By Ken Brooks
Chairman, Georgia Baptist Children’s Home and Family Ministries Board of Trustees
State statistics show that there are approximately 13,000 children in our state’s foster care system. In every county and community in Georgia, we have many mothers and children who are battling to stay off the streets and/or facing homelessness. Many more are overwhelmed by domestic violence and face emotional and physical abuse within their own families. Others are pressed into human exploitation by forced labor and prostitution.
I realize as chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministry, the state of Georgia needs a “bright light.” With so many families in crisis and so many children in need, I am encouraged by the work and efforts of the Georgia Baptist Convention through our associations and its churches working together. It is so very important that we “let our light shine.” Matthew 5:16 says “In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”
We are so blessed that our Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries does just that. Through our efforts, which include special offering and donations, many families and children in need of light during their dimmest hours are helped. We strive to give families a glimmer of hope through the light of Christ as they navigate the darkness in their lives, searching for answers to their problems.
Several campuses offer residential care for troubled children, youth, and teens. Group homes have been established in communities where there is a need for residential care for abused or neglected children. We also offer a teen maternity program that gives pregnant teens a place to live and receive spiritual counseling and medical care. It provides continuing education for the teens along with parenting classes. Each summer a special camp for ages 8-21 is held for persons living with developmental disabilities.
Through each of these and other innovative programs, Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries brings a ray of promise to hurting families by bringing spiritual, emotional, and physical healing. As we approach our annual Children’s Home Offering Day celebration on May 13, I ask that each of you “Let Your Light So Shine.” Pray for each staff member and all families and children in need of Christ’s hope. Pray about how you can volunteer your time, talent, and finances to help minister to the hurting.
As an individual, my light can barely be seen. But when we as individuals come together as churches and associations, our light becomes so much brighter.
To God be the glory!