Four years ago, a couple entered my office to share their desire to make a difference in the lives of children. This is not unusual. Ministry partners come almost every day wanting to embrace our vision of Sharing Hope. . .Changing Lives. This couple had come to a place where they were beginning to understand more fully God’s call to be faithful stewards. They felt Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH) was the place to start.
I shared the numbers of children and families to whom we provided care and how God uses the ministry of BCH for eternal impact. I shared how 80% of the children and families we serve come to us unreached for Christ. They agreed with me that BCH was a true mission field!
The couple listened intently as I shared about BCH’s various ministries. They were encouraged that we had been operating for so long – this year marks 130 years. The couple knew we cared for children and families in crisis and have provided a home for thousands of children who had experienced abuse, neglect, abandonment. But when I shared about Care House – BCH’s home for teenage moms and their babies – their eyes widened. You could see their interest rise even more as they learned that BCH operated nine homes for developmentally disabled adults. They were intrigued as I shared about our two wilderness camping programs – Cameron Boys Camp and Camp Duncan for Girls. They were even impressed to learn about BCH’s ministry to the aging – North Carolina Baptist Aging Ministry (NCBAM).
It was awesome to see God working in their hearts. They were moved by the stories of lives being transformed. However, the defining moment came when we visited a cottage on the Mills Home campus. There was a sibling group of four children ages 4, 6, 8, and 10. The 4- and 6-year-old met them at the door talking nonstop. They almost lost focus on why they were there as they began to play with the children. A teen in the cottage offered the couple a tour. I stayed in the background as the young lady went room to room sharing a typical day in the cottage. As the tour ended, the girl shared her personal story and thanked the couple for a safe place to call home.
The couple was moved to tears. They asked lots of questions, and every question was followed by: “How can we help?” As they were leaving, we bowed our heads together and prayed. They said they would call in a week to discuss their involvement. I knew in my heart that they were about to embark on an unforgettable journey as they became even stronger, faithful stewards.
The next week, I received a call. They had made their decision. “We want to give financially, but we want to give even more – we want to give ourselves.”
The couple adopted a cottage and visit regularly encouraging the boys and girls. They have also felt led by God to give one of those grab your seat gifts – several times. Whenever I try to thank them, they profusely thank me. They are experiencing the joy of giving.
Greater stewardship comes as we grow on our journey of faith and obedience. I love watching people get involved with BCH and to see God growing their hearts. It is such a joy to see them become a powerful force for the work of the Kingdom.
The needs are great and there are many places and ways to be more involved. Last year, we served 15,690 children and families. We provide caring Christian homes in 20 communities across the state from the mountains to the coast. So many needs, so many opportunities.
Each week, I receive encouragement through your giving.
A $5 gift came with a note, “I am on a fixed income. I don’t have much money, but I wanted to help the children. I pray for you daily.”
Another gift was received by phone, “I know you have lots of needs at this time, how can I help?” She sent funds to help replace a roof.
“My church has a paint team, where can we serve?” They painted our administrative building and saved us more than $20,000.
Madi Sutton is 12 years old. For the past three years, Madi has planted a garden and sold the produce to raise funds for our children. This year she raised $550. “I want to help the children have food,” says Madi.
Thank you for giving and seeking to be faithful stewards. As you give purposely, generously and joyfully of your time and resources, others will witness your faithfulness and follow your example on their journey to become more faithful stewards.
Remember a joyful giving heart reflects the image of God who “so loved the world that He gave. . .His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
To make a difference in the life of a child, donate now online.