No time of the year better reflects the work we do to help hurting children and families than Easter and Passover. Both holidays are celebrations of faith, renewal and redemption, which is what our boys and girls experience every day as they move toward leading productive, purposeful lives.
At Boys Town, faith is the foundation on which our boys and girls build hope and healing. Helping children develop a spiritual life is something that sets us apart from many other child care organizations, as we ask our boys and girls to have faith in us, in themselves and in a Higher Power.
We never force children into a religion or a spiritual belief, abiding by the message of our founder, Father Edward Flanagan, who said, “Every boy must learn to pray. How he prays is up to him.” But we do encourage our boys and girls to seek the strength that comes from leading a life of faith.
When he started Boys Town a century ago, Father Flanagan did so with a deep faith in God and a passionate concern for America’s hurting, troubled children. Those rock-solid underpinnings of spirituality and humanity have been inseparably linked throughout Boys Town’s 100-year history, and continue to serve as the cornerstone of the life-changing treatment boys and girls receive and the spiritual environment in which they learn and grow.
It often takes time, but our kids come to understand how God can help them on their journey of healing. Here are some of their thoughts:
When you put your faith in God, you no longer bear the burden of the troubles in your life. They are in God’s hands. I am working on a new life. Michael
To get better, you first have to believe you can get better and just follow the right path. If you believe in yourself, you can do anything with God’s help. Anne
I still have a lot of work to do, but a resurrection has happened in my life. I am looking forward to the many opportunities that await me. I can pray. I will pray. I do pray. Drew
God has helped me become a person respected by other folks… folks who once knew me as a bad young girl. The Lord helped me get back my trust in Him that I lost so many years ago. Monique
Today, we continue to echo the powerful spiritual messages of Father Flanagan in our mission to save children, heal families and strengthen communities. This is what we tell our boys and girls: “Faith is the foundation that gives us hope. It replenishes the spirit and gives rise to new beginnings. With the help of God’s love, you can find a new direction for your life. Listen carefully to God in prayer and to those around you who love you.”
We hope you are sharing a similar message with your children as you help them build their own solid foundation. Prayer at meals and bedtime, and attending worship services as a family are great ways to reinforce their spiritual growth.
May this Easter and Passover season be one of great joy and peace for you and your family.
For more information about Boys Town’s mission and our life-changing services, please visit boystown.org.