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Train Up a Child
May 08, 2011
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6
Robby* came to Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes & Family Ministries (ABCH) having already lived a tough life for one so young. His mother had been placed in a mental institution, which prompted his coming to live on one of our campuses.
As Paul Miller, ABCH President/CEO, recalls, the many traumas Robby had experienced, were evident in his rebellious attitude. As a teenager, he got in trouble several times for various offenses. On one occasion, this landed Robby in Miller’s office, as Miller was the campus director at the time.
After dealing with the disciplinary side of things, Miller told Robby he was concerned about not just his well-being on campus, but also his spiritual well being.
“Preach, preach, preach. That’s all you ever do,” Robby responded. “Besides, if God really loved me like you say He does, He never would have allowed all the things that have happened to me to happen.”
“I told him I couldn’t resolve all of those issues, but I knew God loved him and had a plan for him, and part of that plan was being at the Children’s Homes,” Miller says. “I also told him I’d pray for him every day.”
As time went on, Robby and Miller were able to have some serious talks about God, and Robby even asked one time, “You still praying for me every day?”
“Yes Robby, every day,” was Miller’s reply.
Robby did not become a Christian while at the Children’s Homes. He graduated high school, got a job and moved on with life. But one Thursday, we received a call from Robby. “Well, you’ll be happy to know last night I prayed to become a Christian,” he told Miller.
“Sometimes children who have been through great trauma have difficulty understanding a loving God,” Miller said. “So we have to model it for them and explain it to them at their level of understanding. It takes time.” At the same time, Children’s Homes workers never pressure a child to make a decision to follow Christ, because the decision needs to be genuine, he noted.
“Our place is to share the gospel and be genuine and authentic about it,” he said. God is responsible for the outcome.
Because of the support of Alabama Baptist churches and individuals like you, we have the opportunity to share Christ’s love daily with children just like Robby. We may not see the results of that sharing until much later in their lives, but the Scriptures still call us to plant the seeds.
Will you lead your church to join us in being “doers of the Word” through the Annual Children’s Homes Offering or budget gifts? Gifts from churches accounted for 27.59% of our operating budget in 2010, and Cooperative Program gifts provided another 2.83%.
For more information, or for materials you can use to share about the Children’s Homes in your church, please contact Kay Taylor at 1-888-720-8805 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
*name has been changed for privacy
ABCH Communications Manager