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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Little Perspective: The Compassion Experience

I try to instill a spirit of Thanksgiving and gratitude throughout the year, not just in November.  But it's easy for my children (and me) to fall into the entitlement trap of thinking what I have isn't enough, and becoming discontent.  I was thrilled when the Compassion Experience came to our town where we could walk through a reenactment of what life is like for children in third world countries.  It was very sobering for my children (age 6-10) to visually see and hear the stories of one boy, one girl.

The mobile unit set up in a local church parking lot.

The presentation was very professional with individual ipods and headphones for each person.  
We heard the children's stories told in their own words.

My children loved the technology.

Ready to learn about Jey, a boy in Africa and Kiwi, a girl from the Philippines.


The children were very serious about what they saw and heard.

 



This experience prompted a wonderful discussion about children around the world.  First I allowed my children to ask questions.

  • What is a gang?
  • Did the mom die?
  • Are there any houses like that in America?
  • Can nine-year-olds go to jail here?
  • Why didn't the police help?

Then I asked some questions, too.

  • What part seemed the most scary?
  • Did that look like enough food for a family?
  • Do you think God cares about these people?
  • Why do some people (like us) have so much when some have so very little?  
  • Are we supposed to keep all that we have?
If you get a chance to take your family to the Compassion Experience, it will benefit every person, no matter their age.  It's so easy to become isolated in our American bubble of prosperity.  It's not always comfortable to expose our children to the need and devastation in our world.  But it is our responsibility to raise socially aware and considerate persons who are outward minded.  The Compassion Experience was a great tool for me this week to expand their knowledge open their minds to poverty around the globe.

If you can sponsor a child, do so.  My children each wanted to, but I guided them to wait until they had enough income to responsibly do it.  Our family sponsors a child, but the need is so great.  It doesn't take much to make an investment that will last a lifetime.


Compassion: Change the Story