Communities of hope and healing

In our hyper-connected, digital age, Earth really has become a "small, small world." But despite all our gadgets and "always on" connectivity, the world can still be a cold and lonely place.In two separate, tragic incidents in Indianapolis, high-school youth committed suicide. Kids are more "social" than ever before yet talk about being lonely. It's not just a kid issue. Elderly people also find themselves longing for companionship and sensing a lack of belonging. A recent study completed for The Lutheran Foundation reported alarming rates of anxiety, depression, and worthlessness in our population.Our churches and schools are responding to mental-health needs by providing Christian counseling services. Healing can only occur with a combination of skilled, professional counselors and the balm of Christ's forgiveness.Thank God for Cross Connections! Cross Connections provides professional, Christ-centered counseling and training for church ministry in northeast Indiana. Fifty-seven congregations look to Cross Connections for a variety of individual and group counseling needs. Since 2009, Cross Connections' number of monthly counseling sessions have increased from 120 to 249, the number of professional counselors have increased, administrative staff have been added, and the amount of network members has nearly doubled.Matt Konow, CEO for Cross Connections, sees the strong resource Cross Connections is for Lutheran ministry in northeast Indiana, including schools. "The Church is under attack ... and schools have assumed more social ministry needs and are being affected by a damaged family structure."Matt has seen individuals and families healed through the Gospel shared in biblical counseling. He looks forward to Cross Connection's growing impact.Ultimately, Cross Connections, and our Lutheran schools share the most important truth: Jesus died for all of us and that fact is healing for all of our worries and cares. Matt says, "It's all about a life of repentance. Live life in humility and in generosity to others due to the gift God has given to us in His Son."Matt is a strong supporter of Lutheran schools, from preschool all the way through the university level. He appreciates the way The Lutheran Schools Partnership has connected school communities with Christ-centered mental-health resources. Lutheran Social Services of Indiana, Cross Connections and others have been connecting with our 18 schools and helping our valuable people to see their value within our community.Northeast Indiana is greatly blessed with strong resources to support families. We rejoice to see communities strengthened though Lutheran ministries working together.