I was sitting in silence before chapel last week. Our Minot chapel was built many years ago with beautiful stonework serving as the backdrop for a carved natural-wood cross. The pews are arranged in a semi-circle around the altar. Taking a deep breath, I could almost feel the thousands of prayers that have been said and the tears that have been shed in this sacred space.
As the room began to fill with children, loud voices and energy filled the space. It took a couple of songs for them to calm down before they were ready to listen to a devotional by our Deaconess, Kelly Jacob. As she spoke, I marveled that, except for a few hushed whispers and giggles, the children listened intently.
As Deaconess Kelly prepared to close in prayer, she asked for prayer requests. One boy with dark curls and long basketball shorts uttered, "I pray that supper is good tonight!" Everyone chuckled, and Deaconess Kelly said, "Good food tends to be a weekly theme."
As prayers for good weather and such were shared, more personal prayers suddenly sprung up. Three of our children asked God to bring them a loving family. My eyes welled up with tears as I heard the prayers of these precious kids.
Addison's* quiet voice was the first to ask God for a loving family. She is a sweet and shy 11-year-old with long, flowing hair who loves shoes and books. Most days she is the happy kid in her cottage—lifting everyone's spirits - staff and residents alike. But what she carries within her is the abuse she suffered because of her family's struggles with addiction. Those traumas are more than any lifetime should hold. Remember...she is only 11.
When something triggers memories of these experiences, Addison deals with extreme anger. At the Ranch, she is learning to identify her triggers and find ways to control her emotions and actions. She is also learning what it means to be a kid. All she really wants is to play and have fun; to be a child...because she has never been able to do that before.
It warms my heart to see how so many of our kids have learned to call out to God with their needs and desires. Please join me in praying for Addison—that she reaches a point where she can manage her behaviors and function in a loving home. God has a plan for this special young child. Thank you for believing in her.
We couldn't do this critical ministry without you.
Thank you and God bless!
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Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch is a Christian residential treatment and educational center for children and their families. We help the most troubled, complicated, and amazing kids by providing best-in-class psychiatric therapy and trauma-informed care, where we look kids in the eye, walk with them, and help them become their best selves.