Halloween was horrifying that dreadful night over ten years ago. However, the horror didn't have anything to do with costumes, horror houses, or dastardly tricks. After all the candy was gone and the "trick or treaters" had retired for the evening, we heard the horrifying news. A barefoot three year old child was found crying in the street carrying a nine day old sister. The police could not find the children's mother and their grandfather wanted nothing to do with them.

These cold, forgotten, and neglected children were dirty, malnourished, and scared — a sad reminder of the millions of other neglected children in our world. What can we do to make a difference? Solutions are not easy! But let's pick three beginning points for action.

First, let's love, cherish, and nurture our own children, grandchildren, church children, and neighborhood children. Children are precious gifts from God, but not gifts we possess. We're merely stewards. They're really God's children. They come from Him. He made them and sent Jesus to remind us just how important they are. Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these." If children are within the circle of our influence, they're our responsibility. What we do for them, we do for Jesus.

Second, let's insist on children being valued for who they are — eternal people made in the image of God. The Fall did not strip away our likeness to God — every child bears the likeness of the Heavenly Father (Genesis 8:6;  James 3:9). In addition, God is at work making each child special, even when the child is unseen in the womb of his or her mother (Psalm 139:13-16). God knows this unseen child and has a plan for her or his life. To lose the gift of a child, to see it snuffed out by neglect or abuse, is to lose something precious from God himself.

Let's insist on children being valued for who they are!
Third, let's financially, prayerfully, and personally support groups which help vulnerable and forgotten children. These may be crisis pregnancy centers, foster care programs, organizations like Compassion International, children's homes, adoption agencies, special poverty relief programs for families in need, Big Brothers and Sisters, and shelters against violence. We must not abandon God's precious children to the trash heap of despair, abuse, and isolation.

As children, we learned to sing that all children are "precious in His sight" because "Jesus loves the little children of the world." Let's make sure they know they are precious in our sight as well. Don't just get angry and grieve over the neglect, join me and make an eternal difference in the life of at least one of these children whom God loves.