Midlothian church hosts Compassion Experience to help children rise from poverty

Midlothian church hosts Compassion Experience to help children rise from poverty

MIDLOTHIAN, VA (WWBT) - You have probably heard or used the phrase "first world problems." It addresses many of the minor issues we face each day. However, have you ever thought about the problems people, particularly children, face in our world's poorest countries?

This weekend, an area church invites you to not only think about but experience the problems children around the globe deal with on a regular basis.

Bobby Owensby serves as the pastor of families at Swift Creek Baptist Church and knows a lot about families. Owensby and his wife are the parents of
seven children.

However, these days, he's excited to talk about an eighth child, who is like one of their own. "His name is Andy, and he's from the Dominican Republic," said Owensby.

Andy is 13 years old. "It's amazing to see how he's grown," said Owensby.

Andy's connection with the Owensbys began when he was four years old, through Compassion International. It is a Christian organization dedicated to helping children and their families rise from poverty.

"We saw Andy, and we saw his birthday in April. We saw where he was from. My wife felt very drawn to this young child. So, we decided that we wanted to support him," said Owensby. That is what they have done now for almost ten years.

They were actually introduced to Andy, and other children like him, through an event called the Compassion Experience, which is a free exhibit headed to Swift Creek Baptist Church this weekend.

"They will walk through a series of rooms that have been built after this child's own community, and as you hear with some headphones, you'll hear the story dictate their life, the dangers that they face," said Owensby. "It's not too often we get a chance to sense what other people go through, but we get God's perspective when we go through something like this."

The fresh perspective changes lives, like Andy's and the Owensby's. "Not that we're the Savior, only Jesus is the Savior, but God has used us to kind of invest a little bit and seed some resources that will help Andy grow  and help him learn that there are people that care about him beyond just his immediate community," said Owensby.

The Compassion Experience runs from Saturday, April 23, until Tuesday, April 26, at Swift Creek Baptist Church on North Spring Run Road in Midlothian.

While the event is free, you must go online to reserve your spot.

Copyright 2016 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.