Martha A. Stone, M.A.
I wish all children could have parents who would truly do anything for them. Sadly, not all do. According to ChildHelp National 2012 Statistics, child abuse and neglect has risen to epidemic proportions. The United States, the most blessed country in the world, has one of the worst records for abuse among industrialized nations.
There are more than 3 million reports of child abuse made every year. More than 90% of juvenile sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator in some way. It could be a parent, step-parent, grandparent or other extended family member. It could also be a family friend. Child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education.
In one study, children whose parents were abusers were three times more likely to be abused and more than four times more likely to be neglected than children from non-abusing families. Children who experience child abuse or neglect are 9 times more likely to become involved in criminal activity.
The startling fact is about 30% of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the horrible cycle of abuse. Harvest Child Care Ministries exists to break that cycle and demonstrate what the role of a good parent should be. Our mission is to provide a loving home-like atmosphere for abused, neglected, abandoned or troubled children. We believe that a healthy Christian home environment, caring parents and a wholesome family life are fundamental necessities, if not rights, for every child.
One of our former residents posted the following on Facebook recently, “Today I would have to say without Harvest Child Care Ministries in Duffield, VA, I would not have learned many things in life like responsibility and integrity, manners and respect, concentration, focusing…a lot of different little things as a young adult I did not know or had someone to teach me. With the strong and encouraging people that were there to lift me off my feet and set me on solid ground and willing to give me a second chance at trying to be better, I will always admit they were part of my life. So I thank God for the blessing it was to have them part of my life and to thank Him for the Christian based environment, to always stand up and face your problems because God is always on your side. I hope all children that suffer in life find something or someone so amazing as Harvest Child Care Ministries.”
Testimonies of success make the challenges of teaching children who are hard hearted, untrusting, unloving and unmotivated worthwhile. Harvest’s priority is to never give up on a child—even those who give up on themselves. It takes a great investment of time and sacrifice to often make the slightest difference.
Thank you for partnering with us. Your commitment in prayer and financial giving makes it possible for us to invest ourselves in the lives of the children. Our success and the success of the children are your success as well! Thank you for giving to the Lord!