Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children

 

Tan-Man’s Journey

By Janet Anderson

Tanner’s journey to Boys Ranch Town began in November 2012 when his family moved from Elmore City to Edmond, Oklahoma. His life changed in a big way with that move. At the time, they had no idea the real journey they already had begun.

The weeks before the Boys Ranch Town Rodeo in 2013 seemed normal enough but they might have been the last “normal” weeks Tanner Holman knew for a long time. In September 2013 Tanner’s parents had reached that point in ministry where they were well aware how difficult it is to be a houseparent for eight boys. Like a lot of new houseparents, they had begun to question whether or not they were accomplishing God’s goals in the lives of Tanner, his big sister, Ashlen, and the lives of the boys they serve. Tanner had no doubts. His energy, non-stop chatter, and radiant smile drew people to him and him to them. Tanner loves people and seems to never stop.

In the early weeks of September 2013, his parents, Brent and Jodi Holman, noticed that his energy had dropped, his stomach was upset, swollen, and felt rigid. Guests and staff members tried to lure Tanner from his seat in a solitary golf cart behind the grand stands at last year’s events but he just felt tired. No amount of coaxing could prompt him to join the fun.

At one point he did venture over to join his friends Noah and Colton Conrad. He crossed his arms and rested his chin on them in front of Noah and Colton’s mom, Patty. Love drew her to place a gentle kiss on his forehead because she knew he didn’t feel well.

Realizing that something just wasn’t right, a trip to the pediatrician was scheduled. Tanner’s family had no idea the journey that appointment would begin. Blood tests confirmed what they never expected: childhood leukemia. Cancer.


The whirlwind returned, and Tanner’s days were filled with tests, more doctors, extended hospital stays, CT scans, and more poking and prodding than a six-year old should ever have to endure. Tanner’s smile waned and he slept most of the day. Treatments began immediately and with it, the nausea and fatigue that accompany fighting off this disease. 

Tanner fought with all he had and later that year word came that he was in remission. Relief! But the battle wasn’t over. With childhood leukemia, the treatment plan is a three and a half-year journey even when the obvious signs of the disease are gone.

Tan-ManThis year at the BRT Rodeo we celebrate the healing process that Tanner is experiencing. More than that, we celebrate the Great Physician. We thank God for His presence and His healing hand on Tanner’s life.

This year Tanner has grown strong, participated in the Horsemanship 101 program this summer, and is with us today not just as a spectator at the Rodeo, but a participant! He is still very much in the middle of the treatment process and he still has good and bad days. But God is healing this little guy and growing him into an amazing boy who loves God and knows that his God is responsible for the healing he is experiencing.

The Holman’s no longer question whether they heard God’s call correctly when they came to BRT. They know without a doubt that He led them here not only to minister to these boys, but also to be ministered to by you and many others like you. By God’s grace and love we minister to each other. 

Tanner and his family would like to thank all of you for your prayers, for following him on his journey as it continues, for the many donations they have received and for the love that has encompassed them every day.

September, 2014

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