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posted: 8/3/2013 8:00 AM

Geneva church hosts exhibit about kids in poverty

Geneva church hosts exhibit about kids in poverty

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  • Katelyn Schoepke, 7, of St. Charles listens Friday to an audio guide while being led on a tour re-creating a day in the life of a child in a poor, developing community as First Baptist Church of Geneva hosts Compassion International's presentation of "Change the Story." The immersive, interactive exhibit will be in Geneva through Sunday.

       Katelyn Schoepke, 7, of St. Charles listens Friday to an audio guide while being led on a tour re-creating a day in the life of a child in a poor, developing community as First Baptist Church of Geneva hosts Compassion International's presentation of "Change the Story." The immersive, interactive exhibit will be in Geneva through Sunday.
    Photos by Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • People leave a mock classroom Friday and head to another portion of a tour Friday representing the struggles of a child in a poor, developing-world community at Compassion International's "Change the Story," an immersive interactive experience hosted by First Baptist Church of Geneva.

       People leave a mock classroom Friday and head to another portion of a tour Friday representing the struggles of a child in a poor, developing-world community at Compassion International's "Change the Story," an immersive interactive experience hosted by First Baptist Church of Geneva.
    Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Concetta Lanpugnano of Bartlett listens to the voice of a child that leads her group on a tour that explains the day-to-day life in a poor, developing-world community as First Baptist Church of Geneva hosts Compassion International's "Change the Story" exhibit Friday.

       Concetta Lanpugnano of Bartlett listens to the voice of a child that leads her group on a tour that explains the day-to-day life in a poor, developing-world community as First Baptist Church of Geneva hosts Compassion International's "Change the Story" exhibit Friday.
    Rick West | Staff Photographer

 
 

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.

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