>>JEFF FOXWORTHY: How are ya?
My first Convocation, and I have to start out with an apology to
you guys, because I always had a preconceived notion
about Liberty University, And I thought, man, it’s one of those places
where everybody just has to walk in a straight line and behave just right.
And then, I got the chance to go to Rwanda with a bunch of kids from Liberty,
and I told them: I’m sorry, you guys are in for the adventure
of Jesus, and I was totally wrong about you.
So, I owe that to all of y’all. This is one cool place up here.
And I love the… I asked them when they wanted me to speak
this morning; I said, what do you want me to talk about?
They said just be funny. I’m like, I can handle that. That’s cool that you can actually come to
Liberty and be funny, you know? Because I think that’s one of the attributes
of God. I mean, what parent doesn’t like to see their
kids laugh? I did learn, because I haven’t been here since
the early 90s. I did learn that the official alarm clock
of Liberty University is a backup signal on a bulldozer going “beep, beep, beep, beep.”
And the guy who operated one outside of my hotel window does not have quiet time in the
morning. He gets after it early.
So, it’s funny whenever I get invited to something like this.
I think, because I hosted “Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader.”
Somebody asked me, what was your favorite part of doing that show?
I said, the part where they handed me the cards with the answers on it
That was my favorite part. But I think people think, because I hosted
that show, that I’m smarter than I am. And I’m like, I knew none of that stuff.
I’m not like Alex Trebek. We had a lady go on one day.
They asked her it was like a second-grade grammar question.
It was something about an antonym. And she said, “Oh, I remember there were homonyms,
and synonyms, and antonyms.” She said, “I can’t remember the difference
in them. Can you use it in a sentence?”
My antonym came over for Christmas dinner. I know nothing;
I’m an idiot. In fact, when I started hosting that show,
I started making a list of all the things I didn’t know, and it was like the never-ending
list. Like, I don’t know how they know how long
to make the cord for the first bungee jump at a new place.
It’s like, “All right, Ed, let him jump.” “All right, Ed.
Shorten it up a little bit. Give his girlfriend a free tee shirt.”
I don’t know why the dentist makes you lie to him.
Every time I go to the dentist he’ll be looking in my mouth.
He’s like, you have not been flossing every day, have you?
No, not every day. Yeah, let me think.
The last time I flossed, you did it. I don’t know how women can lie down on the
couch and take a nap without sticking their hand in the top of their pants.
How do you all do that? See, men have a sleep button located right
below our naval. We put our hand on that button and [snores].
I don’t know who closes the door when the bus driver gets off.
Don’t think about that. That’ll give you a headache, okay.
I don’t know why the bank leaves the vault door wide open, but chains the 25-cent ink
pen to the counter. And why does the drive-up banking window have
directions written in braille? They do!
Look at it the next time you’re there. I don’t know why the people with the worst
breath always stand the closest to you when they talk.
They’re like, guess what? I don’t know;
you have a dirty diaper in your mouth? Can I tell you something?
All right, but do it quick. I can only hold my breath for 30 seconds.
You always try to offer them a piece of gum or a mint.
They never take it. Oh, no thanks.
I don’t like the way those taste. Yeah, I can see where you wouldn’t prefer
peppermint to that cat poop you’re gnawing on right now.
I don’t know why you can’t ride a bicycle anymore without dressing like Lance Armstrong
in the Tour de France. Does anyone remember when you could ride a
bike in jeans and a tee shirt? Not anymore.
Got to have the uni. And it’s not just young athletic people.
We’ve got these fat, middle-aged guys look like the Michelin Man in a wet suit, and they
have sponsor logos! Who’s sponsoring you, pop?
Dunkin’ Donuts, all right! Pedal on dough boy; pedal on! I don’t know why only rednecks are seeing
UFOs. And here’s the thing.
You’ve got to discount 90% of that stuff right off the top.
My Uncle Jerry swore they had crop circles in their yard.
And then we talked to his wife and found out she had called Goodwill, and they had come
and picked up the trampoline and the boat trailer.
So, mystery solved, all right? But let’s just say for a minute that aliens
were real, and they were coming to earth, but they didn’t want people to know they were
coming to earth. It would make sense that they only revealed
themselves to rednecks. Because, A, we usually live out in the country,
so there’s not going to be a lot of witnesses. B, we have no credibility with the media.
I mean people might believe a doctor from UCLA if he saw one and said, “They appeared
to be bipods from a hydrogen and nitrogen enriched environment whose primary respiratory
organ was located within their moist, translucent epidermis.”
As opposed to Cletus in his overalls going, “It looked like a giant booger with real skinny
legs!” I don’t know why a dog can eat his own vomit,
gobble up cat poop, and lick his rear end for hours, but if he eats half a candy bar
he dies. I don’t know why in 2017 there’s still certain
jobs that are men’s jobs or women’s jobs. Yeah!
But there are. Like, if there’s a noise in the house in the
middle of the night, whose job it to go check it out?
It’s the man. You never see this.
Phillis, Phillis, run downstairs. See what that noise was.
Bring me back a piece of chicken, okay? No, if there’s a noise in the house in the
middle of the night, it’s the man checking it out in his underwear carrying a baseball
bat, because that is the official uniform of suspicious
noises: underwear and a baseball bat. I don’t know what we’re hoping to find.
Some guy in the living room in his underwear with a ball.
And my dad didn’t even need the baseball bat, because my dad always wore those gigantic
boxer shorts that were always gapped open in the front.
That gap was like a Taser to a thief. Shut the gap!
Shut the gap! Take my wallet;
just shut that gap! I don’t know why every time I get great tickets
to a concert, I end up seated next to somebody who has to sing every single song at the top
of their lungs. A couple years ago I lived in Atlanta.
Simon and Garfunkel came to Atlanta. My wife wanted to go.
She had a couple friends that wanted to go. Well, my mother-in-law wanted to go.
Give you a little backstory on my mother-in-law. My mother-in-law has a hearing aid that she
hardly ever wears, because she thinks it doesn’t look good—
which we all know is the reason they give you a hearing aid.
But you can tell when she doesn’t have it in, because if she doesn’t wear it, she talks
louder than anybody on the planet. One night we’re at the movie theater standing
in the long line at the movie theater. My mother-in-law tapped me and said, “Don’t
look now, but the man behind us is cross-eyed as a bat.”
Which is bad for two reasons: One, you are embarrassed to death.
And, two, when somebody says something like that, you’ve got to look!
I’m like… Turn around, this guy is glaring at me.
Well, he may not have been glaring at me, but he was glaring at somebody.
I mean, he was mad. So, we go to Simon and Garfunkel.
I end up being next to my mother-in-law. She doesn’t have her hearing aid in.
She sang every song, and she knew the words to none of them.
“Like a witch over bubbles daughter.” Are you kidding me?
“I will grease your pine.” Grease your pine?
That’s what you got out of that? I don’t know why cats never throw up in the
daytime. Cats wait until you are lying in bed almost
asleep. And then, from somewhere in your home you
hear [throw up sounds]. Remind me to put my slippers on in the morning.
And you do want to put your slippers on, because if you find that with your bare foot, you
don’t need coffee. Because you are awake and looking for a cat.
And my wife, bless her heart. She has to clean it up every time.
And it’s not that I haven’t tried; I have.
It’s just that every time I get near it, I make the same noise that the cat makes—[throw
up sounds]. See, and I think the thing that made “Are
you Smarter than a Fifth Grader” successful was that the kids were smarter than doctors
and lawyers, you know, the ten-year-old kids. And that’s your generation.
Because of technology, you guys are like the smartest generation that’s ever been on this
planet. And I could, as a dad, I could see it early.
I remember when my oldest daughter turned five, and she wanted a computer for her fifth
birthday. A computer!
And we get a computer, and this five-year-old can use it.
I remember when I turned five. The little paddle with the rubber band and
the red ball on the end of it, that was a brain builder.
I mean, no wonder we turned out this way. But everything changed with your generation. It was like when my girls were growing up,
every toy had a tag in it showing somebody had inspected it to make sure there was no
way a child could hurt themselves playing with that toy.
I remember being nine-years-old. My parents gave me a wood burning kit.
What could possibly go wrong with a toy like that?
A sharp metal stick that heated up to 5,000 degrees!
And let me tell you something; our dogs and cats didn’t have a little tag
around their neck, but everybody in the neighborhood knew who they belonged to.
The circle F brand, that’s a Foxworthy cat right there.
Anybody else have a swing set growing up? My parents were too lazy to dig a hole in
the ground and buy a bag of concrete and pour it in the hole.
So, we had a play set that any time you swung above this high, the legs would go, whoosh!
There were stunt men that would not swing on our swing set.
And some of the toys they gave us, like lawn darts—somebody had…?
Twelve-pound darts, you could kill an elf with a lawn dart.
And there were no directions. They just came in box of eight.
We used to pull them out of the box; throw them straight up in the air.
You catch one of those in the head, you’re getting coloring books for Christmas for the
rest of your life. And to this day, my mom gets upset if she
sees me take a sip of wine. But when I was a child, she bought me model
airplane glue by the bags full. I’m in my room trying to build models, and
I’m higher than AC/DC on the opening night of a new tour.
I finally get the model put together, and my dad would get us firecrackers to blow them
up with. And we knew they were safe, because we had
to drive across the state line to buy them from a man that had three fingers—not on
each hand, total of three fingers. That’s a good firecracker right there.
You’ll like that one. This guy can’t operate a Bic lighter, but
he’s a demolitions expert. I remember when my girls were little I had
to buy latches to keep them out of the dish washing detergent.
My parents bought my brother and I a chemistry set.
Mom, Joey put ammonia sulfate in my eye! Tell him I said stop.
You boys go play with the wood burning kit. Better yet, you get on the mini bikes and
shoot the BB guns! But it all changed, just in a generation.
Even the way we treat our kids’ pets changed. My daughters growing up had a little white
hamster. His name was Herman.
And one day, Herman’s hair started falling out a lot.
And my wife got concerned about it. She said, you know I think we need to take
Herman to the vet. I said, baby, Herman cost five bucks.
Perhaps it’s time we let Herman loose out in the woods.
Born free! And she started getting mad at me!
I said, Hun, let me tell you something. When I was growing up, there was no chance
we had a five-dollar pet that was going to see the inside of a veterinarian’s office.
Very few of our pets went to the veterinarian. You know what happened to our pets?
They ran away! I remember one time my brother and I found
this dog, and we brought him home. And that dog barked all night long for the
first three nights we had him. And then, on the fourth day, while we were
at school, he ran away. We had a cat that started clawing my mother’s
curtains; she ran away!
I remember having gold fish that ran away! But my wife if like, oh no.
Herman is our pet. He’s our responsibility.
I’ll take him to the vet. And she did.
She took that five-dollar hamster to the vet. And 65 dollars later, Herman’s hair is still
falling out. And I said, 65 bucks?
We could’ve bought 13 new Hermans for 65 bucks. I said when your medical bills are 13 times
what you’re worth, you are really, really cheap, or you are really, really sick.
I said, let’s put it this way; Let’s say your grandmother went to the hospital
and they told her it was going to take 13 million dollars to make her well.
I said, you cannot look me in the eye and tell me there is not a chance we’d be calling
the kids downstairs saying, “Girls, sit down.
We’ve got some bad news. Memaw has run away.”
That’s one of those people start laughing at it, and then they feel bad about laughing
at it. And it’s funny with the technology, because
it’s like, to you guys, you don’t even think about it.
And my wife says, because we’re in our 50s. She said, you know, technology wise, we’re
in the middle, the people who are in their 50s.
Because our parents can’t text, and our children can’t write.
In fact, my daughters, they don’t even think you need to study.
They’re like, well, Dad, if you need to know something all you have to do is Google it.
And to a point, they’re right. I mean, when I was growing up, if you were
watching TV and somebody goes, what was that guy in?
You’d go, man, he looks familiar. That was it.
Now you watch TV. Somebody goes what was that guy in?
Somebody takes their phone and goes, he was the janitor on Joey! But I try to tell my daughters, and I try
to tell you guys, there’s a lot of things you can’t Google.
Google won’t tell you everything. There’s things you only learn through life
experience. I call them the facts of life, things you
can’t google. Like this:
Fact of life, if you are trying to get to the bathroom in an emergency situation, it
is not a wise idea to unbutton your pants in transit in the effort to save a couple
of seconds. Because the muscles that guard the floodgates
will interpret the unbuttoning as the signal to abandon their post.
And the two seconds you saved on the button are nullified by the hour and a half you spend
mopping and doing laundry. And you only learn that the hard way.
Fact of life: Out of all the cereals, Captain Crunch is
the most time intensive. Here’s what I’m talking about.
You eat it too soon after you pour the milk on, and you will rip the roof of your mouth
to shreds. You wait too long, and the Captain will put
a film on your teeth a wire brush can’t get rid of.
Google won’t tell you that. Fact of life:
You can have a wife with long, beautiful hair, or you can be on time.
Can’t have both. Fact of life:
The more kids you have, the worse your parenting becomes.
Parents that have one child are making homemade baby food out of organic vegetables they’re
growing in their own back yard. Yeah, by the time that fourth kid rolls around,
you’re smoking a cigarette while you watch your toddler pull a year-old Milk Dud from
under the stove and eat it. Pick the cat hair off of it before you put
it in your mouth, Dubby. Fact of life:
When you’re driving down the road and you come up behind that old truck that’s got like
thirteen wooden pallets stacked in the back of it, and they’re held together by two ratty
bungee cords, every one of us prays the same prayer.
Dear God, don’t let those bungee cords break until after I get around this guy.
What happens to them we don’t really care, but I need to get around.
Fact of life: Flying on an airplane makes you gassy.
Nobody every acknowledges this. Nobody talks about this.
No, we just all take our little roll-around suitcase and walk to baggage claim popping
them off like a trail horse. [flatulence sounds]
Okay, when I write this, I don’t know if I’m the only one doing it or not.
We’ve got a few little give away laughs in this crowd.
Fact of life – Who is that?
I’m not flying with you! Fact of life:
Women always have more questions than men have answers to.
Great example, six, seven months ago, I get a text one day.
The text said, “Please pray for Tom. He was in a bad wreck.”
I walk through the house. I found my wife.
I said, “Hey, just got a text that said, ‘please pray for Tom.
He was in a bad wreck.’” She said, “Was he driving?”
I said, “I don’t know. I just got a text that said, ‘please pray
for Tommy. He was in a bad wreck.’”
She said, “Were Carol and the kids in the car with him?”
I said, “I don’t know. I just got a text that said ‘please pray
for Tommy. He was in a bad wreck.’”
She said, “Were the people in the other car hurt too?”
I said, “I don’t know. I just got a text that said ‘please pray
for Tommy. He was in a bad wreck.’”
She said, “Did they even have insurance? “ I said, “I don’t know.
I just got a text that said ‘please pray for Tommy.
He was in a bad wreck.’” She said, “What hospital did they take him
to?” I said, “I don’t know.
I just got a text that said ‘please pray for Tommy.
He was in a bad wreck.’” She said, “You don’t know anything!
What do you know?” I said, “I know you need to pray for Tom.
I just got a text saying he was in a bad wreck.” God bless you.
Thank you, guys, for listening to me. You’re awesome.
Thank you so much.>>NASSER: Come on;
the great Jeff Foxworthy, everybody! Let him know you appreciate him!
Hey, we also have a few others. Have a seat real quick.
We want to have a quick discussion about why in the world we would invite Jeff Foxworthy
to be a part of the G5 initiative, to be a part of Global Focus Week.
Obviously, Jeff and his family—his wife and his daughter, Jordan—went with us this
summer to the nation of Rwanda. Humanitarian work is nothing new for Jeff.
Whether he’s doing concert benefits where it’s a room even bigger than this, and every
penny made goes to children who are struggling with cancer, or another third-world project
that he’s involved with. Or whether it’s the homeless shelter that
you teach a Bible study at every single week->>FOXWORTHY: For ten years, every Tuesday
morning. It started with me and twelve homeless guys.
And now there’s 20 group leaders and 350 homeless guys every Tuesday morning.”>>NASSER: Every Tuesday morning.
You came in last night and you were fresh off your time with those guys.
It was crazy.>>FOXWORTHY: You know what I love?
It’s the best church I’ve ever been to, because they’re authentic.
It’s not like Sunday morning where everybody pretends they’ve got it going on.
These guys will look at you and go, I stole my grandmother’s life savings to buy crack.
And you’re like, guess what? The cross covers that too, so come on in.>>NASSER: Exactly right.
And you’ll get to hear a little bit more of this, but Jordan actually works at that homeless
shelter full-time—has given her entire life over to just helping people.
The first time I was ever on the receiving end of your charity, you let us use your old
hunting lodge with is an old wheat silo to record a record called “Glory Revealed” which
is Scripture music.>>FOXWORTHY: Yeah, with Mac Powell?
Yeah!>>NASSER: And you let us just use it for
the entire week, completely just a gift. You’ve always been that kind of a giver.
It was obvious when we were with you in Rwanda, that is such a big passion for you.
Let’s watch this video, and then we want to talk about our trip in Rwanda together.>>VIDEO- FOXWORTHY: All right, so David and
I have gotten to have a lot of cool conversations this week.
And to me, one of the neatest things that God does it connects dots.
He takes part of the body here. He takes part of the body there that never
really thought about getting together. And then, when they come together something
beautiful and powerful grows out of that.>>NASSER: Yeah, absolutely.
We’ve been thinking how ironic it is that here we are in the middle of Africa, and I
never thought in my wildest dreams that I would be here with a redneck from Georgia.>>FOXWORTHY: Well, the redneck from Georgia
never really thought that he would be hanging out with the Iranian refugee in Rwanda either.
But it’s been really cool, because you find it’s not only, do we tolerate each other.
There’s something special there. I mean, it blossoms into something I never
saw coming, and I don’t think you did either.>>NASSER: Yeah, it’s just the power of the
Gospel, isn’t it? The uniting work of the Gospel.
The Gospel would actually bring unlikely people together to partner, to do together what we
could never do alone. And that’s why we’re here.
We’re here to partner together to really make a difference in the great nation of Rwanda.>>FOXWORTHY: And you find out, the more you
hang, the things that you have in common. I mean, we both love Jesus.
We both have kids that not only love Jesus; they’ve been amazing this week over here in
Rwanda.>>NASSER: Absolutely, your daughter Jordan
has just blown our mind. I’ve learned a lot from her, because she’s
traveled the world with Compassion.>>FOXWORTHY: Yeah, all over the world.
And Rudy’s like a rock star over here. Everybody loves Rudy.
But as an orphan, I think he just ties into the hearts of these children here.
And it’s kind of just cool to watch them, you know…
It’s your kid, but you’re watching them just flourish in this environment. >>NASSER: Totally.
We have our kids in common, and I guess our greatest bond is that we both love Jesus Christ
as Lord and Savior. >>FOXWORTHY: Yeah, and we’re in for the adventure
of what that means.>>NASSER: Right.>>FOXWORTHY: And that, you know, is I don’t
have to know where the road is going, because He does.
So, the older I get, I’m kind of like, thrill me today.
What are we doing today? Open up something new, and I think that’s
part of what G5 is doing at Liberty, is it’s giving the students a chance to be part of
the adventure, and to be part of the mystery in working with Compassion.
Because what Compassion does—and I’ve been working with them for 10 or 12 years, is they
go all over the world, and in the most efficient way, they love on people that the world’s
kicked to the curb, which is exactly what Jesus would be doing.>>NASSER: Exactly.
Man, what an incredible organization. Compassion as our primary partner this year
with the G5 initiative in Rwanda has given us a vehicle where our students can sponsor
a child halfway around the world. Talking about, just an unlikely partnership
where a student from Ohio or from Wisconsin all of a sudden drops in in the middle of
a village in Rwanda to sponsorship. And for a little more than a dollar a day
gets education, medication, clean water—honestly empowers the local church in that village
to just be the hands and feet of Jesus and to really make a difference.>>FOXWORTHY: So, both of our kids are college
aged. What would you say to the college students
is the advantage of getting into something like sponsorship at that age as opposed to
when you’re older and more financially stable? >>NASSER: Absolutely, Jeff.
I mean, I think you know, because you’ve got kids who are in college, that this generation
of college students aren’t just content with just sending a dollar a day halfway across
the world or just buying coffee that’s connected to good work in Guatemala.
They actually want to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
They actually want to build relationship. They want to get out of that one-dimensional
sponsorship, get into a pen pal relationship.
Get to go halfway across the world and meet the child that they’re sponsoring->>FOXWORTHY: And see where they live, and
see where they sleep. And, in a much earlier age than you and I
did, make their life richer and fuller, and more meaningful.
You know, I always tell my kids; you don’t get a practice lap.
You get one lap around the track. It’s not like you can do it once and go, alright.
Next time I’m going to… So, why not, from the get go make it…?
It’s like Jesus said; I give you life to the full.
This is part of life to the full. You are creating a relationship, that through
your correspondence back and forth, that is decades long.
And it makes your life richer and fuller to be tied into the hopes and dreams of somebody
on the other side of the world. And they’re tied into your life.
And it’s like, wow; I never saw that coming. I never saw another important relationship
coming when I signed up to write that check every month.>>NASSER: Yeah, so through this Compassion
International sponsorship of a child in Rwanda, you’re coming alongside of a family—
not just so you can meet their everyday needs, but because the Gospel calls us to love the
widow, and the orphan, and the stranger. And, honestly, one of the funnest parts of
that is going to be partnering to do together what we could never do alone.>>FOXWORTHY: Amen!>>NASSER: Before we get into it, I did want
to make sure we allude to something they saw. They probably were like, wow, why was he limping?
You didn’t get hurt while we were in Rwanda. You came with a broken ankle.>>FOXWORTHY: I broke my ankle a week before
we went.>>NASSER: And when we heard that, we thought,
oh no, is he going to back out? But then, you didn’t, and I thought that was
awesome.>>FOXWORTHY: No, because, my daughter Jordan
would’ve disowned me. Because if Jordan could just make her life
going on a mission trip every week, that’s what she would do.
So, we were so excited about going. And she had been years before, and she’s like,
I want you to see Rwanda.>>NASSER: She’s been a lot of times to Africa,
The first trip, mission trip, it was when Jordan was 14, and we went to work over in
AIDS orphanages in Kenya. So, that was, what, 12 years ago?>>NASSER: Since then, ten times, Jordan,
you’ve been? >>JORDAN FOXWORTHY: Something like that.>>NASSER: That’s incredible.
Tell us why you’re so passionate about this kind of work.>>JORDAN: Yeah, so our first trip I was 14,
and in eighth grade, and had never really traveled before.
And it was certainly a life-changing experience to say the least.
And I went with you and a group of fathers taking their children from my church and was
just amazed right away with what Compassion was doing there.
And on that first trip we met our two sponsored girls,
and we had just started the sponsorship process. So, you know, they were real shy.
It was hard to kind of connect all the way with them, because they were so shy.
And then we came back a few years later and saw them.
And in just a few years, through Compassion’s sponsorship process, these girls had grown
up. They were confident.
They were excited to show us around and for us to meet their friends.
And just the change in them for just a few years of being sponsored was absolutely amazing.>>FOXWORTHY: They had become like little
leaders within that community. So, it was really cool.
And it became a relationship. It wasn’t just sending money.
I mean, these girls have now, for the last 12 years, grown up with us.
How are you doing? What are you studying?
What are you guys up to? And it’s a life-changing relationship for
them, I think. And that’s what Jordan and I learned early.
You’re changing somebody’s life. You have the power to do that, to breathe
life into somebody and to breathe hope into somebody.>>NASSER: Jordan, you got to meet your sponsor
child on this trip. Tell us about that.
Jeff, your whole family got to.>>FOXWORTHY: Well, our sponsored child lived
at the top of the mountain. I’m like, why couldn’t they live-?>>JORDAN: That’s the footage of him with
the crutches trying to get there. We made it, so that was good.
Her name’s Becky, and she has two sisters. She’s precious, and it was really cool.
We got to sit in their home and talk with her mother and learn about their life.
And her father had left, had abandoned them a few years before.
And it was->>FOXWORTHY: It was a mom raising three daughters
on her own. But the fact, what Becky was getting in school,
was literally like a lifeblood for the whole family.
So, it’s really cool.>>NASSER: That’s one of the things people
don’t know. When you sponsor a child, that child is really
the whole family that’s represented, Jarod. Is that right?>>JAROD BROWN: Yeah, that’s right.
You are investing in one life, but the way that that works,
that family, it could be seven people in the family, and yet what’s amazing is that child
getting the benefits? That church is reaching out to that entire
family. Because everything Compassion does is through
that local church. So, those pastors that we work with, they
know that family. They know their community, so they know what
they need, and they’re able to invest in them that way.>>FOXWORTHY: So, Mr. Rockstar Rudy…
Everybody in Rwanda knows Rudy, by the way. What is it about your generation that is drawn
to this? Because when I think about sponsorship, I
think about ten years ago. It’s something old people, we did.
And then, when we started talking about students getting involved in this, I’m like, man, that
is such an out of the box, cool idea. What is it about this that appeals to your
generation? >>RUDY NASSER: Yes, sir.
I think for my generation, we just want to be part of something bigger.
We want to change the world and impact it once we’re gone.
I believe that us as young adults, we often ask ourselves, like I’m not sure if I’m ready
to do this. Or I’m not sure if I’m financially stable
enough. And one thing you have to remember is these
children, they were never ready to be orphans. They were never ready to be in poverty.
They weren’t ready, and it doesn’t matter if we’re ready or not.
We need-we’re called. God tells us that we need to go and help out
the orphans, and the widows, and just those that are in need.
And so, at the end of the day, also in the Bible it says, “To obey is better than to
sacrifice.” And I just want to be obedient, and I want
to call you guys to be obedient too. If you’re not already helping those who are
in need out, we need to obey. And what better way to start than today by
sponsoring a child an investing into a relationship?>>FOXWORTHY: I was telling Rudy at dinner
last night, they always refer to the generation of people that grew up during World War II
as the greatest generation. And I said, actually, you guys have the potential
to be the greatest generation. To take the message of Jesus
—and don’t just use it to be a behavior modifier and to check off all the boxes as
I’m behaving in the right way— but to literally be the hands and feet of
Jesus. That when people look at the work that you
do, that that’s what you look like. You look like him.
You have the chance to be the greatest generation that ever lived, and what a marvelous opportunity
that is.>>NASSER: Jarod, you sit at the table with
Compassion International, and you guys are so far in your date, your history, that over
three million children and their families have been supported, taken care of, found
local churches, have been just empowered through Compassion International.
Right now, there’s->>BROWN: 1.8 million>>NASSER: 1.8 children in->>BROWN: 25 countries, 1.8 million, and we
partner right at 7,000 churches all around the world that do that work with us.>>NASSER: You do all the work you do through
a local church, and so, this is not social work but Gospel
work for you guys. Because God calls us to so much more than
just social work. >>BROWN: That’s right.>>NASSER: We can feed somebody, meet their
everyday needs, but unless they hear the Gospel, we really haven’t set them free.>>BROWN: We believe it’s the three immediate
needs, right? Your physical—you said the physical, the
medication, right? Physical, the education side of things, and
then the social/emotional, because poverty strips dignity.
So, someone’s like, I am not like you coming from America.
And what we want to tell them is, no, coming from America, you have an identity.
You have dignity. You are loved by Jesus.
So, we believe those three immediate needs need to be met.
You put skin in the game as somebody to go and meet that physical need for that child.
But that’s to meet the urgent spiritual need of them needing Jesus.>>NASSER: Yeah, it was interesting when we
started talking and dreaming out loud. And you brought the Foxworthy family to the
table. You said they’re very passionate about sponsorship.
They love the Lord. They’re like a perfect partner with Liberty,
you know? They kind of get what you’re about, because
they’re about the same kind of things—using their influence to love their neighbor, to
be a good Samaritan. And then you were like, I want to make sure
Rudy’s coming along, you know, my son? And Jordan’s coming along.
I think part of that story was Rudy was adopted from Guatemala as a kid, and so he knows what
it’s like, beyond sponsorship, to walk into adoption.
Same thing, but taken to another level.>>BROWN: It was one of the most beautiful
things for me to see. I’ve been on a lot of trips, but to see Rudy…
And I’ve grown up with Rudy. I’ve known Rudy a long time.
To know how you guys said we’re going to adopt and bring him in.
And nobody’s knows that Rudy’s adopted. They just think that because he looks like
you somewhat->>NASSER: We’re from separate parts of the
world.>>FOXWORTHY: Rudy’s better looking.>>BROWN: There you go;
that’s right. But the beauty->>NASSER: People always say…
People always walk up to Rudy, and they go, hey, I know who your dad is, to which->>RUDY: I’d love to know him too.>>NASSER: Rudy’s always like, well, my dad’s
not biologically, but I guess…>>RUDY: I know you.>>NASSER: I love you.>>BROWN: There you go.
It’s kind of like, man, what do you follow with that?
No, I loved watching Rudy with those kids, because Rudy, you understand those kids.
And the way that you just… I mean, there was just reckless abandonment.
I wish, everybody, you could’ve been there to see Rudy.
It’s just like, oh, there’s kids? You guys are going to go do your thing.
I’m going to go with them. It was like, where’s Rudy?
You just find the group of kids, and that’s where Rudy was.
But I love it, because he shared. He was Jesus to them in that moment, because
he knows what they’ve walked through. And what I want for you guys as students is,
you know what Jesus has done for you. You were orphaned, and Jesus has brought you
in. You have the same opportunity to be those
hands and feet and love these kids.>>NASSER: Yeah, Jordan, could you speak into—and
Jeff too—could you guys speak into just Compassion and their stewardship with Gods
people sacrificing? I know a lot of times, Rudy was like, Dad,
I want to give. I just want to make sure it’s to legit resources.
I want to make sure that when I give, I get the most amount of bang for the buck.
If it’s hard for me to come up with a buck, and I put it in, I want to make sure that
most of that goes to the child. You’ve seen it ten times being over there.
Would you kind of give us some of the nuts and bolts?
Give us the stats of what percentage of the money actually goes to the field to the family
and then what you’ve seen?>>BROWN: So currently, right now, it’s 82.4%.
So, it’s right around 32 dollars of the 38 dollars that you give every month that goes
directly to the ministry for your child—not to a pot.
It goes to your child by name, for them. And then, obviously, the rest is going to
be able to help that child. So, it’s 82.4%.>>FOXWORTHY: And you know, but it even goes
beyond that. Because you guys do such a beautiful job.
Because it’s not just the money, but what’s really important to these kids is relationships.
And so, Jordan and I have been in slums in Kenya where our child would take us to see
their home, and they would run and uncover a tin box, and every letter you had ever written
them was like a precious thing that they had saved every letter and every picture.
You guys have evolved so much. You make it so easy to communicate with your
child. You can do it from your computer.
You can do it from your phone. You don’t have to sit down and write these
letters. But if you think about sponsorship, if you
don’t want to have relationship, don’t do it.
Don’t do it. Because when Jesus said follow me, what He
was saying is, hey; I believe that you can look and act like me.
And He was all about relationship. And that’s what the important thing here is
relationship.>>JORDAN: And speaking into the legitimacy
of Compassion, the first time I went to Rwanda with them, we went out to a really rural project,
and they had binders for every single child there.
They had hundreds of kids there. Any child, you can name them, they go, oh.
Here’s their binder right here. Here’s how they’ve grown physically.
Here’s how they’ve grown spiritually. And they were tracking their success.
They had copies of their letters in there. I was amazed by that, that they have such…
When you hear the number 1.8 million, it sounds so vast.
But then you also get it on the smaller scale where they don’t just sponsor these kids;
they know these kids. And the people from the local churches pour
into these kids. And when we pour into them with the local
churches, it’s amazing.>>RUDY: Really quick, just to echo what Mr.
Foxworthy says, or said. This is, what you’re signing up for, is a
lot more than just a transaction that you’re going to make every month.
It’s a relationship that you get to have with this child.
And you’re going to help them grow, and you’re going to help them just see their full potential.
I know, like we talked a little bit about me being an orphan, and I remember there were
times where I was lonely. And how much it would’ve helped just knowing
there’s someone else in the world that cares about me and that loves me, and thinks that
I’m important. And, like he said, if you’re not willing to
have that relationship and write letters back and forth and help them grow,
then I don’t know if this is for you. And the flip side, they’re going to help you
grow. They’re going to have a relationship with
you and everything.>>BROWN: We talked about this yesterday,
and there were a few of your students I actually had the chance to share this with, but there’s
a gentleman named Jonathan Almonte who graduated from our program of Compassion.
And when he was 14, his dad had actually abandoned him.
And his dad would meet up with him every once in a while, and told him he was a mistake.
At 14 he said I wish your mother would have aborted you.
You were a mistake- in the Dominican Republic.
And two months later, he got a letter from his sponsor.
It was two sentences long. And that letter, it said to him, Jonathan,
I just wanted you to know I’m thinking about you.
By the way, this was a college student that was sponsoring him.
He said, I want you to know I’m thinking of you, that I love you, and that you matter.
And it just said, all right. I’ll write to you again later.
And then a month later, she wrote him and said happy birthday.
And he’s got this letter, and he’s showing us.
He said that was the first time I ever heard happy birthday, because my family didn’t wish
me happy birthday. So, he got that, and he said so many people
will say do the letters really matter? Does the relationship really matter?
And I love what Jonathan said. This rocked my world as someone who works
for Compassion. Let me just put this before you.
75% of the New Testament is letters, and it turned the world upside-down.
And he held up these letters from his sponsors in a plastic bag.
He, at 28-years-old now, he has all those letters.
And he said these letters turned my life upside-down. And so, it is a massive relationship, and
the world can be changed because of them.>>FOXWORTHY: It’s life-giving.
There’s a couple of times we’ve been able to see sponsored kids that have grown up meet
their sponsor who they had never met. It’s one of the most emotional things you’ve
ever seen in your life. They literally collapse to the floor in tears
in kissing the feet of the person. I mean, it’s…
So, you have the chance to breathe life into somebody.
You have the chance to give somebody life to the full.
Why the heck would you pass that up? That’s why you’re here, man.
That’s the adventure of it. It’s Jesus saying, yeah, come so you’ll have
life to the full. This is what life to the full is, and it’s
better than you imagine—as God always is in everything.
He’s always bigger. He’s always bolder.
He’s always better than we can even dream of, and that’s the kind of relationship this
sponsorship is.>>NASSER: It’s biblical, you know?
James, you know, the acid test of true faith, right?
True religion, not religion, true faith is that we would care for the widow, the orphan,
the stranger. It’s God’s call that, hey, I was hungry;
did you feed me? I was naked;
did you clothe me? There was a need in my life.
Did you step into it? It’s the good Samaritan story.
It’s Jesus feeing the masses. It’s Jesus walking in in darkness and bringing
the oil lamp, and saying I am the light of the world.
It’s Jesus meeting the woman at the well. And before he tells her go and sin no more,
the first thing He does is He just builds a relationship and sits with her.
And over and over again, we see Jesus as our greatest model of what it looks like to love
somebody right where they are. Don’t tell them you’ve got to clean up your
act, or you’ve got to get everything together. Love them just where they are, and then begin
the relationship. And we keep saying that word relationship
over and over again today, because, honestly, it’s so much easier to not get involved if
people are distant and invisible. You know, I could say today—this is true.
I could say today, 36,000 people today will die of starvation, and that’s the truth about
today. And it becomes just a number.
I could’ve said 3,600. I could’ve said 36 million.
It’s just a bunch of zeros around 36 until they become real people, until it becomes
a child that you know, until it becomes someone—whether in Guatemala or whether in Rwanda—somebody
halfway across the world who matters to God. And because they matter to God, they matter
to us. And when you begin a relationship… For me, Rudy, we’ve grown up with Danny on
our fridge. The first picture of Danny, he was this big.
And man, he just started shooting up. The kid was so tall, and at Christmas time
we would send him a soccer ball or a goat, you know?
That was kind of weird. I would ask you, do you want a goat?
You’re like, I’m good. You know, but Danny wanted one because it
was entrepreneurship for him. He would not only have the goat, but he would
get the milk, and sell it, and provide for his family.
And we would get letters from him. We’d get pictures.
You know, we were like I don’t know if that’s a horse or a dog, but we like it.
And then we watched him even evolve as an artist as he grew older.
And one of the things I love about this is the unprecedented access.
Jeff, you were talking about meeting your child.
Again, you do 3 million sponsorships. You have 1.8 million in over 20 countries
right now, but you’ve never done anything close to this, right?
Tell them a little about what you guys want to do with us in the sponsorship thing that
goes way beyond just that.>>BROWN: Yeah, just quick with…
We’ve never had a college. We’ve never had any school ever say that they
want to take on and try to do this for an entire nation.
The largest sponsorship ever to come from a college actually was two years ago from
Liberty. So, Liberty actually did that.
And now, I was saying you guys have the opportunity not just to sponsor—which one, will shape
a nation. If you sponsor the 3,200 kids that are available
today for you to sponsor, 3,200 kids. That means more kids get to come into the
program in Rwanda. But that also means that you might be investing
in a child who might become the president. Or you might be investing in the next Liberty
student. You might have the person that you sponsor
hear about Liberty and decide that they want to come,
and they get a sponsorship. They get to come to Liberty, then.
You know, it’s amazing. And then there’s all the things that we’re
looking at with sports teams, and the Rwanda national soccer team, and with the government,
and with education.>>NASSER: The Daystar school that we’ve always
had a relationship with them.>>BROWN: That’s right.
Which has Compassion kids in it, and sponsorship actually provides for them
to go to the school. So, this is something that we’ve never looked
at saying, could we do a relationship like this that would shape a nation?>>NASSER: So, can we just get practical now
and…>>BROWN: I’d love for you right now…
All of you, when you came in and sat down, you had this packet.
It was taped on the back. I would love for everyone just to grab that,
so you can see. This is the G5 packet.
This is for Liberty specifically. So, you can grab that.
Go ahead and pull that out of the plastic sleeve, and there’s a pen in there as well
for you guys that you can use. So, all that you’re going to have to do…
The first step, is that you’re going to fill out->>NASSER: Can I interrupt?
Actually, the first step was already taken by a child and a family who was willing to
be pictured. It’s pretty humbling for a father to say I’m
willing to let my child stand in line and have his picture taken to represent, hey,
we need your help, right? And so, I think the first step…
We’re kind of, anyway…>>BROWN: So, your first step today would
be to fill out this form. This portion here on the front, you would
fill out your first name, your last name, your address, your email, your phone number.
This is you giving your information to that child.
That child has said, here’s mine, and so, you’re saying, yeah.
You know what? I’m going to invest in a child.
So, you would fill out the front and the back. The back of the card is the commitment.
This is you saying I’m going to commit to give 38 dollars a month to invest in this
one child. So, you would fill out that form.
That’s step one, is to fill out that form. Step two then, for you to be able to see who
your child is, is you actually would text in to the number 83393.
And then there’s a unique five-digit code that is on your packet.
No one else has that one. So, if you were to text into that number 83393,
that five-digit code, you’re going to get to meet your child from Rwanda right there
on your phone.>>NASSER: Jarod, if a young lady here wants
to sponsor, but she wants to make sure she gets another young girl that she’s sponsoring,
what if she texts and it’s a male?>>BROWN: It’s a boy?
If you reply “N,” you’ll get another child that would come in on your phone.
If that is a boy again, you can apply “N” again, and if you get a girl from there, you’ll
leave it alone. And on your phone, you now have—let’s say
her name is Princess. You have Princess right?
And princess is five-years-old from Rwanda. You would be able to text that in, and in
just a minute, we’re going to actually have buckets pass.
We’re trying to make this as easy on you as possible, so that way, once you get done here,
you can leave. So, what you would do, is you fill out the
form. That’s step one. Step two, you’ll text in.
From there then, once you text in, the buckets start to pass.
You’re going to make sure you tear off this little tag piece here that has the instruction
of the code. You tear this off and keep this, because we’re
going to have something for you that David will tell you.
But you’re going to keep this, and when the buckets are passed, you would drop this in.
And that’s going to be you, then, starting that relationship.
So, this is the commitment. Please, please don’t text in and don’t turn
your form in, because then, at the end of the day, we’re going to have to go in and
find out who texted in, but didn’t turn in a form, so we can re-release that child to
find them a sponsor. So…>>NASSER: Yeah, this is a pretty audacious
thing. Jarod did mention, the record that we’re wanting
to break today, the history we want to make today is literally breaking our own record
at Liberty University. It’s such a reminder to me when people think…
If somebody asked me about this day and they said, “How is Liberty so audacious?”
Honestly, we have… Becki, on the drive in, tells Jerry, we’re
not sponsoring one; we’re sponsoring five.
It’s just the stewardship of gifting. We don’t give to God;
we give back to God. And it’s modeled from up down.
And if you sense that God is calling you to do this today—not everybody here is called
to do this. Everybody can pray for a child, but if God
is calling you to do this, fill it out. Get the information, and then we do have a
tee-shirt for you. We have this tee-shirt for you when you turn
this, on your way out, at one of the tables. If you show this, you’ll get the tee shirt
on the way out. But, obviously, you’re not doing it for the
tee shirt. You’re doing it, because Christ compels us.
And we want you to make sure you fill this out.
Our online audience, I was just told, is massive today.>>BROWN: It is.
And they can very simply, they can text as well.
So, if you’re online, you can text to the number 24502, and you’re going to text the
word sponsor. So, again, if you’re online watching right
now, you can text sponsor to 24502, and that will lead you through instructions on how
to sponsor.>>NASSER: So, our MKs, our 260 missionary
kids, are symbolically about to come with these buckets.
I want to pray real quick, and then, as you’re filling this out, I think you take the packet.
You take the perforated are, this little corner, and you keep it.
But then you take the packet, and you turn it in to the bucket.>>BROWN: That’s right, this entire thing,
yep.>>NASSER: And then, in a few weeks or in
a week->>BROWN: In about a week or maybe a little
over a week, you’re going to get an entire packet and find out everything about that
child and their family. You get your online account to then be able
to start writing letters on your phone and really start to engage with that child.>>NASSER: But they keep this, and then they
turn it into the table.>>BROWN: That’s right.
This is the only thing you keep. So yep, step one is filling out the form.
Step two texting. And then, step three will be putting this
in. So, our goal was to be done around 11:50,
so let me just pray for this and pray for this moment, and then, if you’ll go ahead
and come down, MKs, we’ll start the process of letting the buckets
go around. Let’s do this for the prayer, if…
And I know, again, not everyone is called by the Holy Spirit to do this.
Some of you are called to pray. Some of you are called to give your talents
in other ways than sponsorship. If you sense that the Holy Spirit’s saying
to you, I want to do this. Or maybe two of you friends want to do it
together, let’s do this. Just, symbolically, get your phone, and let’s
put it up. I want to see what the Lord is prompting.
I want you to see the visual power of the collective of what it would look like if one,
by one, by one, by one we began to gnaw away at the massive, massive, massive task before
us of thousands of children across the world who have never heard of Liberty,
have never heard of the Falwells, have never heard of Jeff Foxworthy,
but we want them to hear the name of Jesus today.
And we know that this would be the vehicle, the bridge to do that.
If that’s you, you just sense that, would you just kind of raise it up?
And all glory to the Lord. Do you see what happens, collectively, when
we just step into this moment? And one by one, we just begin to do this together.
That’s awesome. Let me pray for the offering. Father, thank You.
Thank You that we’re just a bunch of used-to-be orphans, a bunch of used-to-be, God, beggars
pointing to other beggars where they can find living water.
Thank You that, Lord, this is so much bigger than meeting temporary needs;
it’s about Gospel work. Thank You that children and their families
will come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Because it’s hard for us to tell them Jesus loves them when we don’t care about the fact
that they’re hungry and they’ve got hunger pains.
So, thank You that this is an authentic moment. I thank You, Lord, for the chance that we’ve
been given to step into this. We don’t have to do this;
we get to do this. It’s a privilege and a gift.
Thank You, Lord, for other organizations like World Vision and Holt International—other
great organizations, even here this week, who do child sponsorship like Sozo.
Thank You, God, that together with Compassion, they do Gospel work.
Bless their ministries, Lord. For the many students in this room already
sponsoring a child from some other organization, I pray that today they felt affirmed for what
You’d already called them. And Lord, I pray for the children who are
going to get to meet a Liberty student at Spring Break, because that relationship started.
And then there’s about to be a 16-hour flight, and a physical hug, and a day of kicking a
soccer ball around that’s coming around the bend in a few months.
Thank You, Lord, that that day will be a day that will mark the life of a child forever.
We pray this in Your name, amen. Hey, the buckets are going to go around, and
we’re going to take this for just a second. As they go around, if you sense that you want
to just throw that pack into the bucket, hang on to the perforated edge, all right?
Tonight, we’ll be at Campus Community. We’ve asked Compassion to be around and available
for that. If you would hang on just a second, guys.
We want to make sure the buckets go around. Let’s just wait one more minute until the
buckets go fully around. And if it goes by your area already, then
just make sure you’re not just disrupting, and then you can slip out.
But we want to make sure that everybody gets a chance to be able to drop the bucket in
if they need to. That’s awesome.
While we’re doing that, can we again, just thank the Foxworthy family for being here?
Buddy, I love you. You’re awesome.
Jordan, thank you. Jarod, thanks for letting us do this with
you.>>BROWN: Thank you, man.
This is great. Thank you.>>NASSER: Anything we forgot here, before
we dismiss?>>BROWN: No, we’re good.>>NASSER: Hey, take that little thing.
Go get your tee-shirt, all right? And God bless you guys.
Hey, make sure you drop those into the bucket, all right, on your way out?