Singer Wayne Watson hears from the youngsters he sponsors in Third World countries several times a year, but he doubts any of them have ever heard Friend of a Wounded Heart, Touch of the Master's Hand or any of his other contemporary Christian hits.
"Not many of them have CD players," he said during a phone interview from his home in Houston.
Mr. Watson will perform at 6 p.m. Sunday at Curtis Baptist Church, 1326 Broad St. His mission is to inspire others to sponsor children through Food for the Hungry, a 30-year-old international relief agency based in Scottsdale, Ariz., working in more than 25 countries.
The agency does more than provide children the necessities of life - it teaches people commerce, farming and even how to build water wells, he said. "We take for granted the things we use every day. But they can make the difference between a community being self-sustaining or not."
The singer and composer does about 80 or 90 concert days a year - sometimes more, he said. After 23 years, getting back on a tour bus isn't always an appealing thought. What keeps him going is knowing a simple song can change someone's life.
"The bottom line is, every night I believe something eternal can happen."
A Louisiana native, Mr. Watson's manner is open, like the plains of his adopted state, Texas. His lyrics are unpretentious and honest.
"Everything Can Change So Fast"
"We are espousing truth that is ageless, in our estimation," he said.
He wants audiences to go home knowing that Christ is a friend, "instead of someone who lives with his hand drawn back, waiting to hit us," he said.
That recognition can change lives - "A daddy in the audience who comes to grips with his weaknesses, his failures, his needs and humbles himself - that night he begins a journey" that could have an impact on generations, he said.
"The multiplication process is fascinating."
WHAT: Wayne Watson
WHEN: 6 p.m. Sunday; doors open at 5
WHERE: Curtis Baptist Church, 1326 Broad St.; 722-7348
Reach Virginia Norton at (706) 823-3336 or firstname.lastname@example.org.