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John Paul's Hope Grows at BCH

December 9, 2009

By W. James Edminson

Tears fill John Paul’s father’s eyes. He says the tears come easily when he thinks of his son. But while the tears could have been tears of sorrow, today they are tears of gratitude.

“Baptist Children’s Homes is doing for him what I cannot,” John says.

John is very sick. Fears about John Paul’s future pushed him to find help for his son.

“I didn’t want to pass without John Paul having the help he needs as he grows up and goes out on his own,” John says. “It’s extremely important.”

John Paul has been at Broyhill Home in Clyde for a little more than a year. When he first arrived, he was hiding beneath baggy clothes. His dark hair swept across his face hiding his eyes. He was withdrawn and seldom spoke.

“He was going down a very dark road,” his father remembers. “I was scared for John Paul.”

John Paul says he was angry. He just wanted to be alone or to “hang out” with a few friends. He spent hours surfing the internet. Obesity was causing serious health concerns.

His habits and daily routines have drastically changed. He sits with other boys in his cottage and talks about his day at school. They discuss the upcoming Christmas season. They have written their Christmas wish lists and look forward to holiday parties that begin soon after Thanksgiving.

“Last year, Christmas at Broyhill was a bit overwhelming,” John Paul says. “My family’s Christmases were memorable, but they were smaller. It is amazing that there are so many who do so much for all of us here – they really care.”

John Paul has lost weight and feels better about himself.

“It’s an image thing,” he says. “I don’t want to look like this the rest of my life. I’m looking better and I am proud of losing the weight I’ve lost.”

John Paul has changed inside as well. He attends church regularly with his cottage. He looks forward to the daily devotions. House parent Will Porter says John Paul was cynical at first.

“He told me that he didn’t ‘know about this God thing,’” Porter recalls. But one evening, John Paul came to Porter. He said he needed to talk over something important. With head lowered, he shared how he wanted to ask Christ into his life.

“I feel secure now,” John Paul says. “Mr. Will led me to Christ. He prayed with me.”

John Paul credits God with helping him to be more positive and to feel hopeful about his future and his family’s future.

“There have been some tough times,” he confides, “but I’m in a better place – spiritually and emotionally.”

John Paul’s father gives credit for his son’s change to “divine intervention.”

“There have been holes that we could have fallen into,” John says. “God is helping us. He brought us to this place. We might have broken up if it were not for Baptist Children’s Homes.”

“I feel secure now,” John Paul says. “Mr. Will led me to Christ. He prayed with me.”

John Paul credits God with helping him to be more positive and to feel hopeful about his future and his family’s future.

“There have been some tough times,” he confides, “but I’m in a better place – spiritually and emotionally.”

John Paul’s father gives credit for his son’s change to “divine intervention.”

“There have been holes that we could have fallen into,” John says. “God is helping us. He brought us to this place. We might have broken up if it were not for Baptist Children’s Homes.”