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Matching gift challenge issued to building new home

Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH) is building the Mae Home, a third home to serve impoverished and orphaned boys and girls in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.

It has only been a few short months since the second home, the Westmoreland Family Children’s Home, opened its doors and it has already reached its capacity.

Through the generosity of J.L. and Toni Bowen, a $100,000 matching gift challenge has been issued. By having donations matched dollar for dollar up to the challenge total, the couple and BCH hope to raise the additional $200,000 it will take to build this much-needed third home.

The new home will complement the ministry’s original orphanage, the Good Shepherd Children’s Home, as well as the Westmoreland Home. There are 93 boys and girls who have been cared for since BCH began serving orphans in October 2014. Some of the children were infants, only days old, and were found abandoned in rusty carts and cardboard boxes.

“It was as if they had been discarded,” says Toni Bowen. “There’s little doubt the children would have died if not for this life-saving ministry.”

The Mae Home is being named in memory of Mae Bowen, J.L.’s mother. She passed away two years ago at age 91, and left behind a legacy of love for children.

“J.L.’s mom was everybody’s mom. She was always the one who cared for children and kept the church nursery,” Bowen recalls. “No matter where she lived, everyone knew ‘Miss Mae’ and remembered her caring for them as children.”

“Miss Mae” was always the one people would call when they needed someone to watch their children or provide child care during a WMU meeting and other church functions.

“She didn’t drive, but when she would receive a call she always had someone drive her so she could take care of the children when needed,” Bowen adds. “She called them ‘her children.’”

Because of her devotion to children, the Bowens knew naming the third Guatemala home in her memory was a lasting reminder of Mae’s heart for all children.

“Through this home, her legacy lives on,” Bowen explains. “Most importantly, it provides a caring home to Guatemalan boys and girls who desperately need refuge.”

Construction on the home is beginning. The Bowens are excited to see “Miss Mae’s” legacy carry on through this life-changing facility.

“This third home will accomplish exactly what Mae Bowen always strived to do –– show children unconditional love.” Bowen says. “We hope, through the challenge gift, others will give and help us build this place where even more children can experience hope.”

Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar through the $100,000 challenge. Contact Brenda Gray at 336-689-4442 or or give online at and select “Guatemala Matching Gift Challenge” from the “Direct my gift to” menu

Article is written by Blake Ragsdale, BCH Director of Communications

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