Salt & Light: A Guide to Loving Northwest Indiana First Edition, 2011., All Rights Reserved Editors: Jason Topp 1VL`4H`ÄLSK Book Designer: Stacy Layman, Shortyred Designs, Hobart, IN
Copyright © 2011 by Bethel Church, 10202 Broadway, Crown Point, IN 46307 All Rights Reserved Printed and bound locally by Vision Integrated Graphics.
Marquette Park Beach, Gary, IN
Photographers: Jacque Miller, 1HJX\L4PSSLY7OV[VNYHWO`, Gary, IN Jen Topp, 1LU;VWW7OV[VNYHWO`, Cedar Lake, IN Jessica Isensee, >OP[L/HY]LZ[7OV[VNYHWO`, Portage, IN 1VL`4H`ÄLSK*YV^U7VPU[05 Kevin Smith, +V\SVZ7OV[VNYHWO`, Crown Point, IN Kirsten Dixon, 2PYZ[LU+P_VU7OV[VNYHWO`, Crown Point, IN Wendy Bunch, >LUK`)\UJO7OV[VNYHWO`, Crown Point, IN
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This guidebook would never have been envisioned if it wasnâ€™t for the exceptional work of trailblazers like Heidi Unruh and Andy Rittenhouse. Their team started a movement of collaboration and volunteerism in Knoxville, TN through a simiSHYZL[VMN\PKLIVVRZ;OL`OH]LZLLUV]LYJO\YJOLZWHY[ULY[VNL[OLY[VZLY]L[OLJVTTVUNVVK[OYV\NOHUVUWYVĂ„[ organization called Compassion Coalition. Heidi and Andy also consulted with us for Salt & Light: A Guide to Loving 5VY[O^LZ[0UKPHUH;OLPYL_WLYPLUJLZ^LYLPU]HS\HISL[VZOHWPUN[OLĂ„UHSN\PKLIVVRMVY5VY[O^LZ[0UKPHUH>LHYL thankful for their visionary spirit and willingness to help. >LHYLMVYL]LYNYH[LM\S[V;YH]PZ=H\NOU^OVĂ„YZ[IYV\NO[[OL]PZPVUMYVT2UV_]PSSL[V5VY[O^LZ[0UKPHUH/LW\[ together the initial team of volunteers, cast the vision of what could be in Northwest Indiana, and provided much wisdom on researching a community. He challenged our paradigms and encouraged us to dream. God used Travis to ignite a spark that we trust will become a blaze of community transformation in our region. We also acknowledge the work of the Salt & Light Core Team over the last 2 years. Thank you for never giving up. Â‹ Brandon Funtall provided hours of tireless research for the Ways to Connect sections. He also conducted a survey of local churches. Â‹ Derric Isensee oversaw and conducted many interviews over the last two years. His dedication to the project has been invaluable. Â‹ Darryl Ford excelled in interviewing key stakeholders in our community. Â‹ Jena Bellezza brought a large network of friends and associates. Her contacts proved useful to guiding us forward. She also conducted interviews of key stakeholders. Â‹ Kim Hall provided much encouragement and prayer, and also assisted with our focus groups. Â‹ 4PJOLSSL3LLIYV\NO[`LHYZVMUVUWYVĂ„[L_WLYPLUJL[V[OL[HISLHUKWYV]PKLKOLSW^P[OYLZLHYJOMVJ\ZNYV\WZ and interviews. Â‹ Mike and Sarah Pavlik contributed their expertise in research for our chapter on children and youth. They also WYV]PKLKPUZPNO[PU[V[OLW\ISPZOPUNHUKUVUWYVĂ„[^VYSKZ Â‹ Nancy Robinson stepped out of her comfort zone and conducted focus groups for all three chapters. Â‹ Nicole Schmied shined as she conducted focus groups on families and education. Â‹ Stacy Knox was an incredible cheerleader and prayer warrior for the entire project. Â‹ A special thanks goes to Pastor Chris Carr, of Bethel Church, for understanding the vision of Salt & Light, his constant support, and his tremendous patience. We are so thankful to Bethel for underwriting much of the cost for Salt & Light 1st Edition.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS CONTINUED We express our gratitude to Kevin Smith, Kirsten Dixon, Jacqueline Miller, Jen Topp, Jessica Isensee, and Wendy Bunch, our wonderful photographers who helped splash this guidebook with color and character. We are thankful for their willingness to use their talents and equipment to further Godâ€™s work. We thank Jeremy Taylor for his fantastic editing ^VYRHUK^LHJRUV^SLKNLV\YWYVVMYLHKLYZ)HYI4H`Ă„LSK*OLYY`/VMMULYHUK:OLYY`(RL`MVY[OLPYOLSW>LHYLHSZV thankful for the many hours logged by our graphic designer, Stacy Layman. She did a fabulous job bringing her creativity into the design of this guidebook and making it come alive. We are indebted to the 19 local authors who contributed essays to this guidebook. You can read their bios in the Final Thoughts section at the back of the book. We are thankful for the many stakeholders and local leaders who gave up their time for interviews, focus groups, and emails back and forth. They were so gracious with their time and support, and always made themselves available. We are especially thankful for the organizations and individuals featured in our Stories of Hope sections â€“ not only for their time, but more importantly for their service to our community. Cedar Lake, IN
A WORD FROM THE EDITORS 1VL`4H`Ă„LSK*V,KP[VY7YVQLJ[+PYLJ[VYMVY! I am eternally grateful that God called me to this project. It has been an honor to work alongside Andy Rittenhouse, Travis Vaughn, and Heidi Unruh. What a privilege to continue their legacy of seeking unity of the body in loving our neighbors. I cannot even begin to thank my wife, Julie, for her patience and understanding through many nights of research, studying statistics, and meetings. She is always a constant source of encouragement and strength, and I love her dearly. I am thankful for Chris Carr catching the vision of Salt & Light and allowing me to pursue my dream of seeing it to completion. Lastly, I want to thank Jason Topp for his unwavering leadership and guidance for the whole team as we took this journey together. 1HZVU;VWW*V,KP[VY7YVQLJ[+PYLJ[VYMVY! This process has taught me to view our region through the eyes of Jesus, and to love it with my life. I am forever grateful for Travis Vaughn, who challenged me to escape my comfort zone and to come along on a captivating journey. Iâ€™m honored to not only have met the editors of Salt & Light Knoxville, Andy Rittenhouse and Heidi Unruh, but to now call them my friends. Their passion for seeking the welfare of cities for Jesusâ€™ sake is inspiring. I am thankful for Chris Carr, who challenged me to pursue a new endeavor. Iâ€™m incredibly grateful for my wife, Jen, whose tremendous love and supWVY[JHYYPLKTL[OYV\NO[OPZLU[PYL\UKLY[HRPUN3HZ[S`0ÂťTKLLWS`PUKLI[LK[VT`MYPLUK1VL`4H`Ă„LSKMVYOPZWHZZPVU drive, and care in seeing this project to completion â€“ you are a great example of what it means to love God and love neighbors. Our Dream We pray that God uses this simple book to spark a dynamic movement of collaborative service across Northwest Indiana â€“ one that seeks the welfare of our communities and saturates our region with the Gospel. We long to see every church member displaying radical generosity and actively engaged in spreading the glory of Christ by loving their neighbors as themselves. We trust that as you read the chapters of this book, you will begin to see the concerns of our community through Godâ€™s eyes and discover that each issue is deeply spiritual. As such, if we only make Northwest Indiana great by loving our neighbors, and share not Christ, then we have merely bandaged the wounds of humanity. We believe Godâ€™s church has the amazing potential to be the means of community and individual transformation through the redemptive work of Christ. It is our hope and prayer that gospel-centered churches throughout our region can join together - under the unity of the Spirit and in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:3) - to proclaim the greatness of our Lord. May the incredible hard work by the many partners who served so well on this project signify just the beginning of an exciting salt and light journey. FWPczb8]bXST}XXX
PREFACE A GUIDE TO THE GUIDEBOOK This book is the culmination of nearly two years of research, interviews, and focus groups of stakeholders in Northwest Indiana. It outlines what we found to be not only key issues affecting our region, but also great building blocks for community transformation. These community assets are conveyed throughout the book, but particularly noted in our Ways to Connect and Stories of Hope sections. In our research, three areas that affect Northwest Indiana regardless of social status, education level, or race surfaced repeatedly. These three areas fall under the broad category of family restoration. :WLJPĂ„JHSS`[OL`HYL:PUNSL7HYLU[PUN*OPSKYLU @V\[OHUK4HYYPHNL -HTPS` CWXbVdXSTQ^^ZUTPcdaTbcW^bTXbbdTbPbcWaTTRWP_cTabTPRWfXcWcWTU^[[^fX]VbcadRcdaT) Â‹ Glimpse in the Life: A short biographical sketch allowing you to step into the life of someone dealing with a speJPĂ„JPZZ\L Â‹ A Focus Essay: A detailed, experience and statistic-driven essay on the issue as it pertains to Northwest Indiana, as well as suggestions on how you can be a part of the solution. Â‹ Fast Facts: Sidebars with more in-depth statistical analysis and information. Â‹ A Story of Hope: A story highlighting an organization or individual who has made great strides to serve the community in a particular area. Â‹ A Biblical View: An essay describing Godâ€™s heart for each area and what the Bible teaches us in regards to it. Â‹ Ways to Connect: A listing of organizations, agencies, and churches doing work in each area, and how you can volunteer alongside them to help serve Northwest Indiana. A Few General Notes Â‹ We realize there are more issues and assets than what is outlined in this book. It is our hope that as the communityâ€™s heart is drawn together over these topics, a larger team will be assembled to complete further, more comprehensive editions of the Salt & Light Guidebook. Â‹ -VY[OLĂ„YZ[LKP[PVU^LOH]LJOVZLU[VMVJ\ZV\YZ[H[PZ[PJHSYLZLHYJOVU3HRL*V\U[`05K\L[V[OLV]LY^OLSTPUN amount of information available. It is our hope that in future editions, a larger area will be represented more fully. Â‹ Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard VersionÂŽ (ESVÂŽ), copyright ÂŠ 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Â‹ ;OL[HISLZMYVT[OL<:*LUZ\Z)\YLH\ÂťZ(TLYPJHU*VTT\UP[`:\Y]L`(*:^LYLNLULYH[LKI`1VL`4H`Ă„LSK \ZPUN(TLYPJHU-HJ[-PUKLY;OL(TLYPJHU-HJ[-PUKLY^LIZP[LPZO[[W!MHJ[Ă„UKLYJLUZ\ZNV]-VY[OLZHRLVMZWHJL the website will not be repeated in the footnotes. Â‹ All of the maps and many of the tables were generated with data from the U.S. Census Bureauâ€™s American
*VTT\UP[`:\Y]L`;OLZLLSLTLU[Z^LYLJYLH[LKI`1VL`4H`Ă„LSK\ZPUN(TLYPJHU-HJ[-PUKLYH[MHJ[Ă„UKLYJLUZ\Z gov. For the sake of space the website will not be repeated in the endnotes. Notes on Ways to Connect Â‹ Information in the Ways to Connect sections came mainly from our research, interviews, and focus groups. We apologize if your ministry or organization was not included. We would love to learn more about your group for later editions of the Salt & Light Guidebook. Â‹ :VTLVM[OL]VS\U[LLYVWWVY[\UP[PLZOH]LYLZ[YPJ[PVUZYLSH[LK[VHNL[YHPUPUNIHJRNYV\UKJOLJRMHP[OHMĂ„SPH[PVU VYV[OLYX\HSPĂ„JH[PVUZ6YNHUPaH[PVUZTH`HSZVYLX\PYL]VS\U[LLYZ[VJVTTP[[VHJLY[HPUU\TILYVMOV\YZVY[PTL frame for service. These may not necessarily be listed in the Ways to Connect section. Â‹ 6YNHUPaH[PVUZTH`OH]LTHU`TVYLVWWVY[\UP[PLZMVY`V\YPU]VS]LTLU[[OHU[OLML^SPZ[LK>LOH]L[YPLK[V provide a sampling of ideas to help you or your group get started. We encourage you to contact the organizations KPYLJ[S`[VĂ„UKV\[HSS[OL^H`Z]VS\U[LLYZJHUNL[PU]VS]LK Â‹ Ways to Connect does not include all the wonderful ministries run by churches. We suggest you contact your ULPNOIVYOVVKJO\YJOLZ[VZLL^OH[WYVNYHTZ[OL`OH]LILMVYL`V\Z[HY[HTPUPZ[Y`WYVNYHT>L[Y\Z[`V\^PSSĂ„UK many fun and dynamic ways to serve your community through local churches. 7^fc^<PZTcWT<^bc^UCWXb1^^Z Â‹ 7YH`Âś>LHYLJVUĂ„KLU[[OH[HZ`V\YLHK[OPZIVVR`V\YOLHY[^PSSILX\PJRLULK^P[OHWHZZPVU[VZLY]LHUKSV]L your community. Please take time to pray and ask God to lead you to what he is doing in the community. Pray through the statistics in each chapter, pray for the organizations in the Ways to Connect Section, and praise God for the wonderful Stories of Hope. Â‹ Learn â€“ If God is tugging on your heart toward a certain issue or area, take time to learn more about that topic. Find the people and organizations in your area that are already working in these areas, and see what you can learn from them. Â‹ *VUULJ[ â€“ Serving in groups can help prevent burnout, and it provides great fellowship opportunities. Find others in your church and neighborhood who share the same heart for the community. Read and pray through the book [VNL[OLY<ZL[OLYLĂ…LJ[PVUX\LZ[PVUZSPZ[LKPULHJOVM[OL-VJ\Z,ZZH`ZHZHN\PKLMVYNYV\WZ[\KPLZ Â‹ Go! â€“ Now you are ready to embark on a great journey of service. Be careful, you most likely wonâ€™t come back the same. Remember, along the way there will be risks to take, challenges to conquer, and hardships to endure. Ministry wonâ€™t always be comfortable, but it will be worth it. *VU[PU\LKVU[OLUL_[WHNL FWPczb8]bXST}e
PREFACE CONTINUED Â‹ Renew â€“ Service takes a lot of energy, and we can sometimes get burned out. Make sure you take time to renew your sense of calling. Re-read the chapters of this book, pray again over [OLZ[H[PZ[PJZHUKĂ„UKV[OLYZ[V share in your walk of service. Â‹ Take Joy â€“ May you delight in learning more about your community and the great people who call it home. May you grow closer to God as you step out in faith to serve him. May your strength be found in nothing less than Jesus Christ. May you take joy in your new friendships, new experiences, and new lifestyle of service. Take joy that you are a part of the Lordâ€™s work. 4\JOVM[OPZWYLMHJL^HZHKHW[LKMYVT Andy Rittenhouse and Heidi Unruh, eds., :HS[ 3PNO[!(.\PKL[V3V]PUN2UV_]PSSL ;OPYK,KP[PVU2UV_]PSSL;5!*VTWHZZPVU *VHSP[PVU
South Shore Line, East Chicago Station
A Message | From Salt & Light Knoxville The team that put this project together is contagious. Iâ€™ve spent time with them. If you choose to read this book and give heed to its message, your life will be contagious too. ;OLZLMVSRZOH]LJH\NO[Ă„YLMVY.VKHUKMVY[OPZJVTT\UP[`;OL`SV]L1LZ\Z[OL`SV]L`V\ (or they would not have spent all this time on this project), and they have learned to love Northwest Indiana. Furthermore, they have discovered that Jesus is more real and more involved in Northwest Indiana than they ever imagined. Now they are throwing open their arms and lives to embrace you and to invite you to join their cause. 6]LY[LU`LHYZHNVPU2UV_]PSSL;LUULZZLLHZPTPSHYLMMVY[^HZIPY[OLK[VKPZJV]LY[OL needs of a community and meet them. Along the way we discovered we had more strengths than needs and more hope than despair. We discovered the diverse body of Christ is truly beautiful, and that we display Christ most vividly when we serve and love our community together. Through our combined efforts, thousands and thousands of hours have been invested in our community, and many collaborative initiatives have been launched. Some have failed, but some have succeeded wildly. As the seasons pass, we are slowly becoming a different community. Knoxville is a very different setting than Northwest Indiana. Your adventure will follow a KPMMLYLU[WH[O[OHUV\YZKPK)\[0HTJVUĂ„KLU[P[^PSSSLHK[V[OLZHTLKLZ[PUH[PVU!.VKÂťZ glory revealed in â€œfaith expressing itself through loveâ€? (Galatians 5:6). With utmost humility, I urge you to make time to pursue Christâ€™s vision for your community. Read this resource carefully and act on what you discover in these pages. Learn to love, respect and hear people who share the same air you breathe. And try to overcome the isolation which is pandemic in our society through thoughtful collaboration for the sake of his name, for the healing of your life, and for the renewal of hope in Northwest Indiana. Âˇ(UK`9P[[LUOV\ZL7YVQLJ[3LHKLY:HS[ 3PNO[2UV_]PSSL;5
A LOOK AHEAD
Acknowledgements A Word from the Editors Preface â€“ A Guide to the Guidebook A Message from Salt & Light Knoxville Introduction ;V(SS9LHKLYZ>OV*HYL(IV\[6\Y9LNPVU Why Study a Community?
i iii iv vii 1 4
2WP_cTa )BX]V[T?PaT]cX]V Glimpse in the Life of Mia, a Single Mother Glimpse in the Life of Mike Herz, a Single Father Focus Essay â€“ Single Parenting Story of Hope â€“ "Learning to Appreciate the Value of Life" :[VY`VM/VWLÂś -PUKPUN16@(TPKZ[[OL;YPHSZ A Biblical View on Male Leadership Ways to Connect
Glimpse in the Life of Abused & Neglected Children Focus Essay â€“ Children & Youth :[VY`VM/VWLÂś -VZ[LY*HYL (KVW[PVU!6UL-HTPS`Z1V\YUL` :[VY`VM/VWLÂś 6UH7(;/MYVT7YLZZ\YLK[V/HWW` A Biblical View on Youth Ministry Ways to Connect
Glimpse in the Life of a Modern Family Focus Essay â€“ Healthy Families Story of Hope â€“ "Marriage Restored, Life Renewed" A Biblical View on Marriage & Family Ways to Connect
7 8 9 15 18 20
25 26 38 42
$ 51 53 58 60 64
A Perspective on Hunger A Perspective on Gangs (7LYZWLJ[P]LVU/\THU :L_;YHMĂ„JRPUN A Perspective on Economic Development A Perspective on Widows
=TgcBcT_b Embarking on a Salt & Light Journey Helpful Tips for Engaging in Salt & Light Ministry Salt & Light Starting Points for Churches
5X]P[CW^dVWcb Epilogue: A Prayer for Northwest Indiana General Demographics and Maps Contributor Bios Endnotes Quick Reference Guide
69 72 76 78
' 81 84 87
'' 89 90 94 96 Inside Back Cover
This book is meant to stir your hearts for our community and help you see Northwest Indiana through the lens of Jesus â€“ a place he dearly loves and for whom he has given his life. This is your invitation to join together to be the hands and feet of Jesus to a hurting community. Itâ€™s a call to discover our region and understand our citizens. Learning about our communities helps us love them effectively.1 Hearing the cries of our people, the hurts of our brokenhearted, and the needs of our disadvantaged enables us to catch a glimpse of a cause much bigger than ourselves. Understanding the assets, uncovering the building blocks, and recognizing the valuable individuals and organizations that strive daily to make Northwest Indiana great enables us to collaborate more effectively, and with greater purpose. We hope this book sparks a longing inside you to become conduits of Godâ€™s grace, restoration, and renewal. We pray it ignites a dynamic movement of people who embark on a QV\YUL`[VSH\UJOTHNUPĂ„JLU[KLTVUg}FWPczb8]bXST
strations of the Kingdom of God here on earth â€“ to indeed be salt and light.2 This book is written particularly for followers of Jesus who are frustrated with a comfortable faith devoid of practical displays of compassion (James 2:14-17). It is for people who recognize their faith should include JVZ[S`ZHJYPĂ„JLHUKWHZZPVUMVYZLLPUN lives and communities transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is for those who are fed up with a stale Christianity - one that is reduced to Bible study once a week and church on Sundays. It is for those who realize there must be more to life than our work and hobbies. And it is for people tired of tuning out the cries of our community and turning a deaf ear to hurting people. Imagine for a moment a Northwest Indiana where Godâ€™s heart for the fatherless, the widow, and the foreigner (Deut. 10:18) is championed by churches that display unity, show respect for one another, and demonstrate concern for the common good.
>OH[PMV\YYLNPVU^HZUV[KLĂ„ULK I`P[ZĂ…H^ZHUKPTWLYMLJ[PVUZ I\[YH[OLYI`Ă…V\YPZOPUNMHTPSPLZ thriving children, and a healthy and sustainable economy? Imagine a place where Christians from various denominations, ethnicities, and races came alongside one another to help those in need. Picture a community where single parents are connected with great support systems, fatherless children are mentored by caring Christian TLUHUKIYVRLUMHTPSPLZĂ„UKOVWL and restoration. Imagine a Northwest Indiana where racial diversity is no longer a festering source of tension, but rather a celebration of Godâ€™s unique image-bearing design, and a foretaste of heavenâ€™s collection of every tongue, tribe, and nation (Rev 5:9). We hope your hearts are motivated by what you read. We pray that God produces a deep and active faith in you that longs to see families made whole, children receive adequate care, and
individuals break free from cycles of generational poverty. 6MJV\YZL^LYLHSPaL[OPUNZOLYL wouldnâ€™t be perfect. Mistrust, mistreatment, and misconduct would still exist. But it could be better. There is much work to do to create this kind of Northwest Indiana, and it will require [OLZHJYPĂ„JLVMJVTWHZZPVUH[LWLVWSL who live with radically generous hearts and willing hands that work toward an enhanced community. If you long to see a better future for Northwest Indiana, come join us as we embark on an exciting journey to learn where God is at work, and to discover how we can join him in the transformation of our communities and its citizens for the great name of Jesus.
6th and Broadway, Gary, IN
Photo by Wendy Bunch
TO ALL READERS
WHO CARE ABOUT OUR REGION This book is primarily written through the lens of an informed biblical worldview. Although the Gospel is what motivates us to serve the good of our communities, we SVUNMVYHSSYLHKLYZ[VĂ„UK[OPZIVVROLSWM\SPU^VYRPUN[V^HYKZHIL[[LYM\[\YLMVY Northwest Indiana. We trust that much of what we desire in our region â€“ healthy families, thriving children, safe communities, and positive role models â€“ are the corresponding longings of our fellow neighbors. The reason we talk a great deal about the church throughout this book is because we believe it is Godâ€™s primary means of bringing hope, restoration, renewal, and joy [VV\YJVTT\UP[PLZ6MJV\YZL^LYLJVNUPaL[OLNYLH[^VYROHWWLUPUNV\[ZPKLV\Y regionâ€™s churches, and we are particularly thankful for those who labor vigorously for the welfare of Northwest Indiana. We celebrate their many contributions. >LWYH`[OH[HSSYLHKLYZYLNHYKSLZZVM[OLPYIHJRNYV\UKVYMHP[O^PSSĂ„UK[OL ensuing pages to be inspiring, challenging, and motivating. We also extend the PU]P[H[PVU[V^VYR[VNL[OLYPUJVSSHIVYH[P]LZLY]PJL[V^HYK[OLĂ…V\YPZOPUNVMV\Y communities. Lastly, if you are prompted to learn more about the one we aspire to imitate through our service, Jesus Christ, we encourage you to seek. He is the one whom the whole Bible points to, the promised rescuer who came to heal the hurting, restore the broken, liberate the oppressed, and proclaim the good news of eternal salvation MVYHSS^OVILSPL]L1VL`4H`Ă„LSKQVL`TH`Ă„LSK'NTHPSJVTHUK1HZVU;VWW QHZVUY[VWW'NTHPSJVT^LSJVTL[OLVWWVY[\UP[`[VKPHSVN\L^P[O`V\HIV\[^O` we love Jesus and, more remarkably, how he loves us. In addition, we recommend you check out www.viewthestory.com to learn more about Godâ€™s redemption narrative. Thank you for reading Salt & Light, and for working hard to make this community great. We look forward to embarking together on a journey toward a better future. Sincerely, The Editors FWPczb8]bXST}"
WHY STUDY A COMMUNITY? By Travis Vaughn and Heidi Unruh1
God cares about your community. He cares about its institutions, its arteries, its companies, and its public spaces. He loves the people that make up the community. He has scattered his people throughout neighborOVVKZJOHUULSZVMPUĂ…\LUJLHUK sectors of the community so that they can love the community as kingdomminded neighbors. Thus one of the reasons we study the community is so we can learn how to be better kingdom-minded neighbors.
5. The more you can unlock the complex realities around you, the better you can serve the community and seek its Ă…V\YPZOPUN(UKZVHNYV^PUN\UKLYstanding of the communityâ€™s past and present, its people and its character, will greatly enhance your churchâ€™s capacity for effective and meaningful ministry. By examining your community, you will want to: 1. Get the big picture of the communityâ€™s needs and ministry opportunities. Basically, you want to get a handle on whatâ€™s going on in your #}FWPczb8]bXST
context. Whatâ€™s reality in your community? Appreciate the ways that God has been at work in your communityâ€™s past and present. Assess how churches in your comT\UP[`OH]LPUĂ…\LUJLKHUKOH]L ILLUPUĂ…\LUJLKI`[OLJ\S[\YHS context. Become a better steward of the human capital and material resources with which God has blessed the community. Minister in a way that takes into account the history, identity, diversity, and complexity of the community and its neighborhoods (avoiding simplistic solutions or Â¸X\PJRĂ„_LZÂš Identify partners and assets for meaningful ministry, as well as anticipate potential obstacles to effective ministry.
FWPcXbP2^\\d]XchBcdSh. Community study â€“ encompassing the city as a whole, or focused on a speJPĂ„JULPNOIVYOVVKVYWLVWSLNYV\WÂś means drawing on various sources of information to put together a picture
of life in the community that can be used to answer key questions: Â‹ >OH[PUZ[P[\[PVUZJ\S[\YHSPUĂ…\ences, and other forces affect the quality of life in the community? Â‹ What are the needs and dreams of the community? Â‹ What are the assets and strengths of the community? Â‹ What are the possibilities for ministry to make life better for everyone in the community? Â‹ Who are potential ministry partners in the community? These discoveries help churches who care about the city address a core missional question: How is God at work in this community, and how can churches, acting as agents of the kingdom of God, join in this activity for the glory of God and for the good of the community? 7^fc^;TPa]PQ^dccWT2^\\d]Xch A community study can draw on multiple sources of information, including research reports, maps, and personal observation.
A wealth of information on your community is available online. Sometimes you simply have to know where to SVVR6[OLYWV[LU[PHSS`]HS\HISL sources of information for learning about your community include local colleges and universities, the city planning department, hospitals, and UVUWYVĂ„[VYNHUPaH[PVUZZ\JOHZ[OL United Way and local community action centers (CAC). 0AT[PcX^]P[0bbTc1PbTS0__a^PRW A community study with the goal of transformation is not arm-chair analysis. You have to approach the community more like getting to know a friend than like studying a subject for a school report. This kind of study values building relationships with, and seeking input from, members of the community. Taking the time to include others allows you to get beyond mere information to the heart of the matter, and to the hearts of the people.
all things in a community that can be used in some way to make life better for everyone.â€? Asset-based analysis assumes that every community is rich with gifts and potential, regardless of the challenges it may face. This encourages us to look for opportunities to connect with, strengthen, and build on the communityâ€™s capacity to address its own ULLKZ0UJVU[YHZ[KLĂ„UPUNHJVTT\UP[`ZVSLS`PU[LYTZVMP[ZKLĂ„JPLUcies is demoralizing. We may actually perpetuate problems by seeking to â€œrescueâ€? people rather than empowering and walking alongside them. A community study is like a treasure hunt for the wheat of Godâ€™s gifts and
activity, often hidden among the tares (Matthew 13:24-30). As people who care about the city, you have to begin by asking the Lord of the harvest to show you where the goodness of his reign is evident, and you have to assess where the human project has shown signs of brokenness. Where needs exist, you have to â€œerect signs of Godâ€™s ultimate reign,â€? as the late David Bosch would say. As you develop relationships and learn about your community, you will discover more of Godâ€™s heart for the community, and you will be better equipped to act on the vision inspired by these discoveries. Studying our region can help unlock the keys to a Ă…V\YPZOPUNJVTT\UP[`
An asset-based approach to community study means paying attention not only to the communityâ€™s needs and problems, but also to its resources and strengths. This approach, writes Jay Van Groningen, leads to â€œseeing FWPczb8]bXST}$
40% of Lake Countyâ€™s family households are single-parent homes. 7OV[VI`PZ[VJRWOV[VJVTKPNP[HSZRPSSL[
GLIMPSE IN THE LIFE OF MIA, A SINGLE MOTHER By Mike Wittig
Mia is a single mom with six children. She resides in Hammond and works as a teacher to students with special needs. Her days are busy and challenging as she strives to make ends meet, involve herself in her childrenâ€™s school and activi[PLZTHPU[HPU[OLPYOVTLHUKĂ„SS[OLWHYLU[HSYVSLVMIV[OTV[OLYHUKMH[OLY Life wasnâ€™t always this complex for Mia. For twenty years she was married and lived a relatively simple lifestyle in Mississippi. She was a Christian wife and mother who had the privilege of working from home as the householdâ€™s fulltime caregiver. Then her family was ripped apart by divorce. Mia was left alone, without a career, without a husband, and without the security that her previous lifestyle had provided. Downtrodden, but not disheartened, Mia and the kids moved to Northwest Indiana to be around her family, who were all supportive and helpful. She also found comfort in a small church, where the pastor and his wife made a conscious effort to meet some of her familyâ€™s needs. ;OYV\NOV\[[OPZKPMĂ„J\S[[PTL4PHZV\NO[ZVSHJLMYVT[OL3VYK>OLUHZRLK^OH[1LZ\Z*OYPZ[OHZTLHU[[VOLYZOL states that he has been her all, her source, and her strength. The personal relationship she has cultivated with Christ over the years helped to sustain her during those dark days, and continues to sustain her today. When we asked how a church could assist Mia and other single mothers in situations similar to hers, Mia didnâ€™t ask for a checkâ€”even though monetary help is often greatly needed. She didnâ€™t ask for groceries eitherâ€”even though the cupboards are often wanting. She simply asked to be discipled by other God-fearing women. She said, â€œWomen in the community need biblical teaching and mentoring regarding marriage, motherhood, femininity, and God.â€? She then asked that the church â€œplease provide help in this area.â€? Imagine if the church responded to Miaâ€™s plea and provided both discipleship and community for single moms and their children. The impact of such an effort would be monumental. Not only would more single moms feel loved and OLSWLKHZ[OL`HYLKPZJPWSLKI`V[OLY^VTLUI\[[OLPYJOPSKYLU^V\SKĂ„UKT\JOULLKLKHJJLW[HUJLHUKTLU[VYZOPWHZ well. May God ignite a spark in our hearts that burns with compassion for the single moms who reside in our cities and ULPNOIVYOVVKZHUKTH`[OLUHTLVM1LZ\Z*OYPZ[ILNSVYPĂ„LK[OYV\NO[OLJO\YJOÂťZSV]LMVY[OL\UKLYZLY]LKHUKPTWV]LYished. (KHW[LKMYVTH:HS[ 3PNO[PU[LY]PL^^P[O4PH(WYPS
GLIMPSE IN THE LIFE OF MIKE HERZ, A SINGLE FATHER )`1VL`4H`Ă„LSK
Beep-beep-beep-beep. Itâ€™s 4:15 a.m. and time for Mike Herz, a single dad, to wake up his six-year-old son, Ike. Getting ready with his son in the morning is one of Mikeâ€™s favorite times as a dad. He knows he may not see his son again till late evening or even the following morning. Sometimes Ike sleeps over at the sitterâ€™s if Mike is stuck late at work, so he tries to make the most of their time together before rushing him to the sitter. They have breakfast together and spend time talking. 1\Z[HM[LY[OLKP]VYJL4PRL[YPLK[VĂ„UKH^H`[VILHZPUNSLKHKHUKJVU[PU\L^VYRPUNI\[OLJV\SKUÂť[RLLW\W[OL OLJ[PJZJOLK\SL/LYLTLTILYZVULKH`^OLU0RLOHK[VZ[H`H[Ă„]LKPMMLYLU[OVTLZ[OYV\NOV\[[OLKH`^P[O4PRLTHRing all the arrangements by phone during work. So Mike quit his job for two years in order to spend more time with his son. If you ask Mike what the difference is between then and now, he will say his support system. Since his divorce, Mike has built up a strong network of family and friends who can watch Ike. He says his support structure is the thing that keeps him sane. He wonders how people who do not have the Lord and strong community support get out of bed every morning. â€œBeing a single parent is hard,â€? Mike says. â€œIt can be an emotional battle every day.â€? (KHW[LKMYVTH:HS[ 3PNO[PU[LY]PL^ ^P[O4PRL/LYa(WYPS
Single dad, Mike Herz, and his son Ike.
SINGLE PARENTING )`1HZVU;VWW
Single parents may be the most resilient individuals in the world. Functioning as both dad and mom is challenging. Handling the roles of comforter, provider, nurturer, chauffeur, nurse, cook, and disciplinarian can exhaust even the most energetic man or woman.1 Although cohesive families were Godâ€™s design from the beginning2, we know that by choice or circumstance THU`PUKP]PK\HSZĂ„UK[OLTZLS]LZPU single-parent roles. Churches must recognize that single parenting is an increasing trend in America, and they must be willing to creatively provide assistance to single-parent families.3
0B]P_bW^c^UBX]V[T?PaT]cX]VX] Lake County According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of single parents nationwide has tripled since 1970.5 Today, nearly one-third of all families with children are headed by single parents.6 With over 56,000 households with children under 18 in Lake County, an estimated 22,439 are single-parent homes.7 This represents 40 percent of Lake Countyâ€™s population.8
With good support systems, single mothers and fathers and their children can thrive.4 Ministry programs that provide support networks can have a huge impact on the success of single parents.
Lake County is well above the national average for unmarried birthrates. Consider that the unmarried birthrate nationwide is a little more than 34 percent,9 while in Lake County almost half of all births are to unmarried mothers.10 In many of our urban communities, the percentage of unmarried births is 75 percent and above. Nearly 80 percent of African-American births in Lake County are to unwed mothers.11 These are startling statistics.
Churches and communities have a tremendous opportunity to supply single parents with the resources they ULLK[VĂ…V\YPZO
Many single parents in Lake County Z[Y\NNSL[VĂ„UKLTWSV`TLU[[OH[WH`Z a reasonable wage. Although roughly 88 percent of single mothers in the
workforce are employed, it is estimated that 54 percent of single moms live below the poverty level. Economic strains are more prevalent in single parent households, as evidenced by the fact that only 10 percent of married families live below the poverty line.12 The demands of raising children make P[KPMĂ„J\S[MVYZPUNSLWHYLU[Z[VL_WHUK their educational attainment and to gain the necessary skills for career advancement. Nearly 30 percent of single mothers in Lake County dropped out of high school, only two percent have a bachelorâ€™s degree or higher.13 A single mother with children earns a median income of $20,105, compared to a married coupleâ€™s median family income of $72,445.14 In 2009, 26,555 women and children were on the federal WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) program.15 Fully 67 percent of children under [OLHNLVMĂ„]L^OVSP]L^P[OHZPUNSL mother live below the poverty level.16 BX]V[T?PaT]cX]V}(
?^cT]cXP[4UUTRcb^U5PcWTa0QbT]RT ^]2WX[SaT] Undoubtedly, there are countless single parents in Lake County who raise their children in safe and loving environments. However, the possible negative effects on children growing up in single-parent, fatherless homes have been widely documented. ChilKYLUPUMH[OLYHIZLU[OVTLZHYLĂ„]L
times more likely to be poor than children in homes with two parents, and a child growing up without a father in the home is 54 percent more likely to be poorer than his or her absent father.17 Children who grow up in father-absent homes have a higher probability of behavioral issues at school and are
Advantages of a Healthy Marriage }
A single motherâ€™s median family income is only 28% of the Lake County median family income ($20,105 vs. $72,442) [US Census Bureau, Median Family Income in the Past 12 Months, In 2009 Inf lation-Adjusted Dollars (2005-2009 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates).]
A child raised by a never-married mother is over nine times more likely to be poor than a child in an intact marriage, and twice as likely to be poor as a child of divorce [Robert Rector and Kirk Johnson, The Effects of Marriage and Maternal Education in Reducing Child Poverty, (Heritage Foundation Center for Data Analysis, 2002); Children in Poverty: Profile, Trends, and Issues (Congressional Research Service, 2004). Originally quoted in Andy Rittenhouse and Heidi Unruh, eds., Salt & Light: A Guide to Loving Knoxville, Third Edition (Knoxville, TN: Compassion Coalition, 2009).]
When a two-adult household becomes a female-headed household, 20% enter poverty [A. Rynell, Causes of Poverty: Findings from Recent Research (Mid-America Institute on Poverty, 2008). Originally quoted in Salt & Light: A Guide to Loving Knoxville (2009)]
Children in father-absent homes are five times more likely to be poor, and children growing up without a father in the home are 54% more likely to be poorer than his or her own father [Patrick Fagan et al., The Father Factor (National Fatherhood Initiative), http://www.fatherhood. org/Page.aspx?pid=403.]
more likely to enter the juvenile justice system.18 Fatherless children have a higher occurrence of drug, alcohol, and tobacco use and are generally in poorer physical and mental health.19 They are more likely to be imprisoned for serious crimes as adults, less likely to graduate from high school or college, and more likely to have children out of wedlock.20 Lower educational attainment and less income-earning potential can affect our communities greatly, since growing up in fatherless families continues to affect children well into adulthood. According to Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation, â€œComparing families of the same race and similar incomes, children from broken and single-parent homes are three times more likely to end up in jail by the time they reach age thirty than are children raised in intact married families. Compared to girls raised in similar married families, girls from singleparent homes are more than twice as likely to have a child without being married, thereby repeating the negative cycle for another generation.â€?21 In addition, Rector states, â€œChildren living in single-parent homes are 50 percent more likely to experience poverty as adults when compared to children from intact married homes.
This intergenerational poverty effect persists even after adjusting for the original differences in family income and poverty during childhood.â€?22 Single parents and their children certainly can be successful, and many are; however, they must overcome a range of obstacles in order to truly Ă…V\YPZO;OPZPZ^OLYLJO\YJOLZOH]LH tremendous opportunity to help. Some single parents are begging for help from the local church.23 Churches have a unique opportunity to provide encouragement, teach parenting skills, offer the spiritual mentorship needed to overcome lifeâ€™s trials, HUKOLSWZPUNSLWHYLU[ZĂ„UKHWYHJ[Pcal place in the church family.24
EPaX^db2WP[[T]VTbU^aBX]V[T ?PaT]cb Some of the hardships faced by single parents in Lake County include Ă„UHUJPHSJVUZ[YHPU[ZPKLU[P[`JYPZLZ [YHUZWVY[H[PVUPZZ\LZHUKKPMĂ„J\S[PLZ with relational networks and supports. 5X]P]RXP[2^]bcaPX]cb As noted above, many single parents Z[Y\NNSLĂ„UHUJPHSS`0[ÂťZOHYK[VĂ„UK QVIZ[OH[HYLĂ…L_PISLLUV\NO[V^VYR around the schedule of parenting demands and still pay a reasonable wage â€“ not to mention one that of-
MLYZOLHS[OILULĂ„[ZMVYZPUNSLWHYLU[ families.25 Single parents regularly strain to balance the schedules of their children against the demands of their employers. The types of jobs that most single moms work in do not provide an adequate family income, so itâ€™s KPMĂ„J\S[[VRLLW[OLMHTPS`WYVNYLZZPUN economically.26 As Andy Farmer observes, â€œSingle-parent families typically have constant, legitimate material needsâ€”needs that arenâ€™t solved just by a bag of groceries or a check.â€?27 8ST]cXch2aXbTb 0UTHU`JHZLZP[ÂťZKPMĂ„J\S[MVYZPUNSL parents to identify with others. Many single parents must perform the duties of both mother and father for their JOPSKYLU0[JHUILKPMĂ„J\S[MVYZPUNSL parents to identify with other parents who are married, and it can be just as hard to relate with single individuals who do not have children. Farmer observes, â€œA single parent wrestles every day with a basic identity problem: Am I a single person ^OVOHZWHYLU[PUNYLZWVUZPIPSP[PLZ&6Y am I a parent who basically lives in a single personâ€™s world? Itâ€™s tough to be both all the time.â€?28 It can beJVTLLZWLJPHSS`KPMĂ„J\S[PUWSHJLZVM worship. Many churches do not offer
single-parent support structures, leaving single moms and dads searching to associate with individuals in similar situations.29 CaP]b_^acPcX^]8bbdTb Many single-parent families lack the means necessary to travel throughout the county, whether it is for jobs, after-school activities, or to utilize childcare. This was a recurring theme in many community stakeholder interviews. To make matters worse, many towns have stopped public transportation due to budgetary constraints.30 The effects of not having the proper means of safe and reliable transportation can be devastating on a single-parent famPS`0[ÂťZKPMĂ„J\S[[VTHPU[HPULTWSV`ment if a single parent cannot get to and from work. AT[PcX^]P[=Tcf^aZbP]SBd__^ac It can be tempting for a single parent to withdraw from close relationships HUKĂ„UKJVTMVY[PUZVSP[\KL31 Yet isolation can be disastrous for single parents. Parents who are stressed, overwhelmed, and isolated tend to make poor decisions for themselves and their children.32 Many times single parents do not have a pastor, counZLSVYVYL]LUHILZ[MYPLUK[VJVUĂ„KL in.33 As emphasized in the story of BX]V[T?PaT]cX]V}
The church can be a great place for ZPUNSLWHYLU[Z[VĂ„UK[OLYLSH[PVUHS network and support system they desperately need for success. Churches can directly meet the needs of single parents in a variety of ways:
Solid support systems are a critical component to the success of single mothers and fathers and their children.
Mike Herz, a support system was absolutely critical to his success as a single parent. Mikeâ€™s son, Ike, is also MVY[\UH[L[VOH]LHWVZP[P]LTHSLPUĂ…\ence in his life. Unfortunately, many children of single parents in Lake County do not have the support of a positive male role model to encourage their development,34 and many single parents simply lack a solid support structure to assist them with lifeâ€™s ups and downs. ;TPa]X]Vc^;^eT>daBX]V[T?PaT]cb Healthy families, whether headed by parents who are single or married, LUYPJOV\YJVTT\UP[PLZZPNUPĂ„JHU[S` The local church has an incredible opportunity to cultivate the well-being of single-parent families and positively impact our cities. !}BX]V[T?PaT]cX]V
D]STabcP]S6^Szb7TPacU^aBX]V[T ?PaT]cbP]SCWTXa2WX[SaT] God is a defender of the fatherless and VMMLYZPUĂ„UP[LSV]LMVYWLVWSLLUK\YPUN lifeâ€™s struggles. The sustaining hope for single parents is the fatherhood of God.35 The Bible is full of promises for the burdened, the orphan, and the widow. The psalmist describes God as a â€œFather to the fatherless, a defender of widows,â€? and one who â€œplaces the lonely in families.â€?36 The principle of Godâ€™s support for HSSZPUNSLWHYLU[ZPZĂ„S[LYLK[OYV\NO these promises.37 In a metaphorical yet genuine way, God is the perfect husband of the single parent and the loving father of the fatherless.38
parents as people loved by God. Too often, as churches rightfully uphold the value of two-parent families, they unintentionally exclude or disparage unmarried parents.41 >UUTaP;^eX]V2^]bXbcT]cBd__^ac BhbcT\ Churches must recognize that single parents face unique challenges and need relational support to help them succeed. Many churches provide VUL[PTLĂ„UHUJPHSHZZPZ[HUJL[VZPUNSL parents in a pinch, but offering a longterm, consistent relational approach could prove invaluable for lasting success. In one Salt & Light research interview, Mia, a single mother of six, indicated that what she needs most is to be discipled and mentored by other spiritually mature women. In her opinion, other single mothers in our community need guidance regarding marriage, motherhood, femininity, and God.42
Godâ€™s heart beats with compassion for children of single parents and those who are going it alone.39 He cares deeply for the lonely and provides in the church a tremendous family large LUV\NOMVYL]LY`VUL[VĂ„[PU40
6ULPTHNPUH[P]LL_HTWSLVMLZ[HIlishing a unique support system is an â€œadopt-a-familyâ€? program. Teri Worten Brooks suggests that stable, married families could â€œbless a single [-parent] family with much-needed support, encouragement, and accountability.â€?43
Churches ought to work hard at lovPUNZ\WWVY[PUNHUKHMĂ„YTPUNZPUNSL
Think of the difference such a program could make in the lives of single par-
ents in your community as they glean wisdom from other families regarding many issues related to parenting, employment, and spiritual vitality. The children of single-parent families JV\SKHSZVNYLH[S`ILULĂ„[MYVTL_WVsure to healthy marriages and positive male role models.44 Churches could even consider implementing a male-mentorship program for boys of single moms to encourage positive male bonding experiences. Brooks points out that, â€œHealthy, welladjusted, God-fearing men would be excellent candidates for a Christian mentoring program. Itâ€™s crucial for children of single parents to be exposed to responsible men of integrity [and] faith.â€?45 Mature Christian men could model godliness for sons of single parents and help lead them to a personal relationship with Christ.46 2aTPcXeT[h<TTccWT=TTSb^UBX]V[T ?PaT]cb Ministry initiatives for single parents may require clever thinking. For example, transportation ministries could be a valuable resource for single parents as they struggle with the stress of lifeâ€™s demands and the demands of competing schedules. Volunteers willing to pick children up from school or bring a single parent to work could be a big help for many families.
Consider a car-care program where single parents can receive quarterly oil changes, brake jobs, and miscellaneous repairs on their vehicles. Home maintenance is another area where churches can provide valuable help to single parents who feel overwhelmed with household upkeep. Churches could sponsor lawn-cutting or housepainting services for single moms, helping them out and blessing them considerably.47
Another idea to support single parents could be an academic scholarship or continuing-education fund, whereby churches make grants available for single parents to continue their education and increase their marketable skills.48 Funds to help single parents take classes could be the lift they need to Ă„UPZOHKLNYLLHUKNHPULTWSV`TLU[ that pays a livable wage.
Fast Facts on Single Parenting }
There are an estimated 22,439 single parent households in Lake County, 40% of all households with children [US Census Bureau, 2010 Census. http://factfinder2.census.gov.]
Of those households, 17,714 are female-headed households and 4,725 are male-headed households [US Census Bureau, 2010 Census, http://factfinder2.census.gov.]
30% of single mothers in Lake County did not graduate high school, while only 10% of married mothers did not graduate [US Census Bureau, Women 15-50 Years Who Had A Birth In The Past 12 Months By Marital Status And Education Attainment (2007-2009 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates).]
Only 2% of single mothers in Lake County have a bachelorâ€™s degree or higher compared to 29% of married mothers [Ibid.] 88% of single mothers in the labor force are employed [US Census Bureau, Presence of Own Children under 18 Years by Family Type by Employment Status (2005-2009 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates).]
54% of single mothers in Lake County live below the poverty line and 73% are considered low-income [US Census Bureau, Women 15 to 50 Years Who Had a Birth in the Past 12 Months by Marital Status and Poverty Status (2007-2009 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates).]
Still another idea to empower singleparent families is a â€œChristmas shopâ€? where instead of handing out Christmas gifts to children of single-parent families during the holidays, single parents are encouraged to come and purchase donated items at a much-reduced cost.49 A simple paradigm shift in this type of ministry can do much in the way of nurturing dignity for single parents and empowering them to provide for themselves and their families. For most single parents, programs that encourage self-improvement are far more valuable than a one-time gift. Churches must be careful not to foster a codependent relationship where single parents expect all needs to be met by the church at all times.50 Sometimes ministries that serve impoverished single-parent families can unintentionally make the parents feel like failures for being unable to provide for their own familyâ€™s needs.51
AT\^eT1PaaXTabU^aBX]V[T?PaT]cb c^6Tc8]e^[eTSX]<X]Xbcah As important as it is for churches to creatively meet the needs of single parents, itâ€™s just as critical that they encourage single parents to serve. Full membership in the body of Christ involves responsibilities.52 Juggling the everyday tasks of parenting and LTWSV`TLU[PZKPMĂ„J\S[I\[JO\YJOLZ #}BX]V[T?PaT]cX]V
can call on single parents to serve, even in small or infrequent ways. Serving others pleases God, helps our communities, and models servanthood to the children of single-parent families.53 As Jesus said, â€œItâ€™s more blessed to give than receive.â€?54 6M[LUP[ÂťZKPMĂ„J\S[MVYZPUNSLWHYLU[Z[V get involved in ministries that require a lot of time. This means churches TH`ULLK[VILĂ…L_PISLPU[OLPY\Z\HS way of doing things to include single parents and their children.55
1dX[SX]V1[^RZbU^a7TP[cWh5P\X[XTb Single parenthood need not spell disaster for moms, dads, or children when steps are taken to build systems for a healthy family life. The very fabric of our communities could be changed for the better if churches and
cities in Lake County worked together toward a common vision of strong, stable families. Positive action, taken one step at a time, by both parents and churches JHUYLZ\S[PUĂ…V\YPZOPUNZPUNSLWHYLU[ families. Remember that the God of grace, who â€œis always at work for the good of everyone who loves him,â€?56 offers restoration for the broken, renewal for the weary, and redemption for the burdened. He is the one we turn to in times of hardship. â€œSo whenever we are in need, we should come bravely before the throne of our merciful God. There we will be treated with undeserved kindness, and we ^PSSĂ„UKOLSWÂš57 Letâ€™s strive together to create healthy family structures that bring vitality to our Northwest Indiana region.
ATU [TRcX^]@dTbcX^]bU^aBX]V[T?PaT]cX]V4bbPh Â‹ Do you know any single parents who need a good support network? What are some creative ways you or your church can minister to single parents and effectively meet their needs? Â‹ Many single parents have dreams and goals for their lives, like obtaining their college degree. What are some creative ways churches can empower single parents to achieve their own goals for their families? Â‹ Do you share Godâ€™s heart for those who are going it alone as referenced in the essay? Why or why not? What are some ways you can cultivate a heart of compassion for Northwest Indianaâ€™s single parents? Â‹ What are some ways you could serve organizations in the Ways to Connect section to help encourage single parents in Northwest Indiana?
LEARNING TO APPRECIATE
THE VALUE OF LIFE )`>PSSLUH)Y\UĂ„LSK
4`UHTLPZ>PSSLUH)Y\UĂ„LSKHUK[OPZPZT`L_WLYPLUJLVMILPUN`V\UNHUKILPUN faced with an unplanned pregnancy. My boyfriend and I are college students. He was home for summer break, and I had Q\Z[Ă„UPZOLKT`ZLTLZ[LY>LMV\UKV\[[OH[0^HZWYLNUHU[PU1\S`HUKKPKUÂť[RUV^^OH[ [VKV([Ă„YZ[^LSH\NOLKI\[HML^TPU\[LZSH[LY^LILNHU[VYLHSPaL[OH[P[^HZUV joke. We were in complete shock. We had just gotten over the restlessness of exams and schoolwork, and this was a huge blow. We felt this was more than unplanned; it was a disaster! ([Ă„YZ[HSS^LJV\SK[OPUR^HZ>OH[HYL^LNVPUN[VKV&4`IV`MYPLUKÂťZZ\NNLZ[PVU was for me to have an abortion. He thought it was the simplest option. He said if I had an abortion, we could get on with our lives as planned. Neither of us knew many facts about abortion. Because I didnâ€™t know much about it, I didnâ€™t have much to say. He and I both worried about how we were going to provide for a baby when we were already struggling to get what we needed for ourselves. We werenâ€™t thinking about, or planning for, anything besides the college life we were living and accustomed to. It was our plan to get married and have children after college. 6]LY[OLTVU[OVM1\S`^LHYN\LKV]LY^OH[^L^LYLNVPUN[VKV0Z[HY[LK[VSVVRMVYYLZV\YJLZ[VOLSWTLTHRLH decision. I came across the Womenâ€™s Center of Northwest Indiana website.1 After looking over the information, I gave them a call. I was very comfortable talking to them, so I set up an appointment. When I arrived for my appointment at the Womenâ€™s Center, I was greeted like a guest. They gave me an opportunity to explain my situation and asked me questions that pinpointed certain issues I was experiencing. They did a pregnancy test, and it came back positive. They talked to me about my options. Then I got an ultrasound. I was surprised at what I saw on the screen. Afterward, they talked to me about all my options: parenting, adoption, and abortion and its risks. Before I left, they gave me information on local, community, and government resources to help me make a decision. I talked to my boyfriend, and we decided to parent our baby. I now attend the Womenâ€™s Center Building Blocks proNYHT;OPZPZHÂ¸SLHYUHUKLHYUÂšWYVNYHTVUWHYLU[PUN4`IV`MYPLUKPZUV^T`Ă„HUJt)LZ[VMHSS0HTUV^[OLTV[OLY of a little girl born in April, 2011. I am so thankful I went to the Womenâ€™s Center of Northwest Indiana. They helped me see how valuable life is.
JOY AMIDST THE TRIALS )`3H\YH:TP[O>`UU
0U0OLSWLKSH\UJOHWYVNYHTJHSSLK[OL16@7YVQLJ[HWYVNYHT^OLYLZPUNSLWHYLU[MHTPSPLZPU[YHUZP[PVUOH]LH chance to thrive. The program helps parents acquire effective parenting skills to help safeguard their familiesâ€™ well-being, while providing them with job-readiness skills to assist them in moving out of poverty. The program serves single parents with children from birth to age eighteen. ;OL16@7YVQLJ[OHZWYV]LUOPNOS`LMMLJ[P]LPUIYLHRPUNKV^UZVJPHSHUKLJVUVTPJIHYYPLYZJYLH[PUNVWWVY[\UP[PLZ and uplifting single parentsâ€” helping them thrive at home, in life, and in the workplace. The program has successfully OLSWLKP[ZWHY[PJPWHU[ZH]VPKYLSHWZLZHUKYLK\JLHUKL]LU[\HSS`LUKIV[OKLWLUKLUJ`VUW\ISPJILULĂ„[ZHUKWHYLU[HS neglect and abuse. Eva and Tee-Shaa are both single moms with plenty of experience with what they refer to as â€œthe system.â€? Tee-Shaa KYVWWLKV\[VMZJOVVSK\L[V[LLUWYLNUHUJ`HUK,]HOHKOLYĂ„YZ[JOPSKH[HNLZL]LU[LLU:\IZLX\LU[S`LHJOTHKLSPMLstyle choices that led to more out-of-wedlock children. ;OLZL`V\UN^VTLU^LYLSP]PUNVU[OLPYV^UH[HNLĂ„M[LLUHUK[OV\NO[OL`THKLLMMVY[Z[VTV]LIL`VUK[OLPY circumstances, with their limited workplace skills and lack of support systems in place, they wound up jobless. Later, without any income, they found themselves homeless. Due in part to inadequate parenting skills and as a consequence VM[OLPYKLJPZPVUZIV[O^VTLUL]LU[\HSS`OHK[OLPYJOPSKYLU[HRLUH^H`K\L[VULNSLJ[;VKH`;LL:OHHOHZĂ„]LJOPSKYLU in foster care; Eva has three. These two young women are representative of many of the women we assist. The majority became mothers in their early teens, some as young as 12, and have multiple children. Their own upbringing lacked parental nurturing, HMMLJ[PVU^HYT[OVYN\PKHUJL;OLPYSP]LZYLĂ…LJ[[OLPY immaturity and lack of parental leadership and guidance. They pass on to their children many of the inadequate parenting techniques they learned from their own parents. -VY;LL:OHHHUK,]H[OL16@7YVQLJ[^HZ[OLPYZH]ing-grace. When they arrived at the door of the Indiana 7HYLU[PUN0UZ[P[\[L[OL`^LYLILH[LUKV^UĂ„UHUJPHSS` emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically. The %}BX]V[T?PaT]cX]V
STORY OF HOPE 16@7YVQLJ[VMMLYLK[OLTOVWLI`WYV]PKPUN[OLT^P[O[OL[VVSZ[OL`ULLKLK[VV]LYJVTL[OLPYIHYYPLYZ[VZ\JJLZZ ;VKH`;LL:OHHHUK,]HOH]LJVTWSL[LK[OL16@7YVQLJ[HUKHYLOHWWPS`LUNHNLKPU]VS\U[LLY^VYRWSHJLPU[LYUships. They have both been offered permanent employment at their worksites after their internships are completed. These ^VTLU^HU[[VILZLSMZ\MĂ„JPLU[HUKPUKLWLUKLU[;OL`^HU[[VILNVVKTV[OLYZHUKWYVK\J[P]LJP[PaLUZ;OL`UV^ have a vision for the future and a road map and support system to get them there. They have both enrolled in college and are pursuing their passions: Eva, who wants to be a chef, is enrolled in culinary arts; and Tee-Shaa, who wants to be a tax consultant, is enrolled in computer technology and accounting. They both now have permanent housing. And they are working with the courts, with renewed attitudes, to get their children back. Like Eva and Tee-Shaa, there are many single parents in Lake County who are looking for a path to better their lives and who are willing to take the steps to make this happen. They are looking for a â€œhand upâ€? rather than a handout, and [OL16@7YVQLJ[PZOLYL[VOLSW
Teen Parenting Facts }
In 2007, there were 772 births to teen mothers which accounted for 11.4% of all births in Lake County in that year [Indiana State Department of Health, Epidemiology Resource Center, Data Analysis Team. Table 14. Terminations, Live Births, and Termination Ratios by County of Residence and Age Group: Indiana Residents, 2007 (Indiana Induced Termination of Pregnancy Report, 2007).]
52% of teen births were to black mothers, 47% to white mothers [Ibid.] Babies born to adolescents have a higher risk of being premature, having low birth weight, or dying as infants [â€œTeen Pregnancy,â€? March of Dimes Fact Sheet (2009). Originally quoted in Andy Rittenhouse and Heidi Unruh, eds., â€œSalt & Light: A Guide to Loving Knoxville, Third Editionâ€? (Knoxville, TN: Compassion Coalition, 2009).]
21.5% of all teenage pregnancies were terminated in Lake County in 2007, across all ages the pregnancy termination rate is 17.2%. [Indiana State Department of Health, Epidemiology Resource Center, Data Analysis Team.]
A BIBLICAL VIEW
ON MALE LEADERSHIP By Pastor Chris Carr
As we look out on the scene of our American cultural landscape, we can see a vast array of needs; a troubled education system, rampant poverty, a OLHS[OJHYLZ`Z[LTPUKPZHYYH`HĂ„UHUcial recession, a government that is PULMĂ„JPLU[HUKVM[LUPULMMLJ[P]LOPNO crime rates, and weak families. And ^OPSLLHJOVM[OLZLPZHZPNUPĂ„JHU[ issue, I want to suggest that each and every one is a symptom of a larger problem.
There are many culprits in this tragedy, but the purpose of this essay isnâ€™t to WVPU[Ă„UNLYZ0HTUV[PU[LYLZ[LKPU[OL culprits, but rather in the solution.
And this problem might not be what you think it is. Itâ€™s not something that gets a great deal of attention. But it is at the center of most, if not all, of our cultural and national problems. Plainly and simply, itâ€™s the American male.
6]LY[OLWHZ[JLU[\Y`HUKHOHSM[OL understanding of true manhood in our J\S[\YLOHZILLUZVKPZĂ„N\YLK[OH[ it is almost impossible for any two people to agree on what a man truly is or should be. This is a tragedy of epic proportions, and it has resulted in many of the serious problems that challenge our country today. '}BX]V[T?PaT]cX]V
And the solution is given to us clearly in Scripture. For thousands of years, [OL)PISLOHZWSHPUS`KLĂ„ULKMVY\Z what a man truly is. While there are numerous descriptors we could use to characterize a male, I will simply lay out three.
0U[OLĂ„YZ[[^VJOHW[LYZVM[OL]LY` Ă„YZ[IVVRVM[OL)PISL.VKJYLH[LZ [OLĂ„YZ[THU(KHTHUKNP]LZOPTH job to doâ€”rule over and steward the earth. Adamâ€™s task is to care for Godâ€™s creation and manage it effectively. God then creates Eve, and gives Adam the responsibility of caring for her. And he tells Adam and Eve to â€œbe fruitful and multiplyâ€?â€”in other words, to have, and care for, a family. The bottom lineâ€”and we see this over and V]LYPU[OL)PISLÂˇPZ[OH[HZPNUPĂ„JHU[ part of being a man means being responsible to care for what God has entrusted to us.
This is a far cry from what we see in most men in our culture today. Many modern-American men display an incredible lack of responsibility to care for what God has entrusted to them. Whether it is time, talents, family, or role in the community, we men often shirk our responsibilities. And yet, this is perhaps what our culture needs most. We need men, young and old, to stand up and take responsibility for their actions, to take responsibility for their families, and to take responsibility to be a positive force in their communities.
BTR^]SPCadT<P]8bBca^]V By strong, I do not mean â€œbodybuilderâ€? strong. In fact, this kind of strength has nothing to do with physical prowess. Rather, Iâ€™m talking about mental, emotional, and spiritual strength. Iâ€™m referring to the kind of strength that can navigate the obstacles that come when we attempt to M\SĂ„SSV\YYLZWVUZPIPSP[PLZ0HT[HSRPUN about the strength that can stand up and say no to wrong and say yes to right. The strength of true manhood is the strength of integrity, the strength to
do the right thing no matter what the consequences.
what the Bible calls meekness. This is what our society needs and is longing for. Strong, responsible men who show appropriate love, affection, and emotion.
Why is gentleness so important? It is because gentleness keeps strength under control. If not balanced with gentleness, strength can be used for evil, rather than good. There are few things more effective in bringing about needed change than gentle strengthâ€”
If we are looking for a role model for this â€œtrue man,â€? we need look no further than the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus was given more responsibility than any other human being who has ever lived. And yet, he willingly took
[OH[YLZWVUZPIPSP[`HUKM\SĂ„SSLKP[JVTpletely. He is also the strongest man who has ever lived. He was, and is, a man with unlimited powerâ€”power tempered with incredible gentleness. He was strong enough to handle the PUJYLKPIS`KPMĂ„J\S[[OPUNZ[OH[JHTL his way, but gentle enough to respond in love to everyone. In doing so, he changed the world. And if we will follow his example, we may be used to change the world as well.
Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 Chris Porter models male leadership as he serves at a local shelter, alongside his sons Zach and Colin.
WAYS TO CONNECT
WITH SINGLE PARENTING
<PZTP3XUUTaT]RTcWa^dVW?aPhTa Â‹ Praise God for the resiliency of many single parents in our region who provide loving homes and nurturing care to their children. Â‹ Pray that more Christians in Northwest Indiana give generously, wisely, and joyfully to those who need assistance. 4H`^LPUJYLHZPUNS`M\SĂ„SS^OH[[OL3VYKYLX\PYLZVM\Z!Â¸;VKVQ\Z[PJLHUK[VSV]LRPUKULZZHUK[V^HSRO\TIS` with [our] Godâ€? (Micah 6:8). Â‹ 7YH`MVYJV\YHNLHUKNYHJLMVY[OVZL\UKLY[HRPUNKPMĂ„J\S[Z[LWZ[V^HYKNYLH[LYZLSMZ\MĂ„JPLUJ`ÂśYL[\YUPUN[VZJOVVS MVYH.,+]VJH[PVUHS[YHPUPUNJVSSLNLJSHZZLZI\KNL[PUNZRPSSZVYĂ„NO[PUNHUHKKPJ[PVU Â‹ Pray for the restoration of broken relationships between husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend, and between family members. Â‹ 7YH`[OH[HSSZPUNSLWHYLU[Z^V\SKĂ„UK[OLZ\WWVY[Z`Z[LT[OL`KLZWLYH[LS`ULLK[V[OYP]LPU5VY[O^LZ[0UKPHUH Â‹ 7YH`[OH[TVYLWHYLU[Z^V\SKĂ„UK[OLZ\WWVY[[OL`ULLK[VJOVVZLVW[PVUZV[OLY[OHUHIVY[PVUHUK[OH[L]LY` child born in our area would be welcomed by a loving, nurturing family. Â‹ 7YH`MVY[OL]VS\U[LLYZHUKZ[HMMVMUVUWYVĂ„[VYNHUPaH[PVUZJP]PJNYV\WZNV]LYUTLU[HNLUJPLZHUKJO\YJOLZ[OH[ assist the growing number of single parent households in Northwest Indiana. Â‹ Pray for the peace of God which transcends all understanding to permeate the hearts of Northwest Indianaâ€™s single parent households. Â‹ Pray that families across Northwest Indiana would be willing to come alongside single parent families to provide support, mentoring, and encouragement. Â‹ 7YH`[OH[JO\YJOLZ^V\SKĂ„UKJYLH[P]L^H`Z[VTLL[[OLULLKZVMZPUNSLWHYLU[MHTPSPLZ
<PZTP3XUUTaT]RTcWa^dVWH^da;XUT Â‹ Use the skills that God has given you to mentor a single mother in areas like budgeting, job-preparedness, or raising children. Â‹ 6MMLY[VIHI`ZP[MVYZPUNSLWHYLU[Z^OVHYL[Y`PUN[VILJVTLTVYLZLSMZ\MĂ„JPLU[@V\JHU^H[JO[OLPYJOPSKYLUHZ they go on job interviews or continue their education. Â‹ Befriend single parents to provide a good support system and be a constant encourager. Â‹ Start a lower cost day-care designed to help single parents in the workforce. Â‹ 6MMLYHOV\YKH`JHYLZLY]PJLMVY[OLTHU`ZPUNSLWHYLU[Z^VYRPUN[^VVY[OYLLQVIZZVTL[PTLZV]LYUPNO[ Â‹ =VS\U[LLY[VNYVJLY`ZOVWVYY\UV[OLYLYYHUKZMVYZPUNSLWHYLU[ZZV[OL`OH]LVULSLZZ[OPUN[VĂ„[PU[V[OLPYI\Z` schedules. Â‹ *VUZPKLYÂ¸HKVW[PUNÂšHZPUNSLWHYLU[MHTPS`[VOLSW^P[O[YHUZWVY[H[PVUJOPSKJHYLVYV[OLYĂ„UHUJPHSULLKZ !}BX]V[T?PaT]cX]V
Â‹ Become a mentor to the children of single parents. Â‹ Volunteer at local agencies that assist single parents with job, life, and parenting skills. Â‹ Form a support group in your neighborhood that assists single parents in their many roles and responsibilities.
<PZTP3XUUTaT]RTcWa^dVWH^da2WdaRW Â‹ Start a valet ministry at your church for single mothers. This can greatly reduce the stress of bringing in small children from the parking lot to the church building. Â‹ Provide childcare when possible at church events so single parents can participate more easily. Â‹ Encourage the participation of single parents in various ministries in the church. Â‹ Start a single parent support group at your church. Â‹ Mobilize volunteers to assist single parents with lawn care, car repairs, or household maintenance. Â‹ Create an â€œadopt-a-familyâ€? program at your church to provide support systems for single parents that assists them with their needs. Â‹ 6MMLY[OLJO\YJOHZHSPHPZVU[VOLSWJVVYKPUH[L[OL]HYPV\ZZ`Z[LTZ[OH[TH`ILJVTLPU]VS]LK^P[OH[YV\ISLK family â€“ such as public assistance, child welfare, the court system, health care, and schools. Â‹ Start a benevolent program to provide grants and scholarships for single parents looking to further their education and advance their careers. Â‹ Instead of starting a new family ministry, consider developing a partnership with a church that is already effectively serving hurting families, and extend the support of your church. Â‹ Provide volunteers for agencies and organizations that work directly with single parents.
Unmarried Birth Rate 80%
Lake Co. Total
[US Census Bureau, Women 15-20 Years Who Had a Birth in the Past 12 Months by Marital Status and Poverty Status (2007-2009 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates,), http://factfinder.census.gov.]
WAYS TO CONNECT
CWTF^\T]zb2T]cTa^U=^acWfTbc8]SXP]P | c^^^[OL^JVYN A safe, caring facility that offers free pregnancy tests, free ultrasounds, and birth counseling for women who are considering abortion. Â‹ )LJVTLH[YHPULKHK]VJH[LOLSWPUNTV[OLYZHJYVZZ3HRL*V\U[`THRLSPMLHMĂ„YTPUNJOVPJLZ Â‹ Help in daily administrative tasks Â‹ Assist in planning, preparing, and running various fundraising events Â‹ Help mothers learn the skills necessary to grow a healthy family in the Building Blocks program 6T\X]db | c^^^NLTPU\ZVYN The Geminus Head Start mission is to work in collaboration with our communities to provide comprehensive developTLU[ZLY]PJLZ[V`V\UNJOPSKYLUHUK[OLPYMHTPSPLZHUK[VHZZPZ[PUNHPUPUNZLSMZ\MĂ„JPLUJ` Â‹ Become a classroom reader in the Head Start program Â‹ Facilitate parenting workshops Â‹ 7YV]PKLJSLYPJHSZ\WWVY[HYV\UK[OLVMĂ„JLZ Â‹ 6[OLYHZZPNUTLU[ZHYLH]HPSHISLKLWLUKPUNVUZRPSSZL[H]HPSHIPSP[`HUKWYVNYHTULLKZ Bc9dST7^dbT | c^^^Z[Q\KLOV\ZLVYN St. Jude House serves as a safe shelter for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault and their dependent children. They offer support to victims as they pursue violence-free lives. Â‹ Become a trained Crisis Line worker Â‹ )LJVTLHJSPLU[HZZPZ[HU[HZ[OLJSPLU[TV]LZ[V^HYKZZLSMZ\MĂ„JPLUJ` BP[ePcX^]0a\h | =HYPV\Z3VJH[PVUZ The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in his name without discrimination. Â‹ East Chicago 219-398-2939 Â‹ Gary 219-887-6588 Â‹ Munster 219-838-0380
Food Pantries and Food Banks To conserve space, volunteer needs commonly needed across all food pantries and food bank will be listed here: Â‹ Help with one of their many distribution days Â‹ Assist in the sorting of donated items Â‹ Donate food to help them accomplish their mission 5^^S1P]Z^U=^acWfTbc8]SXP]P c c^^^MVVKIHURU^PVYN The Food Bank of Northwest Indiana was founded in 1982. It was originally a barn, but has grown into a facility that acquires, stores and distributes 4.7 million pounds of food throughout Lake and Porter Counties. 0]VT[5^^S<X]XbcaXTb c (UNLS-VVK4PUPZ[YPLZPZHUVUWYVĂ„[UVUKLUVTPUH[PVUHSVYNHUPaH[PVUKLKPJH[LK[VWYV]PKPUNMVVKYLSPLMHUKĂ„UHUJPHS support to communities throughout the United States. >_TaPcX^]2PaT?P]cah c :PUJL6WLYH[PVU*HYLZ[HY[LKPU4HYJOVM [OL`OH]LMLK WLVWSLHUKOH]LKPZ[YPI\[LKHSTVZ[TPSSPVU pounds of food to all of Northwest Indiana and Northeast Illinois. The pantry is open on Monday and Wednesday from 9 AM till 1:30 PM. Friday 9 AM until noon.
Other Organizations that Work with Single Parents 8]SXP]P?PaT]cX]V8]bcXcdcT c c^^^PUKPHUHWHYLU[PUNPUZ[P[\[LJVT The Indiana Parenting Institute provides evidence-based, skill building parenting education programs and resources that increase the capacity of people raising children to parent effectively and responsibly, and to nurture children to become socially and economically healthy contributors of society. 6aTPcTa7P\\^]S2^\\d]XchBTaeXRTb c c^^^NYLH[LYOHTTVUKJVT Greater Hammond Community Services, Inc. prides itself as being a leader in the delivery of social services to those WLVWSLPUV\YJVTT\UP[`^OVHYL[Y\S`PUULLK(ZHSLHKLY[OL`HYLJVTTP[[LK[VWYV]PKPUN[OVZLZLY]PJLZPUHULMĂ„cient and professional manner. ?0BB~0]bfTaU^a?aTV]P]Rh0XS8]R^U=^acWfTbc8]SXP]Pc c^^^HUZ^LYMVYWYLNUHUJ`JVT The Answer for Pregnancy Aid has been servicing Northwest Indiana since 1981. They have been offering loving support, education, and material assistance to mothers and mothers-to-be who are in need.
CHILDREN & YOUTH
1,149 The Number of Children in non-relative foster care in April 2011 } 321 active county licensed foster homes } 13 private agencies
The Indiana Department of Child Services investigates 350-400 cases of child abuse
[Indiana Department of Child Ser-
and neglect each month in Lake County.
vices, Lake County.] 7OV[VI`^^^PZ[VJRWOV[VJVTTHYPHWH]SV]H
GLIMPSE IN THE LIFE OF ABUSED & NEGLECTED CHILDREN )`1VL`4H`Ă„LSK
Imagine you are a child that has endured sexual abuse from your father for the past six years. :PUJL[OLHNLVMĂ„]L`V\OH]LILLUHMYHPKHMYHPKVM`V\YMH[OLY(MYHPK[OH[PM`V\[VSKHU`VULOL^V\SKILHUNY`HUK PU[LUZPM`OPZHI\ZL)\[[OPZWHZ[^LLR^HZ[OLSHZ[Z[YH^@V\ZH^HUHK^P[OHU\TILY[VJHSS[VYLWVY[HI\ZLHUKĂ„UHSS` decided the time had come to tell someone. The risk was worth it. You call the number and a stranger answers. Haltingly, you begin to recount the painful memories of the last six years. To your amazement, the person on the phone for the Indiana Department of Child Services listens to your story. After the Ă„YZ[[LUZLTVTLU[Z[OLMLLSPUNZHUKZ[VYPLZN\ZOMYVT`V\YOLHY[ The thought of leaving your home to stay with a foster family is terrifying. If your aunt still lived close by you could Z[H`^P[OOLYI\[`V\KLJPKLHU`[OPUNPZIL[[LY[OHUOVTL@V\HYLYLSPL]LK[VĂ„UKV\[`V\YMVZ[LYMHTPS`PZL_[YLTLS` caring. They speak kindly to you and provide you with a nice room to stay in. But your joy quickly fades as the court date looms like a black storm cloud. Facing your father again, possibly sending him to jail is terrifying, but you have no choice. This heartbreaking scenario is repeated over and over again in Lake County every week. Indiana Department of Child Services (IDCS) case workers receive dozensâ€”sometimes hundredsâ€”of tips from the Indiana Child Abuse Hotline L]LY`KH`-YVT6J[VILY[V+LJLTILYMVYL_HTWSL0+*:PU3HRL*V\U[`YLJLP]LK reports. They substantiated 391 of those reports, with 187 cases resulting in removal of children from their homes.1 There are countless types of child abuse and neglect. In many instances, drugs are involved. For example, a single mother, depressed with the endless cycle of poverty, starts self-medicating with marijuana or prescription drugs to numb the pain, leading her to neglect her childrenâ€™s needs. She is embarrassed to admit needing help both emotionally and physically. And all too often, children who are victims of abuse grow up to continue the cycle with their own children. IDCS case workers are dedicated to helping clients. They constantly investigate homes where children are apparent victims of neglect or abuse, and they keep their phones with them at all times. They are not looking to permanently remove children from their homes; they are committed to helping families get back together. Through the efforts of IDCS and their network of foster families, 80 percent of children eventually return to their families.2 ;OLX\LZ[PVUPZOV^JHU^LHZHJVTT\UP[`JVTL[VNL[OLY[VWYL]LU[HI\ZLHUKULNSLJ[MYVTOHWWLUPUNPU[OLĂ„YZ[ place? )HZLKVUH:HS[ 3PNO[PU[LY]PL^VMHU0UKPHUH+LWHY[TLU[VM*OPSK:LY]PJLZ*HZL>VYRLY^OV^PZOLZ[VYLTHPU HUVU`TV\Z(WYPS
CHILDREN & YOUTH )`1HUL()PZILL9LNPVUHS4HUHNLY0UKPHUH+LWHY[TLU[VM*OPSK:LY]PJLZ3HRL*V\U[`6MĂ„JL
The Indiana Department of Child Services (IDCS) is charged by statute to protect children in the State of 0UKPHUH;OLYLPZHU0+*:VMĂ„JLPU each of Indianaâ€™s ninety-two counties. IDCS Family Case Managers (FCMs) are available to respond to allegations of child abuse and neglect twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, three O\UKYLKZP_[`Ă„]LKH`ZH`LHY-*4Z also manage open cases for over two thousand children in Lake County alone who are victims of child abuse or neglect. Unfortunately, there continues to be a high number of victims 7OV[VI`1HJX\L4PSSLY
of child abuse and neglect in the Lake County community. *OPSKHI\ZLPU0UKPHUHPZKLĂ„ULKPU chapter 31 of the Indiana Code as existing when a child is in need of services (such a child is referred to as a CHINS). The most basic interpretation of the statute is that a child is a CHINS when a parent, guardian, or custodian is unable or unwilling to supply the child with necessary food, clothing, shelter, medical care, education, or age-appropriate supervision. In addition, when a childâ€™s physical or mental health is seriously endangered, that constitutes child abuse as well. The budget for services for neglected and abused children and their families in Lake County Indiana was over $78 million in 2011. This money does not cover administrative costs such as staff ZHSHYPLZVY[OLVMĂ„JLI\PSKPUN"[OL million is solely for services to help abused and neglected children and their families.
The mission of IDCS is to help children thrive in safe, caring, supportive families and communities.
Child-welfare workers are trained [VPKLU[PM`ZWLJPĂ„JMHJ[VYZ[VKL[LY-
mine the current safety of a child and the risk of future harm. As a group, FCMs in Lake County are assigned investigations (called assessments) of child abuse for 350 to 400 families each month. Allegations are called in to the Indiana Child Abuse Hotline (1-800-800-5556) by citizens and are electronically transferred to local case managers. The assessment determines whether each allegation is substantiated physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect. If the allegation proves unfounded, the assessment is classiĂ„LKHZ\UZ\IZ[HU[PH[LK:\IZ[HU[PH[LK assessments become new cases when */05:WL[P[PVUZHYLĂ„SLK^P[O[OL Lake County Superior Court, Juvenile Division. The number of children under the jurisdiction of the court and managed by the Lake County FCMs varies from day to day, but it is usually around two thousand. Children who are taken into protective custody are returned to their parents about 80 percent of the time, generally after the parent receives remediation services and it is safe for the child to be in the parentâ€™s care.16[OLYJHZLZ
are resolved via legal guardianships by the childâ€™s relatives, or by adoption. CWT8\_^acP]RT^U2^\\d]Xch 8]e^[eT\T]c The mission of IDCS is to help children thrive in safe, caring, supportive families and communities, and FCMs work hard to accomplish that goal. However, they cannot protect children without the assistance of the community itself, which plays an integral part in ensuring the safety and well-being of its most vulnerable citizens. There are many ways the average person can help in preventing abuse and neglect, as well as help those who are already in the child-welfare system in their own communities. Helping begins with understanding what chil-
dren need in order to have safe and U\Y[\YLKSP]LZ9LZLHYJOOHZPKLU[PĂ„LK Ă„]LJVUKP[PVUZ[OH[WYVTV[LJOPSKKLvelopment and are linked to a lower incidence of child abuse or neglect. They are: Â‹ Nurturing and Attachment Â‹ Knowledge of Parenting Skills and Youth Development Â‹ Family Functioning and Resilience Â‹ Social Connections Â‹ Concrete Supports ;OLZLĂ„]LMHJ[VYZHWWS`[VHU`JOPSKÂťZ life. Identifying the existence or status of each of these factors in a childâ€™s life gives us insight as to what is needed to provide and ensure protection. As parents, grandparents, relatives, or
concerned citizens, we should hope to see each of these factors in the lives of every child we know. As we look closer at these protective factors, we can begin to understand what it means to be a healthy, happy child in a safe environment. =dacdaX]VP]S0ccPRW\T]c Nurturing can be described as the actions provided by a parent or caregiver to provide support and nourishment to help a child develop. Attachment is the connection or affection that exists between two individuals. Some examples of nurturing and attachment include: Â‹ Children and parents exchanging smiles, hugs, and kisses
Fast Facts on Child Abuse & Neglect in Lake County } } } } } } }
22,330 Hoosier children in 2009 experienced maltreatment 87.5% experienced neglect, 12.1% physical abuse, 17.7% sexual abuse and 2.2% medical neglect 13.8% of victims were under 1 year old, nationally the number is 12.6% Race of the victim: White 70.5% (44%), Black 17.2% (22.3%), Hispanic 6.8% (20.7%), Asian 0.2% (0.9%) (National %) 37.7% of perpetrators were mothers, 18.6% fathers, 18% both parents, 25.7% other In 2008 in Indiana, there were 46 child fatalities from neglect/abuse, 30 of them homicides, 13 accidents In 2008 in Lake County, there were 7 child fatalities from neglect/abuse
[US Dept. of Health and Human Services, Child Maltreatment 2009; Indiana Department of Child Services, Child Abuse and Neglect Annual Report of Child Fatalities, 2008.]
Fast Facts on Foster Care & Adoption in Lake County } } } } } } } }
At any one time in 2010, the number of Children in Need of Services (CHINS) averaged 2,137 45.2% of CHINS receive in home or relative care 64.1% of sibling cases are placed together (3.04 children average per case) Lake County, while it has 7.7% of Indianaâ€™s total population, has 14.7% of its total number of CHINS The average number of placements per child before resolution is 2.8 The average time spent in foster care by a Lake County child is 867 days (2.4 years) which is much higher than the state average of 625 days (1.7 years). 26% spent 3 years or more in foster care 80% of closed cases in Lake County resulted in reunification of the child with their family in 2010 9% of Lake Countyâ€™s closed cases result in adoption (81 adoptions in 2010)
[Indiana Department of Child Services, Practice Indicator Reports for December 2010, Monthly Practice Indicators Region 1 (2010).]
For more information on Foster Care & Adoption, check out the Indiana Department of Child Servicesâ€™ information-packed website at www.in.gov/dcs
Â‹ Parents listening to their children and being attentive and sensitive to their childrenâ€™s needs Â‹ Parents speaking of their children in positive terms even when discussing problems Â‹ Parents participating in their childrenâ€™s school, sports, or other extra-curricular activities Â‹ Parents expressing pride in their childrenâ€™s accomplishments Â‹ Children exhibiting age-appropriate boundaries Parents of children who are being nurtured and are attached to a caregiver will exhibit these behaviors. When they do, we know that the parentchild relationship is usually a good !'}2WX[SaT]H^dcW
oneâ€”one that will decrease the risk of abuse or neglect for the child. !:]^f[TSVT^U?PaT]cX]VBZX[[bP]S H^dcW3TeT[^_\T]c A parent or caregiverâ€™s understanding of child development is best established through interviews and discussions with a professional. A parentâ€™s ability to put this knowledge PU[VWYHJ[PJLTH`ILTVYLKPMĂ„J\S[[V establish, unless there are long periods of contact where the interaction between the parent and child can also be observed. Even then, the observation is not complete without further discussion to provide more information or context.
Protective factors may not be as easily recognized by the average person, but there are times when stressful situations between parents and children are more apparent. For example, potty training often causes distress between parents and children, especially if the child being trained is very young and not developmentally ready. 6Y[LUZPVUJHUKL]LSVW^OLUJOPSdren who are approaching their teen years begin to display personalities and behaviors that differ from when they were younger. Parents who do not understand developmental change TH`OH]LKPMĂ„J\S[`\UKLYZ[HUKPUN their childâ€™s behavior, which puts the
child at a higher risk for abuse or neglect. Some signs of knowledge of parenting skills and youth development include: Â‹ Parents are realistic about expectations Â‹ Parents provide clear and consistent messages to their children Â‹ Parents have some idea of what to do for their children in various situations Â‹ Parents see their childâ€™s misbehavior in the context of the childâ€™s developmental needs Â‹ Parents provide structure and support for their children Â‹ Parents speak to their children in age-appropriate manners Â‹ Parents praise their children when the children behave Â‹ Parents use age-appropriate discipline "5P\X[h5d]RcX^]X]VP]SATbX[XT]RT Family functioning is demonstrated by a familyâ€™s ability to openly share positive and negative experiences and come together to accept, solve, and manage problems on a day-to-day basis. Family resilience is the familyâ€™s ability to adapt and utilize strategies that will help them persevere in times of crisis. Some behaviors that can be observed when a family is functional and has resilience are:
Â‹ Family members are able to talk about problems Â‹ Family members are able to solve problems Â‹ Family members listen to each other Â‹ The family can identify and discuss past problems that have been addressed successfully Â‹ Family members are able to OHUKSLZ[YLZZ^P[OV\[ZPNUPĂ„JHU[ negative consequences Â‹ Family members pull together to address problems #B^RXP[2^]]TRcX^]b Social connections are the friends, relatives, and neighbors that provide social and emotional support to a parent and/or child. When exploring social connections, it is important to understand the role these individuals play in the lives of parents and children. Some individuals will be available primarily for recreation, while others provide spiritual guidance or emotional supWVY[PU[PTLZVM[YV\ISL6[OLYZTH` meet multiple needs. Some indicators of positive social connections are: Â‹ Parents are able to identify people whom they could go to ask for help Â‹ Parents have people with whom they interact frequently
Â‹ The extended family participates in activities together such as meals, recreation, holiday gettogethers, etc. Â‹ The family is involved in church activities Â‹ The family participates in formal and informal social activities $2^]RaTcTBd__^acb Concrete supports are the tangible goods and services available to assist
Top 5 Stress Factors Child Abuse Cases 1. Family Discord/Marital Problems 2. Lack of Parenting Skills 3. Pregnancy/New Child 4. Domestic Violence 5. Insufficient Income
Child Neglect Cases 1. Drug Dependency 2. Lack of Parenting Skills 3. Family Discord/Marital Problems 4. Insufficient Income 5. Alcoholism and Unstable Living Conditions [Indiana Department of Child Services, Child Abuse and Neglect Annual Report of Child Fatalities, 2008]
BcdSXTbWPeTU^d]SPQdbTSP]S]TV[TRcTSRWX[SaT]c^QTPc[TPbc !$_TaRT]c\^aT[XZT[hc^Tg_TaXT]RT_a^Q[T\bbdRWPbST[X]`dT]RhcTT]_aTV]P]Rh[^fPRPST\XRPRWXTeT\T]cSadVdbT P]S\T]cP[WTP[cW_a^Q[T\b[Kelley et al., In the Wake of Childhood Maltreatment (Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice, 1997).]
0RR^aSX]Vc^P=PcX^]PbcXcdcT^U9dbcXRTbcdShPQdbTSP]S ]TV[TRcTSRWX[SaT]fTaT cX\Tb\^aT[XZT[hc^QTPaaTbcTS U^aRaX\X]P[QTWPeX^aPbPYdeT]X[T!&cX\Tb\^aT[XZT[hc^QT PaaTbcTSU^aeX^[T]cP]SRaX\X]P[QTWPeX^aPbP]PSd[cP]S" cX\Tb\^aT[XZT[hc^QTPaaTbcTSU^a^]T^U\P]hU^a\b^UeX^[T]c RaX\TYdeT]X[T^aPSd[c[English et al., Another Look at the Effects of Child Abuse (NIJ Journal, 251), 23-24.]
0RR^aSX]Vc^PaT_^acUa^\cWT=PcX^]PbcXcdcT^]3adV0QdbT Pb\P]hPbcf^cWXaSb^U_T^_[TX]SadVcaTPc\T]c_a^VaP\baT_^acTSQTX]VPQdbTSPbRWX[SaT][Swan, Exploring the Role of Child Abuse on
Â‹ 6[OLYJVUJYL[LZ\WWVY[ZH]HPSHISL IHZLK\WVUZWLJPÃ„JULLKPUJS\KL! Â‹ /VTL]PZP[Z[OYV\NO/LHS[O` -HTPSPLZVY*VTT\UP[`7HY[ULYZ programs Â‹ Child welfare services Â‹ 3P[LYHJ`WYVNYHTZ Â‹ 1VIWYLWHYH[PVUHUKWSHJLTLU[ services ,X\HSS`PMUV[TVYLPTWVY[HU[HYL concrete supports that are provided I`MYPLUKZHUKMHTPS`VYJO\YJOLZHUK V[OLYUVUWYVÃ„[VYNHUPaH[PVUZ These informal concrete supports are essential in a geographic area that has HOPNOKLNYLLVMWV]LY[`Z\JOHZ3HRL *V\U[`0UKPHUH
Later Drug Abuse: Researchers Face Broad Gaps in Information (NIDA Notes, 1998), 13.]
8cXbTbcX\PcTSP__a^gX\PcT[h^]TcWXaS^UPQdbTSP]S]TV[TRcTS RWX[SaT]fX[[TeT]cdP[[heXRcX\XiTcWTXa^f]RWX[SaT][Prevent Child Abuse New York, The Costs of Child Abuse and the Urgent Need for Prevention (2003).]
[All Statistics were originally quoted in Child Welfare Information Gateway, Long-Term Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect, (US Department of Health & Human Services, 2008).]
families in coping with stress. These supports are things as opposed to individuals. Concrete supports increase in importance during times of crisis or PU[LUZPÃ„LKULLK;OLYLHYLHU\TILY VMJVUJYL[LZ\WWVY[ZWYV]PKLKI` government or tax-supported entities [OH[HYLH]HPSHISL[VJLY[HPUÃ„UHUJPHSS` LSPNPISLMHTPSPLZZ\JOHZ! "}2WX[SaT]H^dcW
Â‹ 7\ISPJHZZPZ[HUJL[OYV\NO;(5- ;LTWVYHY`(ZZPZ[HUJLMVY5LLK` -HTPSPLZ:5(7:\WWSLTLU[HS 5\[YP[PVU(ZZPZ[HUJL7YVNYHT and Medicaid Â‹ Health clinics Â‹ *OPSKJHYLZ\IZPKPLZ Â‹ :\IZPKPaLKOV\ZPUN Â‹ -VVKWHU[YPLZ
Who Else Is for Kids? 0UHKKP[PVU[VYLJVNUPaPUNHUKZ\WWVY[PUNMHTPSPLZI`\UKLYZ[HUKPUN WYV[LJ[P]LMHJ[VYZJP[PaLUZ^P[OH ZWLJPÃ„JZRPSSZL[VYZWLJPHSJHSSPUN[V OLSWJOPSKYLUJHUILJVTLMVZ[LYVY adoptive parents and nurture a child ^OVTH`UV[OH]LOHKHU\Y[\YPUN IPVSVNPJHSWHYLU[ The need for foster families is at a critical point in Lake County. This does not mean we do not have LUV\NOILKZ>OH[P[KVLZTLHUPZ that we need a plethora of homes so
we can better match children to foster families in order to ensure that each JOPSKĂ„[ZPU[VOPZVYOLYUL^OVTL and that each foster family embraces and nurtures its assigned child as that JOPSKZ[Y\NNSLZ[VĂ„[PU-VZ[LYPUNJHU be done by citizens over the age of twenty-one who meet the licensing requirements, whether single, married, or divorced. There are also many children in the child-welfare system in Indiana who are waiting for an adoptive home. Information about fostering and adoption in Indiana can be found at the IDCS website.2
mer camps, and faith-based childrenâ€™s programming are all areas of opportunity that support the development of many of the protective factors for Lake County families. CASA Lake County is one such organization. CASA advocates for abused and neglected children within the juvenile court system. CASA operates on the belief that every child is entitled to a safe and permanent home. Thoroughly trained CASA volunteers work in collaboration with key agencies, legal counsel, and community resources to serve as childrenâ€™s advocates and to
represent the best interests of children in juvenile court. Information about volunteering with CASA can be found at their website.3 Encouraging parents to celebrate a childâ€™s successes and achievements is a clear opportunity to develop nurturing and improve family functioning. Encouraging parents to develop social connections and to interact with other parents and children is helpful as well. Many parents learn by experience and by observing behaviors from other families. Learning in a social setting and celebrating a childâ€™s successes
6MJV\YZLUV[L]LY`VULJHUILH foster or adoptive parent, but everyone can contribute to safety, well-being, and permanency for children. Citizens and community organizations in the private sector, including the faith community, who are for kids can provide, participate in, or support parenting workshops, individual parents, and children in the community. Community organizations such as Boys and Girls Clubs, sports teams, arts-and-crafts organizations, sumEncouraging parents to celebrate childrenâ€™s successes and achievements is a clear opportunity to help develop nurturing and improve family functioning.
with other like-minded parents may develop protective factors more successfully than traditional parenting classes. Individuals can assist struggling parents by providing tangible assistance, such as transportation to a childâ€™s event, or by simply modeling nurturing behavior. All children can be supported by nurturing adults, increasing the likelihood that they will learn how to be nurturing parents when they have children of their own. FW^zb9dbc:XSSX]V. If we as citizens do nothing, the Lake County community will continue to have 350-plus investigations of child abuse and neglect each month. The Lake County Juvenile Court will continue to have 2000-plus victims of child abuse and neglect on its caseload. Children whose parents are not able to safely parent them will continue to wait for a home with an adoptive family. And sadly, children will continue to be victimized. Letâ€™s join together to avoid becoming citizens who are just kidding; childrenâ€™s lives in Northwest Indiana are at stake.
POVERTY RATE INDIANA
[US Census Bureau, Percent of Related Children Under 18 Years Below Poverty Level in the Past 12 Months (2005-2009 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates).]
ATU [TRcX^]@dTbcX^]bU^a2WX[SaT]H^dcW4bbPh Â‹ ;OYV\NOV\[V\YYLZLHYJOZ[HRLOVSKLYZPKLU[PĂ„LK[OLJO\YJOHZ]P[HS[V the nurturing and support of our children. What are some ways you or your church can reach out to children and youth in your communities? Â‹ What would our region look like if the gap between foster families and the number of children in need of a foster home vanished? Considering Godâ€™s heart for the orphan, have you ever contemplated foster care or adoption? Â‹ An overwhelming theme heard throughout our research is that children need mentors and good positive role models (particularly males). How can you, your family, or your church get involved with mentoring Northwest Indianaâ€™s children? Â‹ What are some ways you could serve organizations in the Ways to Connect section to help encourage children and youth in Northwest Indiana?
% of Children Living in Poverty 15% and below 15% to 33% 33% to 60% 60% and above
Maps created using MaptitudeÂŽ by CaliperÂŠ
% of Population Who Did Not Finish High School 12% and below 12% to 21% 21% to 34% 34% and above
RANK 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Midtown - Gary Midtown - Gary Pulaski - Gary Indiana Harbor - East Chicago Indiana Harbor - East Chicago Midtown - Gary Indiana Harbor - East Chicago Emerson - Gary Indiana Harbor - East Chicago Indiana Harbor - East Chicago
% BELOW POVERTY
118 102.02 114 301 303 119 309 105 310 302
90% 75% 68% 67% 65% 62% 60% 56% 53% 53%
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Indiana Harbor - East Chicago Indiana Harbor - East Chicago Indiana Harbor - East Chicago Midtown - Gary Downtown West - Gary Emerson - Gary Indiana Harbor - East Chicago Homewood - Hammond Midtown - Gary Indiana Harbor - East Chicago
% NOT GRADUATING
304 301 302 102.02 107 105 310 206 113 308
50% 48% 48% 47% 44% 44% 44% 43% 42% 42%
FOSTER CARE & ADOPTION
ONE FAMILY'S JOURNEY )`4LSPZZH=PZ
6UL*OYPZ[THZ3HYY`HUK=PJRPLOLHKLK[VHMHTPS`WHY[`=PJRPLÂťZZPZ[LY^HZHMVZ[LYWHYLU[VMH[OYLL`LHYVSKNPYSHUK they brought a gift for her. They were so touched by her excitement over that simple gift that they decided to look into becoming foster parents themselves. Since they already had two daughters of their own, they thought it would be best for their family to foster infants. Their daughters would be able to be involved and were very excited about the possibility. Fostering also gave Vickie the opportunity to become a stay-at-home mom and do something she felt would make a difference in the lives of others. 6]LY[OLUL_[[LU`LHYZ3HYY`HUK=PJRPLMVZ[LYLKTVYL[OHUZP_[`IHIPLZPU[OLPYOVTL4HU`VM[OLTOHKILLU[HRLU away from their mothers due to prostitution or drug and alcohol abuse. Most stayed only between three and six months, but occasionally a child stayed longer. >OLUHZRLK^OH[ZOLĂ„UKZTVZ[ rewarding about being a foster parent, Vickie says, â€œMost of all, itâ€™s just loving the children, helping them, praying over their cribs at night, and ZLLPUN[OLTNYV^([Ă„YZ[HSV[VM the babiesâ€”even some of the older onesâ€”arenâ€™t able to walk or crawl. But when you take the time to work with them, after a while they do crawl. They walk. They talk. A lot of times weâ€™re told itâ€™s not going to happen because of the motherâ€™s drug abuse. But eventually they do. Itâ€™s so rewarding to see a child grow.â€? It wasnâ€™t always easy. They faced racial and relational barriers. They dealt with parents who didnâ€™t want their baby entering the home of a famLarry & Vickie Caschetta with their family.
PS`[OH[^HZKPMMLYLU[MYVT[OLTYHJPHSS`6[OLY[PTLZ[OL`NYL^H[[HJOLK[V[OLJOPSKYLU[OH[Z[H`LKPU[OLPYOVTLHUK it was very hard when they had to leave. But they felt it was worth the trials and the pain. They were doing something to help those who couldnâ€™t help themselves. And their greatest joy came when they decided, as a family, to adopt three of the boys who stayed with them: Tommy, Cedric, and Cody. Larry and Vickie advise those who might be thinking about foster parenting to closely consider what is best for your family. Examine your reasons for wanting to do it. Learn that itâ€™s not always a good time to take in children. And be ready to adoptâ€”because you will bond closely with these kids! They also point out that even if foster parenting isnâ€™t for you, there are ways you can help. Find ways to give the foster parents you know a break. Baby-sit for them so they can get out for a little while. Help them with items for the kids, whether it is clothes, toys, diapers, etc. Pray for them as they go through the daily trials of caring for these children. Pray for their marriage. And of course, pray for the kids. Pray that God would restore families. And pray that God would give you the wisdom to know how you can become involved.
Becoming a Foster / Adoptive Parent
)HZLKVUH:HS[ 3PNO[PU[LY]PL^ ^P[O3HYY` =PJRPL*HZJOL[[H(WYPS
Must be 21 years of age, emotionally, physically, and financially stable and have a legal residence that meets physical safety standards including adequate bedroom space Must complete First-Aid, CPR and Universal Precautions training courses Must undergo a criminal background check for all adults and participate in a home study process with a Regional Licensing Specialist Must complete all required forms and the Casey Foster Family Assessments Must complete a minimum of 20 hours of training courses for licensing as well as 10-30 hours of continuing training each year depending on the type of license
[Adapted from Indiana Department of Child Services, http://in.gov/dcs/ & Indiana Foster Care and Adoption Association, http://www.ifcaa.org.]
ON A PATH
FROM PRESSURED TO HAPPY By Ashley Post
My name is Ashley, and this is my story. I was raised in a good home. I have two loving parents and a sister. For me, life was running smoothly. I was your average middle-school student. In eighth grade, the idea of being popular became more and more important to me. As I JVUZPKLYLK^OH[[OH[TLHU[P[KLĂ„UP[LS`PUJS\KLKOH]PUNHIV`MYPLUK+\YPUN[OPZ[PTLVMYLĂ…LJ[PVUHUKZLSMKPZJV]LY`0 went to a party with a friend and met a guy. We started talking and ended up dating. 0OHKWYL]PV\ZS`KLĂ„ULKMVYT`ZLSM^OH[HKH[PUNYLSH[PVUZOPW^V\SKSVVRSPRL0OHKZL[IV\UKHYPLZMVYT`ZLSMHUK0 thought I had shared those boundaries with him. But as weeks turned into months, he pressured me more and more in ways that were increasingly uncomfortable for me. I found myself giving in, and our relationship crossed some of the physical boundaries that I had set for myself. I felt ashamed and guilty. I didnâ€™t feel I could talk to anyone. I was afraid my parents would be disappointed with me, so I didnâ€™t talk to them. I didnâ€™t want my friends to think differently about me or judge me, so I didnâ€™t talk to them. I felt very alone and wondered if my life even mattered. I remember one day as I was drying dishes, I was holding a knife. I thought, "What if? Would anyone notice if I were gone?" I was in a very dark place, feeling pressured by my boyfriend, alone, with no one to talk to. I was unsure of what to do next. That week, educators from PATH (A Positive Approach to Teen Health) came to my school and talked with my class about relationships, about healthy choices, and about how valuHISLLHJOVM\ZPZ+\YPUN[OVZL[^V Through the help of PATH, Ashley found value in herself and others, and now serves as a peer mentor.
STORY OF HOPE days, they equipped me with the tools I needed to stand up to my boyfriend. More importantly, they encouraged me to value myself. When the two-day presentation was over, I felt empowered to make better choices. Still, I knew I would need support and direction. I sent an e-mail to one of the educators that had come to my class, and she responded to my JY`MVYOLSW:OLHUKV[OLYZH[7(;/LUJV\YHNLKTLHZ0^HSRLK[OYV\NOZVTL]LY`KPMĂ„J\S[KLJPZPVUZPU[OL^LLRZ[OH[ MVSSV^LK;OL`OLSWLKTLĂ„UKT`WLYZVUHS]HS\LHUK[V]HS\L[OVZLHYV\UKTL Today I am a senior in high school. I am the captain of my cheerleading squad, a choreographer for my dance team, a member of the National Honor Society, and a peer mentor with PATH. Today I no longer have that boyfriend. Today I am happy! My name is Ashley, and this is just the beginning of my story.
I highly encourage all of us to embrace the calling of assisting our fellow man, and being a mentor is one of those opportunities. Children who are mentored are children who will grow to meet their greatest potential. Harry J. Vande Velde III, CEO and President, Legacy Foundation, Merrillville, IN
The Power of a Mentoring Relationship A study of Big Brothers/Big Sisters reveals that compared to their peers, mentored youth are: } 2% less likely to skip a day of school } 27% less likely to start drinking alcohol } 46% less likely to start using illicit drugs Compared to their peers, adults who were mentored as youth are: } 75% more likely to have received a four-year college degree } 39% more likely to have current household incomes of $75,000 or higher } More likely to express satisfaction with their relationships and their life } More likely to be engaged in their community as a volunteer or as a leader in a community based organization [Joseph Tierney and Jean Baldwin Grossman, Making a Difference (Public/Private Ventures, 2000); Breakthrough Study Finds Adults Mentored as Children in Big Brothers Big Sisters are Better Educated, Wealthier & More Fulfilled than Peers (Harris Interactive Research, June 2009) Originally cited in Andy Rittenhouse and Heidi Unruh, eds., Salt & Light: A Guide to Loving Knoxvile, Third Edition (Knoxville, TN: Compassion Coalition, 2009).]
A BIBLICAL VIEW
ON YOUTH MINISTRY )`)LU4PSSLY
I feel youth ministryâ€”or any ministryâ€”can be broken down into three categories: evangelism, teaching, and discipleship. Success in ministry depends on success in these areas under the leadership of the Holy Spirit and the guidance of Scripture. 4eP]VT[Xb\ When hearing the word evangelism, many Christians often think of going door-to-door while handing out tracts. Many of the youth who have experienced this kind of evangelism carry a ULNH[P]L]PL^WVPU[VMP[;OLĂ„YZ[Z[LW in youth evangelism is contact with youth. Most young people automatically distrust anyone older than themZLS]LZZVP[PZOLSWM\SPMJVU[HJ[PZĂ„YZ[ made by another youth who is already involved in your ministry. It is a common practice among many churches to have big outings or special events for youth to bring their friends to. ;OLZLRPUKZVML]LU[ZHYLNVVK[VĂ„YZ[ expose youth to a ministry, but the outreach cannot end here. We would love if the people we are reaching out to would give their lives "'}2WX[SaT]H^dcW
[V*OYPZ[VU[OLPYĂ„YZ[[YPW[VV\YTPUistry and come back purely because of their spiritual needs. But this is rarely the case. Youth need something else if theyâ€™re going to keep coming backâ€”at SLHZ[H[Ă„YZ[4VZ[TPUPZ[YPLZJHUUV[ afford to keep doing bigger and better events or outings. The solution is to OLSWM\SĂ„SSHULLK[OH[V\Y`V\[OOH]L James 2:15-16 says, â€œIf a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, â€˜Go in peace, be warmed and Ă„SSLKÂť^P[OV\[NP]PUN[OLT[OL[OPUNZ needed for the body, what good is [OH[&Âš)`M\SĂ„SSPUNWO`ZPJHSULLKZVM young people, we accomplish two things. First, we give them a reason to keep coming back to be exposed to the message of the Gospel. Secondly, we can show Godâ€™s love to them in a physical way. What are some of the physical needs of youth? This can vary depending on what area of Lake County your ministry is in. For example, I work in inner-city Gary with kids who live below the poverty line, so they do need food and clothing. They also need a
safe place to go after school, and we provide that. While the area you work in may not have safety concerns, having a place for youth to go after school PZZ[PSSILULĂ„JPHS4HU``V\UNWLVWSL struggle with loneliness and feel like they donâ€™t have a place to belong. Coming to the ministry daily makes them feel like they are a part of something, and they start to bond together like a family. Another invaluable need that can be met regardless of area or income is after-school tutoring. The more successful young people are academically, the more likely it is that they will be able to stay away from negative things that will pull them away from their walk with Christ. CTPRWX]V In order to lead young people to Christ, good biblical teaching must be part of any program. Making Bible lessons a regular routine gives both those who are coming to enhance their spiritual walk and those who may be simply seeking answers to their physical or spiritual needs a chance to hear the word of God.
The teaching must be biblical. This might seem obvious; however, much of the youth material available today focuses on extra-biblical principles. A great deal of popular youth studies have more to do with what they should watch, listen to, or wear than it does with scripture. Many of these ideals are not built on a strong biblical foundation, but rather on personal and cultural preferences. While there may be a place for these topics in ministry, they are not enough to give youth what they really need.
Bible by helping them understand the text while not being intimidated by it. Many youth are hesitant to start reading the Bible because they donâ€™t know where to start. Giving them an understanding of Scripture as a whole eliminates that fear and gives them TVYLJVUĂ„KLUJLPU[OLPYV^UWLYsonal study of Godâ€™s Word. 3XbRX_[TbWX_ The third goal of any good ministry is
KPZJPWSLZOPW6\YNYLH[JVTTPZZPVUPZ to make disciples. The driving hope of KVPUNV\[YLHJOL]LU[ZM\SĂ„SSPUNWO`ZPcal and emotional needs, and teaching scripture is that we help youth make a decision to follow Jesus Christ. Doing discipleship means being available at any time, day or night, for youth. Mentoring someone in the faith means being a counselor, a coach, a corrector, and above all, a friend. 7OV[VI`1HJX\L4PSSLY
I feel it is important to use expository teaching rather than topical teaching. Early in my ministry, I made the mistake of teaching the same lesson topics over and over again. About six years ago, I began doing expository teaching instead. By the end of this year, we will have gone through almost the entire Bible. Second Timothy 3:16 says, â€œAll Scripture is breathed V\[I`.VKHUKWYVĂ„[HISLMVY[LHJOing, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.â€? We must give youth an overview of the entire Ben Miller, Program Director, with students at Urban Faith Works in Gary.
Sometimes youth just need someone [VIL[OLYL[VZ\WWVY[[OLT6[OLY times they need someone to admonish them in a loving way. In order for this to be effective, the young people need to feel that you are correcting them because you truly care. It takes time to build this kind of relationship. Another part of discipleship is teaching youth to be disciple-makers
themselves, and giving them opportunities to guide their peers who are not as spiritually mature as they are. This kind of trust not only strengthens relationships between leader and youth, but also helps to strengthen spiritual bonds between young people. This is also why it is important to keep older youth involved with younger kids at their church. The younger ones feel like they have big brothers and
sisters in Christ, and the older ones experience the responsibility and joy of helping their younger siblings in Christ. These principlesâ€”focusing on evangelism, teaching, and discipleshipâ€”are what have helped me in my ministry, and I hope they might also help other Christian leaders in Northwest Indiana.
RELATIONSHIP TO HOUSEHOLDER FOR CHILDREN UNDER 18 YEARS IN HOUSEHOLDS
Foster Parent or Unrelated Caregiver
[US Census Bureau, Relationship to Householder for Children Under 18 Years in Households (2005-2009 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates).]
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20 #}2WX[SaT]H^dcW
Fast Facts on Children and Youth in Lake County: } } } } } } } } } } }
130,443 children under 18 (27% of total population) 35,057 teenagers age 15-19 (7% of total population) 95,370 school-aged children (19.4% of total population; 73% of population under 18) 35,073 children under 5 (7% of total population; 27% of population under 18) Racial composition of children under 18: White: 60,818 (47% of all children) Black: 39,144 (30%) Hispanic: 26,025 (20%) Asian: 1,621 (1%) 114,000 households with children under 18 3,042 births to unmarried mothers, out of 6,759 in 2007 (45%) 772 births to mother age 10-19 71,124 families with children are headed by a married couple 43,125 families with children are headed by a single parent 33,524 (25.7%) of children under 18 live in poverty
[US Census Bureau, tables generated by Joey Mayfield using American FactFinder, 2005-2009 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, (March 2011); Indiana State Department of Health, Epidemiology Resource Center, Data Analysis Team. Table 14. Terminations, Live Births, and Termination Ratios by County of Residence and Age Group: Indiana Residents, 2007 (Indiana Induced Termination of Pregnancy Report, 2007).]
Under 3 years
3 and 4 years
6 to 8 years
9 to 11 years
12 to 14 years
15 to 17 years
[US Census Bureau (2005-2009 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates).]
WAYS TO CONNECT
WITH CHILDREN & YOUTH
<PZTP3XUUTaT]RTcWa^dVW?aPhTa Â‹ Praise God for the gift of children in your home, neighborhood, and community â€“ each as an image bearer of God. Â‹ Pray that each child will receive the love and support they need to grow into healthy, happy, and productive adults. Â‹ Praise God for the tireless efforts of case workers and volunteers of childrenâ€™s ministries and government programs. Pray they would have the energy, passion, and love to continue in the work the Lord has given them. Â‹ Pray for the school teachers and administrators who serve our children every day. Pray that they would continue to show them love and compassion in the classroom. Â‹ 7YH`[OH[[OLHI\ZLKHUKULNSLJ[LKJOPSKYLUPUV\YJVTT\UP[`^V\SKĂ„UKHSV]PUNMHTPS`HUKHWSHJL[VJHSS OVTL7YH`[OH[[OL`^V\SKRUV^[OLSV]LVM[OLPY/LH]LUS`-H[OLYHUK[OH[[OLPYMHTPSPLZ^V\SKĂ„UKOLHSPUN through Jesus Christ. Â‹ Pray for the children affected by divorce and separation. Â‹ Pray that more Christians would love the children in state custody by opening their homes for foster care. Â‹ 7YH`MVY[OLJOPSKYLU[OH[[\YU[VNHUNZMVYHZLUZLVMMHTPS`HUK\UP[`7YH`MVYV\YWVSPJLVMĂ„JLYZHZ[OL`KLHS^P[O gang violence in many of our communities. Â‹ Pray for more collaboration among the children and youth programs across Northwest Indiana. Â‹ 7YH`MVYTVYL]VS\U[LLYZ[VĂ…VVK[OLKVVYZVM[OLTHU`JOPSKYLUHUK`V\[OJLU[LYZHYV\UK5VY[O^LZ[0UKPHUH
<PZTP3XUUTaT]RTcWa^dVWH^da;XUT Â‹ Remember that child abuse and neglect affects children from every socio-economic class, race, and religion. We are all responsible for protecting our communitiesâ€™ children; if you see or hear that a child has been abused please call the Indiana Child Abuse & Neglect Hotline (800-800-5556). Â‹ Volunteer in your church nursery or childrenâ€™s ministry. Â‹ Begin a one-on-one mentoring relationship with a child in your community. Â‹ Volunteer at an after-school program to help children with homework, play games with them, and be a friend. Â‹ )LJVTLHJO\YJO`V\[ONYV\WSLHKLY@V\JV\SKOH]LHWVZP[P]LPUĂ…\LUJLVU5VY[O^LZ[0UKPHUHÂťZ[LLUZ Â‹ Reach out to children in homeless shelters. Provide tutoring and other enriching activities so they can keep up in school. Find ways to make them feel valued and loved â€“ celebrate birthdays, give them their own childrenâ€™s Bible, provide haircuts, and new clothes. Â‹ Host a training session on becoming a foster parent or adoptive family. Host a speaker to teach on the Christianâ€™s call to orphans and adoption at your church. #!}2WX[SaT]H^dcW
Â‹ Connect with (or start) a church ministry to love and support foster/adoptive families. You could provide free babysitting for a much needed date night, â€œadoption showersâ€? for those adopting young children, or simply a support group for foster parents. Â‹ Provide transportation for children in the foster system to church services and programs. Â‹ Contact a chaplain at the Lake County Jail to discuss how you can mentor a young person in the juvenile detention center. You could have an opportunity to change their course in life.
<PZTP3XUUTaT]RTcWa^dVWH^da2WdaRW Â‹ :[HY[HWYH`LY[LHT[VWYH`ZWLJPĂ„JHSS`MVYJOPSKYLUPU`V\YJO\YJOHUKJVTT\UP[`*VUULJ[^P[OSVJHS[LHJOLYZ WYPUJPWHSZZVJPHS^VYRLYZJOPSKHK]VJH[LZHUKZ[HMMVMJOPSKZLY]PJLVYNHUPaH[PVUZ[VĂ„UKZWLJPĂ„JWYH`LYYLX\LZ[Z Â‹ Think about ways you could utilize the facilities of your church for ministry to neighborhood children during the week. Many churches have a gym, playground, or childrenâ€™s library. Â‹ 6WLU`V\YJO\YJO[VHSVJHS`V\[OWYVNYHTVYUVUWYVĂ„[;OL`JV\SK\ZL[OLZWHJLMVYHVUL[PTLTLL[PUNJVUference, or for after-school activities. Â‹ Lead a local teen service project with kids from your church designed to minister to underserved children and youth in our communities. Â‹ Form a support group for foster parents or adoptive parents to assist them with various needs. Â‹ Form a study group that fosters awareness for youth-related issues and public policies. Â‹ 6MMLYJVTT\UP[`^PKLJSHZZLZVUWHYLU[PUNZRPSSZWYVWLYKPZJPWSPULOHIP[ZWYLUH[HSJHYLHUKJOPSKU\[YP[PVU Â‹ Develop a partnership with a local foster agency to see how your church can bless their work. Â‹ Help your church start a partnership with a local youth-related organization or ministry.
Indiana Child Abuse & Neglect Hotline
WAYS TO CONNECT
1^hb6Xa[b2[dQb | ^^^INJU^PVYNc=HYPV\Z3VJH[PVUZ Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana is an after-school and summer youth development organization providing positive, educational, leadership and character-building programs for youth ages 6 to 18. Â‹ Help children with arts and crafts Â‹ Play basketball, dodge ball, and other games with children Â‹ Assist children with their homework Â‹ Serve as a child mentor Locations: Â‹ Gary 219-885-5501 Â‹ Merrillville 219-980-0030 Â‹ East Chicago 219-398-1344 Â‹ Hammond 219-933-9820 Â‹ Lake Station 219-963-9200 Â‹ Cedar Lake 219-374-5306 ?^bXcXeT0__a^PRWc^CTT]7TP[cW?0C7 | c^^^WH[OISHaLYVYNc(THUKH=VS\U[LLY*VVYKPUH[VY PATH has a mission to equip, empower, and encourage teens to make healthy choices through life-skills, relationship and character-building education. Â‹ Liv.True Mentoring: weekly after-school mentoring with students that meet in various locations throughout Northwest Indiana Â‹ 4VUKH`4HKULZZ!TLL[Z[^PJLHTVU[OUK [O4VUKH`ZH[[OL7(;/VMĂ„JL[VLUJV\YHNL`V\[OHUKI\PSK relationships Â‹ 6MĂ„JL;LHT![OLYLZHS^H`Z[OPUNZ[VKVH[[OL7(;/VMĂ„JL!KH[HLU[Y`NYHWOPJKLZPNUWYLWTH[LYPHSZMVYJSHZZrooms and more Â‹ Event Planning: if this is your passion, join us! PATH hosts several community wide events each year, and we can always use more ideas and helping hands. DaQP]5PXcWF^aZb | c^^^\YIHUMHP[O^VYRZJVT <YIHU-HP[O>VYRZPZHUHM[LYZJOVVS`V\[OWYVNYHTPU.HY`;OL`WYV]PKLHWVZP[P]LLU]PYVUTLU[MVYJOPSKYLU[VĂ„UPZO their homework, play enriching games, and hear the Word of God. Â‹ Facilitate and participate in fun and enriching games and activities Â‹ Prepare a child for the future by tutoring and daily homework help ##}2WX[SaT]H^dcW
6Pah;XUT4SdRPcX^]8]XcXPcXeT | The mission of Gary Life Education Initiative Incorporated is to provide mentoring, essential and enriching life skills, and college and career readiness workshops to help students discover and live their purpose. Â‹ Come alongside a child as a positive mentor Â‹ :RPSSLK[`WPZ[ZHYLHS^H`ZULLKLKHYV\UK[OLVMĂ„JL Â‹ Assist in planning, organizing, and running a community workshop Â‹ Donate school supplies for local children Â‹ Web and graphic designers are needed to work on the website and promotional materials 5PXcWP]S0RcX^] | c^^^MHP[OHUKHJ[PVUVUSPULVYN -HP[OHUK(J[PVUOVZ[ZSVJHSĂ„ZOPUN[YPWZHUKW\TWRPUM\UKH`ZMVY\YIHUJOPSKYLUPUV\YHYLH;OL`HSZV^VYR^P[OÂ¸)` the Hand Clubsâ€? in southside Chicago to provide after-school mentoring. Â‹ Mentor a child with the â€œBy the Hand Clubsâ€? Â‹ ,UQV`[OLL_WLYPLUJLVM[LHJOPUN\YIHUJOPSKYLU[VĂ„ZOHUKOH]LHTLTVYHISLJVVRV\[ Â‹ Host a book drive for a new library in an impoverished community Â‹ Donate your time and labor in building a new library 2aXbXb2T]cTa8]R | c^^^JYPZPZJLU[LY`ZIVYN ;OL*YPZPZ*LU[LYPZHUV[MVYWYVĂ„[VYNHUPaH[PVU[OH[VMMLYZH]HYPL[`VMZLY]PJLJV\UZLSPUNHUK[LTWVYHY`OV\ZPUNVWportunities for children and teens. Â‹ Youth As Resources is a community service based group for teens, giving teens an opportunity to plan, organize, and serve in meaningful projects around our area Â‹ *OPSKYLUHNLKJHUZLY]LHZHJV\Y[VMĂ„JPHSMVYHYLHS[LLUJV\Y[OLHYPUNHUKSLHYU[OLJP]PJWYVJLZZ Â‹ Adults, who attend a training seminar, can begin calling clients for weekly wellness checks 2T]cTaU^a<T]c^abc c,YPJ,]HUZ The Center For Mentors aims to improve educational attainment for youth, particularly those in the juvenile justice system, foster care system, and those who are homeless. Â‹ Traditional one-to-one mentoring Â‹ Group mentoring Â‹ Team mentoring
WAYS TO CONNECT THROUGH VOLUNTEERING CONT. 7P\\^]S7XVWBRW^^[c ,_c9VJOHYKH4VVYL4VYYPZ Hammond High is asking agencies, churches, and individuals to partner with the school to help provide additional resources for administrators, teachers, families, and students. Â‹ Become a student mentor or tutor Â‹ Serve as a hall monitor or serve in your own unique way 6T\X]db | c^^^NLTPU\ZVYN The Geminus mission is to work in collaboration with our communities to provide comprehensive development services [V`V\UNJOPSKYLUHUK[OLPYMHTPSPLZHUK[VHZZPZ[PUNHPUPUNZLSMZ\MĂ„JPLUJ` Â‹ Become a classroom reader in the Head Start program Â‹ Facilitate parenting workshops Â‹ 6[OLYHZZPNUTLU[ZHYLH]HPSHISLKLWLUKPUNVUZRPSSZL[H]HPSHIPSP[`HUKWYVNYHTULLKZ
Foster Care Services These are some of the organizations that provide foster care placements and services to children in foster homes. If God has been working on your heart through the stories in this chapter, and you would like to serve or even consider becomPUNHMVZ[LYMHTPS`WSLHZLJVUULJ[^P[OVULVM[OLTHU`NYLH[VYNHUPaH[PVUZSPZ[LKILSV^6WWVY[\UP[PLZ[VZLY]LPUJS\KL! Â‹ 6YNHUPaLZWLJPHSKH`ZVMNHTLZHUKZWVY[ZHJ[P]P[PLZMVYMVZ[LYJHYLMHTPSPLZ Â‹ Commit to an ongoing connection with a child as a mentor Â‹ Provide tutoring and educational support Â‹ 6MMLYYLZWP[LJHYL[VNP]LMVZ[LYWHYLU[ZZJOLK\SLKIYLHRZ Â‹ Engage children in foster care with community service experiences â€“ let them share in the joy of helping others Â‹ Donate toys, clothing, and personal care items for children and families Â‹ Reach out to older youth with friendship, guidance, and connections with job training and employment opportunities =PcX^]P[H^dcW0Se^RPcT?a^VaP\=H0? c c^^^U`HWVYN NYAP has a non-negotiable commitment to do what is best for children, youth, and their families. They provide opportunities and resources through innovative programs and services. They are dedicated to strengthening the families and communities they are proud to serve.
CWT5P\X[h2^\_Pbb c c^^^[OLMHTPS`JVTWHZZUL[ ;OL-HTPS`*VTWHZZHUV[MVYWYVĂ„[SPJLUZLKJOPSKWSHJLTLU[HNLUJ`WYV]PKLZX\HSP[`MVZ[LYJHYLZLY]PJLZ[VJOPSKYLU who, because of abuse or neglect, have become wards of the state. BPUT5P\X[XTb5^a2WX[SaT] c^^^ZHMLMHTPSPLZVYN Safe, loving homes are provided where parents may voluntarily have their children cared for while they seek to restore stability in their lives. Founded in 2002, Safe Families for Children has partnered with local community agencies, churches, and volunteer families, as well as government organizations in more than a dozen states. 8]SXP]P<4=C>A c c^^^PUTLU[VYJVT 0UKPHUH4,5;69PZJVTTP[[LK[VĂ„UKPUNZHMLU\Y[\YPUNHUK[OLYHWL\[PJOVTLZ^OLYL`V\[OJHUNYV^HUKKL]LSVW(Z [Y\Z[LKWYV]PKLY^P[OHWYV]LU[YHJRYLJVYKVMZ\JJLZZ[OL`OH]LH^LSSKLĂ„ULKZL[VMX\HSP[`Z[HUKHYKZHUKL_WLYPLUJLK team of professionals that create an exceptional level of support for our foster parents. :XSb?TPRT c c^^^RPKZWLHJLVYN Kids Peace is a private charity dedicated to serving the behavioral and mental health needs of children, families, and communities 3^RZbXSTBTaeXRTb c c^^^WYV]JVYWJVT Dockside Services provides home-based services and support (therapy/counseling) for families receiving their children back after they have been in foster care. 1T]RW<PaZ5P\X[hBTaeXRTb c The mission of Benchmark Family Services is to provide stable and caring placements for youth in need of out-of-home care. ?B85P\X[hBTaeXRTb c c^^^WZPMHTPS`ZLY]PJLZJVT PSI licensed foster care and adoption services offer safe and loving homes to abused and neglected children. PSI helps over 1,000 children and families each year. B_TRXP[XiTS0[cTa]PcXeTU^a5P\X[XTbP]SH^dcWB05H cc^^^ZHM`VYN Many children in our nation are abused, neglected, and are victimized and left without loving parents to care for them. :(-@MVJ\ZLZVU[OLZLKPMĂ„J\S[[VWSHJLJOPSKYLUI`OLSWPUN[VWYV]PKLZ[HISLOVTLZPUVYKLY[OH[[OL`TH`NYV^PU[V healthy and happy adults.
WAYS TO CONNECT THROUGH VOLUNTEERING CONT. 2P\_PV]P0RPST\h c ,_[ c^^^JHTWHNUHHJHKLT`VYN *HTWHNUH(JHKLT`Z;OLYHWL\[PJ-VZ[LY*HYL7YVNYHTZLLRZX\HSPĂ„LKMHTPSPLZ[VWYV]PKLSV]PUN[LTWVYHY`OVTLZMVY children in need, primarily teenagers. 2WX[SaT]^UcWT5dcdaT c Children of the Future is a local foster care licensing agency in Gary, helping families connect with children in need. EX[[PVTb c c^^^]PSSHNLRPKZVYN The Villages is dedicated to enhancing services for the critical early childhood years. They also offer a foster care program, a transitional living program, family services, and adoption programs. FX[[^fV[T]0RPST\h c c^^^WOVLUP_JHYLZ`Z[LTZJVT Willowglen Academy offers a group home for children, foster care services, and an accredited private school.
Other Organizations that Work with Children 3T_Pac\T]c^U2WX[SBTaeXRTb c The Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) protects children from abuse and neglect. DCS does this by partnering with families and communities to provide safe, nurturing, and stable homes. 5P\X[h0RcX^]=Tcf^aZ c c5HUJ`*SVVUHU Family Action Network offers assistance to families with children who have serious emotional disabilities (SEDs). <T]cP[7TP[cW0\TaXRP^U;PZT2^d]ch c c^^^TOHSHRLJV\U[`VYNWYVNYHTZO[TS Mental Health America of Lake County supports individuals and families in their efforts to improve their quality of life. Bc<^]XRPzb7^\T c=LY`JVUĂ„KLU[PHSTPUPZ[Y`Please go to the hospital and apply in person The two-story yellow house, located on the St. Margaretâ€™s Dyer Campus, offers a medically sound and emotionally healthy environment for a pregnant teen to reside while waiting for her baby. Residents of St. Monica Home learn to foster positive relationships and parenting skills under the guidance of experienced and encouraging resident advisors.
?aTeT]c2WX[S0QdbT;PZT2^d]ch?20;2 cWJHSJ'OV[THPSJVT A chartered council of Prevent Child Abuse Indiana, is an all-volunteer board dedicated to educating our community about what we can do at a local level to prevent child abuse. 7TP[cWhBcPac c Healthy Start is a federally funded program whose goal is to reduce infant deaths and to help women to have healthy babies. The program provides assistance with prenatal care, case management and health education classes. ?PaT]cb0bCTPRWTab^U;PZT2^d]ch c c^^^WH[SHRLJV\U[`VYN A nationally-acclaimed early childhood parent education and family support program, serving families throughout pregnancy until their child enters kindergarten. PAT programs are in Crown Point, East Chicago, Hammond, Lowell, North Township and Whiting Â‹ 6YNHUPaLZ\Y]L`ZMVYMVZ[LYWHYLU[Z Â‹ Donate books and prepare them to be given to each family Â‹ /LSW^P[OHKTPUPZ[YH[P]L[HZRZHYV\UK[OLVMĂ„JL 2^\\d]Xch?Pac]Tab cc^^^NLTPU\ZJVTT\UP[`WHY[ULYZVYN They are devoted to helping families in Lake County stay together, even when they are facing stressful challenges. H<20H^d]V<T]zb2WaXbcXP]0bb^RXPcX^] c=HYPV\Z3VJH[PVUZ With a focus on nurturing the potential of every child and teen, improving the nationâ€™s health and well-being and providing opportunities to give back and support neighbors, the Y enables youth, adults, families and communities to be OLHS[O`JVUĂ„KLU[JVUULJ[LKHUKZLJ\YL Locations: Â‹ Southlake YMCA Branch | 1450 S. Court St, Crown Point, IN 46307 | 219-663-5810 Â‹ Hobart Family YMCA Inc. | 601 W 40th Place, Hobart, IN 46342 | 219-942-2183 Â‹ YMCA of Portage Township Inc. | 3100 Willowcreek Rd, Portage, IN 46368 | 219-762-9622 Â‹ YMCA of the Hammond Area Inc. | 7322 Southeastern Ave, Hammond, IN 46324 | 219-845-1507 Â‹ YMCA of Valparaiso Indiana Inc. | 1201 Cumberland Crossing Dr, Valparaiso, IN 46383 | 219-462-4185 Â‹ Duneland Family YMCA | 215 Roosevelt St, Chesterton, IN 46304 | 219-926-4204 HF20H^d]VF^\T]zb2WaXbcXP]0bb^RXPcX^] c>[O(]L.HY`05c More important than the numbers is their mission to eliminate racism and empower women. They provide safe places for women and girls and build strong women leaders.
MARRIAGE & FAMILY
In our busyness, we often miss the soulto-soul connection our children need and desire. 7OV[VI`^^^PZ[VJRWOV[VJVTWH[YPJROLHNUL`
GLIMPSE IN THE LIFE OF A MODERN FAMILY )`7HZ[VY.HY`)\[SLY
Look around. We live in a society exploding with escalating levels of technology, entertainment, and activity. Families run nonstop. We frequently discuss our weariness and over-commitment, but rarely do anything to adjust our calendars. We have music lessons at the conservatory, AWANA on Wednesday, basketball on Friday, youth activities on Saturday, wrestling tournaments on Sunday, and back to school and work on Monday. Meanwhile, the oldest has joined the teen jazz band, and his younger sister has enrolled for ballet lessons at the YMCA. Add to this the strain of Mom and Dad holding multiple jobs and church responsibilities, plus all the work needed to keep the house in shape, and we have a prescription for disaster in the American home. We are tired of being tired. Many families rarely manage one single family meal per day with every member present around the dinner table. Few families foster intimate soul-to-soul conversation between parents and children. Can we survive going this fast? CWT2^]cT\_^aPah5P\X[hzb4bRP[PcX]V?PRTFTPZT]bcWT5P\X[hzb2^]]TRcX^]fXcW6^S ;OLWYVWOL[0ZHPHO^YV[LÂ¸0UX\PL[ULZZHUKPUJVUĂ„KLUJLZOHSSIL`V\YZ[YLUN[OÂš0ZHPHO!21=8\PL[[PTLZPU the home provide a peaceful, tranquil setting to enhance childrenâ€™s appreciation for God and his Word. As a child, I remember quiet visits to my Aunt Joyceâ€™s house. Aunt Joyceâ€™s husband had died, and her house was still and tranquil. In the quietness of those visits, we spoke much of the Lord and little of ourselves. Scenes like that have largely vanished from [OL(TLYPJHUMHTPS`SHUKZJHWL>LZPTWS`TV]L[VVMHZ[[VLUQV`.VKHUKOPZX\PL[^VYRPUV\YSP]LZ>OLUSPMLPZĂ„SSLK with the endless swirl of activity, it hinders the quietness necessary for spiritual growth in the soul. CWT2^]cT\_^aPah5P\X[hzb4bRP[PcX]V?PRT0RRT[TaPcTbcWT8]U [dT]RT^UcWTF^a[S As our children run to and fro, they become overexposed to the world and underexposed to the peaceful tranquility VM[OL:WPYP[JVU[YVSSLKSPML0U[OL6SK;LZ[HTLU[^OLU:HTZVUJHTLOVTLMYVT;PTUH[OOLMV\UKHKH\NO[LYVM[OL Philistines and demanded his parents to acquire her to be his wife (Judges 14:2). Samson shouldnâ€™t have looked for a wife among the Philistines, and much trouble came from that wedding, though God ultimately used it for his own purposes. As children become increasingly busy in all the extracurricular activities of life, they are subjected to things God never intended them to experience. As supervisor of an addiction ministry, I am concerned about the emergence of countless activities from our culture that have tremendous addictive potential. Todayâ€™s youth are offered everything from internet porn to online gambling to JVUZ[HU[P7OVULJVUULJ[P]P[`[V?IV_NHTPUN0U[OLHIZLUJLVMJHSTWLHJLM\SMHTPS`ZL[[PUNZ[OLZLK\J[P]LPUĂ…\LUJLVM todayâ€™s technology is luring young people into new and frenetic activity. <PaaXPVT5P\X[h}$
CWT2^]cT\_^aPah5P\X[hzb?PRT3X\X]XbWTb2WX[SaT]zb2P_PRXchc^ATbXbcCT\_cPcX^] Proverbs 1:15-16 (NIV) says, â€œMy son, do not go along with them [sinners]; do not set foot on their paths, for their feet Y\ZOPU[VZPUÂš(ZV\YJOPSKYLUY\U\UH[[LUKLK[OYV\NO[OPZ[^LU[`Ă„YZ[JLU[\Y`THU`HYLPUKLLKY\ZOPUNPU[VZPU0U[OL HIZLUJLVMHUPU[LU[PVUHSS`KL]LSVWLKZV\SHUK[OLJHSTPUNHUKZ[YLUN[OLUPUNPUĂ…\LUJLVM[OLOVTL[VKH`ÂťZ`V\[OHYL PUJYLHZPUNS`]\SULYHISL[VZLK\J[P]L[LTW[H[PVU(Z[OLPUĂ…\LUJLVM[OLMHTPS`KPTPUPZOLZHUKL_WVZ\YL[V[OL^VYSK increases, we are developing a â€œnew normalâ€? for morality in the Christian home. Who will instill soul-resistance-to-temptation in the hearts of todayâ€™s youth? Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (NIV) says, â€œThese commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home. . . when you lie down and when you get up.â€? Godâ€™s prescription for the relay of truth in the home is simple: Â‹ ;Y\[OT\Z[Ă„YZ[K^LSSPU[OLOLHY[ZVMWHYLU[Z Â‹ Parents must regularly speak those truths in the home Â‹ Parents must integrate those truths into family life The parent who fails to teach soul-resistance-to-temptation in this culture will see his child pay a heavy price. The world is full of examples of what happens when families perpetuate the fast lane without developing the hearts of [OLPYJOPSKYLUPUHX\PL[ZLYLULZL[[PUN;VKH`TVYL[OHUL]LY0Ă„UKT`ZLSMWSLHKPUN^P[OWHYLU[Z[VĂ„UKTVYL[PTLMVY quiet, intimate soul-connection with their children in the peaceful setting of the home.
The Importance of Family Meals Compared to teens who have frequent family dinners (five to seven per week), those who have infrequent family dinners (fewer than three per week) are: } Twice as likely to use tobacco } Nearly twice as likely to use alcohol } One and a half times likelier to use marijuana } More likely to have friends who abuse prescription drugs or illegal drugs such as cocaine and heroin } Nearly twice as likely to report receiving grades of mostly Câ€™s or lower 75% of teens say they talk to their parents about what is going on in their lives at dinner [The Importance of Family Dinner VI (New York: The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA), September 2010), http://www.casacolumbia.org/upload/2010/20100922familydinners6.pdf.]
HEALTHY FAMILIES )`1HZVU;VWW
CWTEP[dT^U5P\X[XTb The Bible begins with the marriage of a man and a woman (Genesis 1) and ends with the marriage between Christ and his church (Revelation 19).1 In between, we see the imagery of marriage and families woven throughout :JYPW[\YLHZ.VKHMĂ„YTZ[OLPTWVYtance of family for the human race.2 Since the beginning, God designed the family as a way for people to glorify and honor him through strong and healthy relationships. It is within the family that children are taught the value of manhood, womanhood, and morality.3
But the God of grace offers restoration and renewal for broken homes, and we believe the church should be the foremost champion for family reconciliation. CWT0SeP]cPVTb^U7TP[cWh5P\X[XTb A healthy family structure does not guarantee a problem-free society. A home that has a mother and father present, yet harbors abusive relationships, can indelibly harm individuals
and communities. But strong families and stable marriages woven throughout the fabric of a city are the bedrock of a thriving region. According to the Institute for American Values, communities that foster healthy families are more likely to have citizens who are physically Ă„[LTV[PVUHSS`OLHS[O`HUKOPNOS` educated.4 Neighborhoods where healthy families live notice a decrease 7OV[VI`^^^PZ[VJRWOV[VJVTRL]PUY\ZZ
Unfortunately, it did not take long MVY[OLĂ„YZ[MHTPS`[VJVYY\W[.VKÂťZ model, resulting in the collapse of this family unit. When sin entered the picture in Genesis 2, the devastating effects that marred relationships have on society became evident. Today, mistrust, divorce, and abuse are all too common. Strong families and stable marriages are the bedrock of a thriving region.
B^RXP[0RRT_cP]RT^UAPXbX]V2WX[SaT]>dcbXST^U<PaaXPVT } } } } }
#^UPSd[cbbPh\PaaXPVTXbQTR^\X]V^Qb^[TcT %QT[XTeT_aT\PaXcP[bTgXb]^cfa^]V $!bPhd]\PaaXTS_PaT]cbWPeX]VRWX[SaT]Xbfa^]V^][hb^\TcX\Tb^a]^cPcP[[ #!^Uf^\T]SXbPVaTTcWPcRWX[SaT]]TTSP\^cWTaP]SUPcWTaX]cWTW^\Tc^QTWP__h %&bPhXU_PaT]cbPaTeTahd]WP__hfXcWTPRW^cWTaRWX[SaT]PaTQTccTa^UUXUcWThSXe^aRT
[Pew Research Center, The Decline of Marriage And Rise of New Families (2010), http://pewsocialtrends.org/files/2010/11/pewsocial-trends-2010-families.pdf]
in domestic violence, crime, and teenage pregnancy rates. While home ownership, property values, and household wealth increase when healthy families lead the way.5 Strengthening just one family can lead to a multitude of positive outcomes on society. A healthy family can raise up Ă„ULZ[\KLU[ZNVVKLTWSV`LLZHUK loving neighbors who seek the wellbeing of their own communities.
The State of Families in Lake County One of the more challenging trends in Northwest Indiana is the declining health and well-being of the family. When the family loses its importance, society struggles. By choice or by circumstance, family cohesion has too often been hijacked in Lake County; and families face tough challenges in$#}<PaaXPVT5P\X[h
cluding father absence, family disconnection, and family stress.6 Father Absence Fully 45 percent of all births in Lake County are to unmarried mothers.7 In the African American community, upwards of 80 percent of all births are to single mothers.8 Although a portion of these births are to mothers who have a live-in, unmarried partner, the numbers are nonetheless staggering. There are an estimated 695 births to teenagers in Lake County every year, which represents nine percent of all births.9 The majority of these children grow up having no relationship with their fathers. Family Disconnection Families can become emotionally detached even when both parents are
present. Technology, mindless entertainment, and the endless pursuit of economic status create emotional barriers for families.10 Hammond Police Chief Brian Miller mentions that many of todayâ€™s youth enlist with gangs in VYKLY[VĂ„UKHZLUZLVMMHTPSPHSHJJLWtance that they simply lack at home.11 Experiencing life and sharing stories during family meal times has largely been supplanted by our individualism. â€œOur culture promotes individuality,â€? says Jeff Temple of the Biblical Counseling Center, â€œwhich causes friction manifested in many forms.â€?12 6\YOLJ[PJWHJLVMSPMLHUKJVUĂ…PJ[PUN schedules squeeze out time for important connection among family members. Families used to bond regularly around the dinner table; but unfortunately in our culture
:PUNSLWHYLU[ZVM[LUÃ„UK[OLTZLS]LZ MHJPUNÃ„UHUJPHSZ[YHPUZ^OPJOM\Y[OLY WLYWL[\H[LMHTPS`[LUZPVU0U3HRL ;OL5H[PVUHS*LU[LYVU(KKPJ[PVU *V\U[`H^OVWWPUNWLYJLU[VM HUK:\IZ[HUJL(I\ZL*(:(H[ ZPUNSLTV[OLYZSP]LILSV^[OLWV]*VS\TIPH<UP]LYZP[`MV\UK[OH[[LLUZ LY[`SPUL16^OPSLVUS`[LUWLYJLU[VM ^OVZLMHTPSPLZOH]LPUMYLX\LU[MHTPS` THYYPLKJV\WSLZ^P[OJOPSKYLUÃ„UK KPUULYZ[VNL[OLYML^LY[OHU[OYLL [OLTZLS]LZPU[OLZHTLZP[\H[PVU0U WLY^LLRHYL[^PJLHZSPRLS`[V\ZL HZPUNSLTV[OLYÂ»ZTLKPHUMHTPS` [VIHJJVVULHUKHOHSM[PTLZTVYL PUJVTL^HZVUS`WLYJLU[VM[OL SPRLS`[V\ZLTHYPQ\HUHHUKULHYS` 3HRL*V\U[`TLKPHUMHTPS`PUJVTL17 [^PJLHZSPRLS`[V\ZLHSJVOVS;OL`HYL :PUNSLMH[OLYZTHKLVUH]LYHNL HSZVTVYLSPRLS`[VOH]LMYPLUKZ^OV ^OPSLZPUNSLTV[OLYZTHKL HI\ZLWYLZJYPW[PVUKY\NZVYPSSLNHS VUS`18 KY\NZZ\JOHZJVJHPULHUKOLYVPU HUKHYLULHYS`[^PJLHZSPRLS`[VYLWVY[ (S[OV\NO[OLZLU\TILYZHYLHSHYTPUN YLJLP]PUNTVZ[S`*ZVYSV^LYVU[OLPY 3HRL*V\U[`VMMLYZHTWSLYLZV\YJLZ YLWVY[JHYKZHZJVTWHYLK[V[LLUZ [VOLSWZ[YLUN[OLUMHTPSPLZPUJS\K^OVMYLX\LU[S`OH]LMHTPS`KPUULY PUNH]HYPL[`VMUVUWYVÃ„[ZLY]PJLZ[OH[ 13 [VNL[OLYÃ„]L[VZL]LUWLY^LLR HZZPZ[MHTPSPLZPUULLKHUKHU\TILY Family Stress ,JVUVTPJWYLZZ\YLZ\IZ[HUJLHI\ZL KVTLZ[PJ]PVSLUJLHUKPUÃ„KLSP[`JHU YPWMHTPSPLZHWHY[PUZ[HU[S`-PUHUJPHS Z[YLZZPZKVJ\TLU[LKHZHTHQVYMHJ[VY [OH[SLHKZ[VHI\ZLHUKKP]VYJL14 In [OLYL^LYLZL]LUJOPSKMH[HSP[PLZPU3HRL*V\U[`K\L[VHI\ZLHUK ULNSLJ[(JJVYKPUN[V[OL0UKPHUH +LWHY[TLU[VM*OPSK:LY]PJLZZVTL VM[OLIPNNLZ[Z[YLZZMHJ[VYZPUJVUULJ[PVU^P[OJOPSKHI\ZLJHZLZHYL MHTPS`KPZJVYKTHYP[HSWYVISLTZSHJR VMWHYLU[PUNZRPSSZKVTLZ[PJ]PVSLUJL HUKPUZ\MÃ„JPLU[MHTPS`PUJVTL15
VMJO\YJOIHZLKWYVNYHTZ[OH[WYV]PKL JV\UZLSPUNYLSH[PVUHSJVUULJ[PVU HUKPUZ[Y\J[PVU[VMHTPSPLZPUULLKVM Z\WWVY[
A Strategy for Fostering Healthy Families :PUJLOLHS[O`MHTPSPLZHYL[OLSPMLISVVKVMHÃ…V\YPZOPUNJVTT\UP[` JO\YJOLZ^V\SKKV^LSS[VHKVW[H T\S[PMHJL[LKHWWYVHJO[VZ[YLUN[OLUPUNTHYYPHNLZHUKMHTPSPLZ ;OLMVSSV^PUNZP_Z\NNLZ[PVUZWYV]PKL H[LTWSH[LMVYZ[YLUN[OLUPUNJVTT\UP[PLZI`Z[YLUN[OLUPUNMHTPSPLZ19 1. Strengthen Families within the Church 4HYYPHNLZHUKMHTPSPLZ^P[OPU[OL JO\YJOMHJLZPTPSHYPZZ\LZHZZVJPL[`
Trends in Marriage and Parenting } } } }
Marriage rates for twenty-somethings are declining, from 68% in 1960 to 26% in 2008 80% of unmarried parents have cohabited; cohabitation rates have doubled since 1990 About 40% of children spend some time in a cohabiting family by age 12 People with lower incomes and education are less likely to marry, and more likely to have children outside of marriage
[Pew Research Center, The Decline of Marriage And Rise of New Families (2010), http://pewsocialtrends.org/files/2010/11/pew-social-trends-2010-families.pdf]
in general. Fortifying the families within the walls of a church (without slighting single parents)20 can be a great way to model and help families in the community. Churches can partner with counseling centers to provide volunteers, facilitate counseling ministries, and support counselors who help church families. Couples who have continued faithfully in their marriages could become â€œmarriage mentorsâ€? to assist younger couples in making wise choices.
Marriage in Lake Co. Males over 25 } 31,390 never married } 86,404 married } 6,869 with spouse absent } 18,613 divorced } 6,038 widowed Females over 25 } 30,282 never married } 84,360 married } 7,949 with spouse absent } 24,847 divorced } 22,986 widowed [US Census Bureau, Sex by Marital Status by Age for the Population 15 Years and Older (2005-2009 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimate).]
2. Strengthen Families in the Community Churches can assist ministries and UVUWYVĂ„[VYNHUPaH[PVUZ[OH[OLSW support and defend strong families by getting involved in the events that a WHY[PJ\SHYVYNHUPaH[PVUPZ[HRPUNWHY[ in.21 Churches can also serve as a catalyst for networking among various VYNHUPaH[PVUZZLLRPUN[VHZZPZ[MHTPSPLZ in their development. Often, a family has needs in multiple areas, requiring [OLOLSWVMH]HYPL[`VMVYNHUPaH[PVUZ 3. Minister to Families in Crisis Churches can provide services to at-risk members of their congregation and community. For families seeking Ă„UHUJPHSHZZPZ[HUJLJO\YJOLZJHU help meet physical and material needs as they lead families back to self-sufĂ„JPLUJ`*O\YJOLZJHUHSZVILJVTL a resource by coming alongside other VYNHUPaH[PVUZTPUPZ[LYPUN[VMHTPSPLZ and by helping with existing efforts to build strong families.22 4. Nurture the Next Generation Of Families Churches can play a major role in the education and development of Lake Countyâ€™s children and youth. Imagine churches serving alongside one another to help break the cycle of generational poverty or abuse by fostering healthy family initiatives and
reaching out to children in need. Studies suggest that young people who are engaged in church activities are more apt to develop strong marriages.23 5. Advocate Family-Friendly Policies in the Workplace And Public Arena Churches can encourage business owners and employers to strengthen families by promoting family-friendly WVSPJPLZHUKWH`PUNHZ\MĂ„JPLU[SP]PUN wage.24 Parents who earn low wages tend to work more than one job, which creates tension on families.25 Business owners and employers who are concerned about their people, HUKUV[Q\Z[[OLPYWYVĂ„[ZJHUKVT\JO good in our communities. 6. Shape a Family-Affirming Culture â€œChurches should encourage their members to support family-strengthening attitudes in culture-shaping institutions (media, entertainment, advertisements, etc.).â€?26 Churches should reject cultural products like music, movies, and television shows â€œthat undermine families by condoning extramarital sexuality, domestic violence, or divorce.â€?27
Family is a Gift from God Everything about a healthy marriage is designed to point us to God and to YLĂ…LJ[[OLYLSH[PVUZOPW^L^LYLTLHU[ to have with him.28 This is why divorce
is not just a social concern; it deeply grieves our Creator (Malachi 2:16).29 (S[OV\NOTHYYPHNLYLĂ…LJ[Z.VKÂťZNSVY` imperfectly, healthy marriages and MHTPSPLZHYLNPM[Z[OH[KPZWSH`.VKÂťZ
heart of love. Marriage is not a perfect YLTLK`MVYHSSVMZVJPL[`ÂťZWYVISLTZ but healthy families do provide the \UKLYWPUUPUNZVMHĂ…V\YPZOPUNJVTmunity.30 Let us create a better future
MVY5VY[O^LZ[0UKPHUHI`^VYRPUN together to build strong and healthy families.
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being... Ephesians 3:14-16
Ref lection Questions for Healthy Families Essay Â‹ Have you ever needed someone such as a counselor, mentor, or pas[VY[V^HSRHSVUNZPKL`V\VY`V\YMHTPS`K\YPUNHKPMĂ„J\S[[PTL&9LĂ…LJ[VUZVTLVM[OL[OPUNZ[OPZWLYZVUKPK[OH[^LYLOLSWM\S[V`V\0U what ways could you learn from this experience to be a good support WLYZVUMVYZVTLVULLSZL& Â‹ 0U[VKH`ÂťZI\Z`HUK[LJOUVSVN`SHKLUZVJPL[`P[PZVM[LULHZPLY[V[VSLYate isolation within families rather than work at building closeness with one another. What are some ways your family can help overJVTL[OL[LTW[H[PVU[VYLTHPUPZVSH[LKMYVTLHJOV[OLY& Â‹ /V^JHU`V\YMHTPS`[HRLZ[LWZ[VYLK\JL[OLÂ¸I\Z`ULZZVMSPML&Âš>OH[ are some goals your family could set for meal times together, game UPNO[ZVYV[OLYLUYPJOPUNHJ[P]P[PLZ& Â‹ What are some ways you could serve organizations in the Ways to *VUULJ[ZLJ[PVU[VOLSWLUJV\YHNLOLHS[O`MHTPSPLZPU5VY[O^LZ[0UKPHUHHUKPU[OLWYVJLZZJ\S[P]H[LHZ[YVUNIVUKPU`V\YV^UMHTPS`& <PaaXPVT5P\X[h}$&
LIFE RENEWED )`1VYNLHUK(UKYLH4\UVa
0]SaTPzbBc^ah -VYV]LYĂ„M[LLU`LHYZT`O\ZIHUKHUK0SP]LK[VNL[OLYPUH[V_PJYLSH[PVUZOPW:PUM\S[OV\NO[ZHUKSPLZMYVT[OLLULT` permeated my husbandâ€™s mind, poisoning whatever love he had for me. My own discontent and pride grew into bitterness and withdrawal. Finally, I disconnected all of my emotions from my husband. I prayed that God would do something drastic and root out the cancerous tumors in our family. .VKHUZ^LYLKI`Z[YPWWPUNH^H`L]LY`[OPUNNL[[PUNPU[OL^H`VMOPZ^PSS>LOHKHTHQVYĂ„UHUJPHSTLS[KV^UHUKSVZ[ L]LY`[OPUNPUJS\KPUNHILH\[PM\SOVTL>L^LYLLTV[PVUHSS`HUKWO`ZPJHSS`KLZ[P[\[L6\YOVTLSLZZULZZ^HZHYHKPJHS picture of our marriageâ€”a place where unconditional love found no home. During this time, however, God brought us to the Biblical Counseling Center (BCC). Using the Bible, our counselor wisely led us on a journey to reconciliation and spiritual renewal. I watched my husbandâ€™s angry heart of stone become YLWSHJLKI`HOLHY[VMĂ…LZOHZ.VK broke through the strongholds in his mind and gave him a fresh perspec[P]L6\YJV\UZLSVY[H\NO[TL^OH[ biblical forgiveness looks like and gave encouragement through Godâ€™s Word, which enabled me to reconnect emotionally, while my husband worked to rebuild trust between us. If youâ€™re alive, youâ€™ll have troubled [PTLZ/V^^LOHUKSL[OLTYLĂ…LJ[Z our character and faith in God. Sometimes troubled times are really an answer to prayer and a blessing in disguise. My husband and I are thankful for BCCâ€™s ministry. The Lord used BCC Dr. Ronald Allchin, Sr., Executive Director of the Biblical Counseling Center, Schererville, IN
STORY OF HOPE to offer us hope and give us direction through his Word and through Jesus, the one who will complete the good work he has begun in our marriage. 9^aVTzbBc^ah I came to the Biblical Counseling Center because my wife needed help. I didnâ€™t have a problem. Because of this attitude, counseling did not start out well. At our meetings, I would become angry and lash out at my counselor. I was enJV\YHNLK[VKVOVTL^VYRI`Z[\K`PUN[OL>VYKVM.VKHUKYLĂ…LJ[PUNVUP[0KPKUÂť[KVP[0^HZYLI\RLKI`V\YJV\Uselor for being disrespectful, and was placed on notice to come back only when I was ready to admit I had a problem HUK^HZ^PSSPUN[V^VYRVUP[0[[VVRMV\YTVU[OZILMVYL0[VVR[OLPUP[PH[P]L[VNVIHJR6UJL0KPK0^HZĂ„UHSS`HISL[V receive instruction from Godâ€™s Word through the counselor. I learned how to replace bad habits with good biblical habits. By doing my homework, I was able to begin the process of healing from my sinful communication, thought patterns, and behavior. God used our counselor to shepherd my wife and me back to the Word, back to Jesus. The Word reproved us, disciplined us, rebuked us, and ultimately rebuilt us. .VKYLWSHJLK[OLVSK^P[O[OLUL^HUKV\YTHYYPHNLHUKV\YZP_`V\UNJOPSKYLUHSSILULĂ„[LKHZHYLZ\S[ (KHW[LKMYVT1VYNLHUK(UKYLH4\UVaÂťZ[LZ[PTVU`PUMended LivesZ\TTLY\ZLK^P[OWLYTPZZPVUMYVT[OL )PISPJHS*V\UZLSPUN*LU[LY
Marriage in Indiana } } } } }
In 2004, there were 43,496 marriages performed in Indiana; 2,595 in Lake County The average age at marriage for brides and grooms who had never previously been married was 25.0 and 26.8 years, respectively Only 51% of marriages were first marriages for both the bride and the groom 24% of marriages were subsequent to a divorce for both the bride and the groom In another 23% percent of marriages, either the bride or the groom had been previously divorced
[Indiana State Department of Health, Public Health System Development and Data Commission, Data Analysis Team, Indiana Marriage Report, 2004, Table 15]
A BIBLICAL VIEW
ON MARRIAGE & FAMILY )`+Y9VUHSK(SSJOPU:Y
Many couples who think about getting married and having a family today have no idea where the concept originally came from. Some might think it started in the jungle, a â€œMe Tarzan, you Jane, come with me to live in my [YLLOV\ZLÂšZVY[VM[OPUN6[OLYZTH` remember the classic cartoon â€œThe Flintstonesâ€? and imagine that a man and a woman from a communal group decided to move to their own cave and dwell together. They came up with a good idea, called it â€œmarriage,â€? and when children came along, they termed the new group â€œfamily.â€? However, Genesis, a book in the Bible that was written about 3,500 years
However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:33 %}<PaaXPVT5P\X[h
intended, they must know and apply the scriptural principles that God gave to reveal his design for marital M\SĂ„SSTLU[\UP[`HUKPU[PTHJ`1LZ\Z described a person who hears and obeys his teaching as a wise man who builds his house on solid rock. This wise person is one who lives according to the truths of the Bible. When the Word of God and its principles guide a coupleâ€™s marriage, the family is blessed because they have chosen a solid foundation to build upon. When [OL^PUKZHUKĂ…VVKZVMSPMLJVTL It was Godâ€™s design that a married man and woman should become â€œone against them, they successfully stand together without collapsing (Matthew Ă…LZOÂš.LULZPZ!HUK[OYV\NO ZL_\HSPU[PTHJ`M\SĂ„SS.VKÂťZJVTTHUK 7:24-25). [VÂ¸ILMY\P[M\SHUKT\S[PWS`HUKĂ„SS There is a plethora of opinions in the earthâ€? (Genesis 1:27-28). Adam our world today about how to build and Eveâ€™s obedience led to the births a happy marriage and family. Some of Cain, Abel, Seth, and many other L]LUZLLR[VYLKLĂ„UL[OLJVUJLW[ZVM sons and daughters (Genesis 4:1-2; marriage and family, and they struggle 5:1-5). That original marriage union [VĂ„UKOHWWPULZZ[OYV\NOPKLHZ[OH[ resulted in a combination of parents are far from Godâ€™s original design. But (one father and one mother) and their God made it very clear that unless we children that God called family. let him do the building, we labor in vain to build a family on manâ€™s ideas Marriage and family were Godâ€™s (Psalm 127). In todayâ€™s world, with idea. If a married couple hopes to about 50 percent of marriages ending Ă„UK[OLQV`HUKOHWWPULZZ[OH[.VK
ago, makes it clear that marriage and family were Godâ€™s idea. God designed HUKKLĂ„ULKIV[OTHYYPHNLHUKWHYLU[PUN.VKIYV\NO[,]L[OLĂ„YZ[^VTHU[V(KHT[OLĂ„YZ[THU.LULZPZ 2:24). This is what we see modeled in a traditional church wedding where the bride is escorted down the aisle by her father and presented to her groom. The wedding is made legal by our government, through a marriage license, but the union is from God.
in divorce, we need to know Godâ€™s blueprint and let him be the master builder if we want to enjoy a happy marriage. When a man and a woman exchange their vows before God and witnesses in the wedding ceremony, they are making a commitment. They vow to stay together â€œfor better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health.â€? God designed marriage relationships to last a lifetime (1 Corinthians 7:39), and the couple expresses their agreement by promising to love and be faithful to one another â€œfor as long as we both shall live.â€? This is a permanent relationship no matter what may come. The husband and wife are committing to leave their parents, to hold fast to each other, and to become one unit. Marriage is the only place where one plus one equals one. The covenant of marriage in the Bible is a legal and binding agreement that JHUUV[ILIYVRLU(ZYLĂ…LJ[LKPU traditional vows, it is an agreement between two parties, binding them to mutual obligations that each must
M\SĂ„SSL]LUPU[OLMHJLVMKPMĂ„J\S[` The same word, covenant, is used in Scripture to describe Godâ€™s contract with his people. He made this promise: â€œI will be their God, and they shall be my people (Jeremiah 31:33). And just as God keeps his covenant promises to his people, he expects husbands and wives to keep their covenant promise to each other (Proverbs 2:17; Malachi 2:14).
But when the fullness
/LNH]LLHJOZWLJPĂ„JYVSLZ[VWSH`HZ they live in this covenant relationship. He commanded the husband to love his wife and the wife to respect her husband (Ephesians 5:33).
so that we might receive
Marriage is a commitment to a covenant of companionship. Godâ€™s reason for forming Eve was so that Adam would not be alone. God knew Adam needed a companion, just as all the animals did (Genesis 2:20-22).
other, they grew in spiritual, social, intellectual, emotional, and physical companionship (Genesis 1â€“3).
As Adam and Eve spent time together, they grew in companionship, both vertically with God and horizontally with each other, providing a model for us to follow for meaningful and lasting companionship in marriage. As they interacted intimately with each
of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law,
adoption as sons. Galatians 4:4-5
When problems arise in a marriage, usually one or more of these primary spheres of companionship are being neglected. The good news is that [OLTHYYPLKJV\WSLJHUĂ„UKHZVS\tion in Godâ€™s Word for every issue that creates squabbles (1 Corinthians 10:13). Whether it is communication WYVISLTZĂ„UHUJPHSZ[Y\NNSLZZL_\HS discord, parental disagreements, or <PaaXPVT5P\X[h}%
any other differences a couple may face, solutions can be found in the principles of Godâ€™s Word that will build the harmony and oneness that God desires for them. Marriage is the foundation of the family, and children complete the picture. You may have heard the poem,
â€œFirst comes love; then comes marriage; then comes _____ with a baby carriage.â€? Thatâ€™s the way it was with Adam and Eve, and thatâ€™s usually the way it is with most couples who have JOPSKYLU6[OLYZOH]L[OL^VUKLYM\S opportunity of adopting a child. The concept of adoption has a beautiful model in Scripture as God adopts
those who receive Jesus as their personal Savior (John 1:12; Ephesians 1:5). Whether children are biological or adopted, Psalm 127:3 makes it clear that children are a reward from God to the parents. And along with this gift from the Lord comes the responsibility to train them (Proverb 22:6). It is the parentsâ€™ role to steward their children and bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Deuteronomy 6:1-9; Ephesians 6:4). The primary parental goal should be to instruct children to honor and obey both God and parents and to introduce them to Jesus. So it is that marriage and family are Godâ€™s idea, not that of some ancient society. He established families and left us with ample instructions in his Word to have HM\SĂ„SSPUNHUKOHWW`THYYPHNLHUK family. My prayer is that each person reading this essay would enjoy a vertical covenant relationship with the Lord, and experience the horizontal blessings of marriage and family the way God intends. Godâ€™s design for families is to glorify and honor him through strong and
Maps created using MaptitudeÂŽ by CaliperÂŠ
Median Family Income $0 to $20,000 $20,001 to $50,000 $50,001 to $70,000 $70,000 and above
Married Couples with Children Under 18 99 and below 100 to 282 283 to 439 440 and above
RANK 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Indiana Harbor - East Chicago Midtown - Gary Homewood - Hammond Midtown - Gary Pulaski - Gary Pulaski - Gary Indiana Harbor - East Chicago Indiana Harbor - East Chicago Midtown - Gary Indiana Harbor - East Chicago
MED. FAMILY INCOME
301 119 206 102.02 122 114 310 303 121 302
$9,531 $15,605 $16,625 $17,273 $17,740 $18,047 $20,406 $21,174 $23,170 $24,750
WAYS TO CONNECT
WITH HEALTHY FAMILIES
<PZTP3XUUTaT]RTcWa^dVW?aPhTa Â‹ Praise God for the many healthy families that live in Northwest Indiana and do their best to raise their children in loving environments. Â‹ Praise God for the many biblical counselors who walk alongside families in need of restoration. Â‹ 7YH`[OH[V\YYLNPVUÂťZZ[Y\NNSPUNMHTPSPLZ^V\SKĂ„UK[OLJV\UZLSPUNOLSW[OL`ULLK[VYLZ[VYLYLSH[PVUZOPWZ Â‹ Pray that our family and pastoral counselors would show love and compassion every day in their ministry, and that they would have the energy to continually invest into peopleâ€™s lives. Â‹ Pray for young dating couples contemplating marriage to have wisdom and discernment. Â‹ Praise God that he has adopted us into his family (Eph. 1:5). Pray that every family in Northwest Indiana would become a part of Godâ€™s family. Â‹ 7YH`MVYWYV[LJ[PVUVM5VY[O^LZ[0UKPHUHÂťZMHTPSPLZMYVTHI\ZLPUĂ„KLSP[`HUKULNSLJ[ Â‹ Pray that our region would uphold the value of marriage and the family. Â‹ Pray for parents to set aside time everyday to spend with their children. Pray for the strength and longevity of the marriages of those families. Â‹ Pray that churches and organizations would work together toward fostering healthy families in our communities.
<PZTP3XUUTaT]RTcWa^dVWH^da;XUT Â‹ 0M`V\RUV^VMHMHTPS`[OH[PZZ[Y\NNSPUN[VZ\Y]P]LĂ„UHUJPHSS`VYYLSH[PVUHSS`JVTTP[[VWYH`PUNYLN\SHYS`MVY[OLT Ask God how you might share the healing presence of Christ in their lives. Â‹ Make yourself available to listen, help, and point struggling families toward effective resources. Â‹ Start a biblically-based marriage study in your neighborhood. Â‹ Consider becoming a marriage mentor to young couples. Â‹ Consider taking counseling classes to provide you with additional skills to help mentor couples. Â‹ 6WLU\W`V\YOVTL[VMHTPSPLZPU`V\YULPNOIVYOVVK Â‹ In your relationships, live out what it means to be a healthy family. Â‹ Uphold the value of family time together. Set a goal for planned meals together and commit to making those happen. Â‹ 9LPUMVYJLHMHTPS`HMĂ„YTPUNJ\S[\YL9LQLJ[LU[LY[HPUTLU[VYWYVK\J[Z[OH[\UKLYTPULMHTPSPLZI`JVUKVUPUNL_[YHmarital sexuality, domestic violence, or divorce.
<PZTP3XUUTaT]RTcWa^dVWH^da2WdaRW Â‹ Ask families in your church and neighborhood what they need to strengthen their family relationships. Â‹ 6MMLYHTP_VMJO\YJOHJ[P]P[PLZ^OLYLJOPSKJHYLPZWYV]PKLKHZ^LSSHZHJ[P]P[PLZMVY[OL^OVSLMHTPS`[VWHY[PJPWH[L in together. Â‹ Consider setting aside one night per week where there are no scheduled church, sports, or other activities. Provide creative ways for families to spend time together. Â‹ Find out how other churches engage in family ministry to see if there are any opportunities for collaboration. Â‹ :WVUZVYWYL]LU[P]LTPUPZ[YPLZ[OH[PU]LZ[PUMHTPSPLZILMVYL[OL`L_WLYPLUJLKPMĂ„J\S[`,_HTWSLZPUJS\KLWYLTHYP[HS JV\UZLSPUNTHYYPHNLLUYPJOTLU[WYVNYHTZMHTPS`IHZLKZ\WWVY[NYV\WZMH[OLYOVVKPUP[PH[P]LZJVUĂ…PJ[YLZVS\[PVU skills, and family fun nights. Â‹ Connect struggling families with mature families in your church who can offer friendship, guidance, and be a good example. Â‹ :LLRV\[MHTPSPLZ[OH[HYLOVTLSLZZ*VTLHSVUNZPKL[OLTHZ[OL`QV\YUL`[V^HYKZNYLH[LYZLSMZ\MĂ„JPLUJ`VMMLYPUN LTV[PVUHSZWPYP[\HSWO`ZPJHSHUKĂ„UHUJPHSZ\WWVY[ Â‹ Equip families in your church to initiate a type of marriage mentor program. Â‹ Bring together various groups in your community for a family initiative to brainstorm ideas how you can join forces to promote healthy families. Â‹ 6MMLYTHYYPHNLJSHZZLZMVY[OLJVTT\UP[`[VHZZPZ[^P[OWHYLU[PUNKPZJPWSPULHUKJVTT\UPJH[PVU
<PZTPR^\\Xc\T]cc^bTaeX]Vc^VTcWTaPbPUP\X[h8cXbPVaTPcfPhc^QdX[S Pbca^]VUP\X[hQ^]S8cP[b^T]R^daPVTbh^daRWX[SaT]c^[TPa]WPQXcb^UYdb cXRTP]S\TaRhTPa[h^]b^cWPcXcQTR^\TbP]PcdaP[UPRTc^U[XUTCahc^UX]S ^__^acd]XcXTbcWPcP[[^fh^dafW^[TUP\X[hc^WPeTPeP[dPQ[T_Pacc^_[Ph FWPcPVaTPcfPhc^bTaeTcWT:X]VS^\P]Sc^QdX[Sh^daUP\X[h
WAYS TO CONNECT
2PcW^[XR2WPaXcXTb3X^RTbT^U6Pahc c^^^JH[OVSPJJOHYP[PLZVYN Catholic Charities is a Christian response on the part of the Diocese of Gary to help meet the human needs of people. Â‹ Serve as an individual or family in a local food pantry Â‹ Donate food to a family during the holidays Bc9dST7^dbT | c^^^Z[Q\KLOV\ZLVYN St. Jude House serves as a safe shelter for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault and their dependent children. They offer support to victims as they pursue violence-free lives. Â‹ Become a trained Crisis Line worker Â‹ )LJVTLHJSPLU[HZZPZ[HU[HZ[OLJSPLU[TV]LZ[V^HYKZZLSMZ\MĂ„JPLUJ` 7PQXcPcU^a7d\P]Xch | c^^^U^POHIP[H[VYN (UVUWYVĂ„[LJ\TLUPJHS*OYPZ[PHUTPUPZ[Y`MV\UKLKVU[OLJVU]PJ[PVU[OH[L]LY`THU^VTHUHUKJOPSKZOV\SKOH]LH decent, safe, and affordable place to live. They build with people in need regardless of race or religion. =TXVWQ^aW^^Sb8]R | c^^^ULPNOIVYOVVKZPUJJVT Neighborhoods Inc. works to retain and promote economic, racial, and ethnic diversity in Hammond, through programs designed to increase homeownership opportunities, improve the quality of all housing, and build neighborhood pride. D]XcTS=TXVWQ^aW^^S>aVP]XiPcX^]b8]R | c^^^\UP[LKULPNOIVYZVYN By effectively combining the efforts of your local community centers under one organization, United Neighbors looks forward to serving the people who live and work in East Chicago in positive and life changing ways. Â‹ Experienced grant writers Â‹ Willing hands and ideas needed for marketing and fundraising CWTAPeX]Tb | c^^^[OLYH]PULZVYN The Ravines Ministry offers hope and healing through intensive Christian counseling for struggling marriages in a private retreat setting. Host a couple in need of counseling or volunteer on site. 5PXa7PeT] | c^^^HZHMLWVY[VYN Fair Haven exists to facilitate a safe and faith-focused recovery program for hurting women who have experienced sexual, emotional, and/or physical abuse. %%}<PaaXPVT5P\X[h
IN NEED OF COUNSELING
Biblical Counseling Center | 219-865-3065 | www.biblicalcounselingcenter.org The mission of Biblical Counseling Center is to equip the local church to do the work of discipling and counseling for its WLVWSLI`P[ZWLVWSLIHZLKZVSLS`VU[OLZ\MÃ„JPLUJ`VM:JYPW[\YL;OL`HJJVTWSPZO[OPZ[OYV\NO[YHPUPUNYLZV\YJLZHUK JV\UZLSPUN Samaritan Counseling Center | 219-923-8110 | www.samaritancenter-nwi.com ;OL:HTHYP[HU4PUPZ[Y`PZHUPU[LYKLUVTPUH[PVUHSL_WYLZZPVUVM[OLSV]LVM.VK[OYV\NOZWPYP[\HSS`ZLUZP[P]LJV\UZLSPUN HUKLK\JH[PVU;OL`WYV]PKL[OLYHW`MVYPUKP]PK\HSZJV\WSLZHUKMHTPSPLZVMHSSLJVUVTPJIHJRNYV\UKZJVUZ\S[H[PVUMVY WHZ[VYZHUKLK\JH[PVUMVYJVUNYLNH[PVUZHUK[OLJVTT\UP[` Regional Mental Health Center | 219-769-4005 | www.regionalmentalhealth.org 9LNPVUHS4LU[HS/LHS[O*LU[LY^P[OTVYL[OHUHKVaLUSVJH[PVUZPU3HRL*V\U[`0UKPHUH^VYRZL_JS\ZP]LS`^P[OPUKP ]PK\HSZHNLZP_HUKVSKLY^OVULLKTLU[HSOLHS[OZLY]PJLZILOH]PVYOLHS[OZLY]PJLZHUKZ\IZ[HUJLHI\ZLWYVNYHTZ Kingsway | 219-750-9450 >OLUSPMLPZOHYKHUK`V\ULLKHUZ^LYZ[OL`JHUWYV]PKLJVUZ[Y\J[P]L^H`Z[VLMMLJ[P]LS`KLHS^P[O`V\YWYVISLTZ *V\UZLSPUNYLÃ…LJ[Z[OLILZ[JSPUPJHSHWWYVHJOLZHUKMVY[OVZL^OVYLX\LZ[P[H]PHISLPU[LNYH[PVUVM[OL>VYKVM.VK Stephen and Associates | 219-381-0499 :[LWOLU (ZZVJPH[LZHYLHNYV\WVMKLKPJH[LKWYVMLZZPVUHSZPUZWPYLKI`[OLIPISPJHSJOHYHJ[LYÂ¸:[LWOLUÂ¹PU[OLKLSP]LY` VMZPUJLYLHUKYLSPHISLMHP[OIHZLKZLY]PJLZ Chicago Christian Counseling Center | 1-800-361-6880 | www.chicagochristiancounseling.org ;OL*OPJHNV*OYPZ[PHU*V\UZLSPUN*LU[LYZLLRZ[VWYV]PKL[OLILZ[PU*OYPZ[PHUJV\UZLSPUN;OLPY[OLYHWPZ[ZHYLJVT TP[[LK[VILPUNJOHUULSZVM.VKÂ»ZNYHJLHZ[OL`^VYRHZWYVMLZZPVUHSJV\UZLSVYZ;OLZLJV\UZLSVYZ^VYR^P[OMHTPSPLZ THYYPHNLZHUKPUKP]PK\HSZVMHSSHNLZ New Leaf Resources | 219-226-1810 | www.newleafresources.org | www.facebook.com/NewLeafResources 0[PZ[OLTPZZPVUVM5L^3LHM9LZV\YJLZ[VTHRLTH[LYPHSZHUKZLY]PJLZH]HPSHISL[VWLYZVUZL_WLYPLUJPUNSVZZHUK[OVZL ^OVZLY]L[OLT[VOLSW[OLT\UKLYZ[HUKHUKJVWL^P[ONYPLM
BEYOND THE 1ST EDITION There are many additional issues and assets that deserve attention in our region, but all of them could not be addressed in the scope of this book. The following essays represent merely a handful of these topics. Our hope and prayer in the years to come is that a number of churches in Northwest Indiana reach across denominational, geographical, and racial differences to come together for Jesusâ€™ sake for a second edition of salt & light that could properly highlight these, and other issues, in greater detail. The Editors
A PERSPECTIVE ON
The face of hunger in America is changing. No longer is hunger limited to the homeless or residents of poverty-stricken urban areas. Today, hunger affects people like your neighbors, your friends, and your family. The hungry are people who have to decide between paying their rent VYTVY[NHNLMVY[OLTVU[OHUKI\`PUNMVVK;OL`HYLZLUPVYZ^OVOH]L[VKLJPKLIL[^LLUĂ„SSPUN[OLPYWYLZJYPW[PVUZHUK W\[[PUNMVVKVU[OL[HISL;OL`HYLWHYLU[Z^OVOH]L[VKLJPKLIL[^LLUĂ„SSPUN[OLPYNHZ[HURZV[OL`JHUNL[[V^VYRHUK feeding their children. Due to the current economic recession, rising fuel and food costs, and increases in cost of living, many individuals and families who never In 2010, the Poverty Level was: thought they would struggle to obtain } $22,050 for a family of four basic necessities have seen their jobs, } $18,310 for a family of three their savings, and even their homes } $14,570 for a family of two disappear. Nationwide, there are over Research estimates that to meet basic needs a family needs at least 50 million people who go hungry at two times the Poverty Level. Families below this are referred to as some point during the year; 17 million low-income: of those people are children.1 } $44,100 for a family of four In Northwest Indiana, there are an } $36,620 for a family of three estimated 110,000 people who are } $29,140 for a family of two struggling to put food on the table for Other Facts: themselves and their families.2 Sadly, } The percentage of children in the United States living in lowmore than 33,000 children in our income families has risen over the last decade from 37% to 42% region are living in poverty-stricken in 2009. homes and are at risk of experiencing } 87% of children with parents with less than a high school degree the pangs of hunger.3 Children who live in low-income families across the country. donâ€™t receive proper nutrition are } 68% of children with a single parent are low-income at a greater risk of illness due to a weakened immune system. This [Chau et al., Basic Facts about Low-Income Children, 2009, â€œChildren under 18â€? (National Center means that hungry children are more for Children in Poverty, October 2009), http://www.nccp.org/publications/pub_975.html.] likely to miss school, which affects
Poverty Level Defined
their learning abilities. They are 30 percent more likely to require hospitalization, which takes a toll on family or federal Ă„UHUJLZ3HJRVMHKLX\H[LU\[YP[PVUHSZVHMMLJ[ZHJOPSKÂťZJVNUP[P]LHUKILOH]PVYHSKL]LSVWTLU[4 Hunger does not discriminate. It does not affect merely one group of people, and it is not isolated to only one community. Anyone can become a victim of hunger. All it takes is a lost job, an unexpected medical expense, or a bad turn of [OLTHYRL[HUKHU`VULJHUĂ„UK[OLTZLS]LZZ[Y\NNSPUN[VTHRLLUKZTLL[ While these statistics may seem alarming to you, there is a message of hope. Each day, there are hundreds of wonderful agencies across Northwest Indiana providing food and nutritional support to those battling hunger. These agencies are food banks, soup kitchens, food pantries, after-school feeding programs, senior feeding programs, and many more. The common denominator among these groups is that each agency is dedicated to meeting the needs of the hungry and to becoming a solution to the hunger crisis in our region. The key to ensuring that the efforts of our areaâ€™s hunger-relief charities are successful is the support of the entire comT\UP[`*O\YJOLZI\ZPULZZLZHUKJVTT\UP[`TLTILYZJHULUNHNLPU[OLĂ„NO[HNHPUZ[O\UNLYPUU\TLYV\Z^H`Z@V\ might consider serving as a hunger advocate, being a lending volunteer, providing food donations, or participating in fundraising activities. Additionally, individuals can also serve as professional volunteers by aiding hunger-relief charities in assessing the needs of the community and by working on strategic planning, fund development, and program expansion. The key is to remember that hunger is a solvable problem, and you are a part of the solution. 1VPU[OLĂ„NO[HNHPUZ[O\UNLY[VKH`
Food Bank of Northwest Indianaâ€™s Executive Director, Angie Williams (right), and Communications/Advocacy 4HUHNLY4LNHU:PRLZĂ„UKQV`PUOLSW7OV[VI`1HJX\L4PSSLY
ing others in need.
If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be. Deuteronomy 15:7-8
Childhood Poverty in Lake County LAKE COUNTY
% of Children living below the Poverty Level
% of Children in a Married Family living below the Poverty Level
% of Children living with Male Householder living below Poverty Level
% of Children living with Female Householder living below Poverty Level
[US Census Bureau, Poverty Status in the Past 12 Months of Related Children Under 18 Years by Family Type (2005-2009 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates).]
A PERSPECTIVE ON
0ATP[?a^Q[T\ Criminal gangs are a growing problem in Northwest Indiana. In the city of Hammond alone (population 80,000), there are 1,800 alleged gang members. Many of these gang members are teenagers, and some are as young as ten years old. Gangs are comprised of youths from all ethnicities, and are integrated into every section of our community. >OLUJYPTPUHSNHUNZĂ…V\YPZOPUHJVTT\UP[`[OLX\HSP[`VMSPMLPUULPNOIVYOVVKZX\PJRS`KPTPUPZOLZ;OL]PZPISLKL[LYPVYH[PVUZVTL[PTLZZ[HY[Z^P[ONYHMĂ„[PSP[[LYPUNHUKPUJYLHZPUNJYPTLI\[[OLUWYVWLY[`]HS\LZZPURHUKYLZPKLU[ZTV]L out, sometimes leaving vacated buildings. Gang members have been involved in shootings, murder, rape, burglary, drug dealing, vandalism, and intimidation in 3HRL*V\U[`4\JOVM[OL]PVSLUJLPUV\YZ[YLL[ZPZ[OLYLZ\S[VMNHUN^HYZ4HU`[PTLZNHUNZ^PSSĂ„NO[LHJOV[OLYV]LY [\YMVY[OLYPNO[[VZLSSKY\NZPUHJLY[HPUHYLH.HUNZ^PSSHSZVĂ„NO[V]LYHU`HJ[PVUI`HUVWWVZPUNNHUN[OH[[OL`MLLS disrespects them. If a gang backs down to an opposing gang, its members lose their own respect and reputations. Some[PTLZYP]HSNHUNZ^PSSJYVZZV]LYPU[VHUV[OLYNHUNÂťZ[\YM;OL`^PSSJYVZZV\[[OLPYLULT`ÂťZNHUNNYHMĂ„[PHUKYLWSHJLP[^P[O their own. This type of disrespect can be the spark for violence between gangs. ;OL/HTTVUK7VSPJL+LWHY[TLU[ZWLUKZJVUZPKLYHISLYLZV\YJLZPUP[ZĂ„NO[HNHPUZ[NHUN]PVSLUJL;OLWVSPJLNHUN \UP[OHZLPNO[TLTILYZ^OVZ[YP]L[VPU[LYHJ[^P[OHUKHYYLZ[JYPTPUHSNHUNTLTILYZ5HYJV[PJZVMĂ„JLYZHUKKL[LJ[P]LZ assigned to criminal investigations spend much of their time working to solve and stop gang-related crimes. Thousands of hours are used to combat the war on gangs. 7OV[VI`1LZZPJH0ZLUZLL ;OLJVZ[Z[VV\YYLZPKLU[ZHYLOPNO0UHKKP[PVU[VJSLHU\WJVZ[ZMVYNYHMĂ„[P and other vandalism, residents sometimes feel slighted in the area of police protection because so much manpower goes to policing and eradicating gangs. .HUNNYHMĂ„[PPU[PTPKH[LZYLZPKLU[ZHUKTHRLZ[OLTMLLS[OH[[OLPYVUJLZHML neighborhood is deteriorating; and as the news media reports gang crimes, our citizensâ€™ fear of violent crime escalates. 02^\_[Tg?a^Q[T\ The gang problem is very complex, and kids join gangs for a variety of reasons. Many are allured by the respect or power they see associated with gang membership. They may be drawn into a gang for drugs, girls, and parties. Some Chief Brian Miller fearlessly leads the battle against gang violence in Hammond.
NYV^\WPUULPNOIVYOVVKZ^OLYLNHUNZHYLH^H`VMSPML6[OLYZMLLS[OL`OH]L[VQVPUHNHUNMVYWYV[LJ[PVU;OL`TH` OH]LWYVISLTZH[OVTL^OPJOTHRLZ[YLL[SPMLWYLMLYHISL6Y[OL`TH`JVTLMYVTHZPUNSLWHYLU[OVTL^OLYL[OL`KV UV[MLLSSV]LKVYJHYLKMVY0U[OPZJHZL[OLNHUNĂ„SSZHNHWHUKNP]LZ[OLTHZLUZLVMMHTPS` .HUNYLJY\P[TLU[[HRLZWSHJLPUULPNOIVYOVVKZHUKH[ZJOVVSZ9LJY\P[LYZZLK\JLWV[LU[PHSPUK\J[LLZ^P[ONSVYPĂ„LK stories about money, power, and sex. They may also try to force membership with intimidation and physical violence against young people or their families. 0?a^\XbX]VB^[dcX^] Providing youth with a sense of family and a positive outlet for their energy are ways churches and civic groups can aid law enforcement in combating criminal gangs. Many children who end up in gangs come from homes without positive role models. Churches and civic groups can provide mentors who create a bond with the children and offer them positive encouragement. In addition, they can provide children a positive outlet for their time, as well as teach and model JYP[PJHSSPMLZRPSSZ:OVY[Ă„LSK[YPWZJHULK\JH[L[LLUZ[V[OLMHJ[[OH[[OL^VYSKKVLZUV[LUKH[[OLPYISVJRHUK[OLYLHYL more rewarding activities than gang banging on a corner. Research has clearly shown that youth participating in after-school activities perform much better in their academic studies and have better futures.1 Children that do not have after-school activities are often unsupervised and have a much greater chance of getting involved in gangs and criminal behavior. The reduction and eventual elimination of criminal gangs is a must for Northwest Indiana. The police cannot handle the problem alone. Success is dependent on collaboration between police and our communities, who by responding together, create a solid partnership and a combined vision for safe neighborhoods.
Gang-Related Statistics } } } }
Approximately 1 million gang members, belonging to more than 20,000 gangs, were criminally active within all 50 states and the District of Columbia as of September 2008. Criminal gangs commit as much as 50 percent of the crime in many communities across the Central Region. (Michigan to Kentucky, west to North Dakota to Kansas.) Typical gang-related crimes include alien smuggling, armed robbery, assault, auto theft, drug trafficking, extortion, fraud, home invasions, identity theft, murder, and weapons trafficking. The most significant gangs operating in the Central Region are Chicago-based Gangster Disciples, Latin Kings, Vice Lords, and Black P. Stones.
[National Drug Intelligence Center, National Gang Threat Assessment 2009 (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, January 2009), http://www. justice.gov/ndic/pubs32/32146/index.htm#Key.]
A PERSPECTIVE ON
HUMAN AND SEX TRAFFICKING )`:OHUL3L^PZ3VJHS(K]VJH[L
;OL-)0LZ[PTH[LZ^LSSV]LYJOPSKYLUHUK`V\UN^VTLUHYL[YHMĂ„JRLKPU(TLYPJH[VKH`;OL`YHUNLPUHNL from 9 to 19, with the average age being 11. The victims are both foreign and domestic. There are an estimated 16,000 to ^VTLUHUKNPYSZ^OVHYL]PJ[PTZVMZL_[YHMĂ„JRPUNPU*OPJHNVHUK5VY[O^LZ[0UKPHUHHSVUL1 -VYL]LY`ZJLUHYPV`V\VY0JV\SKKYLHT\WHZ[VOV^[OLZLJOPSKYLUHYL[YHMĂ„JRLK[OLYLHYLO\UKYLKZTVYL[OH[^L JHUUV[L]LUPTHNPUL>LOH]LUÂť[ZLLU[OL^HYUPUNZPNUZILJH\ZL^LHYLUÂť[SVVRPUNMVY[OLT;YHMĂ„JRPUNPZUV[PUWSHPU view for most of us, but it is going on all around us! ;YHMĂ„JRLYZNL[[VJOPSKYLULP[OLYI`MVYJLRPKUHWWPUNYVTHUJLWYL[LUKPUN[V^HU[HYLSH[PVUZOPWJVLYJPVUVMMLYPUN them a high-paying job in another city), or befriending them as runaways. Statistically, a runaway girl has a window of ten minutes on the street before she is approached by someone with bad intentions. ;OLKYP]PUNMVYJLILOPUKZL_[YHMĂ„JRPUNPZTVUL`:HKS`[OLZLSSPUNVMNPYSZHUK`V\UN^VTLUPZHWHY[PJ\SHYS`WYVĂ„[HISLI\ZPULZZILJH\ZL[OLWYVK\J[JHUILYLZVSKTHU`[PTLZ;YHMĂ„JRPUNOHZILLUPKLU[PĂ„LKHZ[OLMHZ[LZ[NYV^PUNJYPTPUHSPUK\Z[Y`PU[OL^VYSK>VYSK^PKL[YHMĂ„JRPUNPZ[OLZLJVUKSHYNLZ[JYPTPUHSHJ[P]P[`HM[LY[OLKY\N[YHKL2 ;OLJ\Z[VTLYZVM[OPZMHZ[NYV^PUNL]PSHYLKP]LYZLPU[OLPY[YHKLĂ„UHUJPHSJSHZZNLVNYHWOPJHSHYLHHUKYLSPNPVU;OL` are the kind of people you would expect, as well as many you would never imagine. The customers make their contacts with the victims at truck stops, massage parlors, so-called â€œgentlemenâ€™sâ€? clubs, Z[YLL[JVYULYZHUK[OL0U[LYUL[6M[LU[PTLZ[OL[YHMĂ„JRLYZ[HRLV\[HKZVU*YHPNZSPZ[3 and Backpage4 to promote their services. Although prostitution is illegal, both in Indiana and Illinois, the advertisements seem to make it clear as to what is being offered and often number in the thousands. Some of these ads are most likely offered by women, who for whatever reason are prostituting themselves 7OV[VI`2L]PU:TP[O willingly. Knowing that there are at least 16,000 victims in our area, itâ€™s safe to assume that many of the ads are selling the victims of human trafĂ„JRPUN :L_[YHMĂ„JRPUNHSTVZ[HS^H`Z PU]VS]LZTV]LTLU[6I]PV\ZS`H The Lewis family adopted four girls from an Eastern European orphanage to rescue them from a potentially harmful future.
[YHMĂ„JRLY^V\SKUÂť[[HRLVULVMV\Y daughters and then offer her locally. 0[PZJVTTVUMVY[YHMĂ„JRLYZ[V[YH]LS from place to place with their victims. They may stop off in Merrillville, rent hotel rooms, take out an ad, and within minutes they are in business. They may stay up to a week, and then they are off to another town. Seeing how diverse and enormous this hideous crime is, how could we ever hope to eradicate it? The best thing we can do is raise awareness of the issue and take money out of the crime. We have to call for stiffer punishment of customers. If at a mere click of the mouse, thousands of opportunities are available to would-be sex customers in our area that tells me we arenâ€™t being tough enough. And because we arenâ€™t tough enough on offenders, sexual slavery is on the rise. But if we crack down on the crime of sex for money, the money source will dry up! We need to spread the message that real men do not buy sex or have sex with children. Thirty years ago, drunk driving did not get as much public attention, but then some mothers got MADD. When mothLYZNL[THK[OPUNZJOHUNL;OLSH^Z^LYLJOHUNLKHUK[OLW\UPZOTLU[ZMVYKY\URKYP]PUNPUJYLHZLKZPNUPĂ„JHU[S`0OVWL mothers and fathers get mad again and bring an end to the selling of our daughters. You can start today! Tell someone about the problem of sexual slavery at every opportunity. As awareness of this hideous crime increases, changes will begin to be made. I look forward to working together to put an end to sexual slavery, and I pray the Heavenly Father uses us to show his love to these precious children. -VYTVYLPUMVYTH[PVUVU^OH[`V\JHUKV[VNL[PU]VS]LKLTHPS:OHULH[TVTLU[\T'NTHPSJVT
Interested in Learning More? } } } } } }
International Justice Mission: www.ijm.org The Polaris Project: www.polarisproject.org Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons: www.state.gov/g/tip Not for Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade â€“ and How We Can Fight It by David Batstone Good News about Injustice â€“ A Witness of Courage in a Hurting World by Gary Haugen National Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-3737-888 1Th^]ScWT st4SXcX^]}&$
A PERSPECTIVE ON
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT )`1PT-SHUULY`,_LJ\[P]L+PYLJ[VY5VY[O^LZ[0UKPHUH8\HSP[`VM3PML*V\UJPS
The acceleration of the global economy over the past few decades has brought numerous growth opportunities to Northwest Indiana businesses, but it has also brought many new challenges from competition with emerging economies like Brazil, Russia, India, and China. This competition has forced companies into consolidation and downsizing initia[P]LZ^OPJOOH]L\S[PTH[LS`YLZ\S[LKPUHÂ¸Z\Y]P]HSVM[OLĂ„[[LZ[ÂšTLU[HSP[` This can be seen most notably in Northwest Indiana through the decline of the once-mighty steel industry upon which our social foundations were built. At their peak, the mills employed as many as twenty thousand workers in each facility, providing jobs spanning the spectrum from the technologically advanced to unskilled labor. In addition, it was commonly held that for each job in the mills, there were at least six support jobs created in the community, ranging from mill suppliers to grocery-store clerks and other service-industry workers. The steel mills now employ only around six thousand workers in each facility and make higher-quality products. If this region is to survive and prosper in this global economy, many interrelated aspects of life must undergo a change. We have many tax advantages and incentives in place to attract new businesses and enterprises, but for now no one is beating down the door. It is evident that business development is not just a simple dollars-and-cents issue. We live immediately adjacent to Chicago, a recognized global city, yet Northeast Indiana seems to bring in more new business than us. We need to assess the economic effect of the perceived quality-of-life issues that give Northwest Indiana such a poor image. Then we must plan to take action. U.S. Steel, Gary Works 6ULWYVISLTPZYLZPKLU[ZOLYLKVUV[[V\[[OL^VUKLYM\SILULĂ„[ZVMSP]PUNPU our area to the rest of the world. There seems to be a lingering fatalistic shame in being from â€œDa Region.â€? We must no longer resist celebrating the advantages that Northwest Indiana offers the greater metropolitan area, for indeed we do have much to offer. 6ULJHUSP]LPUH]PY[\HSS`Y\YHSHYLH`L[ILPUKV^U[V^U*OPJHNVPU\UKLY an hour. We have fantastic green spaces and, at the Dunes, a national park and Z[H[LWHYR6\YUH[\YHS[YLHZ\YLZJVL_PZ[PUN^P[OV\YPUK\Z[YPLZHYLHYLTHYRable story in itself. There are many varying arts-and-culture offeringsâ€”too numerous to list. We have six local colleges and universities offering complete packages of higher-education degree programs. The quality of our air and water has continually improved over the years. Have you ever attended the Pierogi Festival in Whiting, the Popcorn Festival in Valparaiso, the Gary Air Show, or 7OV[VI`1VL`4H`Ă„LSK any of the other notable community events offered across the region? &%}1Th^]ScWT st4SXcX^]
There is work to do to bring Northwest Indiana into a secure position to compete in a global economy. We must attract new investment to the area, whether through relocation of existing facilities or creation of innovative enterprises. We need to meld the advantages of our industrial history with the 1. United States Steel agricultural opportunities prevalent here. We must clean up our image of being 2. ArcelorMittal Steel divisive, politically corrupt, polluted, and backward thinking. We must address 3. Community Hospital these issues ourselves and manage them. 4. St. Margaret Mercy 6ULTPNO[HZRÂ¸)\[^OH[JHU0KV&Âš;OLYLPZUVSPTP[[V[OLNVVKUL^Z 5. Worthington Industries prevailing in the region. We need to share it, talk about in our homes, clubs, 6. Ameristar Casino churches, and social networks. Conversation among friends can be a power7. Blue Chip Casino ful element for change. Have you ever heard success stories that begin â€œSome 8. Horseshoe Casino friends and I were talking recently, and then we decided to . . .â€?? Encourage 9. Valparaiso Hospital dialogue about the region, and include both positive and negative issues so 10. Methodist Hospitals that awareness grows. This will not cost you dollars, may increase your regard among neighbors and family, and may actually plant the seeds for action that * Based on number of employees can be life-changing! [U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and IndiIf you are inclined to be proactive, there are many venues for engagement. ana Department of Workforce DevelopExplore groups that are working to make positive and sustainable differences ment] in our region on issues such as racism, environmental protection, education, transportation, health care, public safety, recreation, government reform, or any other subject close to your heart. No matter your interest or desired level of involvement, each of these issues directly touches your life and has an impact on the future of your family and the economic prosperity of Northwest Indiana. Let us work together to help North^LZ[0UKPHUHĂ…V\YPZO
Major NWI Employers
Wage Comparison in Lake County 1 ADULT
1 ADULT, 1 CHILD
2 ADULTS, 1 CHILD
2 ADULTS, 2 CHILDREN
[â€œLiving Wage Calculation for Lake County, Indiana,â€? Dr. Amy K. Glasmeier and The Pennsylvania State University, updated 2011, accessed June 2011, http://www.livingwage.geog.psu.edu/counties/18089.]
A PERSPECTIVE ON
CWT4R^]^\XR?[XVWc^U<P]h^UcWTFXS^fbX];PZT2^d]ch (JJVYKPUN[V[OL*LUZ\Z[OLYLHYLV]LYJP[PaLUZVM3HRL*V\U[`V]LY[OLHNLVMZP_[`Ă„]L1 Many thousands of those will, in the coming days, become widows. Unfortunately, scores of widows in our county are having a tough time. A typical widow story in Lake County sounds like this: The husband, who was the primary breadwinner, worked a job for thirty or more years and then retired. He and his wife lived well enough on his pension and Social Security, but he eventually passed away. Unfortunately, when he made his pension selection, he opted for the highest monthly payment, ^OPJOTLHUZOPZZ\Y]P]PUNZWV\ZLPZUV^WV[LU[PHSS`MHJPUNH]LY`[PNO[Ă„UHUJPHSJY\UJO:\KKLUS`[OLYLHYLUVSVUNLY Z\MĂ„JPLU[M\UKZ[VWH`[OLVYKPUHY`IPSSZ>OH[ZH]PUNZZOLTH`OH]LOHKILNPUZ[VILJVTLKLWSL[LK(UK[VTHRLTH[ters worse, she is at the age when health problems typically begin to arise. Stories like this happen on a regular basis in Lake County. Unfortunately, we are often unaware of the reality widows face in this situation. The widow is often alone with even her own family many times living in distant states. She may feel abandoned, bewildered, and perhaps even confused and depressed. While it is easy to dismiss the plight of our widows, the truth is that these are women who have made a contribution to societyâ€”often a lifetime of contribution to Lake County. They have served the community, been volunteers, donated time and money, and perhaps even mentored others along their journey of life. The question churches and other civic groups should raise is this: â€œHow can we best serve those who, throughout the years, have meant so much to our own communities?â€? Photo by Wendy Bunch
6^Szb2P[[c^BTaeT>daFXS^fb Every Christian has a responsibility to help the poor and underserved, and some of the most overlooked among us in Lake County are widows. Throughout his ministry, Jesus constantly reached out to the poor and proclaimed good news to them (Luke 4). James, the brother of Jesus, said the kind of faith that pleases God is one that takes care of orphans and widows in their distress (James 1:27). Surely James was taking his cues from the Lord himself, as we also should do. According to the 2010 Census, there are over 65,000 citizens of Lake County over the HNLVMZP_[`Ă„]LTHU`VM^OVTHYL^PKV^Z
The Bible contains many examples and instructions for Christians in how they relate to the poor and the widow. We see special attention paid in the early church regarding the care of widows (Acts 6). We are encouraged to â€œhonor the widowsâ€? (1 Timothy 5:3). Jesus felt so much compassion for the widow who had lost her son, that he raised him from the dead (Luke 7:12). Jesus also harshly ^HYULK[OLO`WVJYP[LZVMOPZKH`^OV[VVRĂ„UHUJPHSHK]HU[HNLVM^PKV^Z4H[thew 23:14).
Religion that God our Fa-
7^f2WdaRWTb2P]0bbXbcFXS^fbX]CWTXa0UU [XRcX^] Educating those in our regionâ€™s congregations is tremendously important. If people in a church are made aware of the needs a particular widow may have, then it is much easier to acquire the necessary help. Many widows need assistance with routine home maintenance, car care, and lawn service. Numerous widows would simply cherish the friendship of someone eager to sit with them and hear their stories. Understanding their needs and Ă„UKPUN^H`Z[VĂ„SS[OLNHWZJHUOH]LH[YLTLUKV\ZPUĂ…\LUJLVUV\Y^PKV^Z and our communities. Imagine if our churches sought to go above and beyond the norm when meeting the needs of our widows? What could happen if churches found lawyers willing to facilitate legal matters, doctors and nurses eager to assist with health needs, laborers with able hands ready to perform household repairs, and *OYPZ[PHUZ^OVHYLYHKPJHSS`NLULYV\Z[VZ\WWVY[V\Y^PKV^ZMHJPUNĂ„UHUJPHS hardships? The legacies of those who have meant so much to our communities would be preserved. There are opportunities just like this all around us if only we will look for them. There are widows in our neighborhoods that have needs we can help meet. Together we can help Northwest Indiana leave an enduring legacy on our regionâ€™s widows, as they themselves strive to leave a great heritage for their communities and their families.
in their distress and to
ther accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows
keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27
29,024 The number of estimated widows in Lake County } 22,986 Females } 6,038 Males [US Census Bureau, Sex by Marital Status by Age for the Population 15 Years and Older (2005-2009 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates).]
He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. Deuteronomy 10:18
A mural located in downtown Gary, ^OPJOHW[S`YLHKZ >LYL(SS0U;OPZ Together."
EMBARKING ON A
SALT & LIGHT JOURNEY )`1HZVU;VWW
After learning more about your community, you might be wondering, â€œHow do I get involved in creating a better future for Northwest Indiana?â€? Here are ten practical ways you can embark on an exciting journey with others for the advancement of our communities. This list is not exhaustive and is simply meant to provoke your thoughts on how you might choose to get involved in becoming a conduit of Godâ€™s grace in our area: ?aPhU^a=^acWfTbc8]SXP]P For many of us, this is the easiest place to start. Develop a consistent prayer life for the welfare and safety of our communities. Consider starting a prayer group to petition God on behalf of the underserved in our region. Call your local Township Trustees, school superintendents, or other community SLHKLYZHUKHZROV^`V\JHUZWLJPĂ„cally pray for them and their organizations. !DbTH^daCP[T]cb0]SBZX[[BTcbC^ Meet Needs What skills and abilities do you possess that might be used for administer-
ing justice, meeting needs, and helping others? For example, maybe you are great at construction, car repair, or Ă„UHUJPHSI\KNL[PUN7LYOHWZ`V\JHU [LHJOVYTLU[VY6YTH`IL`V\OH]L the gift of hospitality. Think creatively how your talents can be used to serve others. "5^[[^fH^da?PbbX^]bC^3XbR^eTa FWTaTC^BTaeT What needs are you passionate about? What issues pull at your heartstrings? Perhaps you long to see human trafĂ„JRPUNOHS[LKVY`V\UNTHSL[LLUZ mentored. Maybe your heart goes out to single moms, the homeless, or those suffering from addictions. You can start a new ministry where none exists, or get involved with a current one that deals with your particular burden. Let your zeal for a particular cause be your guide. #2^]bXSTaH^daB_WTaT>U8]U [dT]RT 0b0?[PRTC^BcPac Who do you know at work, in your neighborhood, or at church that needs loving care? Who are folks that you come in contact with on a regular
basis that could use a compassionate neighbor? Perhaps you know single parents through your childrenâ€™s school who could use assistance. Might they secretly be yearning for someone to hear their hidden cries and come alongside them in times of need? $2^]]TRcFXcW;^RP[=^]?a^UXcbC^ E^[d]cTTaH^daCX\T Get involved with one of the nonWYVĂ„[VYNHUPaH[PVUZSPZ[LKPU[OL>H`Z to Connect section of this guidebook. Carve regular times out of your schedule to spend time volunteering at an organization that is devoted to a need that resonates with you. Perhaps you could mentor a child, serve in a soup kitchen, or even become a foster WHYLU[6YNHUPaH[PVUZHYLJVUZ[HU[S` searching for dedicated volunteers to keep their programs running. %3^]PcTH^daATb^daRTbC^;^RP[ =^]?a^UXcb In addition to volunteering your time, you can help support a ministry by NP]PUNĂ„UHUJPHSJVU[YPI\[PVUZVYTH[Lrial possessions. For example, you can donate used clothing, furniture, =TgcBcT_b}'
or books to an organization that is ministering to single parent families. Chaplains at the Lake County Jail are always looking for donated Bibles to give to inmates. Call organizations and ask them what they need, and [OLUZLLR[VĂ„SSP[ &BcPacP=Tf2WdaRW1PbTS<X]Xbcah ?a^VaP\ Perhaps youâ€™ve recognized a gap in services for a particular issue in your community. You can assist your church in establishing a new program to help meet the needs of the community. Be sure to avoid competing with another church or duplicating services already offered through another organization in the community.2
'8]XcXPcT>a9^X]2^[[PQ^aPcXeT4UU^acb U^a2WP]VT0Ra^bbEPaX^dbBTRc^ab" Seeking the welfare of our communities requires joint efforts from individuals across the public, private, and social sectors (businesses, churches, UVUWYVĂ„[ZNV]LYUTLU[HNLUJPLZTLdia, schools, health care institutions etc.).4 In our region, collaborative efforts from individuals and churches can prove invaluable toward improving our communities. (0Se^RPcTU^aBhbcT\XR2WP]VT X]H^da2^\\d]Xch$ Christians are called to demonstrate Godâ€™s love for justice (Psalm 37:28) by doing justice themselves (Micah 6:8).6 The Psalmist says to â€œGive
justice to the poor and the orphan; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute. Rescue the poor and helpless; deliver them from the grasp of evil people.â€?7 You may want to join an advocacy group, become actively involved in local government, or let your voice be heard in public forums on behalf of the â€œthose who cannot speak for themselves.â€?8 3XbRX_[T>cWTab8]c^P;XUTbch[T^U BP[cP]S;XVWc( The mission of salt and light does not happen only through organized ministry initiatives, but often through transformed lives of ordinary individuals THRPUNZPTWSLZHJYPĂ„JLZVUILOHSMVM their communities.10 Making disciples means helping others take the next step in their faith journey by teaching them about Jesus and displaying his love through deeds of service. Fostering a salt and light lifestyle means encouraging and equipping people to see Northwest Indiana through the eyes of Jesus; and exhorting them to SH`KV^U[OLPYSP]LZPUZHJYPĂ„JPHSZLYvice for the needs of others.
Families serve together at a 7OV[VI`1LU;VWW
shelter in Gary.
Discipleship for Salt & Light Ministry Encourages Christians to: } } } }
View their homes, possessions, vocation, friendships, talents, and time as gifts entrusted to them by God to be shared for the good of others. Make financial and lifestyle choices based on Godâ€™s love and justice for the most vulnerable in our society, over personal advancement and convenience. Daily look for ways to serve their neighbors and coworkers, and also to seek out caring relationships with people outside their normal social networks. Pray for opportunities to share the good news of Jesus with those around them, especially those who are going through struggles.
[Heidi Unruh & Andy Rittenhouse - Andy Rittenhouse and Heidi Unruh, eds., Salt & Light: A Guide to Loving Knoxville, Third Edition (Knoxville, TN: Compassion Coalition, 2009), 356.]
If you feel inadequate for relational ministry, then the truth is youâ€™ve got one of the most important qualifications! For indeed, you are not adequate for the task. But Godâ€™s Word promises that we can do all things through God who strengthens us. God makes us competent. We just need to be available and willing. Jesus has chosen to get his work done on earth through jars of clay who have little strength â€“ thatâ€™s us! And as we minister out of our weakness, Jesus comes through with his strength, and thatâ€™s what makes the difference. Amy Sherman, Sharing Godâ€™s Heart for the Poor
HELPFUL TIPS FOR
ENGAGING IN SALT & LIGHT MINISTRY
Being salt and light in our communities is often an exciting, yet daunting endeavor. Engaging our communities for the common good may be new ground for many of us, and unknown territory can certainly be intimidating. As your hearts are inspired by the possibilities of what could be in Northwest Indiana, and as your compassion is stirred to help others in our communities, it is important to remember a few guiding principles. Here are six helpful tips to keep in mind as you push out of your comfort zones and bring glory to God by making a difference for the common good of Northwest Indiana: CWX]Z?T^_[T=^c9dbc?a^YTRcb When engaging in salt and light ministry, our natural inclination is to simply tackle work projects. We tend to gravitate toward building, paintPUNHUKĂ„_PUN3LHR`MH\JL[ZIYVken stairs, and moldy basements are tangible issues that can be addressed immediately, and they should be dealt with promptly. '#}=TgcBcT_b
However, focusing solely on physical tasks while ignoring the relational component will often leave us, and those we serve, with an emptiness inside. In addition, concentrating on projects alone can fuel a â€œrescuerâ€? mentality that may perpetuate problems in our communities inadvertently.1 As humans made in the image of God, we were created to be relational beings. We were designed to relate to God, to one another, to our world around us, and to ourselves.2 Relationships are critical to any salt and light ministry efforts because relating to others allows us to discover deeper issues. In other words, relationships allow us to get to the hearts of people. Projects are a great way to demonstrate loving acts of kindness to folks in need, but generally should be used as a catalyst for building relationships. Jesus demonstrated this in his ministry. /LJHTL[VĂ„_OLHSHUKTLUKÂśIV[O spiritually and physically â€“ but he did
so generally in the context of relationships. Consider how you might be able to start a relationship with someone by meeting an immediate issue. You may be able to spot additional needs beyond a broken pipe. !AT\T\QTacWPcBP[c;XVWc<X]Xbcah AT`dXaTbF^aSbP]S3TTSb Salt and light ministry is a delicate balance of words and deeds, but one that must be struck in order to effectively serve our communities for the cause of Christ. Individuals should be careful to avoid leaning too heavily on Word only ministry (evangelism) as the primary method for community transformation if doing so means losing sight of the importance of meeting real and present needs. 6U[OLV[OLYOHUK[OVZLaLHSV\ZVUS` for doing good deeds (social justice) run the risk of not articulating the very gospel message that brings salvation to everyone who believes,3 opting
instead to rely on their good works to win people to Christ. Pastor Timothy Keller, of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, says we need both gospel messaging and gospel neighboring components of salt and light ministry to be effective in our communities and share the love of Christ.4 We must be ready at all times to share the message of Jesus5 while always looking for ways to love our neighbors through sacriĂ„JPHSZLY]PJL(NHPU1LZ\ZZLY]LZHZ our perfect example. He met physical needs, healed the blind, and touched the lepers. He also confronted sin, proclaimed good news to the poor, and told those he ministered to about the kingdom of God.6
inadvertently hurt individuals further by creating unnecessary dependencies. We must be careful to never confuse unconditional love with unconstrained benevolence.7 Sometimes the best way to love others is to set practical guidelines on what we can and cannot do for them.8 It can be easy to focus on the symptoms of poverty and ignore the root issues. However, in order to help our communities and its individuals reach ZLSMZ\MĂ„JPLUJ`"^LT\Z[LUJV\YHNL them to pursue their own developTLU[6M[LU[PTLZ[OPZTLHUZYLTV]ing barriers that lead to failure and equipping folks with necessary skills for success.
Individuals in our communities will be attracted to the Jesus they see in you when you are meeting needs with ZHJYPĂ„JPHSSV]LHUKZLY]PJL^OPJO opens the door for sharing the Gospel message. Remember to be transparent about your faith without pressuring people to profess the same beliefs you hold so dear.
Dr. John Perkins, Founder and President Emeritus of the Christian Community Development Corporation, says, â€œBy focusing on symptoms rather than on the underlying disease, we are often hurting the very people we are trying to help. Surprisingly, we are also hurting ourselves in the process. As followers of Jesus Christ, we simply must do better.â€?9
"4\_^fTa>cWTabc^4]VPVTX]CWTXa >f]D_[XUc When engaging in salt and light ministry, it is easy to do for others what they should do themselves, which can
#BP[c;XVWc<X]XbcahBW^d[S1T 7^[XbcXR<X]Xbcah Related to empowering others to engage in their own uplift is the fact that salt and light ministry is often a
holistic ministry. In other words, when serving our communities we may uncover other needs and issues that ought to be addressed. In regards to poverty, there are often a multitude of issues that need to be tackled. Many times these may entail JV\UZLSPUNĂ„UHUJPHSVY]VJH[PVUHS needs among others. What this means is that we should be able to perceive the needs of others and locate the resources to help them, or their families, holistically. ;OLYLHYLULHYS`UVUWYVĂ„[ organizations including religious, charitable, and educational groups in Lake County alone10 that can be utilized for equipping those you serve with additional resources. $APSXRP[6T]Ta^bXchXb=TTSTSU^a BP[c;XVWc<X]Xbcah Salt and light ministry should be done with open hearts and open hands; and generosity should be the hallmark of every Christian. Godâ€™s grace should motivate us to be radically generous to others in this life, for it is only by Godâ€™s grace that we have what we have. Living with open hearts means we live with the heart that God has â€“ one of compassion for the poor, weak, and =TgcBcT_b}'$
marginalized of society. Living with open hands means we live with a loose grip on our wealth so that earthly treasures can be used to impact those who are less fortunate for the sake of Jesus Christ. We ought to view our time, talents, money, homes, possessions, relationships, schedules, and vocations as gifts entrusted by God to be shared generously with others. We should be willing take seriously Jesusâ€™ words that it is more blessed to give than receive.11
Living with radical generosity reX\PYLZJVZ[S`ZHJYPĂ„JL0[YLX\PYLZ\Z[V THRLÂ¸KPMĂ„J\S[Ă„UHUJPHSHUKSPMLZ[`SL choices based on Godâ€™s love and justice for the most vulnerable in our society over our own personal advancement and convenience.â€?12 %;TPa]cWTBc^aXTb^U8]SXeXSdP[bP]S cWT2^\\d]Xch Salt and light ministry is a constant learning process, therefore we must ZLLRĂ„YZ[[V\UKLYZ[HUKV[OLYZYH[OLY than judge them for lifestyle choices or circumstances where we differ. 6M[LU[PTLZV\YWYLJVUJLW[PVUZHYL
simply unfounded. As we learn about our community, and those who reside in our own backyards, we can sympathize with them by considering life through their eyes. We must be careful to never believe we are the â€œsaviorsâ€? who will rescue the needy from their dire straits. Instead, we should be â€œslow to speak, quick to listen,â€?13 and eager to spend time learning the hurts and struggles of those we help. At the core, salt and light ministry is not what you give, but rather how you serve.14 If we help those in need from a humble posture while seeking to understand the cries of the underprivileged we will shine a great light for the name of Jesus. â€œEach person has the right to be cared for with dignity. See the individual you serve as a unique creation made in Godâ€™s image, deeply loved by the Savior, and designed to make a contribution on our community and to have a role in Godâ€™s Kingdom.â€?15
Taking time to build relationships is key to effective salt and light ministry.
SALT & LIGHT
STARTING POINTS FOR CHURCHES
Given all of the options, how do you Ă„UK[OLYPNO[TPUPZ[Y`VUYHTWMVY`V\Y JO\YJO&/LYLHYLĂ„]LWV[LU[PHSZ[HY[PUN points: BcPacFXcWPBRaX_cdaT Godâ€™s Word is living and active (Hebrews 4:12)! A sermon on Jesusâ€™ healing ministry may spark interest in local health concerns. A Bible study on Isaiah 58:6-7 (â€œIs this not the kind of fasting I have chosen...to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelterâ€?) can lead the group to examine issues of hunger and homelessness. Jesusâ€™ words in Matthew 25:36, â€œI was in prison and you came to visit me,â€? might point members to connect with a prison ministry. Be prepared to walk through the doors Godâ€™s Spirit will open when people study Scripture and take its applications seriously. !BcPacFXcWP2^]RTa] Perhaps a family in your congregation has been struggling with addiction. Perhaps someone in your church was moved by an article about a womanâ€™s journey out of prostitution. Perhaps
members are growing alarmed at the number of jobless families in the church and community. Perhaps a small group has expressed a heart for serving elderly shut-ins. Identify the issues that are relevant to your congregation or that generate passion, then Ă„UKV\[^OH[PZHSYLHK`ILPUNKVULPU this area and how you might get on board. "BcPacfXcWP]>aVP]XiPcX^] Which community-serving organizations (many listed in this guidebook) represent an existing connection or UH[\YHSĂ„[MVY`V\YJVUNYLNH[PVU& Consider an agency located near the church, or in the same denomination. ,_WHUKHYLSH[PVUZOPW^P[OHUVUWYVĂ„[ where the church has donated money. Encourage members to recommend organizations where they work or volunteer, or where they have received assistance. Ask other churches about positive experiences with ministry collaboration.
and fund-raising connections? A gym you could offer to a local youth ministry? A pool of retirees potentially available for volunteer service? A group of members skilled in construction? Explore ways to invest these assets in the community. Maximize your impact by connecting these resources with other community-serving groups. $BcPacfXcWP=TXVWQ^aW^^S This may be the neighborhood where your church is located or a community where your church feels led to serve. Explore opportunities for community ministry by doing background research, developing relationships, and spending time praying and hanging out in the neighborhood. Ask a wide variety of local people about concerns, resources, and possibilities for ministry collaboration. Look for individuals or organizations having a positive impact on life in the community, and discover how you can join in.
#BcPacfXcWPATb^daRT Take inventory of what assets your church has to share: Access to funds =TgcBcT_b}'&
City Methodist Church in Gary, once a thriving church and community center, complete with gym, theater, and garden, now stands in ruins. Isaiah 61:4 says, "They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities..."
EPILOGUE A PRAYER FOR NORTHWEST INDIANA By Pastor Steve DeWitt
Dear Heavenly Father, We know you love our Northwest Indiana community. You have made your care for communities clear in Scripture â€“ Jonah and Nineveh, David and Jerusalem, and supremely Jesus and the city of all humanity. We want your love for WLVWSL[VLJOVPUV\YV^UOLHY[ZHZ^L[\YUHYLKLTW[P]LL`L[V^HYKV\YULPNOIVYZ;OLĂ„YZ[[OPUN[OL.VVK:HTHYP[HU did was he ZH^ the man along the road in distress. How we long to â€œseeâ€? with eyes of understanding and compassion! ;HRLV\YNHaLMYVTV\YZLS]LZHUKTH`^LĂ„UKSV]LÂťZWPUUHJSLPUSV]LÂťZZHJYPĂ„JLMVY[OL[LTWVYHSHUKL[LYUHSNVVKVM others. We pray for our community as a whole and our community as individuals. Bless each person, each home, and each family in the story of their lives. Bless us from your common grace by meeting our basic needs. Bless our community from your saving grace by meeting our eternal and spiritual needs. We know that the ultimate solutions in our community cannot, and will not, come from us. We pray that all in our community would discover Jesus as Savior and Lord. >LWYH`MVYV\YSLHKLYZHUKHSS^OVHYLPUWVZP[PVUZVMPUĂ…\LUJL>LWYH`MVY^PZKVTWY\KLUJLHUKTV[P]H[PVUZ[OH[ are for the good of all. We pray that our schools, churches, and institutions would promote a character and culture of life and learning that healthy communities like ours so desperately need. We lift our community to you with this prayer. May you produce in all of us the humility, righteousness, and courage required to love Northwest Indiana into a community pleasing to you. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer and Lord, Amen.
GENERAL DEMOGRAPHICS & MAPS SCHOOL CORPORATION
MINORITY STUDENTS % OF TOTAL
FREE OR REDUCED LUNCH
NUMBER OF STUDENTS
Lake County Total
[Indiana Department of Education, 2009-2010 Education Data, DOE Compass, http://www.doe.in.gov/data.]
LAKE COUNTY TOTAL
Foreign Born Ă–
Elderly (65 years and over)
Children under 18
Married Families with Children under 18
Single Parent Families with Children under 18
Average Household Size
Poverty Rate (Total Individuals)Ă–
Poverty Rate (Children Under 18)Ă–
Per Capita IncomeĂ–
Median Household IncomeĂ–
[US Census Bureau, 2010 Census, http://factfinder2.census.gov.] [Ă–= US Census Bureau (2005-2009 American Community Survey 5 â€“Year Estimates)]
% of Single Mothers Living in Poverty 18% and below 18% to 39% 39% to 65% 65% and above
% of Population Living in Poverty - All Ages
Maps created using MaptitudeÂŽ by CaliperÂŠ
11% and below 11% to 25% 25% to 42% 42% and above
RANK 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Indiana Harbor - East Chicago Midtown - Gary Brunswick - Gary Emerson - Gary Midtown - Gary Tolleston - Gary Midtown - Gary Pulaski - Gary Gavit - Hammond Indiana Harbor - East Chicago
% BELOW POVERTY
302 121 103.01 105 119 110 102.02 114 218 301
100% 100% 100% 91% 89% 86% 85% 83% 83% 77%
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Homewood - Hammond Midtown - Gary Indiana Harbor - East Chicago Midtown - Gary Pulaski - Gary Indiana Harbor - East Chicago Indiana Harbor - East Chicago Indiana Harbor - East Chicago Emerson - Gary Indiana Harbor - East Chicago
% BELOW POVERTY
206 119 301 102.02 114 303 302 310 105 304
69% 62% 61% 55% 54% 53% 51% 51% 46% 45%
% of Births to Unmarried Mothers 14% and below 14% to 40% 40% to 78% 78% and above
% of Households w/Children Led by Single Parent
Maps created using MaptitudeÂŽ by CaliperÂŠ
26% and below 36% to 47% 47% to 70% 70% and above
RANK 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
West Miller - Gary Ambridge - Gary Brunswick - Gary Westside - Gary Emerson - Gary Emerson - Gary Downtown West - Gary Tolleston - Gary Tolleston - Gary Midtown - Gary
102.01 102.03 103.01 103.02 105 106 108 109 112 113
100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Midtown - Gary Indiana Harbor - East Chicago Pulaski - Gary Ambridge - Gary Midtown - Gary Homewood - Hammond Indiana Harbor - East Chicago Glen Park East - Gary Glen Park East - Gary Pulaski - Gary
% OF HOUSEHOLDS
117 301 114 102.03 113 206 310 126 123 122
100% 100% 94% 93% 93% 92% 91% 90% 90% 90%
SALT & LIGHT
0]ShAXccT]W^dbT is Minister of Domestic Missions, First Baptist Concord, and former director of the Compassion Coalition in Knoxville, TN. 0]VXTFX[[XP\b is the Executive Director of the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana. 0bW[Th?^bc is a local student and Peer Mentor at PATH. 1T]<X[[Ta is the Program Director at Urban Faith Works in Gary. 1aP]S^]5d]cP[[ is an administrative assistant at Bethel Church in Crown Point. 2WXTU1aXP]<X[[Ta has been in law enforcement for over twenty years. He has served in numerous capacities on the police department and has a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Criminal Justice. 2WaXb2Paa is the Executive Pastor of Ministry at Bethel Church in Crown Point. 3Paah[5^aS is the Director of Connections at Bethel Church in Crown Point. (#}5X]P[CW^dVWcb
CONTRIBUTOR BIOS 3TaaXR8bT]bTT is an Accounting Manager at NiSource Inc. 3^]]P6^[^Q is the Executive Director of A Positive Approach to Teen Health (PATH, Inc.). 6Pah1dc[Ta is Pastor of Counseling and Family Ministries at Bethel Church in Crown Point. 7TXSXD]adW is a community ministry consultant, freelance writer and editor, and Director of the Congregations, Community Outreach & Leadership Development Project in Hutchinson, KS. 9PRZXT<^UUXcc is the Executive Director of the Womenâ€™s Center of Northwest Indiana. 9P]T1XbQTT is the Regional Manager for the Indiana Department of Child Services. 9Pb^]C^__25?V^UZHĂ„UHUJPHS advisory practice in Merrillville and serves as Community Ministries Mobilizer for Bethel Church in Crown Point.
9T]P1T[[TiiP is the marketing director for the Indiana Parenting Institute in Gary. 9TaT\hCPh[^a is Senior Editor and Assistant Editorial Director at Tyndale House Publishers. 9X\5[P]]Tah is the Executive Director of the Northwest Indiana Quality of Life Council. 9^Th<PhUXT[S is Assistant Director of Global & Community Ministries at Bethel Church in Crown Point. 9^aVTP]S0]SaTP<d]^i are a family that received help from the Biblical Counseling Center. ;PdaPB\XcWFh]] is Executive Director and Founder of Indiana Parenting Institute in Gary. <TVP]BXZTb is the Communications/ Advocacy Manager for the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana. <T[XbbPEXb is a stay-at-home mom to her four children and a part-time Insurance Producer for Midwest Insurance.
<XRWT[[T;TT is Principal at ZoeAsis Consulting Group which pro]PKLZJVUZ\S[PUN[VUVUWYVĂ„[VYNHnizations in program development, grant writing and grants management, adolescent health, research and evaluation for programs in distressed communities. <XZT?Pe[XZ is a Technical Lead at TTX Company in Chicago. <XZTFXccXV earns his living as a real estate investor from Schererville. =P]RhA^QX]b^] is a Northwest Indiana small business owner and active community and church member. =XR^[TBRW\XTS<10 is a Strategy & Planning Advisor to Reese, Inc, serves as Board President of Jr Achievement NWI, and Council Member of Leadership NW Indiana (LNI 28). 3aA^]P[S0[[RWX]Ba is the Executive Director of Biblical Counseling Center ^P[OVMĂ„JLZPU(YSPUN[VU/LPNO[ZHUK Fox Lake IL and in Schererville IN.
BWP]T;TfXb is a Locomotive Engineer with the Grand Trunk Western Railway and serves locally and internationalS`PU[OLĂ„NO[HNHPUZ[[OLL_WSVP[H[PVU of women and girls. BcPRh;Ph\P] is a freelance graphic designer, author of the blog â€œA Laymanâ€™s Guide to Being Thrifty,â€? and a stay at home mom. BcTeT3TFXcc is the Senior Pastor of Bethel Church in Crown Point. CaPeXbEPdVW] has over 17 years of experience working with churches HUKUVUWYVĂ„[VYNHUPaH[PVUZPUKPverse communities. His primary client is Perimeter Church in Atlanta, GA where he serves as a consultant for city renewal and global outreach. E^h[T6[^eTa is an attorney in Merrillville, Indiana. FX[[T]P1ad]UXT[Sis a local student and new mother.
BPaPWA?Pe[XZ93 Westlaw Academic Account Manager in Chicago, IL. 5X]P[CW^dVWcb}($
SALT & LIGHT
BP[c;XVWc8]ca^SdRcX^] 1. Ed Stetzer, @V\*HUÂť[3V]LH*P[`PM @V\+VUÂť[2UV^H*P[`, http://www. edstetzer.com/2011/02/you-cant-lovea-city-if-you-do.html. 2. Matthew 5:13-14 â€œYou are the salt of the earth...you are the light of the world...â€? (ESV). The Message version VM[OPZWHZZHNLZH`ZÂ¸@V\YLOLYL[V be salt-seasoning that brings out the .VKĂ…H]VYZVM[OPZLHY[O@V\YLOLYL to be light, bringing out the Godcolors in the world.â€? FWhBcdShP2^\\d]Xch. 1. Adapted from "Community Study" appearing in :HS[ 3PNO[!(.\PKL[V 3V]PUN2UV_]PSSL. 5^Rdb4bbPh)BX]V[T?PaT]cX]V 1. Robert D. Jones, :PUNSL7HYLU[Z!+HPS` .YHJLMVY[OL/HYKLZ[1VI (Greensboro, NC: New Growth Press,2008) 3. 2. Genesis 1â€“2. 3. >LLUJV\YHNLJO\YJOLZ[VĂ„UK[OL delicate balance of supporting single parents in ministry without denying the importance of Godâ€™s original design for marriage. 4. See Glimpse in the Life story of Mike Herz, who noted that a strong support system of family and friends were the fundamental difference for his success as a parent.
7. 8. 9.
â€œSingle Parents on the Rise,â€? Anna Sargent for Examiner.com, March 11, 2010, accessed May 2011, http:// www.examiner.com/single-moms-inwashington-dc/single-parents-on-therise. Heidi Unruh, -HJ[:OLL[VU:PUNSL Parents (Compassion Coalition, Knoxville, TN 2009). US Census Bureau, *LUZ\Z, O[[W!MHJ[Ă„UKLYJLUZ\ZNV] Ibid. US Census Bureau, >VTLU @LHYZ^OVOHKH)PY[OPU[OL7HZ[ 4VU[OZI`4HYP[HS:[H[\Z, (2007-2009 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates). Ibid. 45 percent unmarried birth rate in Lake County, IN. Nearly one-fourth of these mothers have an unmarried partner in the home. US Census Bureau, >VTLU @LHYZ^OVOHKH)PY[OPU[OL7HZ[ 4VU[OZI`4HYP[HS:[H[\ZHUK Race (American Community Survey 2007â€“2009 3-year estimates). US Census Bureau, 4LKPHU-HTPS`0U JVTLPU[OL7HZ[4VU[OZ0U 0UĂ…H[PVU(KQ\Z[LK+VSSHYs (2005-2009 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates). Census Bureau, >VTLU-@LHYZ ^OVOHKH)PY[OPU[OL7HZ[4VU[OZ I`4HYP[HS:[H[\ZHUK,K\JH[PVU([
[HPUTLU[ (2007-2009 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates). US Census Bureau, 4LKPHU-HTPS`0U JVTLPU[OL7HZ[4VU[OZ0U 0UĂ…H[PVU(KQ\Z[LK+VSSHYZ (2005-2009 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates). Indiana State Department of Health, Indiana WIC Program. US Census Bureau, 4LKPHU-HTPS`0U JVTLPU[OL7HZ[4VU[OZ0U 0UĂ…H[PVU(KQ\Z[LK+VSSHYZ (2005-2009 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates). â€œThe Father Factor,â€? 5H[PVUHS-H[OLY OVVK0UP[PH[P]LSHZ[TVKPĂ„LK1\UL 8, 2011, accessed June 10, 2011, http://www.fatherhood.org/Page. aspx?pid=403. Steven L. Nock and Christopher J. Einolf, ;OL*VZ[ZVM-H[OLY(IZLUJL, (National Fatherhood Initiative, 2008), O[[W!^^^MH[OLYZPU[OLĂ„LSKJVT news/fatherabsencecost.pdf. Ibid. Heidi Unruh, -HJ[:OLL[VU:PUNSL Parents (Compassion Coalition, Knoxville, TN 2009). Robert Rector, 4HYYPLK-H[OLYZ! (TLYPJHÂťZ.YLH[LZ[>LHWVU(NHPUZ[ *OPSK7V]LY[`, (The Heritage Foundation, June 16, 2009), http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/06/
Married-Fathers-Americas-GreatestWeapon-Against-Child-Poverty. Ibid. A single mother in Gary, IN noted in a benevolence interview for one local church that what she needed more than anything was a positive male role model for her 20-year old son. Mia (single mother of six in Hammond) in discussion with Mike Wittig (Salt & Light author) and Joey 4H`Ă„LSK*V,KP[VYMVY:HS[ 3PNO[ research in April 2011. Angie, a Salt & Light focus group participant and single mother for seven years noted this as one of the most KPMĂ„J\S[VIZ[HJSLZHZHZPUNSLWHYLU[ ClaudAnne Poplous and Kathleen Hruby (Founders of Shekinah Home for Women & Children) in discussion ^P[O1HZVU;VWW*V,KP[VYVU1\S` 29, 2010 for Salt & Light research. Andy Farmer, The Rich Single Life, (Sovereign Grace Ministries, 1998) â€œAppendix A: Single Parents and the Church,â€? 151. Downloadable version available at www.sovereigngraceministries.org. Ibid. Angie, a Salt & Light focus group participant and single mother for seven years noted the struggle she faced with not having positive support structures through church. Without positive friendships, she mentioned how often she would stray down wrong paths.
30. 5HUJ`*SVVUHU,_LJ\[P]L+PYLJ[VYVM Family Action Network) in discussion ^P[O1HZVU;VWW*V,KP[VYVU1HU\ary 22, 2010 for Salt & Light research. 31. Jones, Single Parents: Daily Grace for the Hardest Job, (Greensboro, NC: New Growth Press, 2008), 22. 32. :OPYSL`*H`VY,_LJ\[P]L+PYLJ[VY of the Crisis Center of Northwest Indiana), Kate Marensic (Alternative House), and Wille Perry (Coordinator of Crisis Hot Line) in discussion with 1HZVU;VWW*V,KP[VYVU(\N\Z[ 2010 for Salt & Light research. 33. Ibid. 34. 5HUJ`*SVVUHU,_LJ\[P]L+PYLJ[VYVM Family Action Network) in discussion ^P[O1HZVU;VWW*V,KP[VYVU1HU\ary 22, 2010 for Salt & Light research. 4Z*SVVUHUPKLU[PĂ„LKSHJRVMTHSL role models as a major challenge in Lake County. 35. Andy Farmer, The Rich Single Life (Sovereign Grace Ministries, 1998), â€œAppendix A: Single Parents and the Church,â€? 153. 36. Psalm 68:5-6a, New Living Translation. 37. Jones, Single Parents: Daily Grace for the Hardest Job, (Greensboro, NC: New Growth Press, 2008), 13. 38. Ibid, 11. 39. Andy Farmer, The Rich Single Life (Sovereign Grace Ministries, 1998), â€œAppendix A: Single Parents and the Church,â€? 153. 40. Ibid.
41. Nancy Wahler, Ministering to Women at the Well: Make a Difference through Your Church, Andy Rittenhouse and Heidi Unruh, eds., Salt & Light: A Guide to Loving Knoxville, ;OPYK,KP[PVU2UV_]PSSL;5!*VTWHZsion Coalition, 2009) 16. 42. Mia (single mother of six in Hammond) in discussion with Mike Wittig (Salt & Light author) and Joey 4H`Ă„LSK*V,KP[VYMVY:HS[ 3PNO[ research in April 2011. 43. Teri Worten Brooks, â€œWhat Churches Can Do to Support Single Parent Families,â€? The She Loves God.com Network, accessed May 2011, http:// www.shelovesgod.com/library/article. cfm?articleid=4017. 44. Ibid. 45. Ibid. 46. Jones, Single Parents: Daily Grace for the Hardest Job, (Greensboro, NC: New Growth Press, 2008), 25â€“26. 47. Ibid. 48. Ibid. 49. Nancy Wahler, Ministering to Women at the Well: Make a Difference through Your Church, Andy Rittenhouse and Heidi Unruh, eds., Salt & Light: A Guide to Loving Knoxville, ;OPYK,KP[PVU2UV_]PSSL;5!*VTWHZsion Coalition, 2009) 17. 50. Comment from Kim Best in reply thread from Single Mothersâ€”Is the Church Doing Enough to Support Them, accessed May 2011, http:// www.circleofmoms.com.
ENDNOTES CONTINUED Focus Essay: Single Parenting (Continued) 51. Nancy Wahler, Ministering to Women at the Well: Make a Difference through Your Church, Andy Rittenhouse and Heidi Unruh, eds., Salt & Light: A Guide to Loving Knoxville, Third Edition (Knoxville, TN: Compassion Coalition, 2009) 17. 52. Jones, Single Parents: Daily Grace for the Hardest Job, (Greensboro, NC: New Growth Press, 2008), 25-6 53. Ibid. 54. Acts 20:35. 55. Andy Farmer, The Rich Single Life, (Sovereign Grace Ministries, 1998), â€œAppendix A: Single Parents and the Church,â€? 152. 56. Romans 8:28, Contemporary English Version. 57. Hebrews 4:16, Contemporary English Version. Learning to Appreciate the Value of Life 1. http://thewc.org/ Glimpse in the Life of Abused & Neglected Children 1. Indiana Department of Child Services, Practice Indicator Reports for December 2010, Monthly Practice Indicators Region 1 (2010). 2. Ibid; Indiana Department of Child Services, Practice Indicator Reports
for December 2009, Monthly Practice Indicators Region 1 (2009). The 80% YH[LVMYL\UPĂ„JH[PVUZWHUZIV[O and 2010. Focus Essay: Children & Youth 1. Indiana Department of Child Services, Practice Indicator Reports for December 2010, Monthly Practice Indicators Region 1 (2010). 2. http://www.in.gov/dcs/2982.htm. 3. https://www.casalakecounty.com/ index.asp. Focus Essay: Healthy Families 1. Adapted from â€œThe Family Manifesto,â€? FamilyLife, accessed May 2011, http://www.familylife.com. 2. Ibid. 3. Ibid. 4. Wilcox et al., Why Marriage Matters Second Edition: Twenty-Six Conclusions from the Social Sciences, (New York: Institute for American Values, 2005), http://americanvalues.org/pdfs/ why_marriage_matters2.pdf. 5. Ibid. 6. These three challenges were noted in Salt & Light: A Guide to Loving Knoxville (2009) and were found throughout the various research conducted on Northwest Indiana by the Salt & Light Secondary Research Team. 7. U.S. Census Bureau, Women 15 to 50 Years who Had a Birth in the Past 12
Months by Race and Marital Status (2005â€“2009 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates). Ibid. U.S. Census Bureau, Women 15 to 50 Years who Had a Birth in the Past 12 Months by Marital Status and Age (2005â€“2009 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates). Cited by participants in a Salt & Light focus group on family life in September 2010. This essay is located in the Beyond the 1st Edition section of this volume. Jeff Temple (Counselor at the Biblical Counseling Center) in discussion with Derric Isensee (Salt & Light Interviewer) in February 2011. The Importance of Family Dinner VI (New York: The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA), September 2010), http://www.casacolumbia. org/upload/2010/20100922familydin ners6.pdf. â€œFinancial Stress,â€? My Relationship Center, accessed May 2011, http:// www.myrelationshipcenter.org/MarryWell. Indiana Department of Child Services, Child Abuse and Neglect Annual Report of Child Fatalities, 2008, http:// www.in.gov/dcs/3197.htm. U.S. Census Bureau, Poverty Status in the Past 12 Months of Related Chil-
25. 26. 27. 28.
KYLU\UKLY@LHYZI`-HTPS`;`WL (2005â€“2009 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates). U.S. Census Bureau, 4LKPHU-HT PS`0UJVTLPU[OL7HZ[4VU[OZ I`/V\ZLOVSK;`WL (2005â€“2009 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates). Ibid. The outline for these Ideas were directly taken or adapted from Brown et al., :HS[ 3PNO[!(.\PKL[V3V]PUN 2UV_]PSSL, eds. Andy Rittenhouse and Heidi Unruh (Knoxville, TN: Compassion Coalition, 2009), 12-13. Ibid. Latonia Branch (Executive Director of House of Eden Global Ministry in Gary, IN) in discussion with Derric Isensee (Salt & Light Interviewer) in January 2010. Ibid. David Eggebeen and Jeffrey Dew, â€œThe Role of Religion in Adolescence for Family Formation in Young Adulthood,â€? 1V\YUHSVM4HYYPHNLHUK-HTPS` v. 71, no. 1 (2009) 108â€“121. Brown et al., :HS[ 3PNO[!(.\PKL[V 3V]PUN2UV_]PSSL, eds. Andy Rittenhouse and Heidi Unruh (Knoxville, TN: Compassion Coalition, 2009) 13. Ibid. Ibid. Ibid. Dr. David Kyle Foster,9LĂ…LJ[PUN6\Y 9LSH[PVUZOPW^P[O.VK, Focus on the Family, http://www.focusonthefamily. com/marriage/gods_design_for_mar-
YPHNLTHYYPHNLFNVKZFPKLHYLĂ…LJ[PUNF our_relationship_with_god.aspx. 29. Brown et al., :HS[ 3PNO[!(.\PKL[V 3V]PUN2UV_]PSSL, eds. Andy Rittenhouse and Heidi Unruh (Knoxville, TN: Compassion Coalition, 2009), 13. 30. Ibid. 0?Tab_TRcXeT^]7d]VTa 1. FLLKPUN(TLYPJH4HW[OL4LHS.HW (Feeding America, 2011), http://feedingamerica.org/hunger-inamerica/ hunger-studies/map-the-meal-gap. aspx. 2. Ibid. 3. U.S. Census Bureau, Poverty Status PU[OL7HZ[4VU[OZVM9LSH[LK *OPSKYLU<UKLY@LHYZI`-HTPS` ;`WL (2005â€“2009 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates). This was then multiplied by the estimated number of children in Lake County from the U.S. Census Bureau, Population Under 18 Years of Age (2005â€“2009 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates). 4. â€œPhysical and Mental Health,â€? -LLK PUN(TLYPJHSHZ[TVKPĂ„LK4H` 2011, http://feedingamerica.org/ hungerin-america/impact-of-hunger/ physical-and-mental-health.aspx. 0?Tab_TRcXeT^]6P]Vb 1. George et al., After-School Programs and Academic Impact: A Study of Chicagoâ€™s After School Matters, (Chicago, IL: Chapin Hall Center for Children: Issue Brief #112, 2007), http://www. JOHWPUOHSSVYNZP[LZKLMH\S[Ă„SLZW\I-
lications/ChapinHallDocument(2)_0. pdf. 0?Tab_TRcXeT^]7d\P]P]SBTg CaPUUXRZX]V 1. Charles Hounmenou, Ph.D., Human ;YHMĂ„JRPUNPU0SSPUVPZ-HJ[:OLL[1HUL Adams Center for Social Policy and Research, (Chicago, IL: University of Illinois at Chicago, September 20, 2010), http://www.uic.edu/jaddams/ JVSSLNLYLZLHYJOFW\ISPJFZLY]PJLĂ„SLZ ;YHMĂ„JRPUN0U7LYZVUZ0U0SSPUVPZF-HJ[Sheet09202010.pdf. 2. Â¸:L_;YHMĂ„JRPUN-HJ[:OLL[Âš0Uternational Justice Mission, last TVKPĂ„LKVU4H`HJJLZZLK June 9, 2011, http://www.ijm.org/ statistics&factsheets/viewcategory. /\THUHUKZL_[YHMĂ„JRPUNPZLX\HS with the illegal arms trade as being second behind the drug trade. 3. www.craigslist.com 4. www.backpage.com 0?Tab_TRcXeT^]FXS^fb 1. U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census, O[[W!MHJ[Ă„UKLYJLUZ\ZNV];OL exact number is 65,870 people over the age of 65. 4\QPaZX]V^]PBP[c;XVWc9^da]Th 1. Heidi Unruh & Andy Rittenhouse, 6UYHTWZ[V:HS[ 3PNO[4PUPZ[Y` Andy Rittenhouse and Heidi Unruh, eds., :HS[ 3PNO[!(.\PKL[V3V]PUN 2UV_]PSSL, Third Edition (Knoxville, TN: Compassion Coalition, 2009) 354.
ENDNOTES CONTINUED 4\QPaZX]V^]PBP[c;XVWc9^da]Th 2^]cX]dTS 2. Ibid. 3. Ibid, 356. 4. Ibid. 5. Ibid, 355. 6. Ibid. 7. Psalm 82:3-4, New Living Translation (NLT). 8. Proverbs 31:8-9, New Living Translation (NLT) â€œSpeak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.â€? 9. Ibid, 356. 10. Ibid.
5. 6. 7.
10. 7T[_Ud[CX_bU^a4]VPVX]VX]BP[c;XVWc <X]Xbcah 1. Travis Vaughn & Heidi Unruh â€œCommunity Studyâ€?, Andy Rittenhouse and Heidi Unruh, eds., :HS[ 3PNO[! (.\PKL[V3V]PUN2UV_]PSSL, Third Edition (Knoxville, TN: Compassion Coalition, 2009) 349. 2. Anthony Hoekema, *YLH[LKPU.VKÂťZ 0THNL, (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1994), chapter 5. 3. Romans 1:16 â€œFor I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes...â€?
Adapted from Kellerâ€™s sermon 5LPNO bors, http://sermons2.redeemer.com/ sermons/neighbors. 1 Peter 3:15 Luke 4:16-22 Andy Rittenhouse â€œGuidelines for Relational Ministryâ€?, Andy Rittenhouse and Heidi Unruh, eds., :HS[ 3PNO[! (.\PKL[V3V]PUN2UV_]PSSL, Third Edition (Knoxville, TN: Compassion Coalition, 2009) 368. Ibid. John Perkins, -VYL^VYK>OLU/LSW PUN/\Y[Z!/V^[V(SSL]PH[L7V]LY[` Without Hurting the Poor...And Your ZLSM (Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2009). Sandra Bowie, 5VU7YVĂ„[0UZ[P[\[L 6MMLYZ/LSW[VJZ5VU7YVĂ„[ Institute, Indiana University Northwest, http://www.iun.edu/~marcom/ nwnews/pdf_archives/nwnews_0609. pdf. Acts 20:35 Heidi Unruh & Andy Rittenhouse Â¸6UYHTWZ[V:HS[ 3PNO[4PUPZ[Y`Âš Andy Rittenhouse and Heidi Unruh, eds., :HS[ 3PNO[!(.\PKL[V3V]PUN 2UV_]PSSL, Third Edition (Knoxville, TN: Compassion Coalition, 2009), 356. James 1:19 Andy Rittenhouse â€œGuidelines for Relational Ministryâ€?, Andy Rittenhouse
and Heidi Unruh, eds., :HS[ 3PNO[! (.\PKL[V3V]PUN2UV_]PSSL, Third Edition (Knoxville, TN: Compassion
Coalition, 2009) 366. 15. Ibid. BcPacX]V?^X]cbU^a2WdaRWTb 1. This list was taken directly from Salt & Light: A guide to loving Knoxville.
This book is meant to stir your hearts for our community and help you see Northwest Indiana through the lens of Jesus – a place he dearly lo...
Published on Jan 19, 2012
This book is meant to stir your hearts for our community and help you see Northwest Indiana through the lens of Jesus – a place he dearly lo...