One of the goals of KBC's Vision 2025 plan is to reach 12- to 17-year-olds with the gospel. Oftentimes with Sunrise, as we help the children and teenagers in our care find hope and healing, many discover God for the first time and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
In 2019, we celebrated 39 professions of faith and 24 baptisms. From January-March 2020, we have already reported five professions of faith and five baptisms.
One of those baptisms occurred earlier this year. David* is a 16-year-old boy living at Sunrise's Spring Meadows Center in Mt. Washington. He had been working hard on his actions and behavior, and had grown close to several of the volunteers from Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Shepherdsville. These volunteers were coming monthly for the Boys' Birthday Party they were facilitating. During their visits, they made it a point to encourage David and share with him the love of Christ.
Eventually, David made the decision to accept Christ into his life, and he was baptized at the church at the end of January. On hand for his baptism were his mother, grandmother, father, nana, his Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) worker and several Spring Meadows team members. Sunrise was so proud to be a part of this celebration, and so thankful to Pleasant Grove Baptist Church for their ministry to David.
Another way we minister to the boys and girls in our care is by helping them find their purpose and calling in life.
Another young man, who also lives at Spring Meadows Center, recently graduated from high school and was looking for opportunities to serve. The Sunrise staff at Spring Meadows helped him find volunteer work at the local public library. And when the library closed because of the coronavirus, he was given a special opportunity to share his writings and artwork (he is very talented in both areas) with the Sunrise marketing team.
In an artwork piece he recently completed, his drawing displays a hand reaching out from the darkness of barren branches to the light of a budding tree, complete with fruit. This young man explained that this drawing represented him entering Sunrise during a season of hopelessness and uncertainty, with the anticipation of leaving the program in a season of hope and purpose.
This is what we try to do for all of the children we serve at Sunrise: help them find a better path in life, moving them from hopelessness to hope. Many times, we help them find their home. And there are even times, like with David, we help then find their eternal home.
David Lyninger is Sunrise associate director of communications.
*Name has been changed to protect the identity of individual.