It is important to understand that a person living in poverty never really knows what to expect next in life. In order to create a genuine experience for you we will not be giving many details about the weekend up front. This may create a sense of being powerless; but powerlessness is a part of poverty. And the more you know about the Poverty Simulation experience up front the more you will be empowered with information to prepare. Here is some info we can share with you.
Q: WHAT DO WE BRING?
A: You will pack for a simple weekend retreat, including a sleeping bag if you like.
Q: WHAT IS THE WEEKEND ABOUT?
A: We will learn about God’s heart for the poor; practical compassion; and bringing about the Kingdom on earth.
Q: IS THE WEEKEND SAFE?
A: You will never be alone. You will be as safe this weekend as you are in public places.
Q: WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT?
A: To glimpse things about yourself that you did not know and would not necessarily choose to know.
Q: WILL I BE MISERABLE?
A: You will need to pack a good attitude and have a desire to know Jesus in a deeper way. When you love someone, you know what breaks his or her heart.
Q: WHAT WILL I EAT AND WHERE WILL I SLEEP?
A: You will always have a choice of necessities, such as food and shelter.
Q: WHAT AGES CAN PARTICIPATE?
A: 14 years old and up—you need to have completed the 8th grade.
Q: IS POVERTY SIMULATION JUST FOR YOUTH OR COLLEGE STUDENTS?
A: Not at all! Poverty Simulation is for all ages of adults plus high school youth.
Q: WHAT IF SOMEONE HAS A SPECIAL DIET OR NEEDS MEDICATION?
A: No problem! When you are registering for the weekend just make sure to inform us of your special diet or medical needs. We will work to accommodate your specific needs although we do ask you make sure to bring along the items for the special diet and medications.
Q: CAN WE BRING A CELL PHONE TO RECEIVE EMERGENCY CALLS?
A: We ask that only the group leader bring their cell phone. It will be left in the Vigilant Hope office, and they will be allowed to check it periodically throughout the weekend.
Q: WHAT IF SOME OF THE GROUP CANNOT COME FOR THE ENTIRE WEEKEND?
A: Then they should come on another weekend when they can stay the entire time. The weekend starts at 7 p.m. sharp on Friday night and ends on Sunday at 2 p.m. —only 41 hours long. It is crucial for you to be there the entire time.
Q: WHAT ARE THE DETAILS OF THE WEEKEND?
A: The weekend is designed in a structured experiential learning approach. The feedback received from people who have attended Poverty Simulation is that the impact of the weekend is greater when the participants do not know the details. However, it is very important that all participants know they are attending a Poverty Simulation that will be challenging. You are welcome to share this FAQ sheet with anyone. Group leaders may contact us with additional questions, but we ask that you not circumvent the learning process by fishing for additional details.
Q: WE ARE HESITANT TO ATTEND. WHY SHOULD WE?
A: We’ve seen hundreds of people attend the Poverty Simulation and have done so for the past 10 years. We have seen many, many lives changed, as they understand more fully Christ’s love and compassion for the poor.