Take the journey; learn the joy

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Hopefully, most people will never know the pain of poverty. But they can learn what it feels like, along with the joy of compassion.

April 28 through 30, Trinity United Methodist Church in Ruston, is hosting “The Compassion Journey,” an interactive experience designed to educate visitors about the realities of life in extreme poverty.

“Participants will be invited on a self-guided journey where they will be immersed in the daily life of Kevin, a child sponsored by Compassion International,” said Marie Burns, Director of Outreach & Sr. Adult Ministries at Trinity. “Kevin is growing up under the weight of poverty in the nation of Kenya.”

This event, sponsored by Compassion International, provides an opportunity for visitors to experience elements of another culture and to discuss the experience through break-out style discussions.

“The experience includes 1,000 square feet of exhibit space featuring interactive elements that highlight the challenging circumstances Kevin faces,” Burns said. “You also experience life through his eyes as it applies to food, security, education and safety, as well as the help and hope Compassion provides through the sponsorship program.”

Compassion Journey uses individual iPods and headsets to offer visitors a sense of what life is like in extremely poverty-stricken areas around the world.

Founded in 1952, Compassion International is a Christian child development organization that works to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name. More than 1.4 billion people live on less than $1.25 per day.

Trinity UMC is located at 1000 Woodward Ave., Ruston, La. 71270. For more information, contact Burns at 318-251-0750.

The event is free and was created with families in mind, so children are welcome. Visitors are encouraged to register to attend and find more information about the event at journey.compassion.com .