For singer and songwriter Shaun Groves, his desire to see children in poverty receive an eduction and opportunity equals his love for music. On Friday, August 31, the Texas native will use his musical talents at Union College to bring awareness to the plight of many hungry children around the world.
Groves found peace in Christianity and a love for music at the age of twelve. He graduated from Baylor University with a degree in music with plans to become a church minister and write Christian music on the side. But an internship with a Nashville music publisher led to a job and a greater interest in his singing and songwriting.
Five songs from his debut CD, “Invitation to Eavesdrop,” made the Christian charts in the United States in 2000 and he he hit the road with other Christian artists. He released another album in 2003, inspired by personal experiences, and again in 2005, based on studying the Beatitudes.
In this period of rising success, Groves traveled to El Salvador to meet the child his family sponsored through the Christian child development organization Compassion International. The stark poverty of most of the country's children when compared with the education and opportunities afforded sponsored kids spurred him to action.
When he returned from El Salvador, Groves and his family began to live more simply. He continued singing, but at no cost to the public and only representing Compassion International.
“I've been speaking and singing on behalf of Compassion International for several years now and traveling with them a couple times every year,” he said in an interview with Louder than the Music. “As a result my theology, politics, finances—everything has changed. I could go on and on about the wisdom and beauty shared with me by Christians in the third world. There are incredible gifts for rich people like us among the poor. Lessons to be learned. Glimpses of God to be had.”
Compassion International connects children living in poverty with sponsors who provide food and education for them and their families through monthly donations. “Compassion works exclusively in partnership with local churches in developing nations to deliver a holistic child development program,” explains their website. “By working holistically with individual children to address their spiritual, economic, social and physical needs, we present every child with an opportunity to become responsible and fulfilled Christian adults.”
Shaun Groves will perform for vespers at 7:30 p.m. in the College View Seventh-day Adventist Church on the campus of Union College. The church is located at the corner of 48th and Prescott and the event is free and open to the public.