Life Notes: On Littered and Discarded Children
by Robert W. Flournoy, Ph.D.

Usually when we think of littering, our mind turns to careless trash along highways, streets, and sidewalks.

How does littering relate to Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home? Today many children of all ages are discarded like trash by their families. The Home receives them after most have been sexually, physically or emotionally abused. Some precious children have experienced all three forms of abuse. Children are gifts from God; we should love them, respect them, teach them, provide for them, and train them. God does not make trash, but some adults treat children as trash. Methodist Children’s Home steps in to provide a loving and caring home for these outcasts.

Proverbs 22:6 says “To train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” As adults we are instructed by God to train up children in the way they SHOULD go. One group that helps us carry out our mission is the Junior Auxiliary ladies of Ruston who provide individual cakes and presents for our children in their birthday months.

Let me tell you about one of our 96 children. Cindy (name changed to protect her identity), came to us at the age of 13. She was shy, toe sticking out of her shoes. She had never had a birthday cake or a birthday present. Can you imagine? When she was given her own cake and present, she was asked why she didn’t open the present. Tears were streaming down her face when she asked, “Do I get to keep it?” She could not believe someone really cared about her.

In the eleven months I have been at the Home, my heart has been saddened by the abuse stories I hear from the staff about our children. I have learned the names of many and see their scars, both physically and emotionally. They come to us with distrust for all adults, but they soon discover our staff is their family that offers the love and support they have missed. The Methodist Children’s Home has a staff of 265 people that could be making much more money in other places, but they know that money is not the most important thing. It’s about love – God’s love for his children through people. After all, we ALL are God’s children.

Our ministry depends on monetary gifts to help these hurting children. If you are interested in making a financial gift or would like to volunteer your time or talents, please contact me at the Home (318) 255-5020.

The Life Notes articles are written by staff of Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home and are published in The Ruston Daily Leader.

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