Allow yourself to step into the world of Olive, Kiwi, and Carlos; travel to their homes and experience their lives through their own words in an interactive exhibit.
My mother, sister, and I took our five kids during our Good Friday off from school. A little more compassion at Easter sounded like a good thing. But can you really teach compassion? This exhibit is certainly a good way to start. Each room recreates a part of the child’s story. You see Olive’s apple slice, Carlos’ work bench, and Kiwi’s hospital room. You hear the coughs, flies buzzing, and music that are the background noises of these children’s experiences.
Compassion International’s mission is to “exist as an advocate for children, to release them from their spiritual, economic, social, and physical poverty and to enable them to become responsible and fulfilled Christian adults.” While parts of the children’s stories are heavy for young children to hear, each experience ends with an emphasis on God’s saving grace in each child’s life.
For Patrick, age 8, the most memorable part of the experience was the last walk through about Carlos from Guatemala. “He had to work at a young age and go to school still sleepy. His dad died from drinking alcohol and he had to hide under his bed. His mom started doing bad things too, but the women at the church prayed for her and things got better.”
The Compassion Experience did not, however, turn all five of our children instantly into thankful, empathetic children. In fact, it sounded more like the Complaining Experience at times…we are still working on that.
Our group decided to sponsor a child from Guatemala since we have a cousin that was adopted from that country 20+ years ago. We will sponsor our child monthly and be able to send him correspondence. Each of the five children (my two kids and my nieces and nephew) will responsible for $5 each per month to donate to David Alexander Guaz de Leon who will be turning two-years-old next month.
Any charity should be a good steward of the funds they receive. Charity Watchdog gives Compassion International an A rating, and 82% of the money donated will go directly to the sponsored child.
Be a part of the Compassion Experience this week April 14-17 in Greensboro, NC at Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Greensboro 1301 Alamance Church Road, Greensboro, NC 27406. Registration times are still available online and walk-ins are also welcome. The event is free and each story ends with a low-pressure pitch to be a regular sponsor of a child. Not in the Virginia/North Carolina area? This exhibit travels nationwide. Find an event near you at the Compassion Experience events website.
It was a worthwhile experience and one that I would recommend to children ages 4 and up and their families. The themes covered and any sensitive content can be researched here in the Compassion Experience parent guide.