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Children raising children

One of the things that moves me the most as I travel the world is to see children having to raise their younger siblings. Something happened to mom and dad and now they are the breadwinners. They’re the ones who have to protect. It makes my heart break. I’ve thought about compiling a book about t…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
One of the things that moves me the most as I travel the world is to see children having to raise their younger siblings. Something happened to mom and dad and now they are the breadwinners. They’re the ones who have to protect. It makes my heart break. I’ve thought about compiling a book about them. What do you think? If you have a story or a picture, please share it.

Comments (12)

  • I think it’s a great idea. I’ve rarely seen it in person but movies just as blood diamond, the lost boys of Sudan & slumdog millionaire are great depictions. Nothing seems to jolt a person out of a western stupor more than the realities of child sex slavery and children raising children. These thing ought not be! God wake us up to your realities and expand our hearts to see your world as you see it.

  • Thanks for the encouragement, Troy. I know there are so many World Racers who have been touched by the issue. I’ve seen many of their pictures and read a few stories. These kids need a voice.

    Judith – I don’t have words to honor what you shared. Your sister’s pain must have been so hard for you to see. The plague of abusive parents & family members is a dirty little secret in America. It continues to get worse – over 50% of our racers were abused growing up. We parents need to wake up and do something about it. Thanks for your courage to speak out.

  • Interesting I had a dream last night about Abigail’s baby Hannah, from Nsoko. Abigail was raped by her uncle at the age of 14, now she has a one year old.I definitely think you should write their stories Seth. I have thought about this myself, writing their stories, I think people need to hear their stories, I think the church needs to hear.
    Proceeds of the book/books could go to support these children and their children.

    Thanks Seth.

  • The other angle of this, “children raising children” is when they give birth at 12. My daughter is in Laslea Romania working with the Gipsy villages there. When they do a childrens church or have a givaway, the teenagers come as if they were still 7 years old. many carrying there own children.

  • First to Judith, I am SO SORRY for what you experienced. My heart is broken for you and your sister. I am so looking forward to THE DAY when you and your sister’s tears will be wiped away forever! May Jesus be so very close to you Judith.

    Seth, I SEE a beautiful pictorial coffee table type of book with both heart wrenching and heart transforming short stories about these kids.

  • Exactly, a heart breaking issue. Children raised up children. That’s exactly common to Asians and in some cultures. Even me an Asian girl, grew up an experience as to look after my younger brothers, feed them and take care of them.I did the same thing, and that’s the beginning of my passion to offer my life before the LORD and do things that can make difference for those young ones who took care of their young brothers and sisters.Passion for kids burned up my hearts with tears as I begun to see them because through them I can picture out my younger days, and how the LORD JESUS walked with me through, loved me through and through, and brought me forth in HIS calling to as a Missionary. The passion for the homeless and parentless kids burned my heart and changes my life since I started to serve orphans in the orphanage. Now a days still that passion stirrs up and broke up my heart. It leads me to the hospital as I got ill most often for that passion that really overtaken me, yet I felt helpless to carry and embrace them all. The fact is, hundreds of kids in the Philippines who are homeless, no parents took care and love them, not even goes to school, and not even enough food supply. Everytime, my Pastor send me photos with them of our on-going ministry right there, I just cried and prayed. I can’t give them things they need, yet only the love of CHRIST I could share with them.
    I think, I could share you some stories or photos of them and photos, as to complete your book. I was with them for years.
    I started to cry as I got this article. I begun to look up myself and look how faithful JESUS is.
    Praise GOD!

  • Deborah,

    If you receive this, I would love to converse with you about the Philippines. I have an ongoing ministry there and would love to talk with you about what I guess is your homeland??? I too have stories of the broken hearted there, and I am doing everything I can to help. I love your heart. Bless you.

    Kenny Sacht
    [email protected]

  • Seth, this is an excellent idea! Please Lord, break my heart what breaks Yours…give me your eyes so I can see clearly…give me your mind…give me your heart…give me your arms…and give me your feet!

  • Hi There,

    My name is Jane and I am writing because when I previously worked as a primary school teacher, a large part of my role was looking out for the welfare of my students. Unfortunately, there were cases of some of my students being abused outside of school. Through this I learned how bad it can be, but also how as a teacher and then counsellor, how to help children through this difficult time.

    Now, I work as the Content Manager for a small substance abuse campaign site. We are determined to help victims and prevent new ones, therefore I felt it important we cover this topic. Our comprehensive guide covers both child abuse and domestic violence, and provides information on the warning signs to look out for, types of abuse, and resources for victims and the relatives of victims. I know you are busy, but you can check out the article here: http://www.onthewagon.org/family-education-on-domestic-violence/.

    Recently, I came across sethbarnes.com and having read https://www.sethbarnes.com/post/children-raising-children, I feel this is a subject you would like to cover. If you would like to add it as a resource, that’d be great, however. I am also more than happy to write a brief introduction or summary for you to put on your website.

    Please let me know what you think!

    Best Regards,

  • I know this happens world-wide, even in this culture.
    And, in many forms and degrees.
    In some ways, my sister “raised” me: 9 years older than me, privy to my abuse because she too had been abused by our father.
    Though it was never spoken between us, of course.
    She was more of a mother to me than my own mother.
    During the years she was there.
    She left home for college when I was 8, which coincided with the beginning of my father’s molestation of me.
    Somehow, even back then, I knew she was my angel.
    The one, loving, nurturing piece of my childhood.
    Who paid the price in many ways for us both.
    She was not strong-willed and stubborn like me and so she was destroyed by my father’s abuse and my mother’s neglect.
    She never, ever recovered.
    We completely lost her in her early 30’s to a full-blown mental breakdown.
    She spent the rest of her life in and out of mental hospitals, on one cocktail of psycho-tropic drugs after another, the “victim” of a line-up of state funded psychiatrists, ending her life in the state foster care system.
    My father may have destroyed my sister’s chances at ever having a viable, functioning life.
    But, Praise God, he could not destroy her child-like faith in God, her gentle and soft heart, her refusal to blame others…EVER!
    You can see why I call her my angel.
    And, yes…why I believe in many ways she raised me!
    Love to all!

  • You’re welcome, dear friend.
    Openness, transparency, truth: these are the antidotes to the poison of childhood abuse.
    These must be in place before any real healing or change can take place. Just as any wound must be exposed, even dug out, and cleaned, before it can ever heal.
    “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”
    God’s love is what enables us to see, expose, dig out, and embrace the stinging, cleansing process of our deep, deep wounds.

  • Kenny, thank you so much for your personal and very touching response to my story. I would love to share with you the blogpost I wrote following my sister’s funeral in Texas, in 2007, entitled: “A Wedding And A Funeral: West Texas Style.”
    It’s got humor and pathos. I think it would greatly encourage you.
    You can find it on my blog at zanylifecrazyfaith.blogspot.com.
    To make it easier to find I have re-posted it at the top of the home page.
    Thank you for caring!

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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