Christmas Day was a big deal for me when I was growing up. I was the youngest of eight children, and my parents bought a lot of Christmas gifts for us. When I woke up on Christmas morning, generally before anyone else, I would rush into our living room where our big Christmas tree would be sparkling in all its glory. Ten piles of presents would be strategically placed on chairs, the floor, and covering the couch. It was a present extravaganza! With all those gifts, my parents did not bother to wrap most of them. Looking closely, I could tell which pile of presents was for me because my parents knew what each of their children needed or wanted.
When it comes to God’s gift at Christmas, He knows exactly what each of us needs. We need a Savior. The gift of a Savior, that God gave us through Jesus Christ, is what we celebrate at Christmas. Our children in care also love getting Christmas gifts, but their greatest need is the Savior, Jesus Christ.
Our children come to us with various backgrounds and experiences. Some children do have Christian training and teaching; others do not. *Andrew and *Joshua are brothers who came to us with a very difficult background.
When our staff first met Joshua and Andrew, they were 11 & 12, living in one of our Safe Family homes. The host parents loved them and took wonderful care of them. They would occasionally have visits with their father.
Their dad struggled with mental health issues and some addiction. He eventually went to prison. The boys missed him but were safe in our Safe Family home. Eventually, dad was released from prison on a Friday. By Saturday afternoon we learned that dad had passed away due to a drug overdose.
After dad’s death, mom decided she wanted to try to raise the boys, so they went to live with her. Mom had not parented the boys in many, many years. Mom quickly found parenting to be a great challenge for her. She did not have the resources to parent them effectively. The boys’ behaviors were declining and mom was ready to give up.
Mom remembered Baptist Children’s Home because the boys were in our care previously through Safe Families. She called us, and we accepted the boys into one of our group homes. The boys are making progress in so many ways. We are seeing improvement academically, socially, and emotionally.
But the most exciting news came this summer.
Jeff Oswald, our Michigan Director, told us that one day this summer Joshua came running up to Jeff’s car. Joshua was smiling brightly. He said, “Guess what, Uncle Jeff! I got saved at camp!” This Christmas Joshua will be celebrating Christmas differently. He will still receive many presents, due to the generosity of friends like you, but this year he will be celebrating the birth of the Savior, his Savior.
So God, as the perfect parent, knew what these boys needed in their lives. They needed a safe, loving home, stability, and houseparents to love them. But most importantly, He knew they needed the Savior.
Will you give generously this Christmas Season? Give so we can provide our children with a memorable Christmas, but also give so we can lovingly care for children just like Joshua and Andrew all year long.
Merry Christmas, and thank you!
P.S. Your generous gift will provide wonderful Christmas memories for our children for years to come. Would you like to give in honor or memory of a loved one? Please mark it on the card provided.
*Names have been changed