"And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” Luke 2:52 (KJV)
Transitions are not new to any of us. Every person and all families have experienced a transition or two over time. For some families, everything is in a constant state of transition. In Luke 2:52, we are reminded that even Jesus found himself in transition as He grew. He grew in wisdom, grew physically and in relationship with others. Many times we think of transitions as something that moves us physically from one place to another but many times those transitions are the small things that actually prepare us for something larger down the road.
At Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children, we find ourselves in the midst of transitions on several levels. As you may be aware, December saw the transition in the president’s office as Tony Kennedy retired after 20 years. On December 30, Steve Childers announced his retirement as director of communications effective March 31, 2017. Steve has been in this position for 22 years. On January 6, 2017, Tandy James took medical retirement at the age of 55 after serving Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children for 31 years. The senior leadership team of Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children has and is going through transitions, but each change will allow for the Lord to lead us as we go forward. We see transitions in the physical ministry – in December, Edmond Pregnancy Resources opened its doors, seeing clients, becoming the 5th Pregnancy Center as a part of the ministry to young women and men who find themselves in an unplanned pregnancy. In 2016, Hope Pregnancy Centers celebrated 30 years of providing hope and care to families.
One year ago, we launched One Such Child. This ministry is to help provide support and encouragement to Oklahoma Baptist families and churches who seek to be active in the foster care movement and need in our state. Last year, 226 churches were helped as a part of this endeavor. Foster families and their children were able to take advantage of two Vacation Bible School endeavors and in 2017, four Vacation Bible School’s are being planned. LifeWize (the ministry inside public schools) continues to see transitions. We are currently serving public schools through a team of volunteers in both junior high and high schools, by teaching good decision making skills in OKC, Putnam City, and Anadarko. We additionally launched LifeWize in the Alva school system on February 1, 2017. Can I share with you that transitions are not just in the family of Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children? Transitions are happening spiritually. Through the ministry of OBHC, in 2016, 166 people gave their life to Christ. As the new leader of this ministry, the day we lose sight of this most fundamental transition in life, we need to get out of the ministry that God has called us to do.
Transitions in the family are experienced by everyone. Whether these transitions are of an individual nature, of a physical nature or of a spiritual nature, we must embrace these transitions as a part of God’s plan. As a ministry, we are fully aware that these transitions in our family will only propel us into the future where we can serve alongside Oklahoma Baptists to make a difference in the lives of children and their families.
Because of them,