I recognize that we are all experiencing new levels of vulnerability and collective trauma. This reality initially led me to be reluctant to ask for help, until our board met and prayed last week and one of our members said, "we've been here before, we continue to stand in the gap, and we will be here, faithful, on the other side." This is true; our heart at Hope 1312 Collective is for the least of these and the gap we stand in on their behalf continues to widen.
I've been sickened by the reality that child abuse reports are on the rise. Although it makes sense as stress, financial problems, social isolation, inability to cope with life stressors, focus on own troubles over the needs of the child, symptoms of depression, illness, and a lack of understanding of the child's needs or abilities directly correlate to increased risk. So many children are at home suffering in silence without the buffering presence of school. And while so much of this is out of our control here's what we feel God is asking of us:
- To continue to be vigilant in praying for HIs protection over vulnerable children and interceding on behalf of the systems God has ordained to intervene and promote safety and justice.
- continuing to support local foster families (even launching a new pilot program recently for in home trauma informed parent coaching)
- widening our reach with our CarePortal technology to keep our churches engaged and providing them opportunities to still be the church during these times. (Just this past week over 40 meals were provided to families identified by our partner agencies, a birthday celebration happened for an 11 yr old whose mother had just lost her job, and new clothes were provided to a teenager coming into foster care)
- continuing to encourage our camp babies through regular mail and remaining hopeful the end of summer will allow them the most beautiful healing camp experience yet.
- continuing to support our local DFCS caseworkers with online prayer and needs request and a current supply drive to keep them safe in the field.
See God is not sleeping. His light shines all the more brightly in the darkness and you can be a part of a beautiful story, a testimony that I know will surface on the other side of this crisis.