It was such a blessing to visit Compassion in person, so I wanted to share a visual tour for those who have never been able to go! First of all, there are fun statues of kids everywhere (and we were given permission for our kids to climb and sit on them!).
After being offered juice and water, the tour began with the history of Compassion, with photos and other items from Everett Swanson and Compassion's beginnings in Korea! (If you want to learn more, click here.)
Next, we were shown a model house, set in the same dimensions of a typical house in a third world country. (For those who have young kids, I think the tour guide makes a big difference…I was told by my friend Lauren, who was on her 2nd tour, that her first tour guide allowed them to go into the house and touch things. Our tour guide, albeit a very sweet lady, did not allow the kids in and wanted to talk a long time…which made it a little rough. I ended up wandering the hallway with the kids so the others in the tour could listen.)
Next we walked through the hallway of art, which was beautiful! All the art pieces were made by sponsored kids and Juanito really enjoyed seeing all the beautiful works. This was my husband Eric's favorite:
After seeing the artwork, we were able to look into the letter processing center! Wow! It was huge! And we were able to see a printout of a letter sent via the online templates. Let me tell you--they print out your letters in the highest quality possible! I was really impressed and will continue to be sending letters using the online templates!
Then we ended the tour in a room set up like a project! This was my favorite part of the tour.
Not only was it fascinating to be in a room set up like a center, but they had video feeds of kids from TZ-143 playing! So we got to see what kids do for fun at a project! (And for those with toddlers, this room was totally enclosed and we were told that the kids could touch everything! This was the one part of the tour where I was able to really relax, listen and take everything in because the kids weren't getting impatient about standing still and were allowed to touch things.) Here are some fun photos of the "project."
We were also able to look through sample files of what a project keeps for their kids! I loved seeing their record keeping in person…it's so encouraging that the staff are watching out for our kids!
I hope you enjoyed the virtual tour! I highly recommend visiting the Compassion Headquarters if you are ever near Colorado Springs. And my only advice for folks with toddlers is to bring some kind of entertainment for the tour until you make it to the project!
I also wanted to share some photos of our time with Debora! Debora is currently interning at Compassion and working on Step Into My Shoes. We have been friends online for a few years and so it was such a huge blessing to meet her in person! We went out for great barbecue with Debora and our friends Lauren and Elijah. I just love how Compassion has helped us make friends with likeminded brothers and sisters all over the world! It's like having a taste of heaven to meet with such dear friends.