USA (MNN) – The Barnabas Bear is back in Family Christian stores across the United States. And it’s helping share Christ’s love with kids who’ve experienced trauma, hurt, and need encouragement.
Believe it or not, about half of all US children under the age of 17 have experienced trauma. With a number that high, Family Christian is trying to do their part through the Barnabas Bear. Family Christian’s Dan Hubka explains,
“What we do is we make a very cute bear available at a very good price. And with that bear, you can choose to purchase one for yourself to bring home to give to someone who would enjoy it. Or to purchase a Barnabas bear and leave him at the store for what we call adoption and we give it to a child in need.”
These bears are given to kids in various circumstances like foster care or those who are trying to survive in homeless shelters, just to name a few. But, what can a Barnabas Bear do? Well, a lot.
The name Barnabas actually means comfort and encouragement and these bears are designed and intended to do just that. But they’re also meant to serve as a reminder that God loves these children. Kids are reminded of this fact every day when they look at their Barnabas Bear’s foot which reads with a heart, “Jesus loves you.”
And though it might seem silly to give a stuffed bear to a child facing disaster, it’s actually brilliant. Play has the potential to help children through and after a traumatic experience.
What Can A Bear Do?
But the Barnabas Bear does more for a child than just provide a playmate. The Barnabas Bear provides a tangible reminder of the love God has for them and the safety they can find in Him.
In fact, one of Family Christian’s customers, a police officer, purchases the Barnabas Bears for kids facing difficult situations such as those involved in car accidents, being removed from homes, and many other situations children should never have to face.
Yet, when a kid sees this bear for the first time, it’s imaginable that it is perhaps a joyful moment. After all, who doesn’t like receiving a present? Yet, for some kids, this may be their only present.
“I’ve seen the impact that Barnabas has had on many, many lives over these last twelve years. And it’s amazing what some of these kids have gone through and just having something of their own to hug…its really deeply impactful and way more impactful than I ever dreamed it would be,” Habuk shares.
The Barnabus Bear is a physical way of sharing the Gospel in situations where words can be meaningless. Instead, the bear is a constant companion to kids needing Christ’s love. And it’s through this bear and its message that the Gospel can take root.
So if you’re willing, join Family Christian in loving hurt children across the US and purchase a Barnabas bear for either a child in your life or for adoption through Family Christian.
Currently, the Barnabas Bear is placed at the affordable price of $6.99 plus tax.
But if you would — pray. Pray for these children facing scary and traumatizing situations.
Also, pray that every bear would come in contact with a child who needs it and the reminder that they are loved.
But pray too that the Barnabas Bear ministry would carry on and not only show kids they are loved but that they have a savior who values them more than any human ever could.
To order, click here!