In honor of Big Dave Bompart
"For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake." Philippians 1:29
All week, I’ve wanted to write about my friend, David Bompart, but the situation has been so fluid, I haven’t known where or when or how to start.
David died today in Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital. He was shot last Tuesday as he left a Port au Prince bank with funds for an orphanage he and his wife Nicolle were building for children left parentless by the earthquake that devastated Haiti in January 2010. His assailant fled the scene and David stumbled two blocks to a hospital he had helped set up in the days immediately following the quake.
As director of Asia’s Hope, I have the privilege of working with some of the most amazing people on the planet, people who daily put their hearts and their lives on the line to serve the world’s most vulnerable kids.
David and Nicolle Bompart are among my favorite people in the world. David, gentle and gigantic, was just the kind of guy you’d want as your protector if you were an orphaned child — a prototypical father figure if there ever was one: strong and brave, without a trace of abrasiveness or machismo. Nicolle, one of the only people I’ve ever met who makes me look taciturn — my affect flat compared to hers — possesses a passion and a compassion that is almost literally infectious.
Despite the fact that the human mortality rate has stayed around 100% since the first humans walked the earth, I find it hard to believe that Dave is gone. Even though I knew Nicolle before she married David, I just can’t imagine her without him. It’s simply too much. Too heartbreaking to consider.
Since its inception, Asia’s Hope’s motto — our rallying cry — has been “Engage suffering. Unleash hope.” Both previously widowed, Nicolle and David have boldly encountered the suffering in their own lives and in the world around them. Unlike so many who shy away from the dirt and the tears and the muck and the blood, the Bomparts strode boldly into the dark places in their lives and in the lives of others, and empowered by their faith in Christ, engaged the suffering they found there, unleashing the transforming power of hope. I personally, and Asia’s Hope as a family, honor Nicolle and Dave. You are truly one of us.
Since David’s shooting, the body of Christ has proven herself to be beautiful. Tens of thousands of people in dozens of nations have prayed and fasted, begging God for strength and mercy and healing. Nicolle has shown incredible grace, urging forgiveness rather than revenge, modeling faith not despair.
I pray that the power that raised Jesus Christ from the grave and which today brought David into the presence of his God will now raise up a generation of men and women willing to walk in David’s footsteps. I pray that each of us will be filled with the faith and the strength to double, even triple our efforts on behalf of the orphans in Haiti, in Cambodia, in Thailand, in India and in every nation.
I pray also for Nicolle, for Mack, and for Daniella. I pray that they will find rest and encouragement amid the sorrow. I pray also for the ministry of Eyes Wide Open International – that God would multiply its impact one hundred fold, and that thousands of Haitian children will find a loving Christian home where they can be protected, nurtured and restored in the name of Jesus and in the memory of David Bompart.
And I pray protection for my brothers and sisters everywhere who step out bravely into harm’s way to serve and protect the helpless.
May God bless and protect us all.