By: Barry G. Allen- President & CEO
Regretfully, there are thousands of children across the Commonwealth of Kentucky who are abused and neglected on a daily basis. They suffer 24/7 from physical, sexual and emotional abuse. We wish these tragic circumstances would go away, but they do not. In fact, they are escalating. There is evidence the Commonwealth leads the nation in the number of deaths directly related to abuse and neglect.
Fortunately, we Kentucky Baptists have a solution which includes providing these children a safe place to stay ( a refuge), in the care of people who love them and give them hope, which in turn results in healing and the opportunity to mature and live fulfilled lives as adults toward a brighter future.
Sunrise Children’s Services is the oldest Southern Baptist related children’s ministry dating back to its beginning in 1869 when the women of Louisville’s Walnut Street Baptist Church stepped out to do “more for Christ” and opened up a shelter for children left orphaned by the Civil War.
So many things have changed in the generations since then, including the kind of care most children need today. The days of orphanages are past, and we now face challenges best met through foster homes and residential programs. What hasn’t changed is the mandate for us Kentucky Baptists to provide solutions to children who continue to suffer from abuse and neglect. This is no easy task, and it can be accomplished best by cooperation. Indeed, we can do “more for Christ” together than we can alone.
How can you plug into being a part of this Christ-honoring solution? First, include President Bill Smithwick, the staff and the volunteer board members who give leadership to this vital ministry in your prayers. Second, be sure make a generous contribution through your church or directly to the Thanksgiving Offering which benefits this ministry. Third, call 855.334.2273 for information about becoming a foster parent. Finally, call Laurie Valentine or me about making Sunrise a part of your estate stewardship plan.