A pastor at a megachurch in Texas has turned to hip hop music to help raise money toward building an orphanage in Southern Sudan.
Adam Thomason, associate pastor of The Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas, co-founded Collision Records over a year ago with the purpose of redeeming consumerism and putting out great Gospel-centered music.
He saw that vision become a reality this week with the Christian record label's latest release "Actions Speak Louder" on iTunes.
Collision Records plans to donate 100 percent of the proceeds to His Voice Global, which needs $250,000 to build a fourth orphanage in Southern Sudan.
"I figured that if iTunes receives 10 million downloads daily and we need $250,000 to build the orphanage then we as a church can make that happen," Thomason told The Christian Post on Wednesday.
The hip hop song, which speaks about plight of people in the war-torn country of Southern Sudan, debuted at No. 1 on the Christian and Gospel Music chart on iTunes. The single track is by Swoope and features music artists Lecrae, Tedashii and Jai.
"The song tries to put you in the place of people who are less fortunate but at the same time puts you in place where you feel that you need to be a voice for the voiceless," said Thomason.
His Voice Global, formerly known as His Voice For Sudan, was founded by Vernon and Amber Burger who have partnered with Evangelical Presbyterian Churches, an indigenous church network founded by Bishop Elias Taban in Southern Sudan.
For the past year and a half, The Village Church has been heavily vested in the north African country, working with EPC out of Yei to train pastors and ministers. The church has also sent some doctors and nurses to the country.
Matt Chandler, lead pastor of The Village Church, told The Christian Post that money raised for His Voice Global will go toward buying an 18-wheeler that will help generate business revenue to build and sustain the orphanage.
The truck will transfer goods between cities and the revenue provides salary for the staff, which includes widowed mothers, and food for about 100 orphans, he explained.
"We need to get it built and then it's self-sustained," said Chandler. "The idea is not just about creating a ministry and sustaining ministry but about creating jobs and stimulating the economy. In a place like Southern Sudan, this is ideal."
Both Village Church pastors recently traveled to the African country as part of their church's partnership with EPC to provide theological and church education training sessions to the local ministers. This was the church's 10th visit over the past year.
Chandler, who is currently undergoing chemotherapy for brain cancer, said his latest trip was a "humbling" experience.
Although Chandler said his last MRI scan showed him to be cancer-free, he said he will still receive chemotherapy as recommended by his doctors.
"Death over there is a part of life: a 36-year-old dying over there is not something that they would shake their fist at the heavens about. That's just a Tuesday," he said.
"It was good to breathe that air," added Chandler. "People there are more deeply aware of their own mortality than people here."
In addition to partnering with churches like The Village Church and Collision Records, His Voice Global plans to hold a silent auction in Dallas on Dec. 9 to raise funds for the new orphanage. The event will also show a screening of the documentary "The New Sudan," by NADUS Film.
"This is a reality in Sudan but this is also a reality that God has placed in America: that we can help also," said Thomason. "If we know we are going to be spending money and buying stuff, we should buy stuff that has a meaning behind it for the Gospel."