One of my favorite times of the day is spent sitting with a cup of coffee in the morning on my porch. The sound of rustling leaves from the huge old trees, the birds adding their chorus, and no one stirring – it is the perfect start of a day. Everything is peaceful and quiet.
As I enjoyed my quiet time this morning, I smiled big as I thought of the excitement of yesterday and the awesome joy I felt at being a part of God’s amazing work at Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH). It was mid-afternoon when I received a call from Paulina, a former BCH resident. She was so excited –– and nervous. She was sending in her final paperwork to become a licensed clinical social worker.
I am inspired by the work God has done in and through her life. Her life has been filled with difficult obstacles and painful experiences. However, the pain and obstacles have not defined her life. Her faith, her determination and tenacity, her love for life and others, her many gifts are what have defined her. I am so very proud of the Christian woman she has become.
I was still reveling in the joy I experienced from Paulina’s call when I received a call from another former resident, Roberta. Roberta was so excited the staff in my office could hear her screaming with joy –– a group came to see what all the commotion was about. She was calling to say she had made an “ A” in both of her summer classes. Throughout the past weeks, she was calling concerned about how intense the classes were. She was concerned about whether she would survive.
Not only did she survive, she received the only “A” in the nursing class. I shouted with joy and my staff shouted with joy as we all celebrated. What a blessing it has been to see God at work in her life!
This morning, I am also reminded of you, dear friend, who helped to make these amazing journeys possible. It is my hope that we are able to give children who walk through BCH’s doors two very important things –– roots to keep them grounded and wings so they soar and become all that God intends.
Like Paulina and Roberta, children come to us having gone through storms. They have built tough exterior walls around themselves just to survive. Their roots, however, are surface roots and without the help they need, they will fall. They are like the trees that come crashing to the ground because they’re not strong enough to stand against fierce wind and rain.
On many of BCH’s campuses, we have huge hardwood trees that have withstood the elements for more than a century. Their roots have grown deep and strong, anchoring the trees, nurturing them with nutrients from the soil. It is my desire that our children be grounded by the love, faith and Christian values they see lived out each day through BCH’s ministry.
The first week in August, alumni will make their way to Mills Home for Homecoming. I love hearing how God has and is working in their lives. I am inspired to see their deep roots and learn how their wings expanded helping them soar. To see so many of them become loving mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, teachers, nurses, doctors, lawyers, military personnel, successful businessmen and women –– good citizens making a difference in their world. It is nothing short of amazing.
Our campuses are absolutely gorgeous this time of year. The trees are providing a shaded canopy. The crepe myrtles have been in full bloom showing off beautiful red and pink color. At night the lightning bugs put on a magnificent show. Laughter fills the air as children enjoy being children. Their roots are growing deeper and their wings are becoming stronger. When my coffee cup is empty, I step away from my porch ready for work. I end my quiet time being so grateful for roots and wings firmly established in and through God’s love and saving grace.
I hope you are passing on your legacy of caring for BCH’s children to your children and grandchildren. You show them through your love how important it is to provide deep roots and strong wings to the “least of these.”
You can leave a legacy that changes the lives of children and families! Make an online gift to BCH today.