Proven- Christian Communities Are America's Greatest Asset

By: Tia Johnson 0 Comments   7/11/2011

Brady stood behind the counter at the Lives Under Construction Boys Ranch thrift store, confidently running the till and helping customers carry their purchases totheir vehicle.

"Brady" (name disguised) recently graduated from the ranch's Christian-based program for troubled teen boys in Lampe, Missouri.

Prior to coming tothe ranch, Brady's family had sent him to a secular facility which specialists had called "the best of the best," according to Brady's mom. "It was a step for him," she said, but it didn't accomplish their goal of helping him through behavioral issues.

They eventually sent him to the ranch, and Brady's mom was amazed at the difference it made. Teary-eyed, she stated how God had done "the impossible" in her son while at the ranch.

What makes LUC stand apart from other secular and government-run facilities for troubled teen boys?

First, they take their boys off behavioral medications during the first two weeks of arriving atthe ranch. Ranch director Ken Ortman agreed to put the boys back on medications if needed, but in their 28 years of operation, they've never had to do so.

Second, the boys work hard and eat well. The ranch gives consequences of work projects when boys break the rules. They also learn skills like farming, welding and woodworking.

Third, this ranch is a Christian-run facility. The Bible serves as their guideline for operation. The boys attend church and are offered a weekly Bible study. Also, the ranch is committed for the long-haul. They've never given up on a boy. The longest terma boy has stayed is 5 years.

LUC is just one example of the impact the Christian community has when stepping in to meet a need. Teen Challenge is a similar program in MN with similar results of hundreds of lives that were "impossible" for secular based programs. The power of the gospel remains greater than all the modern experts and drugs in the world.

The primary impact on a child, however, resides amid his or her parents. Some boys at the ranch come from stable, Christian families and have simply made poor choices despite Godly instruction. But most of the boys come from homes with divorced or single parents.

Dr. Patrick Fagan, director of the Marriage and Religion Research Institute at Family Research Council, stated that only 45 percent of teenagers live in a home with both biological parents. Statistics reveal a grim future for teenagers who don't have such stable homes. Fagan gathered data from a 2008 U.S. Census Bureaustudy and his information was presented by World Net Daily. (

WND said that communities with children who live in homes with a broken structure experience higher rates of domestic abuse, unemployment, and welfare dependency.

Also, children of these families are more likely to drop out of school and have children outside of marriage, starting the cycle over again.

And, according to Tony Perkins (also from the Family Research Council), children of divorced parents statistically die five years earlier than children with both parents at home.  (

"Such children pay the price for parental misbehavior," WND said.

On the other hand, children who are raised with both parents at home perform better academically ,achieve more social development, and are more stable financially.

"If the United States desires to be a leader in the world, pursuing what is good for itself and other nations, its parents must first be leaders of their own homes and children," Fagan said.

It is no surprisethat these statistics support God's design for a family. God designed couplesto come together to procreate. It would make sense, then, why God insisted on marital commitment and jointly raising offspring. Statistics and the Bible agree that strong families provide the best solution for a stronger generationof our future leaders. But Christian-based programs and churches play a largesupporting role.

And, with the recentMinnesota government shutdown, churches have a lot of opportunity to prove it.

Polly Veeser ofLittle Falls was a rider on a Tri-County Action Program bus until the shutdown occurred. According to the St. Cloud Times, she may have to start askingfriends for rides. (|topnews|text|Umbrella)

Financial pressure during the government shutdown halted the busses. "It's really a blow to the elderly, disabled, and low income," Transportation Director Linda Elfstrand told the Times.

This story is justone example of unmet needs. But Christian-based organizations who rely on donations instead of government support have an advantage in meeting such needs- whether a troubled teen or disabled adult.

Christian families and churches: it's time to shine. The state shut down may prove one thing: God is more reliable than our government.

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