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Graduates Overcome Obstacles to Reach Success

The months of May and June are marked by lots of graduations – preschool, primary school, high school, and university. Graduations are times for families and friends to celebrate accomplishments and for well-wishers to congratulate their graduates.

We are experiencing the joy of graduation at Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH) as well. Our May college graduates have their diplomas in hand. In a few weeks, the little ones in BCH’s Weekday Education program will march with caps and gowns and our high school graduates celebrate their time in the limelight in mid-June.

Pictures of our high school and college graduates are much like the smiling pictures of graduates anywhere – but some of these graduates you know. You’ve met them personally when they visited your church or when you came to Friends of Children’s Day or read about them in Charity & Children. They are lives you have greatly impacted. Through your love and care, you have helped bring them to this milestone.

Children who turn to us for care are diverse. They come from many locations from around the

State and they all have unique stories. There is much that makes them different, but they

all have one thing in common – each child has overcome daunting obstacles to experience success. Our graduates have reached this time in their lives by never giving up.

Paulina Burch experienced family trauma, dealt with feelings of abandonment, and stared down

self-doubt to be successful. In May, she received her Masters of Social Work from the University

of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is now helping children and families deal with the trauma in their lives. She shares with young people how God had a plan for her life and that they can know God’s plan for their own lives.

Travis Martin still suffers from traumatic stress syndrome because of the trauma and neglect he experienced as a child. Travis has overcome many obstacles and achieved so much. He is an example of what can happen when you learn to surrender each day to God. This month, Travis graduates from high school and plans to attend Liberty University and someday return to Cameron Boys Camp to help other boys.

Paulina and Travis are graduates who celebrate overcoming obstacles and reaching milestones. Some of you know what I am talking about. You have overcome serious obstacles in your life to achieve success. You know how important it is to be able to overcome adversity. You know what it means to have someone who cares and helps you along the way.

In the Old Testament, we read of a dream, of obstacles and of the One who came to help. Scripture tells the story of the exodus of God’s people from Egypt and their journey to the Promised Land. The Israelites left with such hope and high expectations for the future. But when they faced obstacles, they were also given help. Chased by the Egyptians, God provided a way across the Red Sea. Wandering for 40 years, God provided manna from heaven, healing from the bites of venomous serpents, and victory over their enemies. After much struggle and many obstacles, God helped them reach their new home.

Would it not be great to know that those graduating would never have to face another trial, obstacle or difficulty in the future? Sure, but it’s unlikely. What I do know is that God is good and sufficient to meet all their needs. I know that where there is difficulty, God will make a way for each one of them.

God used you when you responded to children in need. Many of you volunteer at one of our facilities located statewide and help in a variety of ways. Many of you give of financial resources through contributions or through your will and estate planning. Many of you regularly remember us in your prayers. And many of you have given us the opportunity to come and share with your


Every time you do that, you are a part of God’s way of helping children in our care overcome obstacles and be successful.

Look at the graduates’ faces. Spend a moment in prayer for each one. Pray that they might find the promise God has for them. Pray that when facing obstacles and difficulties, God will give them someone who believes in them and makes it possible for them to overcome. Pray that they will again celebrate reaching milestones and successes. Give God thanks for being a part of these young lives and being a part of them experiencing God’s love in real and meaningful ways.

It is springtime, a time of hope, a time of new beginnings, and a time to celebrate goals

reached! Thank you for being there for our graduates and making this day possible for them!

We are so proud of them and so thankful to you!

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