Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Safety of Children

Children need to be protected. Sometimes from themselves and sometimes from others. In urban environments where there are dangers on every corner, unsupervised children can be shot, kidnapped or abused. This is America today I am talking about.

Adults who are used to protecting their own children with constant paid for after school activities may not realize the plight of the poor who have no helper. But, God has promised to be "a father to the fatherless". Wonderful programs like PAL and others can provide help for those who need it, but most programs cost something.

Project Lost Sheep encourages tutoring programs inside churches for no cost.  First, children who get discouraged in elementary school are not likely to go beyond 8th grade. They will then be "on the streets" and targets for gangs. Children in many immigrant groups do not have parents who can help them even with basic homework. Survival is literally what many of these parents care about. I mean food and rent..

Against this backdrop we have the all seeing, merciful eye of God and His goodness that reaches out in so many ways to tend these needy ones. There is a mountain of need. They children need help with their school work but their parents often need help and resources that the community centered church can provide. Because of the overloaded classrooms, the child who is behind, may only get further behind and be passed onto the next level to face more challenges of failure.

I will never forget a Project Lost Sheep meeting in which a teenager stood up and cried in front of us all because she was so glad that her little sister was in a tutoring program and wouldn't have to go through the embarrassment and humiliation that she had gone through in school.

Can a few hours a week of your time make a difference? Look back on the blogs and find the one with children from Onurri Church in San Jose. These children have smiles and self confidence because they know that they can get help in a caring environment. Every week there are adults and teenagers there to help them. They get food. They get to play games. They sing Bible songs. They sit down and have homework help.

Grace abounds as we expand our hearts to help. Let's inspire change by rolling up our sleeves and finding a place to serve. What would happen if every child in your city had a good old American chance at help getting the basics: reading and math? Would more of them make it through high schoo and beyond? And those who can will do a great deal for the community they grew up in by way of being models for change.

There are needy children all over the world but look out your window and see the little ones in your city.

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