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Every child is hungry for food, hope and love

Every child hungers for food, hope and love

Every child that comes to Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH) has one thing in common – hunger. Some are hungry for food and some are hungry for hope. Some are hungry for love and some are hungry for safety. Some are hungry for a kind word and some are hungry for a caring touch. Some are hungry for someone they can trust. Some are hungry for an opportunity to learn. Some are hungry to escape their chaos. But whatever their reason, they are all hungry in their own way.

Many of the children in BCH’s care have lived in situations where there was not always food, clean clothes, kind words, or caring embraces. Far too often, their lives have been filled with chaos, pain and hopelessness.

A child who is hungry finds it hard to be hopeful. A child who is ignored stops talking. A child robbed of affection won’t give or receive hugs. A child who experiences betrayal struggles to trust.

Children who come into our care and are hungry for food eat as if they will not eat again in a long time. I have seen a child stare at his plate as if he can’t believe the food is really for him. Some children actually put food in their pockets and then hide it in their rooms. As they begin to feel safe and secure, those that gorged themselves slow down. Those who are more timid begin to feel at home and simply enjoy the meal.

Mealtimes at BCH are about filling tummies, but it is also about more. For many of our boys and girls, food represents love, hope and security. Meals are times to offer encouragement and give loving hugs. Eating the meal prepared by their cottage parents is a perfect time to catch up on the day’s events. Meals are a time when cottage parents and children sit, listen and learn from each other. With as many as 12 children sitting around the dining room table, all experience a feeling of home. Devotions and presenting the Gospel message of God’s love, healing and hope follow many breakfasts and evening meals.

Jenny lives at Broyhill Home in Clyde. Sherman lives at Kennedy Home in Kinston. Jenny and Sherman have things in common. They both came to us this past year and they both came hungry – hungry for food, hungry for a home, hungry for safety, and hungry for ho