Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘parenting’

Help for Troubled Children


Sermon Notes
Guest Speaker – Michael Kalous

“Intermountain Thoughts”

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He lived in one hundred one places –
Cars, tents, parking lots, too,
Foster homes and back roads.
A hard life for years – quite a few.

The boy had a loving mother,
But his dad was a troubled guy.
God sent the boy Christ-like people
Who helped dry the tears he’d cry.

Then God sent him to InterMountain
Where his dorm parents were saints.
They gave him unconditional love –
Listened compassionately to his complaints.

With people behind him like his Grandma Grace,
And people with him who showed Christ’s love,
He found our Lord and Savior
And got to know our God above.

With God’s help and these beautiful people,
The damage of his young life faded.
God is able to use him now
And bless others whose bodies and souls were invaded.

With the common bond of a wounded soul,
He can tell his story and feel others’ pain.
He can reach out to a hurting world.
His road of suffering leads to God’s gain.

About seven years ago, when I first learned about Intermountain in Helena, Montana, I was a new member of Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, MT. A boy named Chip came to speak to us that summer about how he and his four siblings had been saved by an adoptive parent and a program at Intermountain that provided Christian counseling to struggling children and families. Kids like Michael who were physically, mentally, and/or sexually abused and young boys like Chip who were abandoned and/or neglected found the loving, professional help they needed. In addition to a school for pre-school through 8th grade children, there are four cottages on the site. Each one is “home” for up to eight children – and a set of highly trained, loving “dorm parents” live with them. The professional staff at Intermountain also goes into homes and public schools to provide support for parents and teachers. Most of the children aided by Intermountain have what is known as “attachment disorder” because of the way the adults who should have loved and protected them the most let them down in one miserable way or another. It is hard for them to trust any adult.

So, when people like Michael “make it good,” survive in spite of the odds, and go on to finish high school and college, become counselors, and return to the facility to “give back,” they have a greater opportunity for success. They create a “common bond with a wounded soul.” Their background makes them believable. It serves as a springboard to convince the troubled, mistrusting youngster that someone else CAN understand their plight. God uses their sad history to save another soul from a lifetime of continued abuse, neglect or abandonment. The cycle can be broken.

My gratitude goes out to Michael and to all the counselors at Intermountain and at children’s shelters across the world. May your rocky path serve as a lighthouse – a beacon to help others find their way toward a healthy and secure future. With God’s help, you can help heal the wounds and allow God’s children to love and trust again.

With gratitude for what you do and an understanding of the financial needs to carry on your programs, my husband and I donate a small amount monthly to Intermountain. I invite my readers to consider doing likewise. If each of us helped a little, it would add up to a lot – and more needs could be met. God bless you! And God bless the givers who help to make your work possible.

To learn more about Intermountain, log on to: http://www.intermountain.org/   Help meet the needs of a troubled child who is learning to trust again!

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The BEST Christmas Gift


The BEST Christmas gift doesn’t come in a box. It isn’t hidden in your Christmas stocking. It needs no wrapping paper or bows and it won’t cost you a thing except a little time.  It’s an act of kindness that can come only from you.

I received the BEST Christmas present yesterday. Christmas is a couple of weeks away, but this gift will last until then – in fact, it will live in my heart forever!! You can give this kind of gift to someone today.  It was a note from a former student. Eva was my first grader in 1980. I have moved 1,200 miles from her, but she cared enough and took the time to find me. Paraphrased, her note said, “I found my calling. I love teaching. In addition to teaching first graders, I am teaching Spanish two nights a week at the local college, and I am working as a mentor for beginning teachers. Thank you for being so instrumental in helping me find my calling…”

Eva was a bright and promising first grader who came to school as an English as a Second Language student. She spoke Spanish at home and in her neighborhood. She was making such great progress when at Christmas time her parents wanted to pull her out for a couple of months.  Seasonal workers, they returned to Mexico each year to spend the holiday season (plus some) with Eva’s grandparents.  I offered to have Eva live with me rather than missing so much learning during this crucial time in her developmental stage. Her parents, seeing my concern, recognizing the truth of my fears that she’d slide backward academically if she missed that much school, decided to cut their intended stay. They returned in early January. I was able to take my wonderful first graders on to second grade and by the end of the next year, Eva was an A student. It was a winning duet: supportive parents, and a bright and eager mind. It’s a caring, concerned teacher’s dream. I stayed in touch with Eva through her continued schooling and joyfully attended her college graduation. What a privilege!

But, the frosting on the cake was the BEST Christmas present ever –  thirty-two years later. She took the time to contact me. My heart is so warmed by Eva’s acknowledgement and her success. Thank you, Eva! May God continue to bless you as you are a blessing to others!

You can send The Best Christmas Gift  today! A note, a phone call, a text message, “Thank you for making a difference.” Isn’t that what life is all about?  Give someone a lift. It won’t cost you anything more than a moment of your time. Merry Christmas, friends! Be a blessing!!

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