In this month's column, the names of the children and individuals being loved and cared for by BCH have been changed for their protection.
The words of Jesus: “I am the light of the world.” (John 8:12)
We live in a dark world – I see it and you see it every day. But your prayers and support are part of changing the world in which our children and families live today – and for eternity. Last year, Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH), with your help, lifted high the light of Christ to illuminate the journey for 21,876 individuals who came to us in need.
Thank you for shining the light of Christ into the darkness.
Today, William lives in a BCH home for developmentally disabled adults. He did live in a nursing home. While living in the facility, he was placed in a room with a repeat sexual offender who abused him on a regular basis. William was kept heavily medicated.
When William came to BCH, he was very despondent. He just sat with a blank stare and rocked back and forth. But that all changed. He was taken off the medication that made him catatonic. In a short period of time, his dedicated care givers discovered he was a teddy bear with a great personality. He smiles now, loves to shake hands, and kiss babies. With a big grin on his face, he is quick to declare to anyone that he is running for President of the United States. He is very grateful to be in a loving home with five other residents and BCH staff members who care for him.
I was alone and forgotten.
The light pierces his darkness.
Now, I am loved!
Rissa was in bondage as a young teen. Her family allowed others to force her into sex trafficking. Her life was as dark as it gets – she felt there was no way out. When Rissa came into BCH’s care, she was extremely fearful and non trusting of anyone – which is understandable. Today, she is so grateful to be in a safe place.
I was in bondage.
The light pierces
Now, I am free!
All Katy knew was a life lived around drugs. The home where she and her sister lived was unsafe. Because of the danger, they were removed and placed in several foster homes over time. Katy felt like she would never find a place where she was safe and loved.
When she and her sister arrived at BCH, Katy was angry. She kept asking herself, “Why?” Katy has fought the demon of drugs in her own life. The recent death of her stepfather due to drugs was hard for her. Katy knew she could not fight her battles alone and at BCH she found the support she needed.
Her houseparents introduced her to the “light of the world.” She still has some tough days, but she does not walk alone. She graduates from high school this year and plans on attending college. She will be the first one in her family to graduate high school.
I was broken.
The light pierces her darkness.
Now, I am whole.
Siblings Marcia, Felicia, Natasha, and Jerome are in care at The Good Shepherd Children’s Home, BCH’s affiliate orphanage in Guatemala. Their story is one of darkness and light.
Each day at the orphanage, caring staff members learn more and more about the children. First, they learned that none of the children knew their birthdays. The cut and calloused feet of Marcia was due to the fact she never owned shoes. And the children had never held a pencil – a tutor will help jump-start their education.
Marcia told the orphanage’s cook, Mayra, that she never wanted to leave because her bed was the first bed in which she had ever slept. Marcia shared how her father beat her mother when he was drunk and had begun to touch Marcia inappropriately. The father planned to marry Marcia off when she turned 12.
Felicia came with bruises on her back from her father’s beatings. The two-year-old boy’s face showed sign of bruising – the child had been thrown into a trash can.
The three girls love to help Mayra in the kitchen – they really want to please. The care givers are still working hard to rid them of hair lice and, only recently, the two older sisters smiled.
We were abused.
The light pierces their darkness.
Now, we are healed!
Police found a nine-year-old boy and his four-year-old and six-year-old sisters walking down a road. The brother asked the men, “Could you please take us to foster care? We can’t live with Mom anymore. She beats us and doesn’t feed us.”
He told the policemen that he took his sisters and left home so they would not be hurt any longer. Just as Jesus welcomed the children, we took them into our care and into our hearts. They are safe now.
We were frightened.
The light pierces their darkness.
Now, we are safe!
Thank you for being faithful stewards of all that God has given you. Thank you for sharing the “Light of the World” which shatters the darkness. Through you, each one of these lives have been changed – their world is being changed today and for eternity!
In just a few weeks, churches all across North Carolina will be gathering their BCH Annual Offering gifts. Please share these stories with your church. Thank them on our behalf and encourage them to give so that others may find their way through the darkness. For more information, call me at 336-689-4442 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Share the Baptist Children's Homes story with your church. Free offering materials for your church are available by calling 336-474-1209 or by going to www.bchfamily.org/offering