The Compassion Experience coming to Waukegan

It’s really hard to teach our kids just how good they have it. I mean there are days where my kids think being asked to empty a dishwasher or put their shoes by the door is akin to torture. Living in the United States and in a suburban area means it’s rare they are truly suffering or without. However, for many people around the world, life looks very, very different, a lesson I truly want my kids to take to heart.

The Compassion Experience aims to do just that by immersing visitors into daily life in a foreign country where some people live on less than $2 a day. The Compassion Experience is coming to Waukegan Aug. 18-21.

This all-ages experience will walk visitors through the lives of three children living in the Philippines, Guatemala and Uganda. A self-guided tour through the use of an iPod and headset, families will see the children’s homes, walk through schools and markets and hear stories from the perspective of a child whose life began in poverty. The experience is free and suitable for all ages but visitors are encouraged to make a reservation.

The Compassion Experience is organized and funded by Compassion International, a Christian organization and the stories will include references to God, Christianity and their faith as it made a significant impact on their ability to escape poverty. But Compassion International wants guests of all faiths to feel comfortable and welcome “because it’s our goal to increase awareness in each community about the realities of extreme poverty and the difference we all have the opportunity to make.”

The tours are about 15 minutes each through each of the three different story options and can accommodate groups of four to five people at a time. They encourage you to schedule up to an hour total for the visit due to crowds and wait time fluctuations. Parent Guides are available on the website to give you the details on the stories told before you arrive so you can choose if it’s right for your children.

If you go

Where: Iglesia Emanuel, 1300 W. 10th St., WaukeganWhen: Aug. 18-21

Hours: Friday 11 a.m.-6:40 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-6:40 p.m., Sunday noon-5:40 p.m., Monday 11 a.m.-6:40 p.m.

Cost: Free

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