12 Words that Launched a Mission

Home of ICU: On a Mission

I took mental note with curiosity when an advertising spokesperson was suddenly dropped by a restaurant chain, prompted by an investigation involving child pornography.  Several months passed and then sentencing was announced as he was found guilty of numerous charges.  The severity of the sentence further piqued my interest and began a "how can this even be POSSIBLE?!" research trail that has opened my eyes to the explosion of childhood molestation and prostitution throughout the world.  And yes, it has come here to the United States. And no, it is not isolated and rare anymore!  

Researching this stunning epidemic led to quotes from people personally traumatized by this evil.  One person's story included the 12 words that initially devastated my heart and have since ignited a mission.  This person was included in the interviews because she had herself become a pimp (madame if you will) but previously had been prostituted as a child.  This previous experience is not uncommon and can be the desensitization necessary to carry out the horrific abuse on others. When asked what it was like when she found herself imprisoned and being sold numerous times per day to gratify the lusts of strangers, she vividly recalled from her childhood:  

"I just kept praying, someone come save me!  Nobody came.  Nobody came."

Good and decent people have rightly insulated our own children from such abuse.  But those walls of protection we built might very well have blinded us to what was happening to children outside our homes.  An ignorance that has cost innocent children dearly.  As Edmund Burke first quipped nearly 250 years ago, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."  And surely this is more than right or wrong, justice or injustice.  This is undeniably good and evil.  That's why the response must be both physical and spiritual and must involve the masses.  The acronym ICU originally came from our mission summary "Innocence of Children Upheld".  Our vision is that ICU could symbolize the very best care humanly possible (much like an intensive care unit does at a hospital) for children affected or threatened by abuse.  We also want it to serve as a deterrent to persons who might be tempted to become involved in this abuse by letting them know that we are no longer blind to this evil (ICU - I See You).  Perhaps most significantly we want children to know that we are available to facilitate their rescue and recovery.  We are no longer blind to their pain (ICU - I See You).  We cannot do this alone.  We need your help!

We frequently set goals for our own lives.  Goals about our physical conditioning or our finances for example, and these are appropriate and useful.  But our lives matter most when invested in a cause greater than ourselves.  So please, this year, consider a resolution that goes beyond self.  At the Bridge Christian Church, the ICU ministry involves these three necessary emphases: Prayer, Action and Unity.  Please join us so you can pray with us as Christ modeled, "...may your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven...".   How can we not respond to the evil that is stripping children of their innocence?  Please join us as we weekly respond with actions to rescue and protect children from such abuse.  Please join us to help in uniting others in this mission.  This cause of protecting the innocence of children is deserving of our willingness to set aside our divisions and unite around the instructions of Christ in Matthew 19:14, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

Pastor Flint Christensen

2014 Child Advocacy Center Statistics

Among the over 315,000 children served by Children’s Advocacy Centers around the country in 2014, some startling statistics include:

116,940 children were ages 0 to 6 years
115,959 children were ages 7 to 12 years
81,025 children were ages 13 to 18 years
205,438 children reported sexual abuse
60,897 children reported physical abuse

Our ministry purpose for ICU is to see the Innocence of Children Upheld

through loving protection, provision and preparation.