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Jesus Loves The Children and A Trip To The Motherland – Tanzania Day 1

It’s about 10:00 p.m. on Sunday evening and we (Compassion Bloggers) just finished an amazingly draining yet energizing day. Draining, because we have flown for well over 48hrs due to plane delays, long layovers, schedule changes and you name it. To top the draining portion of the day off, half of the bloggers’ luggage did not arrive (LaKendria and I are in that half that didn’t arrive… insert sad face). Yes today was draining; however today was also Energizing, because… well I’ll get to the energizing part in a moment.

A Little Background: As long as I can remember I have either made statements about the Motherland (referring to Africa), I even found myself sometime in the 80’s wearing the African medallion around my neck. For the first time my wife and I landed in the Motherland together. To be specific we have been to Nairobi Kenya for an airport layover and made our final destination of Mwanza, Tanzania. It’s kind of surreal, lots of emotions, glad we are here together, along with the rest of the amazing bloggers on this trip.

Let’s Get Up To Speed: We finally made it to our hotel for just enough time to check-in, grab lunch and head out to one of the Compassion International CIV Project. I was amazed to see all of the parents and children there to greet us at the church on a Sunday evening. They were all so thankful for the generosity of Compassion International, in other words they were thankful to everyone that sponsors a child or donates to Compassion in any shape, form, or fashion. Those investments are making lasting deposits into the lives of these children and changing their outlook.

My Thoughts From Today: Let me start off by saying, I have so much information, perspective and emotions that I could write forever; however I’ll be sharing every day for the next few days and have memories for a lifetime. Today we had the opportunity to spend time with the pastor, volunteers, parents and project workers. This time allowed us to gain great perspective of the compassion programs and services, while seeing their impact firsthand. I asked the Pastor how other churches perceived them in the community since they were a compassion partner? The pastor informed us that being a compassion partner and having the Compassion CIV project has really been a unifying factor for the community and the Body Of Christ.

He explained that it’s been the one thing that has crossed denominational and cultural lines for the church. They can all come together for the children and for the sake of the Gospel. It was great to hear stories about kids that have come to know Jesus, pastors partnering with other pastors and parents coming forward to have their children prayed for in the name of Jesus. The Body Of Christ in Mwanza is being united around the children and that doesn’t surprise me, because the children are important to God.

I’m reminded of this account in scripture, Matthew 19:13-14

One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could lay his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him. But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.”

Back To The Energizing Part: I was energized deep down inside to see a group of people living in such poverty demonstrate how richly blessed they were. I was energized by the fact that I’ve had very little sleep, have not taken a bath in a couple of days, our luggage is lost at this point and you know what “We will be alright.” I was energized by teaching some of the locals here a little slang, the #FistBump, talk Jesus and talk a little sports. I found out that the center for the Memphis Grizzlies, Hasheem Thabeet is a local.

Quotable Moments: One of the church volunteers said the two key problems in their area is poverty and not enough activities. A grandmother raising her 3 grandchildren due to mother leaving when they were young said her dream for her family to have a better roof over their head. “Mr. Scott & Mrs. LaKendria, people keep talking to you as though you speak Swahili… they may think you are from here.” Ha, we are in the motherland.

Tomorrow we get to visit another project and I’ll have a whole lot more to share, I’ll close by saying this. What Compassion International is able to do with $38 a month sponsorship is amazing and helps children, even families get out poverty. Children are coming to know Jesus and communities are being more connected. for those of you that sponsor a child, I want to say thanks on behalf of these children and families. Those of you who have yet to sponsor a child, can sponsor a Tanzanian child by clicking here. Who knows, maybe I’ll give your child a #FistBump while I’m out here.

Below are some pictures that a personally took today. I’m not a photographer; however these are my images through my lens.

Join in, share your thoughts, ask me questions or feel free to make some requests of me while I’m out here,over here, down here.

Chico is a Compassion child currently be sponsored

This Little guy was looking to the sky

Hundreds of people gathered at the church simply to say Thank You!

Grandmother raising her 3 grandchildren... Compassion is helping w/ Chico

Looking out the door

On The Road Again

Any of these pics. stand out to you?

Thanks for reading… Check back tomorrow. 

I'm Tired Of Your Baby Water Cups!

dixie cupThis post is very random; however if you been around BigIsTheNewSmall.com for awhile you shouldn’t be surprised.

Every time I go to a restaurant, I order H20 for my drink.  If it’s a dine-in restaurant it’s water with lemon, if it’s a fast food restaurant, I’ll just grab a regular cup of water and same thing for the dine-in/fast food combo type of restaurants.  There is one thing that irritates me about some or maybe even most of these restaurants… I’m Tired Of Your Baby Water Cups! Can I get an Amen from my water drinkers.

Dear Mr. Panera Bread: Just because I decide to order a cup of water for my drink doesn’t mean I want your little clear dixie cup that a lid doesn’t even fit on.  I don’t mean to pick on Panera, I could have you pick a restaurant and they would probably fit in this same category.  I know some of you are probably saying, “just ask for a bigger cup” and often times that’s what I do.  I’m even willing to pay; however It’s the Principle of The Matter!

I want to thank one of my favorite local Sandwich Shops in Oklahoma City (Saturn Grill) for appreciating their water drinking customers enough to provide a 2 cent cup.  @SaturnGrill  actually gives you the nice plastic cups that you can take home with you.

Did I mention that these water cups are so small that you will have a foot of straw sticking out of the top of the cup?  Did I mention the fact that a child’s sippie cup will hold more fluid ounces?

I feel better now!

Is it just me or do you feel the same way?  Which restaurants frustrate you the most and what restaurants appreciate you with the BIG Water cup like @SaturnGrill.  Chime In, Sound Off!

Fire Up The Grill… 10 Either/Or Grillin' Questions

grillMemorial Day is one of the official grillin’ holidays.  It’s one of those great Mondays that we not only get to reflect and pay respect to those who have served and are currently serving to protect our freedom… but we get to fire up the grill and have left-overs for days. 

Everyone has their own philosophy when it comes to grillin’ or smokin’ meats, what to cook, how to season the meat, the type of grill etc… so I figured we would talk grillin’ this Memorial Day Monday.  Here are 10  Either/or  Grillin’ Questions:  Share your thoughts on any of the questions below or add additional answers, if your personal choice is not provided.

  1. Beef Hotdogs / All-Meat Hotdogs / No Hotdogs at all  (Me: Beef Hotdogs)
  2. Steaks / Brisket / Pork Ribs / Beef Ribs / Pork Chops / Other (Me: I don’t eat pork, I’m down w/ Steaks, Brisket & beef Ribs)
  3. Bratwurst / Polish Sausage / Hotlinks / Other (Me: Hotlinks)
  4. Kabobs / Fresh Corn / Other (Me: Fresh Corn)
  5. Turkey / Chicken / Deer / Hamburgers / Buffalo Burgers / Other (Me: Hamburgers)
  6. Gas Grill / Smoker / Charcoal / Charcoal & Woodchips / Other (Me: Charcoal & hardwood coals added)
  7. Deviled Eggs / Potato Salad / Cole Slaw / Green Beans / Other (Me: Deviled Eggs & Potatoe Salad)
  8. Baked Beans with Brisket / Baked Beans with Ground Beef / Baked Beans Plain (Me: Baked Beans w/ Brisket or Ground Beef)
  9. Marinade / Rub / Just Sprinkle (Me: Marinade and Sprinkle)
  10. Well-Done / Medium-Well / Medium / Rare… I mean bloody (Me: Well-Done I Don’t Mess Around)
  11. Bonus: Go to Someones House / Do It Yourself (Me: Do it myself & I eat mayo. on everything: burgers, dogs, links…)

Share your thoughts on any of these grillin’ questions.  Share any recipes, secrets, thoughts or grillin’ philosophies. 

Happy Memorial Day!

Hole In The Wall…

hole-in-the-wallWhat comes to mind when you hear the phrase Hole In The Wall…  I’m sure that we all have a relatively similar thoughts; however Hole In The Wall is defined as: A small, very modest, often out-of-the-way place.

In this post, I’m referring to Hole In The Wall Restaurants.  Yesterday, myself and a fairly large group of people had the opportunity to hit several Hole In The Wall restaurants for lunch.  First of all we hit Tim’s Indian Tacos and then our next stop was a little spot called Fried Pies… by the name I’m sure that you can imagine what the sell.

Maybe it’s just me, but I love finding these little hidden jewels we have come to know as Hole In The Wall’s; let me tell you, they have some of the best food.  When I travel I always try to find those Hole In The Wall’s that could literally be the billboard for Campbell’s Soup, if you know what I mean…  “M’m! M’m! Good!  Especially the little soul food restaurants like Florence’s on N.E. 23rd street in Oklahoma City, OK; or burger spots like Dairy Mart in Union City, OK…  I could go on and on with my list both locally and around the country, but that’s the purpose of this post; the purpose is for you to go on and on about your favorite Hole In The Wall’s

Do you like Hole In The Wall Restaurants?  If so, what are some of your favorites (Name, City, Type, Favorite Item…)?

BTW- I will be in Dallas for a couple of days next week for the Innovation 3 Conference; please share your favorite spots in Dallas.

Panera

panera.jpgI need to set the record straight; I am totally convinced without question that Panera has the best sandwiches, bagels, breads, soups…  I don’t know why I decided to share this, I just did.  You can’t find a better place to have a light breakfast, a good lunch meeting or a place that allows you to get out of the office, use their free wifi and flat out get some work done.  Each time me and this guy meet, it’s at Panera and about 6 years ago my very first lunch meeting with my Senior Pastor Craig was at Panera.

Here is my order: Pick Two- Frontega Chicken Sandwich  minus the onions and Broccoli and Cheddar Soup; Water w/ Lemon ask for the big clear cup, because that baby one they give you doesn’t do anything for me.

What’s your favorite sandwich/eating spot to meet or your favorite place to get out of the office and get some work done?  What do you order?

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