Published February 1, 2020
This past year has been a monumental year at Sunrise Children's Services, our Kentucky Baptist Homes for Children.
Not only did Sunrise celebrate its 150th anniversary of bringing hope and care to hurting children throughout the commonwealth, but we also rejoiced over the 74 adoptions that occurred in 2019 as children found their forever families.
We thanked God for the broken families that have been restored through our family services program.
We were encouraged by the young adults who aged out of the system, yet are determined to break their familial cycle of abuse by enlisting in our VentureON program — assuring themselves a brighter future.
And lastly, in our past fiscal year, we were absolutely humbled by the 44 professions of faith among our youth who will now experience an eternal home.
God changes lives at Sunrise. Yet, these blessings were supported through individuals who daily give of themselves for the kids in our care. Kentucky Baptists continue to shine the love of God on the most vulnerable.
Children often arrive at Sunrise Children's Services devastated from their life circumstances. Years of unspeakable abuse and neglect have left the most innocent children with daunting emotional baggage to sift through.
It is no wonder why many of our kids act out in various ways and often hold tightly onto a deceptive thought; "What is wrong me?" and "How could God possibly love me?" Sadly, their hurtful past has left them feeling rejected.
Gratefully, every week Kentucky Baptists visit our Sunrise children across the state not only to share a message of hope, but to show these children that they are loved. Many open their homes and invite them into their family through our foster care and foster-toadopt programs.
The message shared is consistent: Jesus loves them and He will never ever reject them. This is the message that transforms our children's lives and heals their wounds. It is the type of love that Peter describes in 1 Peter 4:8; "Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins."
According to Peter, Christians are to fervently love one another. This love will not forgive sins, as that only comes through trusting in Christ; however, it does help the kids at Sunrise forgive those who have deeply hurt them, giving them a new hope and allowing them to heal. This type of love is especially critical during times of suffering.
Indeed, Sunrise children experience the unconditional love of Jesus through the outpouring love of Kentucky Baptists.
Children may arrive to Sunrise thinking that they are unlovable, but they leave knowing that they are loved by many, they are worthy and they are loved by a God who will never forsake them.
Jake Pelfrey is Sunrise Regional Advancement Director.
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