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Tristian's heart filled with Jesus

June 7, 2013

By W. James Edminson

Now standing six feet tall, and two years and eight months after first stepping onto the grounds of Cameron Boys Camp, 16-year-old Tristian is graduating from the wilderness camping program.

“I feel like I’m ready to go,” he says. “I’m proud that I’ve completed the program. Everyone here at Camp believes I’m ready to go home.”

Readers first met Tristian in the May 2011 issue of Charity & Children. He and six other Trailblazers were building a sleeping tent at their campsite.

In the December issue, Tristian’s testimony of how accepting Jesus changed his life appeared in a special story. He wrote: “On that day, I made the decision that changed my life forever – I asked Jesus into my life. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but the effects have been amazing.”

In the July 2012 issue, readers learned that Tristian’s testimony had changed the life of a young man who read it while imprisoned. Then 20-year-old Travis said in the article. “If it had not been for your (Tristian’s) testimony, I’m not sure what would have happened.”

Now almost a year after that story appeared, Tristian looks forward to a new future at home with his family.

“Me and my family have come so far,” Tristian says. “I can’t even remember the person that I was when I first came to Camp. I’m just not that same person anymore.”

Tristian describes himself as “a man with Jesus in his heart.” He says there are times when he may get angry, but he says that he handles it all differently. “We learn to deal with things in a healthy way at Camp. Getting things right inside is important. Everything begins to click when you have a heart change.”

For all the campers, Cameron Boys Camp is about giving them tools to deal with the problems in their lives the right way. Tristian says there are three tools at the top of his list that make him feel more confident about going home.

“The best thing is that my family has been a part of the change,” Tristian says. “The first tool that will go home with me is how to problem solve. When we have a problem now, my family gets together and works out a way to solve it. My mom and dad have embraced the techniques I’ve learned. They’ve taken them and made them work for our family.”

Tristian says it is important not to push a problem away, but to deal with it and deal with it quickly. The second tool he is depending on at home is routine.

“A lot of times kids say they don’t want routines,” Tristian says. “I’ve learned routines are helpful. It is great to know what others expect of you.”

Tristian’s parents Sarahanne and Scott have placed routines into their family’s day-to-day life for all their children.

“My brothers and sisters come in from school and they all know what to do. That will work for me; I can deal with that,” Tristian says. “There is flexibility and Saturdays are less structured, but our family’s routines are good for all of us.”

Tristian’s final tool for success is Jesus. “It’s the biggest thing – the most important. All the other things will work out when Jesus is at the heart of what I’m doing and at the heart of my family.”

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