As we look expectantly and excitedly toward 2012, I’d love to share with you some ministerial highlights from this past year. I am humbled and grateful to report the following:
Focus on the Family helped strengthen or save 1.2 million marriages in 2011. This figure is part of the 90 percent of projects and commitments Focus was able to fulfill in spite of the year’s economic downturn, which significantly impacted the organization.
The ministry, through licensed professional counselors on staff, provided counseling to nearly 52,000 individuals since January. Additionally, more than 106,000 searches were made on the Focus website for Christian therapists. The counseling department gave away about $42,400 as benevolence cash donations and $24,000 in resources to those in need.
The ministry’s licensed counselors consider this area the heart of their work – personal, professional, one-on-one therapy and helps for people who feel they have nowhere else to turn.
Including the counseling department, nearly 2.4 million people contacted Focus for assistance via emails, helpline, letters, forums, blog sessions, and campus visits in 2011.
Another “heart area” for the ministry includes its daily broadcast, which was nominated for a National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) award for Radio Program of the Year for 2011, one of seven NRB nominations the ministry received this year. The Focus daily broadcast reaches 2.7 million listeners in North America each week. Thirty-six percent of airtime in 2011 was devoted to marriage strengthening discussions; 40 percent aided parents in raising children. The remainder of programming surrounded evangelism, Christian living and family policy advocacy.
Worldwide, more than 238 million people listened to or viewed one of Focus’ many programs, ranging from short audio features to TV/video features to the children’s program, Adventures In Odyssey. These were seen or heard in 135 countries in 26 different languages.
Focus’ popular entertainment-review website, pluggedin.com, currently receives more than 1 million visitors per month. Meanwhile, the Plugged In Movie Review radio program – now carried by 689 stations and heard in 15 foreign countries – reaches about 8 million listeners each week.
The ministry has also increased its efforts to stand up for children who cannot speak for themselves, especially orphans and the preborn. In 2011, Focus’ Adoption and Orphan Care Initiative hosted four Wait No More events and one online campaign with a total of 565 churches represented and 504 families initiating the process of adoption from the foster care system. Since 2008, the outreach has inspired nearly 1,800 families to begin the process of adoption. It has also complemented its recruiting efforts with post-placement support for adoptive families, including the provision of extensive training to licensed Christian counselors.
In keeping with its commitment to be a voice for the preborn, Focus’ Option Ultrasound outreach continues to provide a window into the reality of life within the womb. Since the program’s inception in 2004, it has given away 530 grants for ultrasound or sonography training to qualified pregnancy medical clinics – there were 21 placements in 2011 (and 29 additional applications are underway). It also supplied more than $369,000 worth of benevolent resources to more than 1,100 clinics. More than 100,000 babies have potentially been saved from abortion since the program began.
We exist to come alongside families with compassionate care and biblically based advice so they can thrive in our increasingly complicated world. I’m thankful that in spite of the economic downturn, we’re still able to reach out in meaningful ways to millions of people.
We can’t wait to see what God has in store for us in 2012.
From our home to yours, a blessed Happy New Year!
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