About 6 weeks ago I glanced at the bottom of our Student Ministry’s giving statement for our sponsor child, Fahim. What I saw was that World Vision was sponsoring an AIDS walkthrough about 40 minutes from Corry, and it just seemed to fit in so perfectly with this year’s Remedy theme, so we grabbed about 11 teens (well, grabbed is such a harsh word. We invited everyone, but 11 is all that came), three leaders and headed to Jamestown, NY.
It was an incredible experience. Worldvision really did a great job of showing what it is like to live life as a child in Africa dealing with AIDS. Short of actually heading over to Africa, this is probably as close as you can get to showing your teens what life is like for children and teenagers who do not live in our abundant country. Many of our teens were touched deeply by what they encountered, and in our discussion on the way home, there were a few good ideas as to how we can keep this from fading as a one-and-done event.
I highly recommend this experience to your group. Especially if you are looking for something that will encourage teens to get outside of their comfort zones. There is a call at the end of your walkthrough to sponsor a child in an AIDS-ravaged area, but not in a bad way. You actually are given the opportunity to sponsor out of compassion and a desire to serve and change a life, rather than being guilted into it.
Low cost (the event itself was free, we just had to cover gas for the trip), low planning on your group’s part, high-return for your group if they are able to get outside of themselves and really encounter this event with an open heart. Check out their site and see if they will be anywhere near you.