Immersive event teaches compassion

Visitors use portable computer devices and headphones during The Compassion Journey, an interactive experience that focuses on children living in poverty. The Brick Church will host The Compassion Journey Oct. 23 and 24.

Visitors can discover how children live in poverty when The Brick Church hosts "The Compassion Journey," Oct. 23 and 24.

The immersive event is presented by Compassion International, a Christian child-sponsorship program.

Compassion Journey Manager Sarah Lynn Porterfield said the self-guided journey immerses the visitor in the daily life of Patience, an impoverished child in Uganda, who is sponsored by Compassion International.

"The experience includes 1,000 square feet of exhibit space featuring interactive elements highlighting the challenging circumstances Patience faces around food security, education, shelter and safety as well as the help and hope that Compassion provides through the sponsorship program," she said. 

Porterfield said people are encouraged to pre-register so the organization will know how many to expect and adjust their volunteers accordingly.

The Brick Pastor, Jared Callahan, said he hopes visitors will learn how the organization impacts people globally, as well as impacts individual children.

Callahan said Compassion International is one of the church's global mission partners.

"It gets really good ratings on how they handle nonprofit resources and how they connect with kids," Callahan said. "My favorite part of what Compassion International does, is they not only help with food and education, but they do a real good job of connecting a kid with a local church there in their country. They partner their kids through the local church, which connects them with right relationships. It's not just food, not just education, but also the spiritual side as well."

The pastor said he will speak Sunday morning on what compassion is "and not just to feel something for someone, but actually take action steps towards living out compassion."

He said he hopes the message "has a snowball affect to where it challenges us to be compassionate in our daily lives as well, not just with our emotions but with our actions."

The church will host a block party and running event around 1 p.m. Sunday, after its 11:20 a.m. worship.

"We'll have inflatables going," he said. "There will be food that you can purchase."

There also will be a 5-K run and a 1-mile fun run at 2 p.m. Sunday to help raise money for the program. Cost is $20 for the 5-K run, $15 for the fun run and free for children younger than 10 participating in the fun run.

If you go

WHAT: Compassion Journey.

WHEN:  10 a.m. to 3:40 p.m. Oct. 23; 9 a.m. to 3:40 p.m. Oct. 24.

WHERE: The Brick Church, 1302 S. York St.



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