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Tramaine's Plans Center on God

February 20, 2012

By W. James Edminson

Sometimes things just don’t happen the way you plan. Sometimes they do.

Tramaine’s phone rings. It’s a friend. He listens. The friend needs a favor and Tramaine agrees to meet. The duo spend the afternoon planning every detail of the drug buy. . .

A few years before, Tramaine and his sister were brought to Odum Home in Pembroke. They had lived with their grandmother who struggled to parent the children. On one occasion, she put Tramaine outside locking him out of the house. He was forced to sleep in the truck. Another time, she beat his sister. Finally, the police intervened. Tramaine was thirteen.

“At first, I had to get used to Odum Home,” he says. “I was angry, but there were people who helped me. Things got better.”

After about a year, Grandmother wanted the children to return. It was okay at first – “But she wasn’t doing right again,” Tramaine recalls.

Tramaine and his sister made a plan to run away – back to Odum Home and the care and safety they knew would be waiting for them. They arrived on foot in the early hours of morning. The children had hitchhiked all night.

Then, Tramaine had word his mother was very ill and her boyfriend had left. Money was tight, and she could not afford essentials; there was no food and eviction was immanent. Tramaine decided to leave Odum Home to take care of his mother.

Tramaine had a plan. He turned to a sure-fire way to get money – he began to sell drugs on the street.

“I knew I was on a bad course,” Tramaine says. “But I thought I was being a man. My goal was to provide for my family – when no one else could.”

. . .Tramaine chooses the safe house for the drug deal to go down. He places a lookout across the street – just in case. And he maps out secret escape routes if anything goes wrong.

The buyers enter the house. Everyone in the room has guns. The drugs are on the table. The buyers speak Spanish as they sample the goods. Tramaine recognizes some the words – things are going bad.

Shouting fills the air and suddenly guns are pulled. Tramain hears the blast of a .45 pistol. He feels the percussion and drops down. His friend is hit. Tramaine dodges out of the room and escapes. He was shaken.

“I was scared out of my mind,” he confesses. “My head was pounding. I felt like I was going to pass out.”

Tramaine says he began to pray. “I asked God to help me. I vowed I would never go back.”

Once again, Tramaine turns to Odum Home. He calls and asks if he can return.

“I was ready to get my life back,” he says. “People told me I would never be anything. I want to prove that I can be something.”

Today, eighteen-year-old Tramaine has a new plan. At the center of it is his relationship with God. The plan includes the support and help of everyone at Odum Home. He is working hard to get his GED and hopes to enter the military.

“My first goal is my education,” Tramaine says. “I am ready to do what I need to do.”

Tramaine also has placed a high priority on learning more about God. He reads his Bible and prays daily. He shares his testimony in local churches. And he is quick to talk about the new plan for his life – God’s plan.