Skiing the Distance for TEEN FOCUS

We are happy and blessed to announce a very original fundraiser happening right NOW for the FOCUS Ministries TEEN program.  Because February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, we have been “focusing” on the reality and the tragedy of teen dating violence.  And then OUT OF THE BLUE, one of our amazing support group leaders has decided to turn her annual cross-country ski marathon event, The American Birkebeiner, into a viable fundraiser.  Who does that?

Here’s the link for the fundraiser, because I know you are already ready to get in on this amazing opportunity.  Jane Belongea has generously offered to ski 53 km — that’s almost 33 MILES — to raise money for our TEEN FOCUS program.  She feels very strongly about getting this program out to the youth group leaders, church leaders, school counselors and homeschool groups.  Anyone who works with teens and young people should be concerned that they learn who they are in Christ and what a healthy relationship looks like before they find themselves entwined in dating abuse.

You’ve already heard the statistics…

  • Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year.
  • 1 in 3 girls in the US is a victim of physical, emotional, or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence.
  • 1 in 10 high school students has been purposefully hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • Only 33% of teens who were in an abusive relationship ever told anyone about the abuse.
  • 81% of parents believe teen dating violence is not an issue or admit they don’t know it’s an issue.

At FOCUS Ministries, those are not just statistics – they are very real young women and young men who have been hurt, usually by someone they know.  Our program will help them to choose healthy relationships where they are respected and valued.  TEEN FOCUS reminds them over and over that they are made in the beautiful image of a Holy God and that He is with them to help them in their friendships and dating relationships.  We actually have six sessions in our curriculum just devoted to the question “What is a Dating Relationship?” and that includes discussion of what is a BAD date.  

Getting back to the fundraiser, you can pledge by the kilometer or in a lump sum amount and all funds will be used to support the TEEN FOCUS program as we expand into church youth groups, schools and homeschool groups.  Building awareness is possible because of your generous donations.

Can you even imagine cross-country skiing almost 33 miles with more than 10,000 of your closest friends, over the rivers and through the woods, up and down the rolling hills of northern Wisconsin?  

We applaud our dear friend, Jane, for this magnanimous gesture of support for our ministry and strongly encourage you to jump on board TODAY.  The American Birkebeiner is scheduled for Saturday, February 25th.  She will begin the marathon in Cable, Wisconsin and end in Hayward, Wisconsin.  There is even an opportunity to follow her progress at their website.  Thank you and God bless you for your support of our TEEN FOCUS Program.

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”  Romans 12:1-2

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