Rizpah’s Children is a growing national strategic network of organizations whose mission and vision demonstrate a passion around childhood poverty. Connected as partners by American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS), network members seek to radically improve the wellness of children physically, emotionally, spiritually and educationally through long-term, measurable justice-related ministries.
Named for the Bible’s Rizpah—a woman who kept the slain bodies of seven children safe from birds and beasts for months on a mountaintop (2nd Samuel 21: 1-10)—Rizpah’s Children seeks to exponentially increase the impact of its members’ ministries, based on the foundational belief that more can be accomplished collectively than each organization could achieve alone.
Rizpah’s Children partners identify the needs of impoverished children in their communities, and then connect various organizations to provide wraparound services and ministries that bring God’s healing love to not only the children but also their families.
While these agencies and organizations operate independently of each other, they collaborate through the network in communications, promotion, strategizing, practice and funding. ABHMS walks alongside Rizpah’s Children partners by:
- connecting faith-based, educational, governmental, grassroots and business organizations as an amplified voice to bring awareness to the problem of childhood poverty; to allow those embarking on similar goals to share ideas, work processes and successes; and to shine a light on efforts that can be emulated as models elsewhere in the nation; and
- cultivating the partner relationship through a national platform that provides forums for sharing knowledge; leading webinars; participating in continuing education programs; writing for national publications, such as The Christian Citizen; offering workshops at national gatherings; and pursuing funding opportunities;
By connecting and cultivating, Rizpah’s Children seeks to radically change the condition of children in poverty nationally through justice-related efforts.
ABHMS has led American Baptists in the call to justice for underserved children since 2006, when ABHMS—then known as National Ministries—successfully asked American Baptist Churches USA’s general board to adopt a Declaration on an Issue of Importance concerning children and poverty:
“We have a vision and a promise. The church is well-poised to have a stronger prophetic witness toward addressing the conditions of children in poverty. [We are] eager to actively engage American Baptists in the issue of children in poverty through the work and witness of our members, friends, congregations, organizations, institutions and partners toward making a difference in the lives of these young ones whose lives are connected to us all.”
Throughout the last decade, ABHMS has continued its steadfast commitment to children through the Penny Project, Justice for Children grants, volunteer efforts and community outreach ministries. By establishing the network of Rizpah’s Children partners, ABHMS puts new emphasis on its 2006 vision of a stronger prophetic witness for “the least of these.” Today Rizpah’s Children partners carry on that witness as they work to deliver on the promise of obliterating the negative influences that keep children from reaching their God-given potential for full and fulfilling lives.