When Greg Rausch attended a Winter Jam 2014 concert in Cincinnati, he was surprised to see photos of his daughter with members of the Christian band NewSong on wall-length banners plastered around the arena. The photos were taken when NewSong visited his daughter’s care center in India, before she came home to the Rausch family. Below, Greg shares what it was like to see photos of his daughter from before they were a family.
“That kind of looks like your daughter, Mr. Rausch.”
“What?” I asked, perplexed by this random and seemingly nonsensical statement from Daniel, a boy in our youth group. “Where?”
So far on this year’s Winter Jam tour, we’ve had great success in recruiting sponsors for children in Holt’s care around the world. But we need to end strong! Less than a dozen stops remain on the 2012 tour schedule, and we have yet to reach our goal of 100 volunteers for each of the upcoming shows in Texas, Indiana and Champaign, Illionis. Volunteers are the key to helping new sponsors get signed up to sponsor a child. If you live in one of these areas, please sign up today to volunteer. Or, if you know anyone who might like to help out, please pass the message along!
Recently, Nick and Mary Leigh Brown, adoptive parents of two boys from Korea, volunteered at the Winter Jam shows in Chattanooga and Nashville, TN. In addition to receiving free entry and a free CD (which all volunteers receive), they got to go on stage with Eddie Carswell, founding member of NewSong!
When asked why they decided to volunteer, this is what Mary Leigh said:
For Nick and I, it was really a no brainer to volunteer with Holt’s Winter Jam when it came to Chattanooga – even if it meant an hour drive one way. We absolutely love Holt and love the mission that Harry and Bertha started so many years ago. We are honored to help Holt in such a small way as volunteering at Winter Jam. Holt made us a family. It’s the very least we can do to give back (not to mention get to hear an incredible concert!). Continue reading “Winter Jam volunteers still needed! Sign up! It’s fun!”
Winter Jam artists, dates and venues announced for 2012!
Starting in January, Grammy nominated Christian music group Skillet will take the stage with other popular artists at Winter Jam 2012 – rocking the hearts and minds of Christian music fans in over 45 cities across the east coast!
For seven years running, Holt has teamed up with music group NewSong to bring Christian music fans a fun-filled night of music, worship, and the opportunity to help children overseas through Holt child sponsorship!
Last year, over 13,000 Winter Jam concertogers said “YES To sponsoring a child! For 2012, we’ve set our sites even higher!….
Over a year ago, Corrine Cook attended a concert on the Christian music tour Winter Jam. Between performances, members of the band NewSong shared a moving presentation about Holt’s child sponsorship program. Corrine chose to sponsor a girl in Cambodia. Earlier this month, she had the exceptional opportunity to meet her! A Holt intern already wrote a blog about their meeting. Here, Corrine tells her own story…
One-and-a-half years ago, I sat in a full stadium with music blaring, people singing, and lights shining. All of the sudden, a quiet hush flowed in from the front to the back as all the lights went down to a single spotlight. As the strong voice echoed in the stillness, I sat forward in my seat, my eyes riveted to the stage. The testimony of one man brought tears down my cheeks and a whisper to my ear. “Go and sponsor a child.” Now, I made hardly any money with which to support myself, much less someone else. However, I knew I could not resist that still, small voice of the Almighty’s because of the power behind it. So it was there at a concert that God challenged me to give His money that He had bequeathed to me to a child who was way less fortunate than I.
Six months later, I strode on the high ground of a railroad track on the last leg of my journey. As I stepped onto the trail which entered the small village, I was greeted by many people from a small village in the heart of Cambodia. One of the first people I saw was the little girl whom God had called me to support. A great smile crept onto her face as her inquisitive eyes stared up at me. Even with the language barrier, non-verbal communication radiated between us. Thankfully though, we were able to carry on a short spoken conversation through an interpreter who also read to me the letter she had written.
It was amazing and heart-wrenching to have the privilege of seeing Srey Lam*, my sponsor child. To see the small hut they called home with a single mat surrounded by mosquito netting was saddening when I think of the luscious bedroom I am blessed to have. I have always heard that we are spoiled here in America, but now I know it to be true. What struck me is how we have so much and are still unhappy and want more. In Cambodia, they have next to nothing. They are doing well to get enough food to eat for their next meal, and still, they smile. They are so willing to give and share their best with us regardless of the fact that they have so little. Oh, that we could learn from their example. Although not wealthy by American standards, I am a millionaire to them. I know that I have been moved to share the abundance that God has given me.
In Cambodia, Holt International works with their local partner organization, Pathways to Development, to provide food and necessities for vulnerable families — such as building restrooms or getting the family animals so they can make money. They have worked hard and have built and are now running a rice bank from which needy families can borrow until they have their own harvests, and then pay back with a little interest on what they borrowed. This keeps the families alive until their own harvests come.
It was so amazing to see the work that Holt International and Pathways were doing with these families to make a difference in their lives. I went there to see what was being done with the monetary gift I was giving Holt, but discovered something much better. The gift was not the money I send to support Srey Lam and her family, but the knowledge that God is using me to further His kingdom. She was precious, a gift of God to me, and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to meet her. God is so good!
For the first time ever, the Winter Jam Tour Spectacular will rock the West Coast – kicking off November 3rd in Denver, Colorado.
This is BIG news for West Coast fans of popular Christian music artists, including Kutless, Newsboys and tour host NewSong…
It’s even BIGGER news for children!
For six years running, Holt has teamed up with NewSong to raise awareness of orphaned, abandoned and vulnerable children overseas. Every year, in jam-packed stadiums from Georgia to Ohio, NewSong artists inspire thousands of people to sponsor a child in need.
Already in 2011, Winter Jam has beat all records – recruiting more Holt sponsors, and changing more children’s lives than ever before! Thousands more children now have food to eat, clothes to wear, a safe place to sleep and a loving person to care for them.
And NOW, this fall, Winter Jam 2011 will continue out West – rocking the hearts and minds of Christian music fans in 11 more cities, from Ontario, California to Tacoma, Washington!
At Holt, we can’t stop thinking about what this means for children. This could be huge.
But first, we need your help. We need 100 volunteers to sign up sponsors at each concert. Volunteers are critical; they provide the vital link between children and potential sponsors. Turnout on the first leg of the tour was amazing! Over 4,700 dedicated, compassionate people volunteered their time and energy…
It’s time, West Coasters, to show Winter Jam what we’re made of! Volunteering is easy and fun, comes with FREE entry and a FREE CD, and takes 4-5 hours of your time – all to change a child’s life forever.
Tell your family! Tell your friends! Rock the House with Holt and NewSong this fall, at Winter Jam 2011!
Couldn’t make it to a Winter Jam concert near you? Grand Canyon University presents Winter Jam 2011 live! Join hearitfirst.com tomorrow, March 19th at 6 pm EST (3 pm PST) to watch a live Webcast of a Winter Jam concert. Experience Winter Jam from your home! Listen to artists like Francesca Battistelli, the David Crowder Band and the Newsboys….and hear NewSong and inspirational speaker Tony Nolan speak about Holt International’s child sponsorship program and the opportunity to provide food, clothing, shelter and warmth to a child in need.
With Christian music group NewSong leading the way, volunteers at Holt’s Winter Jam concert make tremendous strides in helping children in need through child sponsorship
By Brian Campbell, Creative Services Director
Lexington, Kentucky– It’s hours before the first act and throngs of people of all ages— in a line five people wide — wrap around a city block. When I look outside 50 minutes prior to the pre-show, the crowd is wrapped around two city blocks, snaking through a public parking lot next to the Rupp Arena in Lexington.
Inside the arena, with 20 minutes to showtime, youth pastors from hundreds of miles away are meeting for the youth leadership reception. Members of groups like the David Crowder Band and Newsboys come and pray and encourage youth leaders and their ministries. They are all so full of energy and impassioned for the youth ministry of Lexington and surrounding areas. Tony Nolan wraps up the reception. He calls on youth leaders to step up and lead by example. To walk the talk. Tony calls on them to sponsor a child through Holt International. He says that this is a way for the leaders to live what they preach. “Step up and help the widows and orphans in their time of plight,” Tony says. “We are called to this. Now let’s show our youth how it’s done.”
As the youth pastors rush the Holt International table, which is stacked with hundreds of sponsorship picture folders, a rumble comes from the main auditorium. The countdown to the main event has started. NewSong takes the stage. Fifteen thousand fans come to their feet, singing and praising God at the top of their lungs. Dan Lindsay, Holt International’s tour representative, hangs back during the NewSong set to count the new sponsorships from the youth pastor reception. Nearly ten percent of those who attended the reception made a commitment to sponsor a child. He smiles and indicates that the evening is starting out well.
Moving backstage, NewSong members come down from their set and grab waters, sharing smiles and laughing about their performance. Eddie Carswell quickly turns on his heel to pop back out onstage and introduce the next act. Returning backstage, Eddie turns to Dan and asks him about the number of volunteers. “Over a hundred showed up,” Dan replies. A big grin flashes across his face. “With all those volunteers tonight, it should be a good show for Holt and for the children. We couldn’t make this work without the volunteers.”
Intermission arrives. Eddie comes on stage and shares about the mission of Holt International, the importance of child sponsorship, and how it can change a child’s life. In an arena of fifteen thousand, the audience is nearly silent and listens to every word. When Eddie finishes and releases the audience, a reverberating roar is heard as masses of people move to the Holt table, where hundreds of child sponsorship folders wait. Dozens of volunteers move around the tables, helping folks fill out forms. Some volunteers bring child folders to the people still sitting in the arena.
How a simple idea changed the life of a child in Holt’s care
Remember this story? In the summer of 2009, Tony Nolan, special guest speaker for Winter Jam, visited Holt’s care centers in China while traveling to meet his daughter, Fei Fei. On his journey, he met another very special little girl named *Qui. Born without feet, Qui would experience great pain while walking. Observing Qui’s struggles, a caretaker took initiative and created a simple device that helped Qui walk with comfort and ease. Tony Nolan and the rest of the team were touched by the caretaker’s love and consideration for the little girl.
“I am amazed at how much passion Holt staff has for these children, and how they demonstrate that passion in little and big ways,” said Tony. “To have someone at Nanchang who would have the creativity, desire and motivation to do something above and beyond the call of duty is just awesome!” ….Read about Qui and her loving caretaker in the story, “Little Steps.”
Today, 2 years later, Qui, now Lilah, is home with her parents, Anne and Mike, and her big brother, Luke.
“Where Luke came quietly into our home,” says Anne and Mike, “Lilah came in like a hurricane! She is high energy, boisterous, and terribly funny…we’re not sure Lilah believes she has a disability. No feet. No problem.” ….read about Lilah’s journey home, click here
As an adoptee, I felt like Winter Jam would be the perfect way to share my love for Holt, and my desire to help the agency I was adopted from. Anyone can volunteer; it’s so easy! My husband and I had such an uplifting experience.
Our best wishes go out to all the wonderful people who chose to sponsor a child.
We enjoyed a fantastic concert while making a difference in children’s lives! Joe and I were Winter Jam volunteer newbies. We met other volunteers and enjoyed their company, heard great music and listened to inspirational speakers. As we were leaving, the volunteers said to us: “See you next year!” We sure will! We will make volunteering at Winter Jam a family tradition! –Kim Domino, Winter Jam volunteer
“Last Saturday, we had the privilege of working at the Holt sponsorship table before, during and after the concert. Since this was only the second concert of 2011, there were a lot of children available for sponsorship. When I saw the children’s pictures on the table, I became overwhelmed thinking about the many little ones out there who were just waiting for someone to help them. Throughout the night, a lot of people came and picked up a child’s card. Some of them decided to sponsor a child, and some didn’t. Seeing vulnerable children’s cards being placed back down on the table was very difficult to watch. I would love to volunteer again, and I hope and pray that each concert brings people – and lots of them – who are willing to sponsor a child in desperate need of help.”—Kathy Brown, volunteer at the Winter Jam concert in Charleston, West Virginia
Holt, thank you so much for the opportunity to volunteer and be a voice for children! At Winter Jam 2010, I heard the sponsorship message and personally took caring for children in need to a whole new level by becoming a sponsor myself! This year, I was able to see others make that same transformation through hearing the message and taking to heart what each and every person can do to make a difference in the life of a child! Caring for orphans and widows in their distress is God’s plan for us. Through sponsorship, making a difference is so easy! Thank you to Holt and Winter Jam for an awesome evening of praise and excitement! Being a Holt volunteer was a blast, and I’m looking forward to signing up again next year! —Anastacia Singleton, Holt sponsor and Winter Jam volunteer
In 2010, over 10,000 Winter Jam concertgoers said “YES” to sponsoring a child! This year, we’ve set our sights higher…Help us reach 15,000 sponsors – 300 at each concert! It’s easy and fun! Check to see if Winter Jam is coming to your town and sign up online. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Rock the House with Holt and NewSong at Winter Jam 2011 – Raise Your Voice for Children!