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Baptist Children's Homes
of North Carolina
P.O. Box 338
Thomasville, NC 27360
Bethlehem journey leads to place of hope
December 3, 2013
By Brenda B. Gray
Is there room in your heart this Christmas for children who are making their journey to Bethlehem? Will you be the star of Bethlehem lighting the way for boys and girls? Will you be the light leading them from darkness to hope and healing?
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.
Breanna’s life had been a roller coaster of ups and downs – sadly, more downs than ups. She had lived a life fearful for her mother’s safety due to her lifestyle of drug abuse. Her fear became reality when her mother overdosed on heroine. Foster home after foster home made Breanna feel lost as her world continued to be turned upside down. She was forced to grow up all too fast.
But since coming to Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH), Breanna is now on her road to Bethlehem.
Because of substance abuse in the family, Natalie lived with her grandparents. Her father died when Natalie was 16 – it was a very difficult time for her. She came to BCH hurt and angry.
Natalie is on her road to Bethlehem.
Trevor was bullied by the other kids in school – he was spit on, kicked and beaten. He often found himself in trouble and overwhelmed. Trevor did not want to go to school, he did not want to leave his house. He became one of the hidden children. But things were tough at school, too. He and his sister often found themselves hungry and in line at a nearby food kitchen.
Trevor is on his road to Bethlehem.
Two days before Christmas, Sam and Seth, 5-year-old twins walked through the doors of one of our emergency care cottages. They came from a situation where they had to struggle to survive. The sparkle in their eyes was gone. But at BCH, loving arms wrapped them with the warmth of God’s love – offering His peace and hope.
Sam and Seth are on their road to Bethlehem.
It’s been difficult for Breanna to trust, because so often those she trusted did not take care of her. But she has made so much progress. At BCH she has found hope. She has a long journey ahead of her and we are committed to help her find her way toward hope and healing. Breanna is excited about Christmas because this Christmas she has experienced the love of Christ in her life.
Natalie continues to deal with the trauma of her father’s death and the absence of her mother. Prior to coming to BCH, Natalie’s anger could overwhelm her and her grandparents. Now things are better and her relationship with her grandparents is improving. She is now able to talk about her feelings and is intent on working on her relationships. Natalie is excelling in school. She has caring people around her who share the love of Christ with her everyday. Natalie is on a journey to healing and we are going with her and showing her the way to Bethlehem.
Trevor has found the courage to step out in faith and embrace life. He no longer tries to hide himself away from the world. Today, Trevor is traveling a different road and his path is being illuminated by the Star of Bethlehem. Trevor shares how Jesus has entered his life. He and his sister recently asked if they could give of themselves at a local soup kitchen. On their journey, they want to give back what has been given to them.
Sam and Seth’s eyes lit up as they entered their bedroom. They had not had a bed before. When they entered the living area they squealed with excitement as they gazed upon the biggest Christmas tree they had ever seen surrounded by gifts. Sam and Seth have known a childhood filled with pain and fear. But today, they are experiencing the light of hope as they continue their trek to Bethlehem.
Bethlehem is where one’s highest hopes and deepest fears come together – so it is for many of BCH’s children on their life’s journey. The journey begins where their deepest fears lie but the journey leads them to a place of possibility and hope.
The journey to Bethlehem is the same for all of us. It is a journey to a place where hope supersedes fear. It is a journey to a place where fear is quieted and hope is fulfilled.