HELPING OTHERS HELP OTHERS
We have always believed that all of our experiences as a family embracing over 500 young gals would be a life changing journey for us as well as for them. Indeed it has proven to be a great training ground for our work with hurting families. We see firsthand how future generations are adversely affected by those who “...did that which was right in their own eyes” (Judges 17:6). Looking back at the 30+ years that women came through the doors of Jesus Cares, we can see how passionate it has made us about reaching others with the message of God's amazing redemption story. We don't just feel privileged helping others; we love making the best of the opportunities that we have to help others help others!
The original vision of a 34 bedroom complex that could maintain a family style of reaching young abandoned and neglected teens never came to fruition. Looking back we can see the challenges of housing so many needy and troubled teens in one place. They tend to make each other sicker in terms of spiritual disease and bondage. Even with adequate supervision and trained houseparents, this model can be risky. At the time, we saw no other way of meeting this vulnerable population. Perhaps our vision was shaped more by our desire to meet the pressing needs and less by the God who designed a way for us to reach out.
We know that it is not always possible for families to take someone into their homes, especially when that individual is wounded and tends to lash out when triggered by past trauma and abuse. It is no easy task to reach a bruised soul but we do have a God who makes all things possible. He has also equipped His body, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to be a witness to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the uttermost parts of the earth (Acts 1:8). Whether reaching out to a relative, or becoming a refuge for an abandoned child across the continent via adoption, we can be sure that God is ready to prepare His church to reach out.
Perhaps the vision took on a new form. Over the years many have come asking how they can be more effective in reaching out to those who need a safe home. There have been dozens of organizations and individuals over the years needing the encouragement to step out into the unfamiliar territories of the local mission field. We are so glad that we can be in a position to help and equip. Maybe the vision can be more practically fulfilled by helping others to make room in their hearts and in their homes for the “...least of these” (Matthew 25:40).
We are not saying that the Lord cannot use a group home situation or that ministries who have this model are putting their residents at risk. We are, however, saying that God loves to set the solitary ones in families where the love and warmth of parents and children can melt stony hearts.
“God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains...” - Psalm 68:6
At Jesus Cares Ministries, we are available to help equip others to do the reaching. I can remember the fear and apprehension we faced, especially in the early years of our ministry. There were no real models around locally at the time to offer encouragement and wisdom. We would like to be available to help mentor those who want to mentor. We believe our many years of developing three different live - in programs as well as our work with benevolence can help benefit others who want to put hands and feet to their Christian witness.
If you or someone you know is struggling with feeling equipped to help in the local mission field, please contact us at 480 831 1737.