I'm excited to welcome Mark Hall -- the lead singer and songwriter for Casting Crowns, a long-time World Vision artist -- to the World Vision Blog. When I received this post from Mark, the source of the passion in his songwriting became immediately obvious. They're words of experience and depth from his heart. Thanks, Mark, for guest-blogging today and for giving us a peek into Casting Crowns' newest album. Don't forget to order the pre-sale of the album online at FamilyChristian.com.
—Lindsey Talerico-Hedren, managing editor, World Vision Blog
When we went to adopt Hope and bring her home with us from China, she didn’t want me to hold her. I was told that usually when the orphaned children there see white men, they sometimes think they are doctors coming to do surgery on them.
It wasn't until seven days after we were back home that I told my wife Melanie, "I’m just going to go pick her up, and sooner or later, she’ll be too exhausted to cry anymore." We were at the zoo at the time. I picked her up, but she wasn’t going to have it. She screamed for the next 30 minutes.
Later that night, I was lying awake in bed, staring at the fan, having a conversation with God about this. It took us three years to be able to adopt Hope. Our family began the adoption process before she was born, with all its red tape and expense, the testing and interviews and waiting -- lots of waiting.
Mark Hall in Rwanda with World Vision. ©2010 Abby Metty/World Vision
I was going through the list of reasons with God about why I felt so disheartened. Finally, I realized, all I can do is give her Cheerios. But what kind of father-daughter relationship is this going to be if the only thing I can give her is Cheerios?
At that one moment, God said to me, "How does it feel?" And it just hit me. It was like God took me to the woodshed and said, "I’ve been giving you Cheerios your whole life, Mark. And that’s the only time you come to me is when you need something."
It was a huge awakening for me.
I remember laying in bed, thinking, okay, I’m just going to take this. I’m going to walk through this. I came to the realization that I needed Jesus way more than I needed His blessings.
That's exactly the point of our new album. It's about how we are so quick to run to Him for His blessings. But we’re slow to just sit with Him and be in His presence. The album, “Come to the Well,” is inspired by the story of Jesus talking to the woman at the well. She thought she was standing by a well talking to a man, but really she was standing by a hole in the ground talking to the well.
Casting Crowns in Rwanda. ©2010 Abby Metty/World Vision
It's a lot like us today -- we come to Jesus and we think we already have our "well." We think we have something that is going to sustain us and we come to Him to bless our (fill in the blank) so our (fill in the blank) will work even better for us. But Jesus isn’t a "sprinkle" blessing. He is life, and life in all its fullness -- that’s the central teaching moment of this new record. The album also includes a song I wrote for Hope with my friend, Steven Curtis Chapman, called “So Far to Find You."
So we’re all really excited for people to hear this record and be encouraged by the message behind it. After going on a trip with World Vision last year to Rwanda and seeing firsthand the impact of clean water in the lives of children, their families, and the community there, we wanted to work with World Vision and Family Christian Stores with the pre-sale of the new record. Now, the proceeds from the pre-sale will go toward providing safe drinking water for children in Rwanda.
This program will change lives forever.
Buy a pre-sale copy of Casting Crowns' new album, "Come to the Well," online at www.familychristian.com/castingcrowns.
You can also bid on VIP "Come to the Well Tour" packages and support safe drinking water in Rwanda.
How is Jesus more than a "sprinkle" blessing in your life?