Are you ready to be astonished? Last year, you and I as North Carolina Baptists touched more than 94,000 lives offering hope and refuge through the ministry of Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH). And, in the past five years, we praise God for 669 professions of faith!
These numbers represent children, family members, single moms, aging adults –– countless people who have been ministered to throughout BCH’s 23 statewide locations and orphanage in Guatemala.
You aren’t the only one who is astonished. I rubbed my eyes several times making sure these incredible numbers weren’t simply a dream –– but we serve a God who is able to make the biggest dreams come true.
God has grown BCH from a single orphanage in Thomasville to a network of ministries that reaches the tiniest baby at Good Shepherd Children’s Home in Guatemala to the aging adult served through North Carolina Baptist Aging Ministry (NCBAM).
Baptist Children’s Homes is many ministries beating with one heart –– the heartbeat of Christ. Jesus is at the center of everything accomplished.
Throughout 134 years of ministry and growth, we’ve depended on North Carolina Baptists –– people like you –– for prayer and financial support. During these years, you have helped offer hope and healing to children and families whose lives have been shattered by neglect, abandonment, abuse, drugs, alcohol, and family crisis.
Each fall is our Annual Offering season. It is a vital time for our ministry. During these months, BCH staff members speak in hundreds of churches sharing how God, through your support, is changing lives.
Our scripture for this year’s offering, Jeremiah 29:11-14, is a favorite of our children:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.”
It was a dark time for many Israelites. Exiled and living in Babylon –– far from their homes in Jerusalem –– the prophet Jeremiah sent words reminding the exiles that God had not forgotten them. In fact, He had a plan that promised to put an end to their sorrows.
Torn from home and hearth, temple and kingdom, these people living in Babylon were challenged to see a vision of the future that was far different than what they were experiencing.
The boys, girls and families we serve at BCH know what it is like to be held captive by fear and loneliness.
Jeremiah’s words offer comfort and encouragement to a child who feels her future is destined to only repeat her past. But when a child comes into care, these words are hard to comprehend.
For a child who has not worn clean clothes, eaten regularly or slept in a warm bed, “plans to prosper you” are foreign. For a child who has watched drugs rob him of his parents, or a child who has been repeatedly mistreated and abused by those who are supposed to love and nurture him, the words “not to harm you” don’t make sense.
You can see the hopelessness in their eyes. But like those who were in captivity in Babylon, Jeremiah’s words offer boys and girls great hope: “Don’t give up, God’s got a plan for you! A plan filled with hope for your future.”
At Baptist Children’s Homes, we offer hope based on our belief that God has a plan for the children and families. It is a plan friends and supporters help make a reality through faithful prayers and generous gifts.
Today, as the BCH heartbeat grows stronger and stronger, we continue to depend on you. We depend on you to help care for children. We depend on you to help meet needs of the frail-aging and our residents with special needs. Every year, hundreds of lives are changed. Thank you for being an extension of God’s love to everyone we are privileged to serve.
Article Written by Brenda Gray, Executive Vice President, Development & Communication
You can help make a difference in the lives of children served by Baptist Children's Homes of North Carolina! Make an online donation today - click here to send your gift!