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I traveled to Uganda, India, and Honduras and was back in time for dinner: The Compassion Experience

Jan 14 2015

by Cyle Augusta Lewis

Our family went on a little excursion this weekend. We dropped in to Uganda, made a stop in India, then spent a little time in Honduras, and were home in plenty of time to eat dinner. On top of that, the trip was free, and entirely lacked the safety risks usually involved with international travel. I know – unbelievable!

busAllow me to introduce you to the Compassion Experience – “Change the Story”: a mobile walk-through of others’ lives. A replica of three, real-life, sponsored compassion students’ homes, from three different third world nations, the “Change the Story” chronicles their lives, and tastefully reveals the incredible impact their sponsors had in their lives. Weaving our way through two Semi-Truck Trailers – covering 2,500 square feet – we listened via iPhone/headphones as each student narrated their life from childhood to now.

 

trailerbigIt was incredible, but don’t take my word for it – hear it from my boys:
“I just LOVED that they were REAL stories of each kid, it was great to hear the story on a iphone 6!” – Kenimer, age 9
“The story about Brinda was my favorite – I liked that her life turned out good but was sad at first.” – Tucker, age 7

“Change the Story” is a unique outreach of Compassion International, a ChristJulianian aid organization which – through child sponsorship – implements a holistic program to meet a wide spectrum of children’s developmental needs. Founded in 1952, and headquartered in Colorado Springs, they currently operate in 26 countries and have provided aid to more than 1,250,000 children.  Compassion’s website, compassion.com, says this, “In 20 minutes, step out of your world and into another culture at Change the Story — a brand-new and immersive experience from Compassion. The sights and sounds of life in a poor, developing-world community will come alive as you journey with a child through the challenges of daily life. Space is limited. Make your complimentary reservation to attend this eye-opening experience now.”

(This beautiful lady is Julian Alum, a former sponsored child from Uganda)

trailerAnyone remember Psychology 101 in college, and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs? Illustrated by a multi-tiered pyramid, the foundation of the pyramid were the very basics: air, food, and water. Then safety, belonging, love, and esteem. Lastly, self-actualization and self-transcendence. Big words, but the first two tiers remind us that our basic physical needs, combined with the safety of good housing, and an income are the crux of all human development – without the basics, it is impossible to develop in other areas. Compassion tackles the basic needs and then provides education and assistance with extended education even as far as college in the United States.

Here’s the good news, the Compassion experience is likely coming to a town near you with multiple sites in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina, Texas, and many more. Check out the map to  check for one near you.
Growing up a pastor’s kid, I have always known about Compassion International. This fresh, new experience, however, is right on target for our generation it’s better than “virtual” – it’s walking among the streets and homes of real children. Compassion is offering families across the USA a chance to expose themselves and their children to real poverty – to leave one of the wealthiest nations on Earth for just a few minutes and experience life as a mom trying to provide food for their children – trying to keep their children from harm. It’s powerful.
My eyes were cloudy the whole time… I believe yours will be too. Take yourself, your family, and your friends to a few countries as soon as the opportunity presents itself. Grab the tissues, and don’t forget your checkbook, because you too will probably want to be a part of changing someone’s story.
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Cyle Augusta Lewis View More Blog Posts from this Author

Christ follower • boy mom • wife • writer • entrepreneur

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