but those are the things that we don’t think about, but i think have the most long-term impact um on on the on the people and, ultimately, that’s that’s the business we’re all in we’re. In the business of loving uh people and seeing people become faithful, followers of christ sure the proclaimers of his good news, and so that’s that’s. Where we’re going to see the biggest impact. How do we get our kiddos back up to speed? How?
How do we keep our kiddos in the program? How do we keep them in school uh when, when it’s going to be it’s going to be a challenge to do that? Yeah? No, that’s good! That’S good and those are those are real.
Those are real obstacles. Those are those are the things that that that people are facing um, you know in in the countries. The one thing that that i think about is in the countries that don’t really have um much of an export, and maybe even tourism is their export. That is their product, those countries they have to be. They have to be in the in the lurch, because i mean there’s the the quarantining process.
There’S the you know: you go somewhere, you got ta, you got two weeks before you can come out and then you got ta come out of the country, you’re gon na quarantine. When you come out um in those countries, i’m sure that’s that’s where a lot of these people are stepping back into poverty, because their product, their their their is gone. That’S right, yeah and so like nicaragua, would be a an excellent example of that. Thailand would be an excellent example of that. I i’d even add kenya, tanzania and some of your east african countries uh where um you have a lot of folks from europe going into those areas to do their to do their safaris and things like that, sure sure and so they’re the dominican republic, uh, would Be another would be another, a nation that i’d add to that list, and so what’s happened is um.
Their their gdp is is has been bolstered, historically has been bolstered and has been growing in the tourism industry, particularly like thailand, for example. Well, right now you can travel to thailand kendall jump on a plane. Let’S go man, we can go to thailand, but when we get to thailand, we’re stuck in a hotel for two weeks, all right and then, when you get out of the hotel, there’s nothing open because everything’s been closed down because of the pandemic. And so you know the people that might be working, the scuba shop right or the people that might be working in the restaurant or your hotel workers uh. These are, these are all people on the brink of being in abject poverty and they don’t have jobs right now.
Uh i was, i was watching uh youtube, almost as credible as sources wikipedia. I was watching a youtuber that i follow. He and his wife are selling around the world and they got stranded in in thailand uh with with the pandemic yeah, and he was talking he’s putting some of the locals to work to help him put his bow back together after abandoning it for a year. Uh – and they were all all of them – were formally employed in the tourism industry. Speak perfect, english right, i mean they’re they’re good to go and he asked him.
When will the tourists return and they said maybe 2023 Wow and they don’t anticipate having any more work after he and his wife still out of there, and so that’s that’s what we’re talking about wow yeah, and you know that it’s one thing when we have what would we would feel like an end is in sight. I think i think, when you start throwing out numbers where you’re talking years down the road um we’ve yet, and i think that’s where some of the people are. I mean i know, i know pastors that i talk to, and i even know individuals that i talk to um when it comes to the pandemic. There’S plenty of people going yeah um. I can’t believe we’re not worse off than we are right.
Now everybody i feel like everybody seems to be somewhat surprised financially the financial piece of it everybody’s a little surprised at yeah, but but i do sense, this everybody’s going yeah. But how long can this hold out yeah they’re waiting for it you’re waiting for it yeah for the shoe to drop, yeah and and there’s you know, and i can only imagine in some of these countries where gosh, when you start throwing out years uh before they Can open back up and life can resume? You know what you got to understand. Life was a struggle before that, but you throw years at that. I can see where that’s going to be a real major deal.
Do you feel like that? There is a or do you guys have a a strategy. Is there i know the world’s constantly in flux. Right now i mean one week to the next. You don’t know what the heck’s going on, but but paul do you guys feel like you?
Is there a strategy that you guys are trying to employ as you move forward? Are you trying to judge what the future might look like? Is there i mean? What are you guys? What are you, what are y’all thinking about that?
Well, you know we’re moving forward. We’Re moving full steam ahead, that’s good, um charity. Charity navigators is an accrediting organization, um that that they credit nonprofits and forever. We carry their four-star ranking and about three years ago we we got a three-star ranking and the reason we got a three-star ranking is. We distribute all of our cash like we, we don’t retain not all of our cash, but we retain we’re a billion dollar by god’s grace, we’re a billion dollar ministry, not one dollar that to my knowledge, comes from the government.
So it’s all by generous gifts from christians. We distributed 83 of every dollar given last year. That was the number which is really high wow and so we’re we’re a credible organization. But we went from a four star to three star a rating again. I think it’s about three years ago because they said we don’t have any assets.
So if there were, if there were a pandemic or there are a recession that turned into a depression, you guys wouldn’t be solving our goal isn’t to be solvent. I don’t we don’t want to save money up for a rainy day. I mean it is raining in the 25 countries that we’re working around around the world. There is a disaster, and so we distribute all of our resources, and so we have not changed our posture at all. We are not trying to retain more of the uh, the gifts and receipts that we’re getting in kind so that we can weather this storm uh.
We’Re trying to give more and more, and so that’s that’s what it looks like a compassion right now. Every dollar is coming in we’re trying to get out as we as quickly as we possibly can. Now again, it’s for food security. It’S for health, um, eventually it’ll be good. I will see us adding, probably education at some level, i’m not sure what that’ll look like, but some way to catch kids up.
But what it’s done is it’s. Our plans have changed scott, where our goal was to add. Maybe 5 000 frontline church partners over the next two or three years. I do not envision us expanding and growing in our in us reaching as many kids as we had originally forecasted, because we have to take care of the kiddos whose needs have gone up. So this way the 38 dollars a month was helping these kiddos break through the cycle of poverty.
Well, the 38 a month now doesn’t they need more? They need more than a little bit of food. They need a lot of food, they need a little more than a little bit of medicine, a lot of medicine, uh and so uh that that’s what we’re going to do. We want our yes to be yes with the beneficiaries that are under our under the churches that we work with care right now. So i see i see the demand to meet our our our uh.
I promise our promise to those kids kiddos. I see it costing more to meet the meet those promises, and so that’s where that’s how we will reshuffle our priorities. We want our yes to be yes to those kiddos. First before we start adding uh more beneficiaries go ahead. Let me ask a question paul um.
So let’s say i’m a mom at home, with my three kids and my husband and um. We just now are finding out about compassion international just about the work that y’all have done and the amazing work y’all do and i want to support somehow um. What are the ways that i can support? What can i do? What are the prayers?
What are the support options for me as a a woman who maybe can’t go, take trips or do things, but what what can i do? It’S good yeah, i i we say this so often, but but one is to pray, [, Music, ] and if you can, if you can get a kiddo, that you’re actually praying for a kiddo and a journey, a story that you can follow it’s great, particularly if You’Re, a mom: if you’re, hey dads, how tough is it out there for a dad to say you know what i want to confess this i’ve not led my family spiritually, and i want to do that now. Where do you start man put a kid on your fridge and start praying for that kid? That’S right! It’S it’s!
It’S that easy, so i’d say, grab a grab, a compassion, kiddo. We have the really interesting thing you all uh. We were gearing up for our biggest spring. Ever in 2020, we had two: we had to register 250 000 kiddos in anticipation of 220 000 of those kids getting sponsored between march 1st and july 1st 2020. Guess what none of those events happened?
Yeah, and so we have a lot of unsponsored kids right now so jump online uh. I could see if i could put together a web link for scott harness or or for that church, but jump online and i’ll tell you uh, particularly if you have, if you, if you and your family, have teenagers grab one of those older kids. Those are the kids that are going to be on the brink of do i finish school and any anything that you can speak in their life to encourage them to really encourage them will go a long long way. You know these. These are teenagers they’re smart and they know that you’re rooting from them from across the world.
That’S gon na that’s gon na uh. That’S gon na initiate a lot of questions in their mind. Why does this family care about me from the? U S so they’re going to ask you questions about yourself and your letter. Writing would be pretty huge, so you just go to www.
ompassion.com and just go for it yeah. The neat thing about, because our compassion child is arnold and from peru and uh mentioned that we got to meet him, and that was such an amazing experience and be able to see what he’s doing in the mission there in the church there um. But we still get letters all the time from him updating us on where what he’s doing now, where he’s at now he’s 19. Now because we purposely took a older child because we know that just from oh, we assume that it’s easier to place younger children, um, and so we purposely took and a teenager and well.
I guess he was 11, then and then now he’s 19 And um and just being able to see how he has changed and grown and the things that god is doing in him. Uh it’s such a benefit. I mean we, don’t we don’t need that necessarily in order to give or to serve or whatever. We don’t need that feedback, because we’re doing it for god um. But it is so nice to be able to keep up with that child and to see what’s happening with them.
Personally and y’all are great great great about making sure that that happens and updating the families that are supporting um and, like i say it, doesn’t fall off like it’s been whatever seven years or whatever. Now it’s still and even the process of letter writing and all of that is so much it’s so simple. I will say this when we were there. One of the things that impressed us, um with the administrative side of compassion, is that those letters are not taken for granted. This is a child.
This picture is connected to a child. This is not, you know, and i’m not knocking any other organization, but there’s an organization out there that you you’re buying, say, for instance, you’re buying an animal to send over for food or whatever you’re, not really buying the animal you’re. Just kind of throwing that money into the pot compassion is not. This is not brokering a bunch of pictures and actually you’re you’re connected to that child and the amount of detail and work that goes into making sure that the the correspondence and the connectivity and the gifts and everything is all happening. Compassion puts a lot into that.
Yeah, moreover, when you, when you sponsor a child, you’re sponsoring a fabric, it’s it’s not it’s, not you helping this one individual kid, and this one kid’s walking around the town with you know, rings and a necklace and stuff. But it’s, but it’s but what’s happening, is you’re supporting the fabric of that community and you’re supporting that through that local church you’re, supporting that through everything, from hygiene to food nutrition, to the layers of education that go along with that in the community prenatal care. As we saw, whether it’s vaccines and so forth, and so on, so it’s all part of a bigger picture and it’s so systematically working together. These parts fit together. So well that for us i mean it’s it’s one of those things where there’s times where even us as a church.
Okay, we’ve we’ve done taken on a project, local project mission project and we did the best we could with it. But after we did it once we were like, we could have done that a lot better and there was waste in that compassion – has really really boiled out the water and have really gotten to that. This is how we can effectively bring about a change, and this is how we can really you know, make this work, and so it’s not again, i think one of the big things for me is is that it’s not you’re throwing money. That compassion has a whole bunch of pictures and they’re just throwing them out there with a story. This is a child.
This child has a name. This child is real. This child exists where compassion says that he or she exists and as you support this work. Yes, you are supporting that child and it’s an incredible story, and it’s so helpful, but, moreover you’re supporting the fabric of all of this support, as it affects this entire community. This kid you’re helping their whole their whole community, their village, their city, um, and it’s and the work is so amazingly systematically effective.
That’S a great articulation scott because other organizations say that we do that compassion doesn’t do community development and that’s not true. No way, and i say well i mean we don’t do we don’t do a lot of infrastructure. We don’t you know we don’t put in municipal roads, we don’t remember structures, but here any anytime a pastor would mention that. To me i said: listen, here’s! The deal!
Pastor! Um! You are a pastor and you’re called in your city at this time. Are you not making? Are you not making a community impact yeah and the fact of the matter might be you’re not and if not, if so, then you know fall down and beg god for forgiveness, because the church should be making a bigger impact than any other organization or entity in The community period, that’s right, so what i love is we say: hey if you want to change a community there’s one way to do it only one way you have to change its people and if you want to change its people, the only way you’re going to Do that is to power the spirit and, through you know, transformation experience to becoming christ’s life and that’s the way that you, you know you transform a community.
Otherwise we can bring in infrastructure, and i can tell you guys stories for days about um stories that i’ve witnessed where hey we brought in a road we brought in water. We brought in all these things and what’s happened is the crime is increased, because now they can do it faster yeah now now they’re more efficient and effective at doing their crime uh. So if you want to change a community changes, people, that’s what that’s. What that church is shooting for i’d, say yeah, absolutely yeah, and i think – and i think one of the things that that’s important, that for for all of us to realize is that you know social justice and um. You know and help in the areas of poverty divorced from the gospel is it’s it’s just a coat of paint on the titanic.
You know it ultimately is going to end badly. So what what the god but here’s the thing the gospel cannot be separated from the social justice part of it. They cannot be separated from the help. The gospel is the good news, and the good news, as it is expressed through the lives of people in the mission and the ministry of people, is that that that hungry, the hungry are fed. The lonely are sat with the those who are naked or clothed those who who have hurts and hang-ups, they’re, helped and – and that’s that’s the picture, that’s the holistic picture of the gospel, and i saw that personally i mean i witnessed that with compassion.
I mean i saw i’ve, seen communities and and it’s whether it’s bolivia or or peru um, i saw communities where the ecosystem, spiritual ecosystem was changed. There was a shift, you could see it, it was tangible and – and you compared that and contrasted that with with places that the work was young or new fledgling, and you could see the difference and you could see the work and you could see there was a Even beyond the physiological there was a um. There was an oppressive spiritual nature in these places where, where the work of the gospel had yet to really bloom um compared to another place where the work of the gospel was was was happening, there was a joy, a peace, a hope, a future. They could. They could dream, they could dream they.
They. We spoke to kids, who had aspirations and in other cities we spoke with kids. They just couldn’t see past right now they all they were trying to do was just try to get something enough to eat or or something to drink or a place to stay. I mean there was just such oppression, spiritually and physically, and i think i think, addressing both of those to the gospel is that’s the hope of the world. I mean it’s where it is, that’s it so yeah and it’s exciting about it.
I closed. Let’S go [ Laughter, ]. Let’S do it, that’s for sure paul. What do we need to know? What else do we need to know man?
I think uh, something to think about uh for you guys, but then also just just church right now. You know. Missions looks a lot different, yeah right. You know a lot of churches, um um! You know, mission trips is a big part of their summer, yeah uh.
I know for me, and we were talking about this before we went live. I mean everybody’s been on a trip and that trip makes an impact, and so i think the thing that i’d encourage my my brothers and sisters who want to go um and my brothers and sisters that are leading churches on trips. I’D say: hey um. Would you take, would you consider taking uh the summer of 2021 off yeah? Would you consider doing that and and there’ll be good reasons why you don’t and you should go if there are really good reasons um, but keep in mind we’re recovering we’re kind of getting our feet up under us postcovid, but it doesn’t look the same.
It does not looking the same the same in in the developing world; it just does not so while you might be ready to go, and you really want to go and encourage your brothers and sisters and the good work that they’re doing around the world um i’d Encourage you that if you don’t stay home, reduce the size of your group so that you don’t burden your brothers and sisters who will tell you to come so pay attention when they say come, ask questions: how are things going? How long have you had your water up and running again? How long have you had power? You know, ask those discerning questions the same way. We had you know really terrible weather this past week.
Didn’T we right, i mean record record lows: i mean i saw a picture of a ceiling fan in houston that had an icicle singing from it like what’s going on yeah, so are you going to jump in your car now? You know a week later and go visit your your friends down in houston, because the sun’s out today, probably not you’re, going to call ahead so in the same way think about that think about what that might look like um. At the same time, i’d encourage you not uh not to not do missions and so use this. This interesting season in this interesting summer to send send resources overseas help people with their food scarcity problems help people with their with their health issues and hygiene. Um again you want to you want to do that through a trusted broker.
You don’t want to do more harm than good, so you know be wise about that yeah, but be thinking about that a lot differently uh this year. If you can again, i know a lot of people want to go and it’s so powerful, but i i’d really pray long and hard to make sure you have a clear answer from the lord that this is the right time to go, keeping in mind. I think you can jump on a zoom call and we’re having a lot of fun. Today, yeah, you can jump phone call and you can encourage your brothers and sisters and you know schedule a coffee or a tea with them, and there are ways that you can encourage them without actually showing up. So keep that in mind.
And then the next thing is, i, i think, uh. I think it’s going to be interesting. We saw a lot of our missions organizations. The churches are denominationally tied uh we’ve seen we saw a lot of our missionaries come home. Yeah, remember this: like everybody kind of got home just as quickly as they could it’s going to be really interesting?
So what are what will we do with these missionaries that are home now yeah, and so, if, if you’re at church, you know how do you, how do you put those people to work? How do you help that missionary family of their home right now? Yeah? That’S that’s a different way of thinking about missions and then who are your indigenous uh laborers, your indigenous. You know, professors proclaimers of the gospel uh that you can divert some funding uh, so the church, the church still has a voice in in some of these communities.
Are you tracking with me so yeah, maybe that that missionary who came home was discipling, someone who is planting home churches and that that that ministry is growing well great? How do you get behind that person? How do you equip and empower that person to continue to do that great work uh so take this time not to hurry up and get things back to usual, but take this time to say: okay, god you’re you’re still at work, you’ve not stopped working, that’s good! Where are you at work, and how do i come alongside how you’re working to fan the flames of the gospel as opposed to fight and cling so tightly to to what i want? I think things to look like it’s good yeah, it’s good!
No! That’S really good, and – and you know there is a lot to do – i will say this one thing too about sponsoring a kid, and i know that um we’re kind of come full circle about that um. I know with us as parents, um stacy and i you know and we’re parents times two. So we’ve got biological children and then we have children, we’ve adopted and um. You know there’s very few things that will be more effective at helping your kids understand our responsibility in the world than bringing them to a position where they get a chance to see, understand and experience how it is that we can help others.
You know we constantly tell our kids, they tell our church the same thing. You know we’re in the we’re the top. You know three to five percent of people in the whole world economically, and that comes with responsibility and rather than those resources that we have becoming the snare to our heart. The way that we do, that is that we overcome that by saying: hey, look, god has blessed us to be a blessing and here’s how we bless, and this is a face. This is a person.
This little boy is growing up and we’re having a chance to have an impact in his life. We may never see him physically again, but, but god has given us a chance to be a part of his life and i think for our kids when we bring our kids face to face with that and that’s something we discuss talk about, pray over and consider And as part of our prayer, you know conversations with our family we’re bringing these children up and we’re talking about who we sponsor we’re talking about what we’re doing it. I really believe that one of the problems we see you know in our country in the church in general is that we don’t really understand how the rest of the world is and – and this is a way to bring that full right in front of your kids And i do believe it’s a huge benefit and again you know if, if there’s a lot of organizations that aren’t really effective at putting things onto the table and onto the ground, compassion is not. One of those compassion is crazy, effective paul. You blow my mind when you said 83 percent.
Did you say so 83 cents last year? I think so. We stay between 80. Our commitment is that it will never be below 80 percent and it was either 83 or 81.3 last year.
We’Ll call it 80 because, i’m sure being 80 So, but, but to think that you run an organization that 80 of every dollar, so 80 cents out of every dollar is actually on the field, helping feeding developing growing whatever direct benefit, that’s crazy! That’S crazy, effective! So so i think that’s good stuff and i think that anybody can participate in compassion.com. You know you can go there and the story’s there um it’s it’s good stuff, so we dropped the link to uh in the comments to sponsor a child.
If you wanted to look and see super space yeah, that’s really good. We weren’t even going to talk about compassion, so here we are well. You know, i don’t know, i think for stacey. Now, though, it’s something that’s really been significant for us, and so i think for for missions work, and you know i just think we were blown away with how effective um compassion is absolutely just amazed how effective, and even when you go on, to write letters back And forth that you all have used technology so well in that now it it actually um it will uh it’ll. Actually, what do you call it?
Email, no it’ll, actually translate. That’S where it’s like, oh yeah, and we’ll translate the letter for you. You will be able to see, and then you type back and it translates it back to them, and you know there’s none of this paper back and forth. I mean you can do it that way, but that way, if you want to, but i mean it’s so easy to be able just to go in, you’ve, got your password and your whatever, and once you get on there, you can send a letter to your child And then they can send a letter back to you and pictures and stacy’s just blown away by the interwebs you just can’t get over the interwebs. I tell you for somebody who’s, not technology, technologically advanced that is advanced.
I love it and so it’s pretty great yeah and it’s only getting better our app. What stacy’s talking about is. You can use an app now from your phone or you can log on online and but uh and it isn’t quite like you can text your kiddo, but it’s almost that awesome. I tell people all the time they’re like i don’t know what to write. My compassion.
Kid i’m like listen next time, you’re at a baseball game or soccer practice or you’re a church, take a couple of pictures and say we are at church today. We know that you go to church. This is what our church looks like boom and flip it their way, particularly the younger kids, like pictures mean so much more to them. Yeah sure take a picture of your home. Do you believe it or not?
The compassion. Kids know you’re rich. They know that you’re not going to surprise them when they see you know bricks in a roof. It’S no surprise to them. So yeah, it’s it’s!
It’S good and uh stay tuned, so there’s some really cool um advances and some really cool stuff. That’S that’s worth coming on that app’s gon na be really awesome, sweet, even better, even better paul. It’S been a joy man. I am it’s always fun, it is it is. I mean just absolutely you’re you just you just ring our chimes man.
That’S the bottom line. So, thank you yeah. Thank you. They love, you, love you what you do and be praying for you and your family. Thank you for what you do.
Gosh yeah! Thank you absolutely it is. It is well, let’s do this. Let’S have a word of prayer and i’m going to send you a hotel shower kit for your next 90 days in a hotel, [ Laughter ], because kindle fully stocked don’t need anything [, Laughter, ] it’ll, be that church branded bar soap soap on a rope. So, let’s, let’s uh, let’s have a word of prayer and um and we’re going to buzz off here today was a fantastic day and we’re just ultimately grateful.
We really are so faith. You want to pray for us sure, let’s do it um god! I just thank you for today and i thank you for this opportunity just to talk about um other places. I think we get so focused on what we’re going through, that we forget that other people are experiencing um, traumatic things, that things are happening in their communities and uh god. I just thank you for that reminder that that’s right, um, we are called to uh, be a part of the orphans and the widows lives.
We’Re called to be a part of people’s lives that are struggling and god. I thank you for the reminder that uh, yes, this has been a hard year, but it’s been harder for some other people and god i just thank you for compassion and what they’re doing and the lives of the communities. God and i pray for um paul and i pray for every single person. That’S gon na begin to travel again god. I pray that you um continue to break your their heart for um, what’s happening in the communities, but also god.
I pray that you give them hope and that they can bring hope to others. God and i pray that you know, although it’s terrible that people are um starving and that they’re, you know missing out on education, god uh their salvation is the most important thing and god i pray that even if we meet every physical need god i pray that We’D, remember that their spiritual need is so much more important and god i pray that as a community um, you know we can’t travel or maybe we can’t go anywhere. Maybe we don’t have the ability to do that, but we can sponsor a child or we can help somebody in our own community god. I pray that we would be open to meeting the needs of others again, not just physically, but also spiritually, um god. I pray that we would see every single person that’s uh, experiencing this pandemic in a different way that we would see their need of salvation and god.
I pray that we would have the words to say and that we would continue to just preach your gospel. Even when it’s not convenient, even when it’s not easy, even when we’re going through something god, i pray that we would preach your hope and god i do pray for paul and his family that you blessed them and that you would give them just hope and peace And joy, through this time and god i pray that you would keep them well and you protect them as far as just their health and god i thank you for just how much they love your people, god everywhere all over the world and um. We love you. Lord, we praise you jesus and i pray, amen, amen, amen, paul, we love you. Brother man have a great rest of your week and you know we’re always in your corner.
If there’s ever a time that we can be of help like like, if you just need to roll the experience up in the parking lot like last minute or something like that, but you remember, we need an extra gun in bolivia. That’S exactly! That is a fact. My friend do not forget me when, when we’re trying to take care of those pests that are eating up all the farmer’s fields, we will do our part. Thank you.
That’S right! All right, brother! Well, you take care. Man love! You!
Man, love! You too guys take care thanks, so much [, Music ], you