A Ministry of Reconciliation
This Newsletter is the 8th for Bethel Ministries (Bethel). The newsletter is sent out regularly to contributors, churches, and interested public.
Bethel, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and faith-based program in Boise, Idaho, was established to help men leaving incarceration change their lives to become law-abiding, productive members of society. Bethel provides transitional homes where the men reside in a family-type setting. During their six to twelve month stay, the men are matched with mentors, obtain employment, attend a structured program of life-skill classes, and participate in group and individual counseling.
Bethel provides an invaluable service to the families of the Treasure Valley and all Idaho by preventing many newly released prisoners from re-entering communities void of rehabilitative services necessary to help such men on the right track before being on their own within the community.
News from the Chairman
Income and Employment Status
Bethel has been holding its own financially. However, many residents are still unemployed and jobs are difficult to find, especially during the summer months when many students are looking for jobs. Please continue to pray that all our residents can find jobs.
At the July Board meeting, it was decided to ask the Leadership Council to develop a community services program for Bethel residents. Unemployed men would be required to spend a certain number of hours, perhaps 20 to 30, each week devoted to community service projects. We hope to initiate such a program in September.
A number of months ago, Bethel Ministries started a new program where churches can adopt Bethel as one of their outreach ministries. Adoption by a church means that a church supports Bethel’s program by offering prayers for Bethel’s residents and success for the program, and when possible, providing financial support. Churches that notify Bethel of adopting the ministry will be so listed on our web site shown below. More information on the adoption program may be found on the Donations page of our web site. To date, only two churches in Boise have adopted Bethel as an outreach ministry. Surely, there are more Christian churches in the Boise valley that would like to take this initial step? More information on the adoption program may be found on the donations page of our web site.
Note From A Bethel Graduate
As humans, we categorize sin. We believe some sins are worse than others. But the Biblical fact is that any and all sins result in receiving the death penalty from a just God (Romans 6:23). That penalty can be removed and atoned for through accepting the sacrifice of Christ Jesus as the son of God.
In the following article, a Bethel graduate writes about the sin of child sexual abuse. A lot of questions are raised and the author recognizes the difficulties of trying to help those who have such tendencies. What is the solution to preventing child sexual abuse or any other sexual perversion? The answer must be found in educating young children in Christian values and much Godly love in a Christian home environment. But how can this be done in a world that often rejects their Creator, God’s Word- the Holy Bible, and His Son Christ Jesus? As a group of Egyptian Christians boldly and joyfully declared, “Christ Jesus is the ONLY answer to the world’s problems”!!
Until such time that effective programs exist to prevent sexual abuse, Bethel is here to help those who commit crimes, through a ministry of reconciliation through Christ Jesus.
What is our objective in fighting child abuse? Wouldn’t it be nice if there were no more child sexual abuse? How do we stop it? If just one person would come forward and admit that they have a problem with sexual thoughts about children and ask for help that could save any potential victim that would cross their path. Maybe it would save just one. Maybe it would save fifty, or a hundred and fifty. The point is to get potential perpetrators to come forward and ask for help before they abuse. I am a sex offender. I believed that there was no help for me. I believed that no one understood what I was going through. I believed that if I were to admit to a problem like that I would be locked up for life and forgotten about.
Isn’t that what society wants for “child molesters”? Unless, of course, it happens to be your brother or son that has committed the crime, then maybe you would want some type of help or counseling for them. Why do we have such a large hammer over their head? Don’t get me wrong, I agree wholeheartedly that children need to be protected from those that would abuse them.
How do we get people to admit that they have a problem with sexual issues, especially with children? Do you believe that the threat of life in prison is going to get them to open up and ask for help? I don’t. And I’m not sure what would. I do know that a bigger hammer is not the answer. Maybe some types of leniency would be in order for those who came forward on their own accord. I don’t know.
I also believe that there needs to be a place to house and treat sex offenders separate from other felons. This would definitely help in the need to be honest. I know that sex offenders can change. I am making progress every day with God’s help. I just needed the right help and direction. First, I needed to understand the importance of honesty. I mean real gut-wrenching, face-the-embarrassment, keep-talking-about-it honesty. This is not easy. I didn’t do it ‘til it seemed my only option (other than suicide, I’m too chicken to kill myself) so honesty seemed like a pretty viable option at that point. It’s not that I really wanted to die. It just seemed less frightening than telling the truth; that I was sexually attracted to children and didn’t know how to stop molesting.
Imagine a world where death is more attractive than telling the truth. Well, for some people, more than would ever admit it, that is the world we live in. We ridicule those who are different. We fear those that we don’t understand and then we hate them for making us afraid. So why would we expect people to come forward and ask for help with their sexual desires for children. It seems that many men think that the best option, then, for people leaning toward pedophilia, would be to keep their mouth shut and try to cope with it themselves. You can see how well that’s working? It’s NOT!
How to help
You may donate through PayPal or send checks made payable to Bethel Ministries, PO Box 44106, Boise, Idaho 83711-0106. Your support is always greatly appreciated.
Additional ways to donate
In addition to your prayers and monetary donations, Bethel is in need of many other types of donations including household items such as kitchen ware and appliances, draperies, furniture, such as beds, chests, washers, dryers, freezers, tables and chairs, and also men’s clothing. Bethel can also use donated food. Contact Rob Lee or 208-724-1734 or Chris Roberts at 208-602-3885 about having your donated items picked up or where you may deliver them.