The Extra Mile
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10
High school senior Nate isn’t sure what the Lord has in store for his future, but knows that he wants to spend his life admiring God’s beauty and spreading God’s Word any way possible. Given the fact that Nate is both a talented photographer and a skilled writer, the avenues by which he might accomplish these things are almost limitless.
Fortunately, Nate doesn’t need to choose a career path just yet. He still has plenty of time to develop his artistic eye and hone his communication skills before stepping out on his own, and the adults at OBHC are more than willing to support and encourage him as he explores his potential and discerns the Lord’s will for his life.It’s a comfort and blessing Nate never would have anticipated when he came to live at OBHC three years ago.
“At first, I didn’t think OBHC was right for me,” Nate explains. “I wasn’t used to structure, daily routine, and having to keep up with things all the time. It took a lot of getting used to, but once I did, I started to open up and got to know the staff. Now, I consider it a blessing that I’ve been able to be here for so long and be involved in so many other people’s lives. I do miss home sometimes. Everybody does, but I know it was better for me to move here than to live at home and keep doing the things I was doing.”
Nate continues, “The people at OBHC are really good at motivating me. Like with homework, they don’t let me get lazy, and they encourage me to keep doing my photography and poetry. They compliment me and ask me about it. They keep me moving forward. My houseparents help me grow spiritually by keeping us involved with activities at church. Like, I didn’t want to go to Falls Creek the first time, but they talked me into it. Then, last year, I rededicated my life to God. I was saved when I was really young, so didn’t really know what I was supposed to be doing. Now I know. Being a Christian is about living for Him and being a blessing to others, and I live with good examples of what that looks like. When my houseparents do our devotions, there’s just something in the way they express it, something about their tone and the inflection of their voice that lets me know they mean what they say. They prove it by caring for us like they do and being there for us.”
Nate’s mother, a professional photographer, is proud of the progress her son has made at OBHC. “She’s one of my biggest inspirations,” says Nate with a smile. “She’s a hard worker, and she does what she has to do to provide for my brother and me. She’s the one who got me my camera. She’s good at a lot of things, too, everything she tries, I think.”
Like mother, like son.
“Right now, I’m trying to take a good photograph for the PLC (President’s Leadership Conference) visual arts contest,” says Nate. “I’m not looking for a specific thing. I just kind of do whatever I think looks cool. I look at things from different perspectives and angles and see what works. I may write a poem, too. Last year, I got third place for a poem I wrote about the sanctity of human life. I tried to think about it from God’s perspective. It was all about how, no matter how hard life gets or how many troubles we have, He is there for us, forgiving us and taking care of us.”
Wherever God leads Nate in the future, whether that be down the road in his own photography studio or halfway around the world with National Geographic, he will always be grateful for his home at OBHC and the consistent love he’s been shown by OBHC adults and those who provide for him financially. “I appreciate their generosity and all they do for us so much. I’m sure every resident feels that way. They’ve helped me learn that everyone goes through struggles, but we can eventually become better, healthier people with help. It’s encouraging to know that there are people willing to go the extra mile to make sure you become the Christian you are meant to be.