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New Life, New Beginnings
Feb 01, 2012
While the new year is young and many of us have been able to keep all of our new year’s resolutions (so far…), isn’t it great to be reminded that we serve a God who offers us new beginnings? 2 Corinthians 5:17 offers us the promise that “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are new.” Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes & Family Ministries tries to show the children in our care that through Christ, they can have a new beginning without regard to what they have experienced. Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest states that, “Being born again from above is a perennial, perpetual, and eternal beginning; a freshness all the time in thinking and in talking and in living, the continual surprise of the life of God.”
Just as Christ offers us new life and new beginnings, and we all find ourselves desperately in need of exactly that, so our entire staff longs to share with each of the children in our care that free gift of grace and new birth available only through a relationship with Jesus Christ. What joy when they are surprised by the life God offers! For all of the individuals (children and adults) we encounter in our daily ministry opportunities, we remain convinced that the most important thing we can do for them is to love them and to introduce them to the Author of love.
For the past four decades, we have had the privilege of seeing love and service modeled right before our very eyes by Paul Miller. Mr. Miller will officially retire as President/CEO of the Children’s Homes after a long and fruitful career on January 31, 2012.
As we face new beginnings in our ministry with new leadership, new opportunities and new directions, we pray that God will continue to surprise us with new beginnings. Chambers says that, “staleness is an indication that something is out of joint with God.” Mr. Miller has seen extensive and remarkable change under his leadership. No one could ever accuse the Children’s Homes of being stale for at least the past two decades. Twenty years ago, our Pathways Professional Counseling ministry, our family care homes, our administrative headquarters in Birmingham, and our group homes in Dothan and in Oxford did not exist. We now serve more children and families than we ever have before.
I have been told that I will be “standing on the shoulders of a giant” as I assume the office of President/CEO of the Children’s Homes. I believe that is true. I have had the privilege of watching and learning from Mr. Miller for the past 17 years, most recently in my role as a vice-president with the Children’s Homes. He has a gigantic concern for the children in our care, a gigantic passion for the ministry of Christian childcare and a gigantic love for the Lord. But even though Mr. Miller is retiring, God is not finished with the work He began through Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes & Family Ministries in 1891. He is making us new and keeping us from becoming stale. If you are not familiar with our ministry, this is a great time for you to join us as we see what God has in store for us in the years and decades to come. If you are already one of our valued partners in ministry, your prayer support, contributions, volunteer efforts and advocacy for our ministries have allowed us to become the state’s largest and most comprehensive child and family ministry. We will continue the good work God began among us 120 years ago. We hope you will join us or continue to be our partners in ministry. In Christ, all things are made new indeed!
Email your questions and comments to email@example.com.
Rod Marshall, Children’s Homes President/CEO