In recent months, we have seen so much tragedy played out before our eyes. A pandemic, forest fires, hurricanes, and violence have been a part of our daily news. We hear a lot of bad, but I want to remind you of some good––the good that we at Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH) have seen shared over and over again. Amidst these challenging times, there have been so many acts of courage and kindness.
When BCH needed food, you sent food. When we needed funds to keep our doors open, you sent gifts––and they made the difference. When we needed a building that was destroyed by fire torn down and a new foundation laid, God sent the right team. When we needed protective pandemic masks, God used you, His church, to provide them. When we needed encouragement, God placed it on your hearts to send hundreds of encouraging cards.
In the spring, we canceled BCH’s “Ride to Clyde” event––but the riders did not give up. On a rainy day in October, approximately 40 riders made their way to Thomasville to deliver some good news––they had raised a record donation of more than $90,000. Last week, we received 70 bushels of potatoes raised by Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Hughes––a precious couple from the west. This past week, trucks bearing thousands of pounds of food, cleaning supplies, and paper products arrived on our campuses at just the right time. Each and every gift was good news and so incredibly appreciated.
God raised up so many to be His light in this darkness. To each of you who were able and willing to answer His call, thank you! We have witnessed countless examples of extraordinary commitment and courage. Thank you!
On November 11, Baptist Children’s Homes celebrates 135 years of caring for the “least of these.” Through the years, there have been times of tragedy––the polio epidemics, the flu pandemic of 1918, and the Great Depression. There were times of scarcity and questions of whether there would be enough food to feed the children. In recent years, hurricanes caused flooding and ice storms wreaked havoc on our campuses. The sustaining constant through these times has been God’s people. In times of need, God used people like you to sustain us.
In a few weeks, churches across North Carolina will be gathering the annual Thanksgiving Offering for Baptist Children’s Homes. Through these gifts, God’s people will once again sustain us and enable us to continue to open the doors of hope to those who have only known hopelessness.
Because of you, the door of hope was opened to Jennie whose mother abandoned her when she was two years old.
Jacob and Jesse lived in a car. Their dad spent what little money he had on drugs and alcohol. For the brothers, hope came by way of loving houseparents.
Because of you, hope came to a fourteen-year-old and her precious baby. You opened the door of hope to two sisters who had been physically and sexually abused since age five.
Hope is being offered to a precious little girl as she cries for her mother who is in prison.
Because of you, these children found security, a warm bed, clean clothes, food, and lots of love on their journey to hope and healing. In the midst of a pandemic, you offered hope to more than 107,000 individuals who were impacted through BCH.
As we come asking you to once again sustain us through our annual offering, I am reminded of a letter I received several years ago from a pastor. He wrote telling of three boys who had given to that year’s Thanksgiving Offering. The boys were ages 4, 8, and 9 and lived with step-grandparents. He wrote how the boys anxiously waited for the church van every Sunday––they loved coming to church. Each Sunday, the pastor talked about the Thanksgiving Offering and enthusiastically challenged the congregation to meet their offering goal. The boys understood broken homes and the lack of food and clothing. They knew heartache––witnessing their daddy being killed during a family quarrel.
The letter told that when the offering envelopes were distributed, each of the boys took one. The next Sunday, the church van stopped for the boys, but they were not there. The church offering that Sunday of $246 was quickly mailed to the Baptist Children’s Homes.
The following Sunday, the boys were waiting for the van––ready for church. As the pastor opened the van doors, he recalled that the boys were carrying their offering envelopes. Two had envelopes containing one dollar each. The third had two worn one dollar bills. The oldest boy, with tears in his eyes, placed his two dollars in the offering plate and told the pastor, “We wanted to help the children.” Another child who had witnessed what the boys had done, left his seat to place a gift in the offering plate. And then an adult and another adult came forward and another. Their offering grew. The letter closed with theses words penned by the pastor: “The offering of these boys is the epitome of what Jesus meant about the widow’s mite in Mark 12:42-44.”
The scripture says, “and a little child shall lead them.” I continue to be moved by the example of these three boys who wanted to “help the children.” It is my hope that we will follow their example by giving our widow’s mite, whatever that may be.
We witness miracles every day. We feel so blessed to be a part of this ministry and are so grateful for those of you who give to make it possible. We do not take it for granted. We recognize your widow’s mite. We are grateful for every dollar, every penny you give to help those in our care. Thank you for making sure our doors of hope and healing stay open.
Have a blessed and meaning-ful Thanksgiving and know that we are giving thanks for YOU!
Worthwhile Investments is written by by Brenda B. Gray, Executive Vice President, Development & Communications