With the Georgia Baptist Children’s Home and Family Ministries sesquicentennial anniversary just two years away, they continue to be successfully engaged in “tearing down walls [and] building up lives.” That is the theme for their special emphasis on this Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 10, when Georgia Baptists all across the state will observe Children’s Home Day by praying for this remarkable ministry and giving a generous offering for this strategic ongoing work of God.
As I thought about the theme I began to think of the great significance of “tearing down walls.” Joshua and the people of Israel had to march around the walls of Jericho the prescribed number of times in order to continue their conquest of the land God had promised to them. With the Berlin Wall as a backdrop, President Ronald Reagan stood at the Brandenburg Gate on June 12, 1987 and told Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev, “Tear down this wall!”
While some walls can provide security and protection, other walls are barriers. When we get frustrated, we “climb the wall.” When we get tired, we “hit a wall.” When family members are refractory or contrary, they may even “drive us up the wall.” When children refuse to pay attention, it is like “talking to a brick wall.” Joseph Fort Newton said, “Men build too many walls and not enough bridges.”
The GBCH&FM has been “tearing down walls and building up lives” to the glory of God for a very long time. They take orphans, children from broken homes, children at risk, those with special needs, human trafficking survivors, and kids coping with dual diagnoses; and the staff patiently, lovingly and redemptively tear down the barriers that isolate, endanger, and threaten the wellbeing of children.
Once the barriers (walls) are removed, the work of rebuilding the lives of the children and youth can begin. Hundreds of children and youth become a part of the residential program provided by the agency. Others become a part of the foster care program and are placed in homes with loving and caring families. (Interested families can get involved in this program).
The testimonies that come from the children who have benefited from the spiritual, physical, and emotional nurturing of our GBCH&FM is awe-inspiring. Lisa, who is headed off to college to pursue a career in nursing, explained, “The staff [at the Baxley campus] has shown me structure, etiquette, and have helped to make me a Christ-following woman.”
Ja’Quan, also a resident of the Baxley campus, is graduating this month from high school plans with to go into the Army and then become a police officer. He testified, “My life has changed so much since coming to GBCH&FM. I’ve learned to keep my head up, heart open, and mind clear to be the best version of myself that I can possibly be. I am putting God first from here on out on anything that I do. Because of this program and staff that have been so good to me, that will never change.”
If you want to make a difference in the life of a child or youth, support our Georgia Baptist Children’s Home and Family Ministry faithfully in your prayers and with a generous gift to this ministry on Mother’s Day, May 10th.