Since 1952, Compassion International has been bringing hope and faith to children in third world countries. Headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., the compassion experience is faith based and is presenting the picture of poverty in Third World countries to Lake Havasu City.
When a minister traveled to post-war South Korea, he was shocked and horrified at the conditions that innocent children had to endure. He started Compassion International to help make a change.
In 2012, Compassion realized that many Americans know of the issues of Third World countries, but many have never had first-hand exposure to the conditions. The organization created the Compassion Experience to give others the real-life sensory representation of the life of an impoverished child. The Experience is a mobile set-up that simulates the environments of three impoverished children’s lifestyles in Third World countries.
For the first ever time in Lake Havasu, the Compassion Experience is giving the community an opportunity to see first hand what the daily living conditions are for a child in poverty.
Of eight possible experiences, the tour features three true stories of children who were relieved from poverty by the Compassion centers in their area: Kiwi from the Phillipines, Olive from Uganda, and Jonathan from the Dominican Republic.
Those attending will journey through three life experiences by a self-guided tour equipped with a screen and headphones to give an auditory history with the tour. The tour of each room is estimated to be 12-15 minutes and all lead to the back area where faces and names of real life children in need all around the world are posted.
“The experience gives people a chance to see how these children live and gives them the opportunity to help [through sponsorship].” shares Yvonne Reynolds, a six-year volunteer and eight-year sponsor. “I have visited some of these areas and the depiction is so accurate”
“It is amazing to see the affect on so many lives” added first-year volunteer Tara Tavella.
The areas where these children live do not have any local organizations or government assistance of any kind. Through faith and support, these children have the chance to create a better life for themselves and rise above their obstacles. The Compassion Experiences lets individuals see their bedrooms, their classrooms, and the little amenities in each. As one travels through the daily lives of these real-life children, life is shown with perspective.
“I think it’s really cool to experience what it looks like” explained Olivia Badaracco, 12.
“Fun but sad that they live like this” adds Saige Loya, 11.
Currently, Compassion International helps more than 25 countries in need through community outreach and child sponsorship. For less than $40 dollars a month, the child is given spiritual, medical, educational, and social support in a faith-based, holistic environment.
The event this weekend in Lake Havasu is free and open to the public. The displays are friendly to all ages and the message is meant for all ears. It is located at Calvary Baptist Church parking lot 3100 Sweetwater Ave.
The event continues from Friday through Monday. Times are as follows:
Friday 11/17: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Saturday 11/18: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Sunday 11/19: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Monday 11/20: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
For more information, visit The Compassion Experience at www.compassion.com.