God can turn a child's mess into a message of hope
Recently while listening to a Christian talk show, I heard this: God can turn a mess into a message, a test into a testimony, a trial into a triumph, a victim into a victor.
For more than 20 years, I have seen these words lived out over and over again at Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH). Children and families who come through our doors have endured so much trauma, so much mess, and so many trials. And yes, so many have been victims––victims of every form of abuse. Their lives have been filled with mess after mess, test after test, trial after trial, and abuse after abuse.
A beautiful baby boy was born to an alcoholic mother who was a child herself, abandoned and left to die. The baby was rescued and delivered to our orphanage in Guatemala. There, he was nurtured, fed, loved, and treated as the precious gift God made him to be. Today, he is a happy, thriving child. God used you to turn this child’s story into a message of hope.
A mom fled in fear of her safety and the safety of her four children. She was befriended by ladies in a local church who directed her to us. At BCH, she and her children found an environment where they were safe. In the Family Care program, she found loving mentors who helped her lift her head and believe in herself. More importantly, they pointed her to a loving Savior. God used you to help change this mom from victim to victor.
The May edition of Charity & Children shares the story of five resilient young people who live at Odum Home in Pembroke. Before coming to live at BCH, they each had a story of trauma that God turned from a mess to a message, a test into a testimony, a trial into a triumph, a victim into a victor. They graduate from high school in only weeks and in the fall will be entering University of North Carolina at Pembroke. God used you to help turn their lives of trauma and trials to triumph.
Easter Sunday morning, children throughout BCH’s network of care woke to a new day. They rose to the smell of a good breakfast and knew they would not be hungry. They dressed in new, clean clothes and wore shoes that fit. And to their surprise, there were beautiful Easter baskets at the door of their room, gifts provided by you, our loving, caring church family.
Dressed for the occasion, the children and cottage parents made their way to church. It was the first Sunday since COVID that they had traveled to church in more than a year.
I attended Mills Home Baptist Church Easter morning. As I entered the church, two little girls ran up to twirl and show off their new dresses. Their younger brother stood behind them shy and quiet. He was handsome in new suit complete with vest. They all carried stuffed animals they were given that morning.
Pastor Randy Stewart signaled for us to take our seats, all appropriately distanced. Everyone lifted voices in song and the youth shared scripture telling the Resurrection Story. As always there was commentary from a number of our children and youth who spontaneously added their own versions. It is obvious the children are being discipled and are growing in their knowledge of the Lord.
And then came time for prayer. Little hands shot up across the congregation: “Grammy is sick.” “Pray for my family.” “I want my mommy.” “My uncle was in a wreck.” “My mom is homeless.” “My dad is in prison.” “Pray for my friend.” “Pray for my cottage parents.” “My grandma has cancer.” “Pray for my baby.” “Pray for me.”
So many prayer requests, spoken and unspoken. I know your prayers for us were lifted up that Sunday. I know you pray for us daily. We lift our hearts together knowing a great God makes it possible for these children to be here, instead of in the midst of the trauma and mess they endured.
The next day, one of our campus directors called to share the wonderful news that six of our children made professions of faith!
Because of your commitment to this ministry, you are a part of all that we do. Just last night, you shared the gospel through a cottage parent’s devotion. Just last night, you wrapped a precious baby in a blanket and rocked her to asleep. Just last night, you listened as one of our children shared their story of fear and anguish. Just last night, you wiped away the tears of one of our little ones missing her mommy. Just last night, you placed your hand on the shoulder of one of our staff as they knelt to pray.
Just last night, you helped put hundreds of children to bed with full tummies and bedtime prayers. Just last night, you turned a mess into a message, a test into a testimony, a trial into a triumph, a victim into a victor!
Thank YOU! For more information on how God can use you in and through this ministry, call me at 336-689-4442 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Worthwhile Investments is written by Brenda B. Gray, Executive Vice President of Development & Communications