Regretfully, there are thousands of children across the Commonwealth of Kentucky who are abused and neglected on a daily basis. It is estimated to be 7,000 per year. 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 resulting in the continued disintegration of families.
Fortunately, we Kentucky Baptists have a solution which includes providing these children a safe place to stay 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. Currently Sunrise cares for more than 2,000 of these children in crisis each year through its comprehensive scope of services.
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. It is the only agency of its kind in Kentucky that provides a comprehensive, continuum of care.
So many things have changed in the generations since 1869, including the kind of care most children need today. In the 1800’s there was care for orphans; in the early 1900’s there was care for poverty stricken and abandoned children. Today we 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. So, let’s do it.
How can you plug into being a part of this Christ-honoring solution? First, include in your prayers interim president Dale Suttles, the staff and the volunteer board members who give leadership to this vital ministry. Second, be sure to make a generous contribution through your church or directly to the special SHINE emphasis on Mother’s Day. Third, call toll free 855.334.2273 for information about becoming a foster parent. Finally, call toll free Laurie Valentine or me about making this vital ministry to children a part of your legacy through your estate plan. We look forward to your call.
The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.