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The Penn State Tragedy and My Heart Breaking Twice

I’ve been hesitant to write this blog. But I can’t escape the need to address one of the unspoken consequences of the sad and tragic story of alleged sexual abuse of young boys by a former Penn State assistant football coach.

First, let me say, that if the alleged charges prove to be true then the worst consequences, by far, are the effects of these evil acts on the lives of these young men. There’s nothing worse.

Yet there’s another consequence that also breaks my heart every time a situation like this comes to light.

It’s the consequence that every organization committed to serving children will have a growing black cloud hanging over it. This black cloud’s the mistrust of parents of all organizations that serve kids because of the tragic and broken trust by one unrelated person or organization. That black cloud can especially become a reality for organizations, such as camps, to whom parents temporarily entrust the care and safety of their children.

And when parents, out of fear and mistrust, begin to exclude their kids from experiences , such as Christian camps, that can help their children grow physically, mentally, emotionally, socially and spiritually then the ripple effect of evil continues . In a world where children need every advantage, every opportunity to grow, every chance to become all that God’s created them to be – to see organizations committed to these goals lose the opportunity to serve kids and their families - breaks my heart all over again.

In my next post I’ll outline some of the characteristics parents should look for in an organization they’re considering entrusting the temporary care and safety of their children to.

For another take on the impact of the Penn State situation on youth ministry read my friend Jeff Munroe’s blog by clicking here.

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