Dear Youth Haven Families, Supporters, and Agency Partners,
I pray you and your loved ones are well and will stay well in the coming weeks! I have no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic weighs heavily on your mind, as it does mine. We have not experienced something like this in the history of Youth Haven. Let me reassure you (as I remind myself) that God is still in control. This virus did not take Him by surprise or catch Him off guard, and He is right here in the middle of it with us. Let’s be encouraged by His words in Isaiah 41:10 – “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
I wanted to take a moment to update you on how Youth Haven is responding to this pandemic as a mission. Our goal as a local mission is to reach out to kids who are going through hardships and give them the love and hope of Jesus Christ. Right now, there are a lot of kids going through hardships all around us. They need the love and hope of Jesus more than ever. And we are committed to doing all we can to give that to them!
Right now, the CDC, WHO, and the coronavirus task force are asking us to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people to help mitigate the spread of the virus. We are respecting the authorities and have suspended our on-site programs for the time being. However, we have many exciting mission opportunities before us!
First, we are working hard to create a haven for kids online, with fun activities, videos, stories, answers to questions kids might have, and more. We're confident kids will love it, and parents can trust it will be safe and wholesome. Best of all, it will allow us to share the hope of Jesus with kids all over our nation who are going through difficult times.
Second, we will be putting together coronavirus care packs for kids and distributing them, starting with our local community and then broadening the range as we are able. The care packs will include things like toiletries, a few snacks, games, puzzles, Legos, activity sheets, and other things that will bring some comfort and hope to kids during this time. We want them and their families to know we care, and most importantly, God cares.
Third, we are moving forward with our summer preparations! We’re busy talking to potential summer staff members and planning our summer theme and activities. We’re continuing forward with projects that were already underway when this virus surfaced, including the new pool and bathrooms in the dorms in Michigan. Our kids are going to need us this summer. They’re going to need fun activities, social interaction, and a break from screens and digital media! Our prayer is that our summer camp program can move forward as usual.
We are grateful for each and every one of you. We love you, we pray for you, and we hope we’ll be able to open our campuses to you again soon. In the meantime, we are finding new ways to serve and meet the needs of kids.
Thank you, and God bless you!
President & CEO