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Keith experiences healing, overcomes obstacles to reach goal of high school graduation

June 3, 2013

By Brenda B. Gray, Executive Vice President, Development & Communications

Graduation is a dream come true for Keith. He struggled with doubts and thought this special day would never come for him. His past haunted him. He remembers all too well the feelings of fear and confusion – not knowing what would happen next in his life.

Overwhelmed by the chaos in their family, Keith and his aunt moved to North Carolina. Keith’s aunt knew they needed a safer environment. She loved him and Keith loved her, but he was struggling with a past that was very hard to overcome. In 2008, Keith’s aunt turned to Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH) and Cameron Boys Camp.

In the beginning, Keith struggled with the structure of BCH’s residential wilderness program, but soon he realized he needed the structure to focus on his problems. Keith experienced hope and healing at Camp.

“Camp was a great thing for me,” he says. Keith is very grateful for the relationships he established with the other boys and especially the relationships he built with the camp’s Chiefs. Keith knew of God before going to camp, however, he had not accepted Christ into his heart. One night he did and Keith’s life was changed.

Keith lived at Camp for two years, moved to Oak Ranch in Sanford, and later came to live at Mills Home in Thomasville. The encouragement he has felt from the significant mentors in his life has helped him reach far beyond his doubts, pain, fear, and confusion. These special people have helped him to believe in second and third chances. They have been his advocates and have cheered for him, taking every opportunity to offer encouragement as he overcame obstacles.

You also have been among his best cheerleaders. You help sustain this ministry through your faithful support – enabling us to care for the Keiths today and for the Keiths that will need BCH tomorrow.

Last summer, Keith was part of a mission team that partnered with a street ministry in Vermont. As part of the mission trip, they served at a homeless shelter where Keith had the opportunity to give back. It was during this time that he realized he had a gift for helping younger children. Keith does not know what his future holds, but he realizes God has given him this gift for a reason. Keith claims Jeremiah 29:11, which reads, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

In a few days, Keith will receive his diploma. He will hear the cheers of encouragement and support of his houseparents and cottage mates loudly express pride and joy in who he has become and the obstacles he has overcome. You make it possible for our encouragers to be there every day for Keith – and I thank You!

Keith is impacted by strong role models at BCH. “I see Chiefs and houseparents use their gifts to help others,” Keith says. “They do things for other people not expecting anything in return. I want to be like them. I want to be known for standing up for what I believe in, too.”

On graduation day, June 8th, please take a moment to celebrate, applaud and pray for Keith and the other young people in care who are experiencing this milestone and healing transformation in their lives. Pray for Keith as he continues his journey. Continue to be his cheerleader and encourager through your prayers and financial support. Keith and hundreds of children in BCH’s care need You!

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