Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. —2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV
I like those two Bible verses, probably because they mention comfort four times. Three times, the comfort comes from God, and one time, we are challenged to “comfort those in any trouble.”
Comfort is important to us as humans. There is the higher comfort we find in Him, but there is also the very Earth-bound sensory comfort we are simply wired to crave.
I don’t mean luxury. I mean the feeling you have when someone cares about you. Those times when you have an absence of tension. That feeling you get when you are snuggled in and safe, you’re not hungry, no one is yelling, and the world even smells good.
The children who come to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch have not often experienced that type of comfort. They are on high alert and hypervigilant for much of their lives. It is quite difficult for them to feel comfortable.
That’s why I love the list I received from the Student Government on our Bismarck Campus. At Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, our Student Government is about ensuring the kids we care for have a voice. This isn’t about their treatment—each child has a separate process for that input individualized to them. This is about service projects, field trips, and creature “comforts.”
One of the sections of the list is labeled “Food Requests.” On that list are caramel rolls, sloppy joes, Hamburger Helper, pizza, mac & cheese, white chicken chili, corn dogs, garlic bread, spaghetti, lasagna, chicken salad, taco salad, and Indian tacos.
No steak. No fancy stuff.
Everything on that list is a comfort food. Something that makes a child feel snuggled in and safe and fed and smells good. And is served with love and a smile.
These kids need spiritual guidance, excellent psychiatric care, therapy, and education… and comfort.
Food is a great place to start.
Please keep our kids and staff in your prayers.
In His love,
Joy Ryan, President/CEO
Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch
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