Compassion Experiences: “A particular instance of personally encountering or undergoing a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.” (combined definitions from dictionary.com)
CBOQ Children and Family are about to embark on new adventures with Compassion Experiences (CE). These are opportunities for individuals and families to come alongside others in understanding and serving in their context.
Traditionally, short-term mission trips were seen as places for a Christian to go serve. That’s a part of it, but it doesn’t encompass the entire picture.
It’s not just about going and doing.
It’s entering another space where God is already at work, and joining alongside what’s already happening. It’s no longer seen as “what can we do for you?” but rather,
“what can we learn from each other and serve together?”
Alongside this is another valuable component: families serving together. Typically it’s a group of youth or a group of adults go to serve in these overseas locations. However, we see value in the opportunities for the family as a whole to experience CEs together.
It creates a shared narrative (or common experiences) for the family to grow together in. It extends every family member’s faith understanding simultaneously. It provides extended learning moments as parents walk through these contexts with their children.
Our Youth department has Compassion Experiences every year over March Break. We partner with a group called iteams to go minister with The Lighthouse Project an organization in the Dominican Republic. This is is a long-standing relationship that CBOQ Youth has served in the last 15 years. In coming years we would love to see CBOQ Children and Family put down similar roots and develop a long term relationships with communities and partner organizations. The hope would be that a child who begins serving with his family at 10, could then transition into a youth team at 14, maybe and maybe again at 18- and build on his experiences and understanding of cultural issues, relationship and service…
We are exploring different options for you and your family and Children’s ministry teams to engage in a Compassion Experiences:
1. If you are interested in engaging in a Local Compassion Experience here in Ontario & Quebec, Stayed tuned. In the coming months as we will explore opportunities to partner with the the Christmas Child Shoe Box initiatives. The shoe boxes are a tangible and fun (!) way to get children involved in a Compassion Experience.
More details to come on how you and your children’s ministry can be involved.
In the meantime, CLICK HERE to check the year long shoe box ministry that Agincourt Baptist has adopted!
2. And if you are are interested in our Cross-Cultural Compassion Experiences please also stay tuned. Our hope to go to travel with families at Christmas time have proven to be quite difficult financially these past couple years. This is the “hottest” flight season and prices are spiked way high. As good stewards of our resources, we have discerned that it would be more financially frugal for us to simply wait a few months and travel with our families in an off season. If you would be interested in joining a group of families in doing an cross-cultural Compassion Experience, please let us know and we can keep you in the loop of conversation.
What will the compassion journey look like for your crew?