A True Calling: From Volunteer to Full-Time Ministry
For Darby Thompson, getting involved in ministry with Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes (ABCH) was a no-brainer.
The First Step
Darby first started serving our children in care by volunteering at the Campus Care home in Dothan. “The summer before my senior year at the Baptist College of Florida (BCF), I began looking into some possible career fields that I would really be interested in. I figured that the best way to help me decide would be to get involved and volunteer to get some experience. I knew that I loved to work with children, and I had family that worked for the Georgia Baptist Children's Home. I knew that this field could possibly be something I would be interested in working with,” she says.
Darby soon reached out to our Dothan office and started serving at the Campus Care home once a week in September 2016. She helped the kids with homework and played with them in the afternoons. She says, “I am a firm believer that as Christians we are called to care for orphans. I love what ABCH is all about and that they are a Christ-centered agency.”
Darby (far right) with Dothan staff
The Call to Go Deeper
Once Darby started volunteering with us, she fell in love with our ministry. Shortly after starting, she heard of a part-time opening for a relief house parent position at the Dothan location. “At the time, with my school schedule, I did not feel as if it was a job I could apply for. The Lord kept pressing it upon my heart, and I began to pray about the position. I got a peace that if the job was something I should look into, then if at the end of the semester the position had not been filled, I would apply,” she says.
Darby ended up applying at the end of that semester and was hired a few weeks later! She began this position in December of 2016 and graduated with a degree in Christian Studies in May 2017. After graduation, she was able to take on additional responsibilities, and now works full-time with us as relief house parent and social work aide.
Darby’s Journey in Full Time Ministry
Darby focused her practical ministry courses in children’s ministry while at the Baptist College of Florida. While at BCF, she took many psychology classes in addition to her children’s ministry courses. She feels these classes have helped her gain insight into children from a developmental standpoint. She is also confident in sharing the gospel with children because of her training at BCF.
Darby at her college graduation
Darby admits that working with kids in foster care is not always easy, but it is always worth it: “I have come to appreciate the value of family in the last several months more than I ever have before. I have come to appreciate my mother and father who raised me in a Godly home and set examples as to what a Godly marriage and family are to look like. I've come to learn that I have taken a lot for granted in my lifetime. I have learned that compassion goes a long way.”
When asked about her favorite memories in her role so far, Darby says, “I think one of my favorite aspects of working for ABCH is being able to openly share Christ with these children, whether it is through our actions or through our words. I love working for an agency that not only provides for children's emotional and physical needs, but also their spiritual needs.”
We’re so grateful for Darby’s pursuance of God’s call on her life, and that it led her to our family at ABCH. If you are encouraged by Darby’s experience working with children in need and would love to know how to get involved, we’d love to help you do so! Please e-mail us at email@example.com to learn more about how you can serve alongside us in ministry.