Exhibit Shines Light On Child Poverty - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Exhibit Shines Light On Child Poverty

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BILLINGS -

Beginning Thursday, a church in the Billings Heights will be home to a traveling exhibit that aims to show the plight of those less fortunate throughout the world.

The Compassion Experience, a project of Compassion International, is in the Magic City as a part of a national tour. Organizers said Pastor Tim Weidlick with Billings' Harvest Church has worked for years to bring the exhibit to the Magic City.

"This hasn't rolled around a lot of towns quite often, because it's really brand new. It's in its first year," said Mark Gehri with Compassion International.

The exhibit focuses on childhood poverty in developing countries. Pastor Weidlick said the issue of child poverty is a very important issue.

"True religion is to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and by doing that, keeping yourself unstained by the world," said Pastor Weidlick. "For us, we reflect the heart of God probably best, when we care for people who are the most helpless, when they can't help themselves."

The 20-minute tour takes attendees through the life of a child in a developing country. Visitors at the Compassion Experience can choose from the lives of three kids. Ruben, from Bolivia, is one of the options.

Via headsets provided by the organizers, attendees can hear the story of the kids featured. Besides poverty, Ruben's story involved a violent father. Some of the attendees were visibly moved by the story.

"Americans, to be polite, are just a little bit clueless. We're a very blessed nation. We have lots of abundance," said Gehri.

"I'm thinking how I can make it to next year, and save for my kids going to College, and those kinds of things, they're trying to survive the day," said Pastor Weidlick.

At the end of the exhibit, visitors will have a chance to change the life of a child in need, by becoming a sponsor for a child. Visitors can choose one child, out of a wide selection.

"You get to help someone else move to the next level, where they don't just survive. Now they get an education, and they get a vocation. They even become leaders in their country," said Pastor Weidlick. He is hopeful the exhibit could change more than just the lives of kids in need.

"When you sponsor a child, you make a difference in the family. When you make a difference in a family, you help the community, and when you help the community, you'll not only change a life, but you change a city," said Pastor Weidlick.

The Compassion Experience will stay at Harvest Church, located at 1235 W. Wicks Lane, until Sunday. Reservation is accepted for the exhibit, but walk-ins are also welcome. To learn more about the Compassion Experience, or to make a reservation, click on Connections.

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