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While traveling in Kentucky, going to a conference, I was driving along listening to the radio and minding my own business. Suddenly, a big detour sign appeared reading "road closed to all but local traffic." I stopped abruptly to decide if I qualified for "local traffic." Determining I didn’t, I took the detour. It was gruesome. My GPS kept trying to turn me back in the direction I had come. I weaved in and out and up and down little country roads, through communities of nicely kept homes and other stretches where there was no sign of life. I began to get anxious. Where am I? How close am I to my destination? The clock was ticking away faster than normal and the conference time was nearing. Frantically, I began to look for something recognizable. Nothing looked remotely familiar. I began to worry – “If I am late, will the conference moderator let me give a report? Will everyone turn and stare when I walk in? Will they think I should have been better prepared?” Finally, I came to a post office. Surely the postmaster would know exactly how to direct me. I was right, she gave me very precise directions with landmarks to watch out for so I would know I was in the right place. When I got to the conference, it was just getting underway. I was so grateful for the guidance and direction I received to get me there. The people were receptive to the Harvest report and were friendly and hospitable.

The children who come to live at Harvest are often facing a detour. They are taken from everything that seems familiar. Even though their detour is considered a “good thing” it still fills them with anxiety. The children are “detoured” from their home for many reasons. Some homes are filled with neglect or abuse; fear and loneliness, and many times substance abuse. Just as I was feeling uncomfortable in my traveling detour, the children feel uncomfortable in theirs. Their world view is being challenged. Every aspect of their lives is being brought into dispute. Many have been in charge of themselves for so long they attempt to sabotage their placement in order to regain control. They are uncomfortable having their physical, emotional, educational and social needs met. Often the children are worried and anxious about what is going to happen to them after their time at the Emergency & Assessment Shelter is over. They begin to worry, “Where will I go? What is going to happen to me? Will I see my family again? Where are my brothers and sisters? Will my mom still get her check if I am not there?” Sadly, these are only a few of the many burning questions children have the first few weeks. Harvest staff are trained to help the children get accustomed to their new environment. They show them love and compassion while helping them acclimate to the rules, some for the very first time. The best thing about this “detour” is they get to hear about how Jesus truly loves them.

This detour that has been forced upon them has lead them to a great place. Thank you for helping our caring parents provide a healthy Christian home environment where the children can see love in action every day.

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