Giving help and hope to children
November 8 2002 by W. James Edminson , BCH Communications

Giving help and hope to children | Friday, Nov 8, 2002

Friday, Nov 8, 2002

Giving help and hope to children

By W. James Edminson BCH Communications

"My shoes are too tight," Lauren said with a laugh. "I hope I can make it across the stage tonight."

Lauren's crunched toes did not diminish the joy she felt in her heart. She was graduating from high school with honors.

But a few months earlier, this day seemed only a distant dream. Abandoned by her mother and living alone in a mobile home without electricity or heat, Lauren hurried to complete her homework before it was too dark to read her assignments or write math equations in her notebook.

Lauren and her mother had always been at odds with each other.

"I didn't really have a childhood," she said. "When I was with my mom, I didn't have a chance to be a kid. I just wanted to make her happy. I was never good enough."

Eventually, Lauren stopped trying to please her mother. Their relationship crumbled.

Returning from a weekend trip to the beach with friends, Lauren found the trailer she called home empty except for her personal belongings. Abruptly, her mother had married and moved to another town.

At first, Lauren lived with a friend, but then she returned to the trailer. Her classmates invited her to eat at their homes, shower and wash her clothes. But at night, she lay awake crying herself to sleep ... alone.

One friend's mother learned about Lauren, and she took action. Gwin Bailey, an N.C. Baptist, and her daughter, Beth, showed up at Lauren's trailer with an invitation for her to come and live with them.

A phone call to Baptist Children's Homes was Gwin's next move.

In a short time, Lauren was settling into Blackwell Cottage at Kennedy Home in Kinston. She was enrolled in school and working a part-time job.

"Living at Baptist Children's Homes has been the best thing for me," Lauren said. "They helped me establish a relationship with God. And that's very important to me."

The journey across the stage to receive her diploma marks a new beginning. This fall she is attending Chowan College in Murfreesboro.

Lauren now lies awake at night and dreams of teaching history at a college or university and smiles at the idea of being called "professor."

Lauren's story illustrates the incredible difference N.C. Baptists can make in the life of a child through Baptist Children's Homes (BCH) of North Carolina.

This year BCH's statewide Thanksgiving Offering theme is "I'm real." Lauren's story is real. The children who Baptist Children's Homes cares for are real. Like Lauren, their pain, hurt and needs are real. And because of N.C. Baptists, their hope is real. Last year, BCH cared for 1,855 children.

November is the month when N.C. Baptists collect the Thanksgiving Offering for Baptist Children's Homes. The week of prayer for BCH is Nov. 17 through Nov. 23.

Copyright (c) Biblical Recorder Inc.
11/8/2002 12:00:00 AM by W. James Edminson , BCH Communications | with 0 comments
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