Contact: Janet Magee, 956-299-0564; www.bluesunday.org
MEDIA ADVISORY, April 21, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and the last Sunday of April is called Blue Sunday. This is the day when churches across the country pray for abused children and for those who rescue them. This year over 7 million people are committed to pray.
Pastor Frank Piszczor and Harvest Community Church of Hoffman Estates, Illinois have had an amazing journey into the world of child abuse relief and prevention. His story:
In April of 2012 I became aware of National Blue Sunday Day of Prayer for Abused Children (Blue Sunday). I don't remember how I heard about Blue Sunday, but I am glad that I did. For me, the timing was crucial. In 2012, our family had already been involved with foster care for two years, and we were in the beginning stages of adopting her into our family. At the beginning of the year, I had attended a Conference entitled "Summit", which dealt with foster care and adoption as well as the need for the church to get involved in these issues. Needless to say, I was hooked and Blue Sunday was (is) an excellent opportunity for the church to not only be aware of the need but have the opportunity to do something by getting involved.
For the last two years, our church has observed Blue Sunday, and we will do the same this year. Why? We see the need for the church to be involved in the lives of children, not only our children but the children in our community and our world. Presently, in our church, there are 10 adopted children and one foster child. In the past, we have been involved with Safe Families, which is a ministry that helps parents by providing child care as parents get through a tough season of life. Also, in recent years, our church has also become increasingly involved in fighting human trafficking, especially in the sex trade. Though our progress has been slow, we have realized that children are often the victims who need to be protected.
As our awareness has grown, we have learned that many of the victims come from abusive homes, foster care or are simply marginalized or isolated from the community they live in. For these reasons, our church has been networking with a lot of people in order fight Human Trafficking. Through many connections, we are become more involved in this issue, and we are presently involved in a call center that seeks to help women trapped in the sex trade.
At this point, we are helping create awareness by opening up opportunities through reading, DVDs and even plays, such as Shadow Town. Shadow Town is a play that shows how women, often young girls, get hooked into the sex trade. In the future, we are hoping to become more involved in prevention by entering into schools to share with staff and students about the issue. Our ultimate goal is not to simply inform, but to help parents and students see their worth and value as people. Standing on this confidence, our hope is that we will be able to reduce neglect, abuse and ultimately human slavery.
Frank is a pastor at Harvest Community Church in Hoffman Estates, Il. He has been at the church for 8 years, but he has been in Asian American ministry for 27 years. He is married to his wife, Hannah, for 23 years. They have five children. Their first three children (Christina, Timothy, Daniel) are biological. They adopted Chaeli from China 8 years ago and have recently finalized the adoption of Janny after four years of foster care. Frank is also involved in youth ministry, prison ministry and the fight to end human trafficking in our world. Presently, Harvest Community Church has over 100 children in their ministry with 8 children currently coming from adoption.
National Blue Sunday Day of Prayer for Abused Children will be April 27th. It's free. No membership. Just prayer. Register your church today at www.bluesunday.org/register We pray because abused children shouldn't have to pray alone. Pure religion is this...to visit orphans...in their distress. James 1:27.