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Let freedom ring as children find the light of Jesus

Sitting on my porch in the evening brings me great joy as I gaze on the stars and the moon –– watching the lightning bugs sparkle in the darkness beneath the oaks. It is amazing to watch the world light up around me.

On one such night, Riley and Luna (my pups) became restless and let me know not all was well. I tensed and then I heard sounds in the distance. Suddenly the sky lit up with beautiful colors and shapes while the sounds of fireworks echoed across the mountains. It was beautiful. All around me people were celebrating July Fourth. I watched the beautiful light show and celebrated, too.

This month, we celebrate the day that marks our beginning as an independent nation. We celebrate and honor the courage of our forefathers who had such great vision, who desired freedom.

I reflect on this night and the beauty of the fireworks and I am reminded of another night when the sky was bright with color. It was not the color displayed by fireworks. It was the color displayed by war as our flag continued to fly, being held high. It was a night when light pierced the darkness to show that “our flag was still there.” On this occasion, the national anthem was penned. When we lift our voices to sing, we remember and honor those who died for freedom.

This July Fourth as we lift the flag, with hand upon our hearts, let us remember the risk, the struggles and the price paid for our freedom, yesterday, today and tomorrow.

At Baptist Children’s Homes, we are blessed to watch as those who we provide care experience freedom. It is quite different from when they first arrive. They come from places where they are bound by fear, abuse, hunger, drugs, pain of abandonment, grief from loss, hopelessness, and sleepless nights.

Out of the night’s darkness came a call for help. Two children ages four and six were found living inside a car in a junkyard. They had gone unnoticed for a couple of months. The father had been getti