We are pleased to announce an exciting transition today for Divorce Ministry 4 Kids and Hope 4 Hurting Kids. Effectively immediately, all ministry previously done through Divorce Ministry 4 Kids will be done through Hope 4 Hurting Kids. Articles and information previously hosted at DivorceMinistry4Kids.com will gradually be moved over to Hope4HurtingKids.com, and all future postings will be made on Hope4HurtingKids.com. We are excited about this evolution of the ministry which started over six years ago with the creation of Divorce Ministry 4 Kids, and we look forward to moving ahead and continuing to help hurting kids through Hope 4 Hurting Kids. We recognize that this transition likely raises some questions, and the purpose of this article is to answer those questions to the best of our ability.
Why Is Divorce Ministry 4 Kids becoming Hope 4 Hurting Kids?
There are many reasons we decided to make this switch now. Here are a few of the main reasons:
- When we started Divorce Ministry or Kids in 2011, our main purpose was to minister to children who had experienced the divorce of their parents. We quickly realized that there were many kids who experience the trauma of family disruption even though their parents havn’t technically divorced. These include kids born to single mothers, living with their grandparents, living with cohabiting parents, gay parent led families and many more. Unfortunately, many of these kids, and the people working with them, would not take advantage of the resources we were offering simply because the name Divorce is in the title of the ministry. The principal reason for the name change is so that these kids can get the help they need.
- When I launched Divorce Ministry 4 Kids, it was in response to a call I felt to minister to these kids. I liked the name and didn’t do a lot of research on it before we locked up the domain, developed a logo and invested some time and money into it. THEN, I found out there was a great curriculum out there for children of divorce called Divorce Care 4 Kids (DC4K). I have nothing but respect for DC4K. I teach a local DC4K group in my home town and have for years. The writer of DC4K, Linda Ranson Jacobs, is a mentor and has become a great friend. In fact, she has written extensively for Divorce Ministry 4 Kids (and you’ll see many of her articles as we transition those to Hope 4 Hurting Kids). Despite all that, people have always confused the two ministries, ad understandably so. This move is designed, in part, to delineate the work and ministry we now do from the curriculum of DC4K.
- Our ministry has also expanded since we started Divorce Ministry 4 Kids. As we created resources for, and worked with, kids dealing with the trauma of family disruption, we discovered that those same resources and that same information is helpful to kids who are experiencing all different types of circumstances and difficulties. For example, over the last few years a major portion of our work has focused on resources and training related to helping kids to deal with difficult emotions. These emotions like anger, depression, anxiety and stress are prevalent in the case of family disruption, but they are obviously not limited to just family disruption. Our ministry has expanded to include kids in all types of situations, and the people working with them, and the move to Hope 4 Hurting Kids more accurately the work we are currently doing.
Has There Been Any Turnover in People?
No. Hope 4 Hurting Kids and Divorce Ministry 4 Kids have always been related. They were both started by Wayne Stocks, and for a long time, Divorce Ministry 4 Kids was a “proud member of Hope 4 Hurting Kids.” The individuals behind the two ministries are the same and this is simply a rebranding/simplification of the ministry we have always been doing.
What Changes Can We Expect from this Transition?
You will see the following changes if you currently follow Divorce Ministry 4 Kids or are searching for one of our resources:
- Effective immediately, any new articles and resources that would previously have been posted on DivorceMinistry4Kids.com will be posted at Hope4HurtingKids.com.
- You will also begin to see articles and resources not specifically designed for children from disrupted homes but which may still be beneficial to children dealing with the fall out from a family disruption.
- If you follow Divorce Ministry 4 Kids in a blog reader, Facebook, Twitter, etc. you will want to follow Hope 4 Hurting Kids from hereon out (more on how to do that below).
- Articles and resources previously published on Divorce Ministry 4 Kids will slowly be reissued on Hope 4 Hurting Kids. These articles will be republished in their entirety (and at times updated) and taken down from Divorce Ministry 4 Kids. We are working hard to make sure that any links to Divorce Ministry 4 Kids will be redirected to Hope 4 Hurting Kids so that any old links will still lead people to the right place, but we would ask that any new links to these articles be linked to Hope 4 Hurting Kids.
- Future workshops and presentations will be done under the moniker of Hope 4 Hurting Kids rather than Divorce Ministry 4 Kids.
What Won’t Change?
- We will still be helping kids who need it and teaching other people how to do the same. We have believed from the beginning, and continue to believe, that the mission of helping these kids dictates that we produce and provide the highest quality information and resources that we can. That goal will continue at Hope 4 Hurting Kids.
Several years ago, I had a child in our DC4K (Divorce Care for Kids) group who accepted Christ as her personal Savior. She wanted to follow in baptism. The child’s dad was not in the picture, but the mom was all for her daughter being baptized. This child had experienced a chaotic home life along with some unspeakable abuse from the dad. She was no longer allowed to visit her dad.
In DC4K we had talked about how God will never leave you or forsake you. We had discussed how much God loves each one of us. We discussed turning all our fears over to the Lord. We talked about how to trust Christ and how to accept him as our Personal Savior, forever a friend and the boss of our lives.
I tell you all of this because I truly believe this child understood what asking Christ to be her Savior meant. Because of some personal things that had happened to this child, she truly needed to see a Heavenly Father figure and she wanted a relationship with her personal Savior.
Stress is a huge issue for all kids in our society today. The levels of stress amongst children from disrupted homes though is through the roof. Dealing with things like fighting parents, complex schedules, new homes, new family members, stressed out parents, packed schedules and so much more can leave kids and teens from disrupted homes with lots a stress and little time. One simple solution which works amazing well with younger kids (though you may be surprised how well it can work with older kids too) is a simple container of bubbles. Here are a couple of ideas of how to use bubbles to help kids deal with stress.
Visualization With Bubbles read more…
One of the most significant obstacles we face in ministering to kids from disrupted homes is that they don’t tend to come to our churches. Statistically, children from ANY type of family other than married biological parents are significantly less likely to attend church. So, if you’re serious about ministering to these hurting kids, and there are tons of them no matter where you live, you have to get outside the walls of your church and take your ministry to them.
This past spring at the CM Connect Children’s Ministry Conference in Louisville, I was fortunate to meet someone who is doing just that. Rachael Groll is the Children’s Ministry Director at Living Waters Church (http://www.livingwaterschurch.tv/) in Meadville, PA. She has started a program through her church that goes out and finds these kids where they live and ministers to them. Rachael was kind enough to answer some questions for us about the ministry she started, why it works and how it impacts the kids she is ministering to and the church.
Attached is a pdf file with the notes from my breakout session at the CMConnect Conference titled Kids in Crisis: Ministering to Kids from Modern Families. Almost 100 showed up to learn about kids in modern families and how their churches and they individually can minister to Modern Day Orphans. If you were there and need a copy of the notes or weren’t there and are interested in learning more, the files linked below will help you.
Part of the breakout was a ten question quiz. Take the quiz first, then click on the answers pdf for the answers to the questions and see how you did!
In ministering to children from disrupted homes, we stress the need to empathize with what the kids are going through – not sympathize! This great video is one of the most succinct explanations of the difference between empathy and sympathy that I have found.
Welcome back to our discussion of different techniques you can use to help children to identify, name and deal with their emotions. So far, we have looked at different tools for helping kids to name their emotions and a candy based game that helps kids to think about times and circumstances that have made them feel certain emotions.
This week, we look at a very simple game you can play with any child to gain some insight into what they are thinking and feeling. The game is simple, and we call it The Superpower Game. You ask the following question:
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Thanksgiving, like many holidays, is hard on children who come from disrupted homes. On top of the normal stresses that come with a holiday season, children of divorce face stark reminders of how their family has changed, and most face a day without at least one of their parents. While many of us will be pondering and remembering all the things we have to be thankful for, these kids are likely lamenting another holiday which serves to remind them just how much their life has changed. So, if you know a child from a divorced or otherwise disrupted homes this holiday season, there is still something you can do to bring a little bit of light to that child’s holiday.
So, here at Divorce Ministry 4 Kids, we are encouraging you to do the following this Thursday for Thanksgiving:
- Pick a child from a disrupted home (particularly those kids who might currently be going through their parents divorce. This can be a child from your ministry, from your neighborhood or from your family. And, you are of course more than welcome to do this with more than one child.
- Get the child’s contact information for where they will be Thanksgiving day. Call their parent(s) and ask. Get cell phone numbers, land line numbers, e-mail, Facebook account, Instagram account, twitter account or whatever other way you can get in touch with them.
- Sometime on thanksgiving day, contact the child. Call them on the phone. Send a text message. Post online and tag them. Whatever works, but the more personal the better.
- Let them know when you contact them that you wanted to take a few minutes on this special day to let them know that you are Thankful that they are in your life.
- Ask them how their holiday is going, and provide encouragement where needed.
As we discussed last week, getting kids to talk about their emotions plays a huge part in helping them to process those emotions and get past them and move on with their lives. And, when you can combine that process with candy, well that just creates an all-around great situation. That why we were so excited to come across the M&M emotion game at http://radathome.blogspot.com/2013/11/m-feelings-activity.html?m=1.
In this game, you use snack sized bags of chocolate covered candy (M&M’s) in order to get kids talking about their emotions. You and the child (or every child if you are working with a group) starts with one fun-sized bag of candy. On your turn, you pull one candy out of the bag and share an emotion/experience based on that color. Only after sharing do you actually get to eat the candy.
In this version of the game, you had to do one of the following depending on which candy you pulled out of the bag: read more…
Divorce Ministry 4 Kids is now Hope 4 Hurting Kids
We are in the process of updating all articles and information from this site and moving them to their new home.