Rebuilding Together by Derek Brown

By Derek Brown, Ph.D., LPC

Executive Director, Arkansas Baptist Children & Family Ministries

A True Servant

By Derek Brown, Ph.D., LPC

Executive Director, Arkansas Baptist Children & Family Ministries

Perhaps you are fortunate enough to know, or have known, someone whose very identity is reflected by their perpetual generosity—this was my Granny. Sometimes I wonder if some people are simply wired differently as they seem to instinctively think of others first. They are the last to eat and the first to give up their seat when the room gets crowded. They are the smiles that make our days a little better and the hugs that keep us going. They are special and everyone deserves to have one of them in their lives. When I was a child, I thought everyone had a Granny like mine. How disheartening to learn as I got older that such people are rare. Many families don’t share the same welcoming experience, and some children don’t have families at all. No wonder our world can be so cruel.

How can we pass on the lesson learned from these true servants? Will the Christ-followers of our day rise up and change the generations? Will the children without family experience this kind of unconditional love? My biggest fear of this season is that Christians will forget the children who need us now more than ever. I believe our kids from hard places may be the biggest victim group of this COVID-19 crisis. They aren’t most likely to die or even to catch the virus. They are, however, the most likely victims to the further unraveling of the family in the stress of this season. How would Jesus have you respond to the children who had it the roughest before Covid-19 and are positioned to have the toughest time after this is all over? Jesus’ actions in Mark 10:13-16 remind us that the love for kids, particularly those in need of hope, is central to who we are as Christ-followers:

People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me. Don’t stop them, because the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” After taking them in his arms, he laid his hands on them and blessed them.

When the church invests in healthy childhoods, the product is a healthy family for the future. Healthy families produce healthy churches that proliferate healthy childhoods. The vision for Arkansas Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries is an Arkansas filled with healthy childhoods, healthy families, and healthy churches. We believe this vision of our state is possible through a strong partnership between ABCH and Arkansas Baptist churches to make Christ-centered counseling, family advocacy, and foster care resources available to vulnerable children and families on our campuses and across Arkansas. To the servants out there who are making this vision a reality: Thank you for your heartfelt commitment to the children and families of Arkansas. You make their world a better place!

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