There’s no doubt that God helped Focus on the Family accomplish its mission of helping families thrive this year. There are so many tangible ways He’s guided and blessed our efforts during 2013 that I can’t list them all. I do want to share a few of them with you, however.
1. God is helping us proactively reach hurting people through social media. Earlier this month I blogged about the unveiling of our newly built, high-tech Digital Engagement Center. We’re already seeing the fruit from this investment.
The DEC isn’t the only way Focus is making its mark in the online world. Our main Facebook page and our “I Am Pro-Life” pages both hit the 1 million fan mark. These are places where we’re actively engaging the culture on behalf of our faith and values.
2. Our radio broadcast efforts included news-making interviews such as our program with U2 front man and activist Bono, and the launch of a brand-new show, “Everyday Relationships,” with Dr. Greg Smalley and Susie Larson.
3. Focus’ outreach to young adults is strong. Its popular website and podcast, Boundless, encouraged single adults to commit to a local church body through its Rock the Body campaign. Our Focus Leadership Institute launched an online Advanced Learning Opportunities program in conjunction with Indiana Wesleyan University to help college students learn a Christian worldview.
4. Our marriage enrichment efforts received a big boost through the launch of our new Focus Marriage Mentors program, which is a partnership with renowned husband-and-wife team Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott. This program will equip couples to walk through life’s challenges with other couples. We are trusting God that Focus Marriage Mentors will help add to the 790,000 marriages we helped strengthen and the 130,000 we helped save in 2013.
5. Our Option Ultrasound program was able to award 48 grants, which included 20 ultrasound machines, 10 sonography trainings, 17 ultrasound services enhancement grants and one medical conversion grant to qualified pregnancy medical clinics in 2013. It also supplied $385,000 worth of benevolent resources to more than 1,100 pregnancy centers. We estimate that more than 230,000 babies have been saved from abortion since the program began.
6. In 2013 God enabled Focus to make strides in meeting the needs of at-risk communities through our “Raising Highly Capable Kids” curriculum. By working with parents and community and church leaders, we’ve introduced this proven curriculum in troubled areas across the U.S., helping more than 750 families teach their kids about service , honesty and self-esteem. There are now more than 465 facilitators, 91 churches and 18 schools trained to teach the curriculum. (These videos share some of the stories.)
7. Our team welcomed a very special VIP guest this year through the Make-A-Wish Foundation – a sweet 6-year-old girl, Kari Noe. Kari fell in love with our Adventures in Odyssey radio drama during her repeated hospital visits and chemotherapy sessions to treat her leukemia.
Generous friends like you are what make all this (and more) possible. Your donations keep our resources online and on the air. They enable us to have licensed counselors ready to provide trusted advice to hurting people. They help us fund the faith-affirming resources we develop every year.
We’re nearing the end of the most important window of our fund-raising efforts have – the year-end campaign when we receive a major portion of our financial contributions. As we gear up for a new year filled with new challenges and opportunities, we’d be grateful if you would consider giving. You can donate securely and conveniently online – and your giving would go further thanks to a matching grant. Thank you for your prayers and support.
I’ll leave you with a video sure to leave a smile on your face – a compilation of Kari Noe’s very special day at Focus on the Family.
You can watch it at this link if you’re on a browser.
You can watch it at this link if you’re on a mobile device.