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Bringing hope and shelter amidst life's tumultuous storms

I listened anxiously as the weather report announced a stormy forecast. High winds, excessive rain and threats of a possible tornado were reported. Several businesses and homes were devastated. It was heart breaking.

News reports of families displaced made the morning news the next day. As I listened, it was amazing to hear the hope expressed by those impacted. They talked about the blessings, not their losses, and how they would rebuild their homes, their businesses and their lives.

As I learned about the effects of the storm and heard the hope expressed by the families who had experienced the storm, I thought of those served at Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH) and pondered how hope makes the difference.

BCH is about sharing hope… changing lives. But what does this mean?

The children BCH serves have all been through tumultuous storms in their lives. When Sedrick was a small boy he was locked away in a closet for hours. Like pouring rain, the anger and abuse seemed unrelenting. The flood of emotions during and after the turbulent events were almost more than he could bare.

Ellissa’s storm came in the form of abuse inflicted by her mother’s boyfriend. There was no one there for this precious little girl to protect her, love her and provide a safe shelter from her storm.

What do you say to a young boy whose mom needs a “fix” more than she needs him? Kevin wanted to be home with his mom, but that was not to be. Her storm came in the form of addiction that spiraled out of control like a tornado engulfing her life and the life of her child.

Jamie resorted to stealing to have enough food. In an effort to escape the storms at home and find acceptance, he joined a gang. He was vulnerable, lonely, hungry, and frightened. The gang promised to take care of him. When he wanted to escape street life he felt he had no options. Jamie had nowhere to turn.

We cannot take away these children’s pasts, but with your help we can give them a sunnier future. We cannot make the bad memories go away, but we can provide them with plenty of good experiences that will make joyous new memories. You help us rebuild lives. Because of you, each child can know hope – a hope of a future after the storm. Because of your love for God’s precious little ones, we are here to love and protect them from the storms. Thank you!

With summer comes opportunities to create new memories – wonderful memories children will carry with them forever. Many of our children will play in the ocean for the first time. Many will devour their first scoop of homemade ice cream. They will play hours of softball and catch their first fish. They will learn to swim. They will dig in the dirt, plant flowers and experience God’s wonderful creation. They will feel the warmth of the sun on their faces and love in their hearts. They will experience the gospel shared by caring Christian staff members. In the aftermath of the storms, there will be hope and lives will be forever changed.

How can God forget the way you show your love for Him by helping His children?

In Hebrew 6:10-11, we find: “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized.”

You bless children when you give to help meet the needs of those God has called us to care for each day. Some make gifts of cash and others give gifts of stock or property. There are those who give of their time as volunteers. Still others make planned gifts through gift annuities, insurance policies or by including BCH in their wills.

You are a blessing of hope.

For those children, individuals and families we serve, you are the lifeboat in the midst of their storm. Thank you!I would love to hear from you. Call me at 336-689-4442.

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