For the last few months I’ve been working at a residential treatment center for kids. Each one of these kids has suffered terribly in their short lives, the oldest kid is 15 and the youngest is 8. They have lived through situations that I’ve prayed my kids never face.
Some were sexually or physically abused by a parent, friend or family member. The kind of abuse that haunts them when they are alone at night. Some have parents who valued the drug in their tracked veins more than the kids in their house. The addict loves their kids but they have a master that always demands attention. Some have parents who have been locked away in prison and no one else in the family wants them. Some were kicked out of foster families because they were too dangerous or too violent. Some were homeless, left alone on the streets, in neighborhoods that were gang infested. What does a homeless kid do for food? It doesn’t take much imagination to understand how badly this can go.
When they arrive at this facility and start to undergo treatment, it’s incredibly difficult for them. They act out, they scream, they cuss, they hit things, anger and depression sit on their shoulders weighing them down. When I first started working there, I thought a few of the kids were possessed, their actions were so severe. As you hear small pieces of their story you start to understand why they act out. They might suffer from a mental illness or the maddening memories of severe abuse. Now, I don’t wonder if these kids are possessed anymore, I wonder about the people who did this to these kids. What drove these parents or family members to this depth of indifference, addiction or neglect?
Over time with treatment, consistency, and counseling they begin to see a future for themselves. They start acting like a kid should act. They begin to have hope. This verse always seems to fit…
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
They have suffered at the hands of people who should have loved them. But God does love them and He is in the process of giving these kids a future.
This is the part of Christianity that we need to work on, helping the homeless, giving to the needy, allowing orphans the chance to have a family. We need to stop fighting over petty doctrinal differences or focusing on programs for inside the church. There are people who desperately need your help and your love.
Foster a kid