Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children

 

Man with a Plan

“Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” Proverbs 13:20

Connor - Man with a Plan In the words of George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life, sixteen-year-old Connor knows what he’s “gonna do tomorrow, and the next day, and the next year, and the year after that.” Flipping and fingering with mindless familiarity the vo-tech badge he wears with evident pride, Connor leans back in his swivel chair and brings me up to speed with easy confidence.

“Right now, I’m in vo-tech doing automotive training,” Connor explains with authority. “I’m already certified as a technician. I can work on brakes, suspension, wheels, and tires, basically anything that doesn’t have to do with the actual engine. By the time I’m out of high school, I’ll be making $32 per hour and will be certified to work on the whole car. My plan is to go to OSU for two years after that, where you can major in a specific type of car, like Ford, Chrysler, or Toyota. When I graduate, I can work for a dealership and make a really good income.”

As together as Connor seems to be, he claims this was not the case just a short time ago. “I was saved when I was nine years old,” Connor explains. “My uncle told me about Jesus and helped me become a Christian. I was old enough to understand how to become a Christian, but not what to do with it. At ten, eleven, and twelve, I didn’t work on it, and I just sort of fell away. It put me in a bad place.”

Connor continues, “About six months ago, I decided I didn’t like the way I was living. I had developed some really bad habits and had redirected myself away from God. I talked to my mom about it. We’re really close. She said I could stay at home and work on it or that she’d find me some place to go. It was hard for her, I know. She’s always worked so hard to provide what I needed and be there for me, but I’m sure that the things I was doing were affecting her emotions because they were affecting mine. I was at the breaking point, and I knew I had to get away from everything and everyone to give myself time to change.”

“I came to the children’s homes and got back on the right path with God,” Connor says. “My house parents helped me start over. It has been a journey, but it’s been amazing. Every day, just waking up and knowing God is in my life, it makes all the difference. I don’t make bad decisions anymore. I have a smile on my face. I’m surrounded by amazing people. This place is really healthy for me.”

“I’ve seen a change in myself,” says Connor. “My houseparents say they have seen a change. My entire family says so.” Connor pauses for a few moments before continuing. “I think the devotions my houseparents do have probably helped a lot, that and hearing my housedad give devotions on Sunday at church. His words really speak to me a lot. My youth pastor, too, is only twenty-two and puts things in a way that kids will really understand it.”

“I’ve learned a lot here at OBHC that I will use when I have my own family, I think,” says Connor. “I’m the oldest guy in my cottage, so I watch over the other boys. If I see them picking on each other, I know it’s really my responsibility to correct them. I say things like, ‘Hey, let’s not do that, but let’s love each other in Christ.’ Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. Then my housedad steps in, and I get to see how he handles things. I know that will help a lot in the future to see that.”

To those who support OBHC financially, Connor offers his sincere thanks. “What you give goes a long way and does more than you think. You put food in my mouth and clothes on my back and gave me the chance to participate in activities that are good for me and work at something I’m good at. You gave me the chance to start over and drop bad habits. If it weren’t for you, I probably wouldn’t be doing as well as I am. Just being able to be here has made all the difference for me.”

November, 2015


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