The Third Annual “Tour De Hope” of some of the ministries in downtown Cedar Rapids was a soggy success. The rain did hold a few back from the progressive breakfast, but that allowed for some real connections with those that came by and learned more of the ministries and those who serve the Lord in these ways. The Grand Prize “Basket of Romance” went to Fred Strutton for him and his wife who stopped by each of the six ministries that participated this year. Maybe next year it will be nice and Fred will be able to ride his bike around the “Tour de Hope”, hope you can join in the fun we plan for you then too.
Do you wonder what drives me to continue spreading the hopeful message of Powerful Choices across our state? Many contributing factors have led to this passion of mine, but the inspiration I received at this 2004 conference inspired me to press on. I believed that saving the youth of America from the devastation of HIV/Aids could continue by spreading the work we had begun in our community of Cedar Rapids to the state and then to the nation. The conference I refer to was in June 2004. I was privileged to be able to meet and speak with Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni and his wife, Janet. At that time they were attending the Medical Institute for Sexual Health’s (MISH) national meeting in Washington DC. They came to be awarded in recognition of their successful fight against the HIV/Aids pandemic and were given the Hero Award by the institute. In that year President George Bush commended Uganda’s ABC (Abstinence, Be faithful in marriage and use Condoms) strategy on HIV/Aids.
According to Mrs. Museveni who addressed the conference,
“The message was simple, and it was this: that AIDS is transmitted mainly through heterosexual contact (in the Ugandan context); that it has no cure and leads to death; that young people can avoid it by completely abstaining from sexual activity until they are married; married people should stick only to their marriage partners and be faithful, and those who have risky lifestyles should use the condom to reduce the likelihood of infection or reinfection in the case of those already infected.”
Mrs. Museveni indicated that she attributes the success of the program to the continuity and consistency of the abstinence message in addition to the persistence of political leadership in magnifying the message. The First Lady told conference attendees, including the staff of Equipping Youth of 2004, that Uganda registered success in the war against the epidemic due to the openness policy of abstinence backed by the country’s leadership, reducing the spread of the disease from over 30% in the 1980s to their current 2004 statistic of 6%.
In 2004 I was inspired to persist in bringing Abstinence until Marriage Education to the youth of our community and our state by the First lady of Uganda. HIV/Aids was not my only concern. Many other STIs threaten the health of our youth.
Every dollar you send us is like a gift from above. We depend on your donation for our programming. Your continued support allows us to spread the hopeful message of abstinence to youth and their families across our state.
Parents you need to talk!
Please get bold enough to care about your child’s life to ask the questions like:
So what have you heard from other kids about sex?
Do you ever wonder about anything sexual?
And tell your kids that you will try to answer any questions they have even if you need to say:
It may cause me to feel uncomfortable because I don’t talk about sex very often.
If you think your teen or preadolescent is safe because they attend a conservative school, a Christian school or you home school, you still live in America and it is impossible to control all media and peer input. If your child is 10 or 11, you need to get some help if you have not established that you are the sex authority for them.
I want to recommend a book to you that I am ordering for two of my 12 year old granddaughters’ moms and dads. I met this Godly man, Keith Deltano years ago. We share the same passion for youth. He is a comedian that connects with youth. His book, Making Virginity Possible, is a great tool for you; enabling you to become the sex authority with the righteous and correct answers you need for your children. Keith will help you. http://www.defyconformity.com/shop.html#rokquickcart Ruth Anne Eccles, BSN, MSN
How to do ‘the talk’
When speaking with parents and grandparents about the S_ _ Talk many ask thoughtful questions.
The answers to their inquiries fall into the following four things parents must do to for their children.
1. You must stand firm for purity. Take a stand for what is truth and is right. Help your children to learn to take charge of their lives. Equip them with the spiritual truths they need to stand against the world’s commonly accepted activities that should be saved for marriage. Start with Ephesians 5:21 through the rest of the chapter. Do you see the emphasis on the direct correlation between marriage partners to Jesus and His bride – we, the church? This emphasis is often overlooked by the teaching of a wife’s submission and a husband’s love of his wife. There is also an obvious link of this relationship to how Jesus loves us. Could it be that the ecstasy we will experience when with Jesus is similar to that of a husband and wife as they culminate their marriage? Could this be the reason for the world’s deliberate effort to simplify and devalue marriage and the intimacy that should be protected and saved for that relationship with our spouse?
2. You must be the first to talk to your child about intimate activities that should be saved for marriage. God entrusted this child to you and is equipping you to teach them what they must know. You love your children more than anyone else and want the best for them without thought of gain. Do you trust anyone else to do “the talk”? Your children depend on you to provide the best care and protection you can possibly give them. They want you to give them the truth about this subject so they will be equipped to stand firm too. If you do not protect your children with the correct information they will become victims. Information can be gathered from many web sites and books. (See the bibliography of sites and books on the back). You may choose to have your child read with you or look at material on-line, but always preview or read it first to make certain that your child is ready for the information.
3. Trust your common sense. If you are similar to most parents, you never received instruction on how to this talk. But you can learn the facts and information that you need to relate to your children. Think of the way you were able to teach your child not to play with fire or how to stay out of the traffic while riding their bike. Think about why you taught them these things. Now think of your child’s future and how a disease from an intimate association could affect their lives or even kill them. You were able to tell them about fire and traffic because you were equipped with the facts and knew they could get hurt. You set boundaries to keep them safe. Even then a few accidents happened. How would you have felt if your child was hurt and you had never warned them of that danger? Equip yourself with a study of what God’s word says about purity and righteousness. Tell your children what you wish for them. The first time is the hardest. If you prepare you will become ready to talk. And don’t wait to start talking until your children are dating age. You should start talking about your little children’s’ privates as soon as they begin noticing them. Tell them how wonderfully God created their bodies so they can become mommies or daddies when we get married. They do not want the whole lesson, just start with simple comments.
4. Remember your dreams for you children’s future. What do you want them to avoid in heart breaks and divorce probabilities. I often get questions on the subject of parents’ past mistakes and how this makes you think you don’t have a right to teach your children purity. A good teacher tells how to avoid the mistakes they made. If you played in the street and got hurt, wouldn’t you relate that to your child when teaching that lesson? Being open with your children does not make you a hypocrite. Tell them just the facts, no details are needed. Only answer their questions and if you become uncomfortable you may tell them that you do not want to continue answering now, but later when you are more ready to share. Research has shown that youth prefer to hear about the activity we believe should be saved for the marriage relationship. They also prefer to know that you care about them choosing abstinence until marriage.
You must lay a foundation of purity for your children so they can become authorities on the subject of human reproduction rather than victims of this world’s view of it.
I am sincerely appreciative of your investment in your youth, Ruth Anne Eccles MSN, Executive Director