Experience a child’s life of poverty in a developing nation at Virginia Beach church

A Virginia Beach church will try to show people this weekend what it’s like to live on a little more than $1 a day in hopes of generating support for children living in poverty around the world.

Visitors to the Compassion Experience can observe those living in poverty. (Courtesy of the Compassion Experience)
Visitors to The Compassion Experience can walk through conditions like those living in poverty face. (Courtesy of The Compassion Experience)

The Compassion Experience, an all-ages, free event that tours the United States, is running today through Monday at Kempsville Baptist Church. Visitors will be given an iPod and headset to help immerse themselves in the experience as they walk through a series of rooms designed to replicate the conditions facing children in Kenya and the Dominican Republic.

“Each child’s story begins in poverty, but ends in hope and transformation,” said Chris Hoffman, a spokesman for the nonprofit Compassion Experience.

Hoffman shared comments from recent visitors to the exhibit.

“A sobering, yet hopeful experience. My 14-year-old said, ‘This was so worth our time today,’ ” one woman wrote.

Hoffman, who travels the country with the experience, said he believes Virginia Beach residents will have similar reactions.

“We’ve been given such a great reception from your community,” Hoffman said. “It’s obvious that taking care of vulnerable children is something near to the hearts of many residents in the area.”

Those interested in attending are encouraged to make a reservation, but walk-ins are accepted. Each story takes about 20 minutes, and visitors can participate in both.

Once visitors complete the tour, they can learn more about getting involved with the program to help children, such as those depicted in the program.

The Compassion Experience will run from 10 a.m. to 5:40 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Monday. It will be open from noon to 7:40 p.m. on Sunday. To make a reservation or learn more , click here.

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