Highlight Series: Ministries

I started a series a bit ago that I called Highlight Shelters. Since I started that series I have found some churches and other ministries that are working with women who have been sexually abused. The following is a list of links and some information about the ministries:

  • Shelter from the Storm-Abuse Ministry. This is a ministry for women: teens and adults that have been sexually abused. It is a meeting that is held at Watermark Community Church. From the look of the website, it appears that the Spring session has ended but hopefully there will be a summer or at least Fall session. Be sure to check out there webpage: Shelter from The Storm Abuse Ministry
  • Go Fish Ministries. This is a counseling based ministry. This ministry is led by an ordained pastor and seeks to help women receive healing through advocacy and counseling. Be sure to check out the site: GoFish Ministries
  • Acts of Grace Ministries. This ministry works with both men and women to bring about healing from many painful experiences including sexual abuse. They also work with churches so that they can present the Bible Study materials that they have created. Check out their site: Acts of Grace Ministries
  • Mending the Soul: Bringing Hope to the Generations. This ministry has developed a program that they teach to other communities to use for small groups. Be sure to check out their page for training materials and to find a group near you: Mending the Soul
  • Speaking Truth in Love Ministries. This is another ministry that has developed a program that they bring to churches, schools and other organizations. The unique aspect of this ministry is that is was founded by a husband and wife couple. Be sure to check them out: Speaking Truth in Love Ministries
  • Mercy Ministries. Is a live in home for girls ages 13-28 who are seeking healing from life’s complications including sexual abuse. They are a free service and biblically based. Check them out at: Mercy Ministries
  • Beauty From Ashes. A ministry that works with art and horses to bring restoration and healing to victims of sexual abuse, sex exploitation and sex trafficking. Be sure to check out their page: Beauty from Ashes 
  • Passionate Hearts. Is a ministry that is run through RiverLakes Community Church. It is a support group with biblical basis. Check them out at: Passionate Hearts.

This of course is not an exhaustive list of Ministries out there. This is simply a list from a simple Google Search.

Do you know of ministries that are not on this list? Please leave links to other ministries in the comment box!

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Response to a recent article

Tammy ran across an article today on Christianity Today in the section called “Her-menutics.’ The title of the article was “Voice of the Victims: Sex Abuse Survivors and the Church.” The following are her reactions to the article.

I just finished reading this article, I was about to post in their comment section but decided that my thoughts were too lengthy for that context.

In the article the author, Michelle Van Loon discusses a recent suicide of a pastor. The pastor, Tom White, “committed suicide after allegations that he molested a 10 year old girl.” His guilt or innocence was not the focus of the article and is not the focus of this article either. The focus of the article was that the focus after his death has been on him instead of the 10 year old girl. The article suggested that instead of focusing on the crime or the abuser we, as a church, should spend our time focusing on the victims that are left behind.

The article did a good job at bringing up the need for help for victims. There was some focus on the trials that abuse victims and their family members face. I understand the succinct nature of the article, I myself could spend several pages going over the complexities that abuse survivors face and the many layers of healing that must be experienced.

Loon brought up the interesting point that, churches sometimes focus on the sins of abusers (although this is rare) but rarely speak of the victims themselves. The statistics change every year but 1 in 4 men will be sexually abused in their lifetime and 1 in 3 women will be sexually abused in their lifetime.

This is a wide pool of people that are not getting any help. By the time a person is ready to get the help that they need there is nothing available to help them.

I started this ministry for these people. I focus my ministry on women but I would welcome men to be a part of this ministry someday.

I’m sorry that this man took his life and even sadder that a child was abused but every year we hear more and more about children and adults being abused inside and outside the church. It is time that we implement ministries to help these people.

Praying in church, having survivors speak on a wide platform and providing counseling are just the beginning steps. We need to move beyond groups outside the church and start building a culture of healing within the church. We need to focus on how not only to prevent abuse but also to help those who are survivors. Survivors deal with many issues that run the gamut of relational issues, sexual issues, physical issues, and emotional issues. These issues must be dealt with on many levels and one of those levels is a healing level in a church culture.

We need to provide more places for these women and men to get the help that they need. We cannot turn our backs on them or point them in the direction of a counselor and hope for the best. We have to walk beside them and be willing to sit with them in the pain.

Support groups and therapy can be helpful but they are not enough. We must create a culture in the church that welcomes survivors and provides the much needed care and support and not just point to outside programs and groups.