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Mission Waco’s Poverty Simulation


Mission Waco’s Poverty Simulation

Resource Type: Experiential learning opportunity
Main Audience: Church groups (especially youth groups) desiring a hands-on exposure to the issues of homelessness and poverty, with opportunities for service and Biblical reflection
Organization: Mission Waco
Program: Poverty Simulation
Dates: Please visit website for current dates
Location: Waco, TX
Cost: $45.00/participant
Contact:       Mission Waco
1315 N. 15th
Waco, TX 76707



In 1986 Jimmy and Janet Dorrell led a poverty simulation for a youth pastor and his youth group. Concerned that the youth were not applying scripture to their own lives, this weekend experience was created in order to challenge the group to see the world through a different set of eyes.

The Poverty Simulation is a weekend long experience, beginning at 8:00pm Friday night and ending at 2:30pm on Sunday. During the course of the weekend participants are exposed to the issues surrounding poverty. (Mission Waco does not issue details about the weekend publicly, so that youth don’t quite know what to expect. Parents can learn details by calling ahead, but must agree not to share the information with the participating students.) Through this weekend experience youth and their leaders gain a deeper understanding of God’s heart for the poor and ways to bring about His Kingdom. Mission Waco also hosts Poverty Simulations for groups of adults.

Reservations are required along with a $20.00 deposit. Participants must be at least 14 years of age and need to have finished the 8th grade. Youth groups are encouraged to bring along sponsors who are passionate and will encourage the youth before, during and after their experience. To make reservations e-mail with your date preferences, expected numbers of high school, college, and adult attendees, and any questions about the weekend. For a current list of scheduled poverty simulation weekends please visit the Mission Waco website at

A letter of preparation is available for leaders on the Mission Waco Poverty Simulation website. This letter includes scripture passages that reveal God’s heart for the poor followed by relevant discussion questions to help your group prepare for their weekend simulation experience.

It is also important to take time to process what has been experienced and learned upon returning home. Mission Waco provides a follow-up sheet, available online, which includes suggested reading and recommendations for further action. Links to organizations addressing the issues related to poverty are also provided. 


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