A Safe Home for Children
When Jesus was on earth, he reminded his followers that “the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” But every day, children are hurt and exploited in a variety of ways. And some children are forced to do unthinkable things for strangers watching over the internet.
The Online Sexual Exploitation of Children (OSEC) is an increasingly serious form of exploitation. In short, it is defined by International Justice Mission as “the production, for the purpose of online publication, of visual or audio depictions of the sexual abuse of a minor for a third party who is not in the physical presence of the victim.”
In the Philippines, OSEC has been growing rapidly with easy access to the internet or data plans, leaving children vulnerable to abuse and authorities in need of support as they work to rescue impacted children and apprehend perpetrators.
To respond to the needs of the survivors of exploitation, the Church of the Nazarene in the Philippines is partnering with IJM and other organizations to facilitate a therapeutic residential care facility and assessment center, the Shechem Children’s Home. The home is the first of its kind. Without residential assessment centers, rescued children are often put in less than ideal housing situations at a time where they have a deep need for safety and therapeutic treatment. This residential care facility provides security for the children as well as physical, psychological, and spiritual care to help them begin the healing process. Qualified therapists are providing immediate therapy as well as assess the long term needs of the child. Children will stay in the house for up to three months while the staff works to determine the healthiest and safest long-term living placement.
The house is now serving and hosting eight children, and relationships between the staff and this initial group of children are growing positively.
We are thankful to the many leaders and volunteers serving in this facility in the Philippines, and we ask for prayer for the children there, who will find within its walls a place of refuge, healing, and support.
Click here to read more about the opening of Shechem Children’s Home.