[Editor’s note: This article is brought to you by Poverty Encounter, an exhibitor at CHEA’s Conventions. Poverty Encounter is an immersive educational program of Children’s Hunger Fund, which works in 32 countries to deliver hope to suffering children and families.]

For many Christian homeschooling families, their educational priorities extend beyond just academic achievement to nurturing well-rounded individuals and instilling a sense of compassion and a mission-minded perspective. Organizations such as Children’s Hunger Fund and its immersive Poverty Encounter experience in Los Angeles embody this mission, aiming to alleviate suffering and deliver the eternal hope of the gospel. As homeschool families, adopting their principles can significantly contribute to raising compassionate, mission-minded kids who are guided by eternal biblical truths.

As parents, there are several ways we can help instill more compassion in our children:


One of the most important things we can do is pray, and you are never too young to start praying. Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV) reassures us: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” This verse underscores the transformative impact of prayer and encourages children to develop a habit of lifting up in prayer those who are suffering. The late pastor Tim Keller wrote that prayer “… is the way we know God, the way we finally treat God as God. Prayer is simply the key to everything we need to do and be in life.”


A program such as Poverty Encounter prioritizes experiential learning to foster empathy and understanding, with the in-person Poverty Encounter experience in Los Angeles providing an immersive look at what extreme poverty is like in different parts of the world, through the eyes of a child. Seeing the reality in which other children live around the world allows kids to develop empathy, look beyond themselves, and consider how they might help make a difference in the world. 

During their roughly two-hour experience, groups get to “visit” four different countries and hear firsthand the stories of children living in extreme poverty, the challenges they face, and how biblical mercy ministry and the gospel can make a difference. For example, they learn the story of a young Guatemalan boy named Bruno, whose family lives in a garbage dump and daily must search for enough items to sell so they can buy food or medicine. Their time at Poverty Encounter concludes with the opportunity to take part in a service project in Children’s Hunger Fund’s Volunteer Center.

Countless students who have come through Poverty Encounter have shared that they never knew that people actually lived in such extreme conditions, that they are more thankful for what they have, and that they feel motivated to help make a difference.

Global Awareness 

Philippians 2:4 encourages us: “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” By incorporating global perspectives into homeschool lessons, parents align with this biblical teaching, fostering cultural sensitivity and a genuine concern for the well-being of others.

Mission-Minded Lifestyle

Living a mission-minded lifestyle involves actively seeking opportunities to make a positive impact. We believe Scripture emphasizes the importance of translating compassion into action. Encourage children to live out their faith through tangible acts of kindness and service in their community, such as volunteering with programs like Children’s Hunger Fund’s Project Food Pak or Project Coin Pak.

Family Discussions and Reflections

Open and honest discussions about poverty and hunger within the family setting can deepen a child’s understanding and empathy, coupled with the need for the hope of the gospel in addition to physical resources. Matthew 25:35 reinforces the importance of compassionate action: “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink.” This Scripture serves as a powerful reminder of the biblical mandate to care for those in need.

Incorporating principles of biblical mercy ministry and a mission mindset into homeschooling environments empowers families to raise compassionate children who are empowered to live out their faith in the world around them. Your family can play a vital role in shaping a generation that actively seeks to make the world a better place in accordance with God’s teachings.

Do you live in the greater Los Angeles area or are planning a trip? Click here for information about Poverty Encounter and to reserve tickets.