Biblical Recorder:At BCH Jennifer finds hope, reaches out
October 30 2003 by W. James Edminson , BCH Communications

Biblical Recorder:At BCH Jennifer finds hope, reaches out

| Home | NewsOpinion | Baptist Life | Baptist LifeFriday, Oct. 31, 2003

By W. James Edminson

BCH Communications

The light in the window dimmed as the sun settled behind the mountain, cooling the air of the dry summer day. The tears that had flowed uncontrollably trickled softly down Jennifer's cheeks as she laid on her stomach in her bed."I know she didn't mean to hit me so hard," 10-year-old Jennifer thought. The wounds that extended from her ankles to her shoulders ached where the yellow bell switches tore her skin. It would be weeks before she would be allowed to wear shorts or tank tops again.The beautiful, bright-eyed girl was transformed into a wounded child who suffered, not only from her physical pain, but also from agonizing questions. Why would my mom do this to me? Why won't she come and comfort me? What have I done to deserve such punishment?Jennifer was very little when the abuse began. Her mother physically, verbally and emotionally tormented her, and her father did things to her that daddies should never do to their daughters. When she came to live at Baptist Children's Homes (BCH) at age 13, she was alone ... she was lost.The day Jennifer arrived at Broyhill Home in Clyde, she was greeted by the smell of Vivian Johnson's homemade cookies."I remember going to the cottage, and I was very scared," Jennifer said. "But Mrs. Johnson baked chocolate chip cookies, my favorite, and I remember thinking, 'This is home.'"Jennifer spent her young life looking for someone to care for her and protect her. She went to live with her father to protect her from the cruelty of her mother. She returned to her mother to escape the abuse of her father. "I always thought something was wrong with me," Jennifer said. "I deserved what I was getting."When Jennifer went to Broyhill Home and nobody did bad things to her - she was surprised. But she soon warmed up to having responsible, loving adults care for her."It's hard to bake cookies for someone and slap them at the same time," Jennifer said. "I remember thinking that first day how they must really love these kids."Jennifer not only found love; she also discovered her future. She graduated from high school, attended college, met her sweetheart and began her family - a family free of abuse. Today, Jennifer and her husband Todd Shore are child-care workers at Mills Home in Thomasville. "We care for the needs of as many as 12 girls at a time," Jennifer said. "We feed them, clothe them, take them to the doctor and the dentist, enroll them in school, tutor them, accept them, encourage them, listen to them, serve as their advocates, and love them. Our days are hectic."Jennifer still has questions, but now those questions are driven by conviction. "If we weren't here everyday doing what we do, then where would these girls be? If it were not for Baptist Children's Homes, what opportunities would they have?" Jennifer asked.Jennifer has not forgotten the pain she experienced as a child, but she has been able to move beyond those experiences to reach out to other children who need help. "I know the ministry of BCH works. It's made all the difference in my life."At Baptist Children's Homes of North Carolina, people like Vivian Johnson and Jennifer and Todd Shore work to make a home for boys and girls. They are committed to the daily task of offering hope and healing to hurting children.| Home | NewsOpinion | Baptist Life |

10/30/2003 11:00:00 PM by W. James Edminson , BCH Communications | with 0 comments

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