Heal the Heart – Mend the Soul – Restore the Joy
July 31, 2018
This is the motto of DC4K (Divorce Care for Kids) programs. Fair Haven offers this ministry as one of the Hope Harbor classes on Monday evenings. Kids, ages 5–12, whose parents are separated or divorced can find refuge and healing in this ministry.
Statistics show that nearly 50% of American children are affected by divorce. Over 1 million children in America experience the divorce of their parents each year. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 10 million children in America today live with a single parent because of separation and divorce.
Divorce will affect children for life unless intervention occurs. Few, if any, children are equipped with the needed skills to cope with the intense stress and overwhelming emotions that divorce brings. Studies show that children of divorce have more academic and behavior problems, more negative self-esteem, and more problems with aggression and getting along with others. Other effects can include regression, fear, grief, feelings of powerlessness, sleep issues, and anger.
DC4K was developed to help kids process their emotions related to their parents’ divorce. Throughout the course of 13 weeks, children participate in activities and discussions that teach them how to deal with the emotions they experience. Most importantly, they learn that God still loves them and wants to have a relationship with them. The scripture shared the very first week is from Psalm 32:7; “You are my hiding place from every storm of life.” What a powerful, meaningful verse for them to hear.
I personally got involved with DC4K because of the passion I have for kids. After my separation/divorce and finding healing at a Divorce Care program, I knew I had to give back. The verse in John 1 that Pastor Jeremy mentioned in one of his recent blogs, “let us not love with words or speech but with action and in truth,” stirred in my heart. DC4K was the answer.
Hundreds of kids have attended the DC4K program here at Fair Haven since the fall of 2006. Many of them show up on the first night hesitant, even withdrawn. We just simply love on these kids, providing a safe place for them to find refuge from the storms in their lives. We teach them that it’s okay to be angry, sad, happy or afraid, and then show them healthy ways to deal with these emotions. It is so gratifying when these kids finally realize that the divorce wasn’t their fault and that things will get better.
The incredible changes evident in these kids after 13 weeks is heartwarming; truly the work of the Holy Spirit. The warm hugs we get on the last night, especially from the kids who didn’t want to attend DC4K, makes it all worthwhile.
As leaders, we give thanks to the One who has truly healed their heart, mended their soul and restored their joy!
Peace & Love,