Spend more than a few minutes with any member of Nashville-based band Tenth Avenue North – particularly frontman/songwriter Mike Donehey – and you’ll walk away with the impression of four men plugged into the struggles facing young people not only in the United States, but around the world.
Immediately following its headlining “The Light Meets The Dark” tour, which wrapped Nov. 29, the band boarded a flight to San Pedro Sula in Honduras to get a more intimate look at the work of partner organization, Compassion International, through meetings with pastors and directors of three different Compassion-run projects.
The band also spent time playing and interacting with sponsor children within the programs, including taking part in an impromptu soccer match on a rain-soaked pitch, leaving the musicians and kids covered in mud but drawn closer together.
“We have been working alongside Compassion International for several years by advocating child sponsorship at our shows,” Donehey said. “Before we left for Honduras, we heard a lot about the problems with gangs in that country and the positive impact Compassion is having on the lives of gang members. When we arrived, we got to sit with kids and hear their stories. We listened to their life dreams. It made us want to do even more to support Compassion International because we were able to directly see the impact of sponsorship on the lives of individual children, families and entire villages.”
“The point of this trip was to show them first hand the work of Compassion,” said Spence Smith, artist relations manager for Compassion International. “The guys have a great head-knowledge about poverty, slavery and other issues we face in the world, but they didn’t have a personal reference point to fully understand the magnitude of these problems.”
He continues, “The band got 1,700 kids sponsored on its fall tour then immediately went on its first trip to see our work. I’m really excited to see what 2011 holds for Tenth Avenue North and Compassion as we continue to partner together in some bigger ways.”
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