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Summertime Is the Time to Make Memories for Baptist Children's Homes Residents

Our Care House residents and their babies are enjoying the shore and God's beauty this week.

Thank you for helping to create new memories for these teenage mothers and their little ones.

According to the children at Mills Home, their first dive into the campus swimming pool signals the beginning of summer. It’s interesting to watch. Even though most are quick to jump right in, others are cautious, and a few are so timid it takes encouraging, prodding and much of the summer before they take the plunge.

Summertime at Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH) gives children an opportunity to be children. So many have grown up too quickly. They have had to learn to survive on their own. One of our young boys recently stated that gun fire in his neighborhood was “more common than hearing a door bell ring.”

Trauma robbed these boys and girls of the chance to savor the joy of swimming or running through a sprinkler on a hot summer day. Many have not experienced the “yum” factor of tasting the first slurp of a cold grape snow cone or, my favorite summertime treat, coconut ice cream.

There are children in our care who have never smelled the ocean or felt the spray from its waves. Others have never seen the beauty of a lush, green mountain canopy or felt the cool summer breeze lying beneath its boughs.

For 80% of the children living at BCH, Vacation Bible School is a new experience. You can imagine their surprise when we talk about a church coming to conduct “Vacation Bible School.” They think to themselves, “We just got out of school?”

Children who have never enjoyed good summer fun have no reference for what summer should be like for children. While we cannot erase their past, we can make a difference this summer.

I want this summer to be a time that they will remember for a lifetime – a time of making special summertime memories. Swimming, fishing, Broyhill Home’s water slide, the watermelon party during Kennedy Home Homecoming, trips to the beach and to the mountains, river trips taken by the campers from Cameron Boys Camp and Camp Duncan for Girls, Vacation Bible Schools in our churches, singing around a campfire, catching fireflies, ball games, and faces colored purple from delicious snow cones. I want them to experience it all! I know you do too!

I also want to break the cycle of trauma in their lives so when they are grown and have children of their own they will be able to create wonderful memories through special summertime experiences.

Amanda came to BCH abused and abandoned by her family. She had tried to dull the pain of her nightmares with drugs and alcohol – she knew all too well the life of the streets and trusted no one. But her life changed at BCH. It was during a youth led VBS that she accepted God’s love. She learned about His grace and began a new journey of hope and healing.

When Amanda accepted God’s love and grace, she did not jump in – she was cautious. But she decided she could trust Him and gave Him her life to transform. Today, she is a beautiful Christian woman. The cycle has been broken, and now she shares the joy of summer with her children. Because of your gifts of love, Amanda experienced God’s grace and healing, broke the cycle of abuse in her life, and learned to share Christ with others.

The girls at Johnson Cottage from Mills Home have been thoroughly enjoying their time

at the beach cottage. So many great new memories are being created this summer!

We plan summertime activities to help each child begin to heal. Children torn by crisis and

trauma need the special attention. You help provide the extra money needed to provide lifeguards at the pool, drive children to churches for Vacation Bible School, and summertime activities. Your gifts help buy bats and baseballs, athletic shoes, fishing poles, grape snow cones, and ice cream. During summer, these are some of the best investments we make in these young lives. But summer is a time when giving drops – your help now is essential. Please help.

Finally, make a new summer memory for yourself. I have a perfect idea. If you are

traveling near Holden Beach this summer, stop by Fantasy Isle Ice-Cream Shop and ask for the “Brenda Gray” special – two or three scoops of toasted coconut ice cream, smothered in maraschino cherries and topped off with hot fudge, whipped cream, and nuts. Oh, and get another cherry on top. It’s worth every calorie! Enjoy your summer!

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