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Stories - 2013 Archives

Nicole breaks grasp of past

It’s hard to imagine that only five months ago Nicole was standing before a judge and facing a probationary sentence. A job transfer led her single father to move them to a new town and a new school where Nicole soon faced cruel bullying by other students. The only place she felt she belonged quickly led her to gangs and drugs. It took the strong arm of the law to break the grasp the gang had on her life and bring her to Baptist Children's Homes.

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Bethlehem journey leads to place of hope

The journey to Bethlehem was a trip that forever altered Mary and Joseph’s lives. Bethlehem was a place the young couple had to travel to because of the Roman occupation of their country. It represented a dangerous journey with no assurance they would even find a place to stay once they arrived. It was a dangerous journey – one they were forced to take with no guarantees. Bethlehem also represented something else. The journey for Mary and Joseph was a journey toward fulfillment. It was a journey of faith and a journey toward God’s possibilities. No doubt it would be a struggle, but in the end it would be worth it.

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Bike for Change grows new generation of friends

Just more than a decade ago, children from First Baptist Church in Charlotte mounted their bicycles for the very first Bike for Change. The church-sponsored bike-a-thon, where children ride in support of Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH), has grown every year. The initiative has not only garnered financial support, but it has raised up a new generation of friends for BCH’s boys and girls.

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Kimani rescued from darkness

Kimani’s childhood was lived behind closed doors. His adoptive family made it seem as if the young boy didn’t exist. A horror story played out as Kimani struggled to survive unimaginable abuse. “I had no hope. I didn’t think I had anything to be hopeful for,” Kimani says , who is now 18 years old. “I didn’t know what love was.”

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Children and staff celebrate a season of thanksgiving

This past weekend, the residents at Mills Home’s Johnson Cottage had a special guest. Ten-year-old Lexie Michael, who attends First Baptist Church in Maiden, wanted to spread God’s word and share the love of Jesus. She talked with her family and determined to lead an effort to provide Bibles for children. Lexie began saving her money. She also placed a box at her church. Lexie bought and collected 150 Bibles. The smile on her face told the story. Her heart was bursting with joy to be able to give these Bibles to the children living at BCH.

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First Camp director Buford "Chief Mac" McKenzie passes

BCH’s first wilderness camp director, Buford “Chief Mac” McKenzie, passed away Tuesday, October 15, 2013. In 1981, McKenzie took the lead in building Cameron Boys Camp on principles developed by Campbell Loughmiller, who pioneered Christian therapeutic camping in Texas. McKenzie had worked closely with Loughmiller for 18 years. McKenzie then spent 12 years establishing the Eckerd Foundation wilderness camps in Florida.

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John blessed by a renewed life

Behind John's bright-blue eyes, a battle brewed. Incredibly, with the help of his chief's at Cameron Boys Camp, John’s walls crumbled. He opened up about his pain for the first time. “We let John know that we serve a big God and He can handle his anger,” Manning says. “John was able to find comfort from the ‘heavenly’ Father – the Father of the fatherless.”

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Insecurities left in Tabitha's past

Tabitha's story is unique, but her battles and insecurities are common to many children. Bullying at school left Tabitha scared and timid to be around people. Her low self-esteem gave way to insecurities that held her down, preventing her true gifts and potential from shining. But that is not the end of Tabitha's story.

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Be ready to tell the story and share your passion for BCH

Every day - in every way - we communicate. With voice, face, eyes, body - we communicate. And when we encounter someone who speaks with light in their eyes, an energy in their bones, and a fervor in their spirit, that person stands out! If you don't think you have that kind of "fire in the belly," take heart from the inspiring words of Winnie the Pooh and click here for inspiration on how to share your passion for BCH.

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Giving = Sharing Hope...Changing Lives

A very big thanks goes to the many volunteers who chose to be on mission for God this summer at Baptist Children’s Homes. Thank you for faithfully carrying out our mission of “sharing hope. . .changing lives.” Thank you for putting your faith into action through your prayerful support. There are many ways you can help carry out BCH’s mission. Here are a few...

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Mareli takes hold of opportunity

On May 5, the biggest change in Mareli's life occurred, she accepted Jesus as her Savior. “Getting saved has helped me the most,” she says confidently. “Being connected to God has made me feel complete. He died for me. He loves me. It’s all become real to me and I’m so happy.”

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Gathering surprises Blackwell with day of fun - City renames street in his honor

“Dr. Blackwell has meant so much to this city, BCH and this campus,” said Mayor Bennett. “We’re blessed to be celebrating 30 years of him being with us here in Thomasville.”

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Car ownership key to independence - Family Care mom realizes goal for family

Diana and her sons are excited about what the car means for their futures. The boys are hoping for a trip to the zoo. In August, Diana will attend Davidson County Community College to earn her early childhood education credentials. “Now that I have my car, I can be more independent and do things on my own.”

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New school year offers children new beginnings

For many, it will be the first time they’ve had a caring adult encouraging them as they leave for school. And when a child returns home after a tough day, a houseparent is there to help restore his or her self-confidence. For many of these boys and girls, it is the first time someone has believed in them.

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Glenn Brown's blackberry patch perfect location for children's home in western North Carolina

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Child remains focus for success

I believed that with God’s guidance and an unwavering commitment to keeping my eye on the child, I was equipped to guide the ministry forward. I believed if I could maintain this focus our efforts would be fruitful.

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Opera star gives to children

International Opera star, Victoria Livengood, returns home to perform at Hope In Style, a children's fashion show that benefits Mills Home in Thomasville.

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Thanks to you, Mareli is the first in her family to graduate...

Seventeen-year-old Mareli received her high school diploma on June 8. If not for Baptist Children’s Homes, her dream of graduating may not have come true.

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Care House renaming honors Marguerite Noel - Home renovated through friends' efforts

Baptist Children’s Homes’ (BCH) Care House in Lenoir has provided a haven for single, teenage mothers and their babies since 1988. The home has been newly renovated through the contributions from the Broyhill Family Foundation, the Bollinger Family Foundation, Pleasant Garden Baptist Church, Baptist Men of Stallings Memorial Baptist Church, Critcher Brothers Produce, donors Steve and Ann Shreve, and the Noel Family.

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President leads for three decades, maintains desire to make a difference as long as the Lord allows

“‘God has called me to ministry. I cannot think of any finer way to discover the eternal truths of Mark 10:14-16 than by serving as president of Baptist Children’s Homes.’ – I wrote those very words in a letter to our trustees only a few days after the board elected me as the eighth president in 1983,” Blackwell recounts. “That calling is as real to me today as it was 30 years ago.”

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Tristian's heart filled with Jesus

After two years and eight months, 16-year old Tristian is graduating from Cameron Boys Camp with Christ in his heart and a bright future ahead for both he and his family. "Me and my family have come so far. I can't even remember the person that I was when I first came to Camp. I'm just not the same person anymore," says Tristian.

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Safety first with your child

Parents cringe to hear of a child’s disappearance, or of an innocent slumber party that becomes a horror scene of kidnapping. We wonder, “Am I doing all I can to keep my child safe?” The answer is probably no. Dr. Blackwell shares his thoughts on how we can help keep our children and families safe.

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Blackwell and Morgan mark significant anniversaries - reflect on their long friendship

Dr. Blackwell and Linda Morgan have been friends since their first meeting at Broyhill Home in Clyde in 1983. The duo value the relationship they have shared over Blackwell’s 30-year tenure. Morgan recently marked her 40th anniversary. She began as the secretary at Broyhill Home to become the lead area director supervising BCH staff across the state.

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Keith experiences healing, overcomes obstacles to reach goal of high school graduation

Keith is impacted by strong role models at BCH. “I see Chiefs and houseparents use their gifts to help others,” Keith says. “They do things for other people not expecting anything in return. I want to be like them. I want to be known for standing up for what I believe in, too.”

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Sisters safe at Kennedy Home

Brittany and Ruthie lived without the necessities of food, running water and electricity. Their parents' lifestyle took precedence and put the sisters at risk. But they have new hope at BCH.
"I was afraid living at home. My life would be a lot different if I weren't here," shares fourteen-year-old Brittany.

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Children need charisma from individual adults- Be a strong adult with influence

Problems that can’t be resolved with a big solution are problems overlooked. Governments, community groups and programs try to fix things with a big sweep of their hands, with overwhelming size, and with a huge budget and staff. Smaller problems are recast, reshaped and trivialized into digestible bits that can then fall under big program categories.

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Trustees inspired by single mom's success - Family Care offers hope and continues to grow

Whitney, who lived in Jacksonville, NC, had always been a stay-at-home mother. When her family circumstances unexpectedly changed, Whitney suddenly became a single parent. With full custody of her children, whose ages range from two to eight, Whitney did not possess the education, skills or resources to provide for her family.

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Cameron Takes Great Strides

“They believed in me and I believed them; that motivated me to do something positive,” Cameron says. The more Cameron moved in the right direction, the more doors opened to him. Grades improved. His relationship with his dad improved. He was able to begin a part-time job at the local Dairy Queen. He now has a vehicle and is involved in an intern program through his high school that interests him greatly.

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Horses help children and moms heal - Animals bring extra benefit to Family Care

“My children love the horses. It’s an experience I wouldn’t have been able to give them,” says Celina’s mother Sherri. “It’s very peaceful here. And working with the horses gives them all something they can do together.”

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Stand up, speak for those who can't - April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

A child who is ignored stops talking. A child robbed of affection won’t give hugs or allow themselves to be hugged. A child who never plays with toys will not learn as quickly. A child who experiences betrayal finds it difficult to trust.
All children deserve to feel safe and secure. They deserve the opportunity to become all that God intends.

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Don't withdraw to negative balance - Make deposits to kids' emotional accounts

If children only have withdrawals and no deposits in their emotional bank accounts, rebellion will come and they will find someone else to make deposits!

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Band's song "Enough" to benefit BCH children

A new partnership between the Greensboro-based Awestruck Worship band and Baptist Children's Homes has everyone excited. Awestruck Worship released a new single digitally on iTunes and Amazon on March 19th to support BCH. The goal of 10,000 downloads will help purchase 30 bed sponsorships. The single is available NOW for $.99. To purchase visit iTunes or Amazon.

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Ralph Gives Thanks for His Home

Ralph slept on a thin mattress laid on a metal, institutional-style bedframe with side rails that could be raised and lowered. There were days when he did not receive his medications. He had no friends. A smile precedes his next words, “But then I found this place. I said to Jesus, ‘Thank you for giving me an excellent home.’” Ralph and the other male residents at the Alverta Bolick Home in Asheville have a special bond.

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HopeFest scheduled for May 25

HopeFest is a brand new “grass roots” event bringing together popular Christian musicians, churches, community businesses, and other friends to benefit the boys and girls living at Baptist Children’s Homes’ (BCH) Cameron Boys Camp and Camp Duncan. The catalyst for the festival, an event that is growing large in scope, was the simple re-connection of two friends.

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Tabitha's Heart Soars for God

On October 24, 2012, sixteen-year-old Tabitha was baptized in Broyhill Home’s indoor pool as shouts of joy echoed around her. Broyhill Home, our residential facility in Clyde where Tabitha lives, was the perfect place to celebrate her decision to follow Jesus.

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Erin Experiences God's Grace

Erin had lost everything. Her twins and Erin’s two older children were taken from her by the department of social services after she was arrested on drug-related charges. Now, through her faith and the support of the Family Care program at Oak Ranch, Erin has been reunited with her daughters.

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Paulina Learns to Give Back

Paulina feels at peace every time she comes on the Mills Home campus in Thomasville. The 22-year-old college student’s life has revolved around the historic site since age 15. Going through high school, being a part of Baptist Children’s Homes’ transitional living program while she attended college, and now renting a house on the property while she attends UNC Greensboro, Burch fondly calls it “home.”

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From chemical engineering to Christian service - Baltzell's journey leads to family ministry

Brian Baltzell’s arrival at Broyhill Home in Clyde was a lengthy trek both figuratively and literally. From working with the developmentally disabled on the ski slopes of Utah to serving as a program specialist for Eckerd Camp in Newport, NC, each step brought Baltzell geographically closer to where he serves today.

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From chemical engineering to Christian service - Baltzell's journey leads to family ministry

Brian Baltzell’s arrival at Broyhill Home in Clyde was a lengthy trek both figuratively and literally. From working with the developmentally disabled on the ski slopes of Utah to serving as a program specialist for Eckerd Camp in Newport, NC, each step brought Baltzell geographically closer to where he serves today.

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