It’s hard to believe, but just one year ago this week (why does it feel like it was at least two years ago?) World’s Vision’s Step into Africa was in full swing at the Isanti County Fairgrounds.
Several hundred volunteers were required to pull the whole thing off. World Vision staff directed the initial set-up of this portable exhibit and everything went like clockwork.
The ribbon cutting ceremony was attended by city and state dignitaries…
…including Princess Zulu of Zambia!
Several thousand people—including hundreds of youth—were made aware of what life is like for those who live in extreme poverty. For those who walked through “the Experience,” it was an eye-opening, often heart-wrenching education.
With the aid of headsets visitors were guided through a series of interior rooms, like the one pictured below. They followed the story of an African child, learning how poverty had impacted his or her young life.
But all too soon, this artful and wonderfully creative exhibit needed to be dismantled.
Volunteers once again faithfully stepped forward for the “tear-down.”
It was time to say good-bye to our friends from World Vision and wish them well as they drove the exhibit south to a new location.
Thank you, Kelli McDonald (second from the right) for your enthusiasm and leadership. Thank you to all the dedicated volunteers who made this major undertaking so successful, forever altering the worldview of those who attended. We especially want to thank those visitors who made a commitment to sponsor children—Kivurugan and others—or who gave financially in some other way. Never doubt that you have brought hope into the lives of these kids, their families, and their communities.
Steve Fredlund summarized things this way: “Our goal, which we thought to be quite lofty, was for at least 3,000 people to walk through the Experience. After the numbers had been totaled, we ended up with over 4,000 visitors and 204 children sponsored! These numbers are still quite staggering to comprehend. The World Vision team was so thrilled with how our community rallied, including nearly 30 organizations that joined forces to make this happen.”
East Central Minnesota, as Steve might say, rocks!