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This past Sunday night our Branches teens and leaders participated in an interactive, hands-on simulation of the challenges that refugees face as they flee for their lives. Exodus World Service facilitated this experience, which engaged teens both physically and emotionally in the refugee experience. Teens learned hands-on some of the challenges that refugees face including limited resources, unjust smugglers, boat captains, and border patrol agents. They had to make decisions about what supplies to bring, whether they would use some of their limited funds to purchase life vests for the boat ride, negotiate with smugglers, and how to manage living  in close quarters with so many other refugees. Then, they had to fill out applications to cross the border, which were not in their native language. After they made it, they spent time crowded into tents in the refugee camps, where they were fed cold rice and told that many refugees—on average—spend 17 years in refugee camps. After the simulation, teens and adults reflected on their experience and what they learned about refugees.

To continue to learn about this important issue, teens will discuss more in their Branches groups and consider volunteering with Exodus World Service to help refugee families.

To learn more about Exodus and the wonderful work they do, please check out their website at