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Jeremiah's focus is on the future

September 4, 2014

By Jim Edminson

Like a kettle building steam over an open flame, 17-year-old Jeremiah was at a boiling point the day he ran away.

“I had a lot of stuff built up inside and I snapped,” he remembers. “My mom and I had a really bad argument and I was like ‘I’m leaving.’”

Jeremiah is the first to admit that he was skirting some bad situations. He says he was making some “wrong choices” and he began to have fears about his future.

After being away for nearly a month, he went to live with his father. Although there was less tension living with his dad, the change didn’t alter his behavior.

“One day when I came home, there was a deputy sherriff’s car in front of the house,” he says. “He had suspicions and just told me if I didn’t want to end up in the backseat of his car, I’d better straighten up.”

Jeremiah knew his choices were about to catch up to him. And even though his life was becoming a mess, he had a dream for his future. “If I kept doing what I was doing, I wouldn’t be able to do what I was hoping to do.”

Jeremiah’s mom and dad knew about Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH) and they contacted Mills Home in Thomasville. The relationship between him and his parents was still strained, but they all agreed that calling BCH would move them in a more positive direction. The decision was made for Jeremiah to live at Kennedy Home in Kinston – far away from
the distractions in his community.

“I rode on to campus that first day and thought ‘It’s all flat,’” he recalls. “It’s all hills at home!” Having lived in the Triad almost all his life, the flat agricultural surroundings of eastern North Carolina were very different. “But it was good. I was ready to do what I needed to do for my future.”

Jeremiah had been involved in high school ROTC and had reached the rank of lieutenant colonel. He wanted to pursue a possible career in the military, and now he felt free to focus on his dream.

“I’m planning this fall to join the Army Reserves,” the rising high school senior explains. “I’m on track to graduate early in January and then I’ll go to Basic Training.”

Two years of junior college and then an undergraduate degree in criminal justice from Eastern Carolina University round out his plan.

Now, as Jeremiah ponders the days ahead, he sees this new beginning as a wonderful opportunity. “My goals are my plans right now. It’s my future and it’s important I stay on track.”

Everything about living at Kennedy Home is helping Jeremiah. He has started practicing with his new high school’s cross country track team, he is benefitting from the daily cottage devotions, and he recently received the green light to begin looking for a part-time job.

“I’m the oldest in my cottage,” Jeremiah says. “I have the opportunity to be a role model to the other guys. I tell them that we are only going to get out what we put in – you have to want to be helped.”

Jeremiah feels his relationship with God has been rocky, but he is hopeful. He says that being around the Christian staff and houseparents at Kennedy Home is helping. “They live out their faith every day. I see Christ in many ways. God is really evident here.”

You can help make hope possible for residents like Jeremiah by making a gift to Baptist Children's Homes. Please give online at www.bchfamily.org/givenow to help immediately.