“…Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6
In keeping with its commitment to train up and send “capable, caring, Christian adults” out into the world, Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children does so much more than provide for the basic physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of children. OBHC also equips them to reach their full potential and challenges them to fully embrace God’s call on their lives by providing countless opportunities for individual enrichment and growth.
OBHC’s annual President’s Leadership Conference is one such opportunity, an event eagerly anticipated by all who participate. Each year, all OBHC residents thirteen years of age and older are invited to attend this exciting two-day retreat and learn valuable life lessons the easy way. Residents who consistently demonstrate significant leadership potential throughout the year are given the privilege of spending an extra night on the front end of the conference to take part in special activities designed to inspire them.
This year, those who went early got to watch a glass blowing demonstration. “It was really cool,” says Miranda, one of the attendees, “They talked while they worked and related everything that they were doing to Christ. One thing that really stuck out to me was when they put the glass into the furnace. It was really hot in there. It taught me that sometimes we have to go through hard times, but that in those hard times, God is perfecting us and making us stronger. In the hardships, that’s where God is. In the furnace, that’s where you get soft so He can shape and mold you.”
Sommer, another attendee, was mesmerized. She adds with enthusiasm, “It was cool how they used broken pieces that other people might throw away and made it into a pretty thing just like God uses broken people to make something beautiful and brand new. I was raised around a lot of different religions. With different people, I learned to be different things. I was broken all over, but God used His power to make me one with Him. I have one purpose now, to love Him and serve Him, and that’s beautiful.”
Miranda continues, the memory fresh in her mind months later, “Another thing that stood out to me was when the guy rolled the hot glass on the table. If you just looked at it, you would think the glass was fine, but when he rolled it, you could see just how imperfect it was. You know, sometimes, we think that we are doing good, and then you hear a sermon or read the Bible and realize just how far from perfect you are. The Bible shows us what we are supposed to look like. If we compare ourselves to it, we’ll see that we haven’t been made perfect yet and let God keep making us that way.”
Both girls are already looking forward to next year’s PLC conference as well as the bonus activity on the front end. Sommer explains, “I just love being part of the whole program, the speaking and everything. It helps me be more outgoing. It prepares you to be a leader. For instance, if you are going to be a missionary, you need speaking skills. I’m going to be an agricultural missionary, so I need to be able to talk. Plus, it teaches you things you need to know, like how you can’t let your friends overpower you, but have to be your own self.”
As Miranda puts it, “God was definitely speaking to us.”
“This year, we talked about Psalm 56:3,” Sommer explains. “It tells us that when we are afraid, we can trust God, and that’s a good thing to remember no matter where you are or what you are doing.” Agreed.