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Oakland Baptist Church hosts 'The Compassion Journey'

From hauling water to sleeping on a mat on the floor, visitors to 'The Compassion Journey' will get to follow the life of a child from a third world country.

By L.A. Story

Daily Corinthian

One good way to appreciate one's blessings is to walk in the footsteps of someone far less fortunate.

This weekend will provide area residents the opportunity to do just that — see what daily life is like for someone living in a third world country.

Oakland Baptist Church, located at 1101 South Harper Road, in Corinth, will host Compassion International's "The Compassion Journey" from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday and from 11:30 a.m. until 6:15 p.m. Sunday.

"The Compassion Journey" is a 30-minute family-friendly, interactive activity. Travel to six learning stations that show what life is like for a child growing up in a third world country.

Information from OBC states: "Shaping the next generation's perspectives on gratitude and compassion can be challenging; 'Journey' provides the context to do just that. And if you're wondering if one person can make a difference in global poverty, 'Journey' answers that question, too."

The event is free and appropriate for all ages. "The Compassion Journey" is good for anyone to get a glimpse of what life is like in extreme poverty and to see what God's people are doing to help.

Chris Aday, who has served as Children's Minister and Administrator of OBC since October, 2004, said the organization who created "Journey" is an international ministry that sponsors children in third world countries. "The Compassion Journey" is a new program they are beta testing and OBC is one of only a few churches that are getting to host it, he said. The sponsoring organization hopes to release the program in the spring.

From hauling water to sleeping on a mat on the floor, visitors to "Journey" will get to follow the life of a child who will talk about what life was like before Compassion International and what his life is like after Compassion International.

Aday said the program involves stations with several headsets to listen to the narrative before more moving to the next station.

The OBC Children's Minister said he was asked by a friend of his who works at Compassion International and asked if OBC would be interested in hosting "The Compassion Journey."

He said he then presented the idea to the OBC staff who approved it.

"The church seems to be excited about it," said Aday. "We have been promoting it to our church and with the Alcorn Baptist Association. I have had several people who have come to me and said, 'We already sponsor kids through that (Compassion International),' and so they are really excited."

While it is not necessary to register to participate in "The Compassion Journey," Aday said those bringing larger groups may want to register to reserve a time slot as space is limited. This can be done by visiting the OBC website at oaklandbaptist.org and clicking on "The Compassion Journey" banner (be sure to click on the banner that does NOT say "volunteers") and be taken to where one can register for a specific time.

For those who would like to volunteer to help with the program, one will visit the OBC website at oaklandbaptist.org and click on "The Compassion Journey" VOLUNTEER banner.

Compassion International is a child-advocacy ministry that pairs compassionate people with those who are suffering from poverty. The ministry releases children from spiritual, economic, social, and physical poverty. The goal is for each child to become a responsible and fulfilled adult.

(For more information about "The Compassion Journey" contact Oakland Baptist Church at 662-287-3118 or visit the website at oaklandbaptist.org.)