First Baptist Church of Geneva is hosting Compassion International's "Change the Story" experience.
The nationwide tour, in Geneva through Sunday, takes participants on a 20-minute audio-guided look through rooms in a 3,500-square-foot facility -- brought in on semitrailers -- where they see replicas of the homes of three Compassion beneficiaries on three continents who live in extreme poverty. Visitors travel through an immersive, interactive experience allowing them to experience firsthand the poverty of children across the globe.
Compassion International, based in Colorado Springs, is the world's largest Christian child development organization, and advocates for children in poverty to help them become "responsible, fulfilled Christian adults" according to its website.
The group serves more than 1.3 million children in 26 of the world's poorest countries through its Child Sponsorship Program.
Cheryl Pacilio, director of local serving at the church, says they've had more than 1,300 tour reservations so far. The exhibit can handle dozens of visitors at one time for the experience.
"The response has been wonderful," Pacilio said. "Everybody I've talked to afterward is moved.
"Children will be helped. Kids are getting sponsored, and that's the bottom line," she said.
More than 50 sponsorships were signed up Thursday, the first day of the event.
For reservations, visit www.compassion.com/change/default.htm.