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An excerpt from the October 2008 Advancing Hope E-newsletter.

Children on the inpatient ward at Grace Children’s Hospital Celebrating Children's Sabbaths Through The Advance

by Mary Beth Coudal

Children of the inpatient ward at Grace Children's Hospital receive round-the-clock care from dedicated doctors, nurses, and nurses' aides.

Six-year-old Christella came to Grace Children's Hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, with a nagging cough. Her mother, a street vendor, and her father, a taxi driver, worried that their daughter had pneumonia. But it was worse--tuberculosis. Fortunately, Grace is the leading pediatric hospital in Haiti for TB. After almost three months in one of Grace's 60 hospital beds, Christella was healed of TB and returned home to her family--healthy again.

Children in poverty around the world need support. In the United States, the Children's Sabbath observance is an opportunity for people of faith to pray and advocate and act on behalf of children like Christella. Children's Sabbaths, woven into worships in many denominations and faiths, are celebrated the weekends of October 10-12 or October 17-19, 2008.

The Advance has partnered with Grace Children's Hospital for more than 10 years. Founded 40 years ago, Grace is the leading ministry of International Child Care, a Christian health ministry in Haiti and the Dominican Republic specializing in TB, HIV/AIDS, and respiratory illnesses.

United Methodists are leaders among denominations that celebrate Children's Sabbaths, according to the Children's Defense Fund, a group that promotes Children's Sabbaths. Sunday school classes, youth groups, and all children are invited to learn about, advocate for, and partner with other children to improve their lives on Children's Sabbath weekend.

But the world's children require more love, attention, and time than just once a year during a church's Moment for Mission. Caring for children is a daily, weekly, monthly challenge and joy. Increasing the participation of children in worship and advocating for the health of children can be built into the life of a church. So, too, can the giving to groups that provide optimal care for children, like Grace Children's Hospital.

Advancing Hope; e-newsletter from The AdvanceThis October, join The Advance and other people of faith by creating a Children's Sabbath to remind your church of what they can do and give on behalf of children.

To learn more about the many children's programs one can support through The Advance, search the word "children."