It won't be easy, but it will be a joy...

Jake and Tracy have been BCH houseparents in St. Louis, Michigan for over a year. God has used their love for children  in many different ways for much of Jake and Tracy’s lives until they felt His call to be houseparents. “It’s the most fulfilling thing we’ve ever done,” Tracy says. “Every child is unique. Sometimes a child needs to hear bold truth. Sometimes he or she just needs to be held. The challenge is to understand what direction to love children so they can see the love of Christ through us. We all have a common bond – the need for Jesus.”

Life with eight children, ages 9-19, sends the family down many paths. There are daily devotions, monthly outings just for fun, roller skating, biking and at least one camping trip. The kids all take part in individual chores, which include cooking, cleaning, and laundry. “They’re learning life skills,” Jake explains, “and we’re all making memories."

Everyone experiences challenges in a group home. For Jake and Tracy, it was leaving their comfort zone in the pastorate. For their own children, Anna (14) and Levi (11), it was learning to share a bedroom with a BCH child. “This is not foster care,” Tracy is quick to offer. “This is a home, and everyone makes adjustments.”

Recently, Anna had heart surgery. There were some tough days as they waited for Anna’s improvement that might not come. She is doing much better. The experience brought all of them closer, as the kids saw Jake and Tracy responding in faith. They all prayed for Anna. What prayer requests and comments are on the Lawsons’ hearts?

· Thank you for your prayer and support. We ask for your continued prayers for spiritual growth for the children and for us to be used as instruments.

· We pray for more homes and more houseparents. Your prayers help us grow and share our testimony.  “If God lays it on your heart to be houseparents or relief parents, DO IT!” Jake says. It won’t be easy, but it will be a joy.”

When asked about BCH ministries and staff, they said that BCH has exceptional administrators and staff. They encourage us, make us feel at home, and their bottom-line message to us is: “We’re here with you.” We’ve built friendships through their visits and training. Bill Brittain (BCH President) makes it clear to us that BCH is willing to accept people as they are, and BCH is willing to grow and learn with us.

When Jake, Tracy, other houseparents, relief parents, and the staff talk about Baptist Children’s Home, whom do they mean? They mean every person who has ever prayed for the ministry, given of their time, donated money, participated in the Bike-a-thon, donated to the Food Shower. BCH is YOU! As God leads the Lawsons in ministry, you are their partners. As Jake put it: “A big thank you."

            — Kathryn Bardolph, BCH volunteer writer

You can receive monthly updates from the Lawsons or from one of our other Baptist Children's Home families.  Learn more about becoming a CareShare partner and learn about the daily life of each member of the family.