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The Day After the Concert March 30, 2009

Posted by markgeil in Compassion.

Well, as you know, it wasn’t a concert, but a church service — three of them, in fact — and all went so very well during Shaun and Ben’s visit. (Shaun’s and Ben’s? The grammar snob is flummoxed.)

When you plan an event you know wrinkles will happen, and the first little wrinkle happened when my cell phone rang at about 4:00 on Saturday. My cell phone never rings because so few people know the number, so I had an inkling about the imminent wrinkling. (HA! I totally just made up that rhyme. I should be a gangsta rapper like Rebekah.) Sure enough, it was Ben, calling from the hotel I had reserved to say the hotel had no rooms available. I told him I’d make some calls and get back to him. My first call was to manager of said hotel, who had assured me this wouldn’t happen. When he didn’t answer, I started calling nearby hotels when Ben called back. Turns out said manager remembered our conversation and worked something out. Whew!

Later that evening we met Shaun and Ben and another family for dinner at Pappasito’s. I’m pretty sure ATL has the only Pappasito’s outside of Texas, and every musician I’ve ever worked with from anywhere near Texas just hasto go to Pappasito’s while they’re here. This was my first visit, and now I see what all the fuss is about. It was muchas delicioso. (I’m multilingual.) Good food and good conversation about the Christian music industry, Compassion, and life in general.

I got to church around 7:00 Sunday morning and started setting up. Compassion shipped these nifty displays, so we had a downright lovely table in our foyer. Shaun and Ben arrived at 7:30, in slow gear but with lots to set up, such as sound and microphones and instruments and Compassion volunteer training and cables and such.

I ran the projection, and that was the very last detail we got to. About 3 minutes before the first service, Ben gave me a huge file containing all the possible songs Shaun would do, Shaun gave me a general order of songs, and off we went. I had to listen to the first notes of each song, find that song in the massive file, then project it before the first notes were sung. I was a like PowerPoint superhero. They could have made one of those movies about me in which a person with an obscure ability is called on to save the world. Like you know when that asteroid was going to destroy the planet and they needed the world’s best deep drill oil rig guys to destroy it, the ones who looked just like Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck? That was me. It would be like the aliens have infiltrated our whole world’s computers, and they’ll all display this alien message and turn us into zombies, and the only person who can stop them is someone who can project PowerPoint on the fly, under intense pressure. Nay, the world’s bestperson who can project PowerPoint. Then you’d see the federal agents come find me, except I’d look just like Robert Pattinson. Then I’d save the world over an Aerosmith soundtrack.

But enough about me saving the world from aliens. Back to Sunday. Shaun gamely proceeded through three back-to-back services and was wonderful. The point of the whole day was to get children sponsored through Compassion International and rescued from poverty. In that regard I was really unsure what to expect. There’s a point in the service in which Shaun asks people to raise their hands if they’re even remotely interested in sponsoring a child, and we get them a packet. I was genuinely nervous when he asked that question in the sleepy, small 8:30 service, but then hands started going up and I breathed again. There was an even longer pause in the more-awake-and- about-twice-the-size middle service, but then lots more hands went up. Forty-four children were sponsored in those first two services! I was thrilled, and excited to see what would happen in the wide-awake-twice-again-as-large third service. Hands up, all over the room. Packets flying. Sponsorship sheets in those packets being filled out, which is even better.

The grand total? One hundred sixteen kids rescued from poverty around the world. Praise God and thanks to the people of Summit Baptist Church.

We finally made to to lunch at about 1:00, and I realized I had been at the church for six hours. That’s a long Sunday morning! I enjoyed the lunch with most of our church staff and their families, with more good conversation about Compassion and life in general.

If you were there (or not) and are perhaps interested in sponsoring a child, please visit Compassion. If you’re a screewriter and/or Robert Pattinson or Aerosmith, call me on my cell phone.



1. GeanydayKem - April 7, 2009

Great site this markgeil.wordpress.com and I am really pleased to see you have what I am actually looking for here and this this post is exactly what I am interested in. I shall be pleased to become a regular visitor 🙂

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