A Close-Knit Community
By Catherine Finch
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow.” – Ecclesiastes 4:9-10a
Eliza* has found good community at Baptist Children’s Home, OKC (BCH). Growing up, she did not have a community who cheered her on to make decisions to set her up for success. She lived in a town with a strong drug presence, and Eliza became addicted to drugs at an early age. After spending six months in rehab in 2020, Eliza arrived at Baptist Children’s Home and began the Children’s Hope program.
Located in south Oklahoma City, Baptist Children’s Home is a family-focused campus highlighting Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children’s (OBHC) Children’s Hope program. Children’s Hope was developed to help single mothers who may have limited or no support and resources. The program provides an opportunity to develop a solid foundation for herself and the children in her custody. The goal of Children’s Hope is to help families become successful and more self-sufficient by providing a safe, stable and nurturing place to live, while equipping, assisting and teaching important skills that support both the mother and the children.
When Eliza’s friend suggested she consider going to BCH after rehab, Eliza was immediately interested.
“It sounded too good to be true,” said Eliza. “At first, I thought it might have too many rules, but my friend only had good things to say about Children’s Hope and the campus. She said she wished she had never left.”
The community Eliza has found through Baptist Children’s Home stretches beyond the walls of the cottage she shares with a family advisor and other single moms and their kids. Eliza has found a sense of belonging at Moore Norman Technology Center (MNTC), her job and church. She says the support at BCH is her favorite part of the campus, “I have never had anyone root for me in this way,” she said. “I love the ladies I live with in my cottage and the family advisors on campus. They have made such a difference in my life.”
Eliza began to take classes at MNTC once she arrived at Baptist Children’s Home. She said she had the option to either get a job or attend classes, and she knew she wanted to get her GED first. Eliza attributes her success to those at MNCT who invested in her.
“The people at MNTC are really genuine. They really care for you and want to see you succeed. MNTC gave me clothes for job interviews. They gave my kids Christmas presents, and they still send me gas cards. They believed in me and gave me the confidence I needed to finish.”
Once Eliza graduated from MNTC she started working for the same rehab center where she lived for six months in 2020. Eliza said she was excited at the opportunity to return to the place that had helped her out and led her to Christ. “My coworkers tell me I can provide the ladies who are in rehab with a unique perspective,” said Eliza. “I know exactly what they’re going through, and I can understand them in a way others can’t. I love the opportunity I have to encourage them as I work.”
Eliza has four children. During her time at BCH, she has regained custody of two of them and lives on campus with three out of her four children. Every Monday through Friday, Eliza wakes up at 5 a.m., helps her kids get ready for the day and then drops them off at daycare by 6:30 a.m. Eliza works from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day and spends the evenings with her children or taking classes through Children’s Hope on campus.
“Being here at Baptist Children’s Home in this close-knit community makes all the difference in the world,” said Eliza. “The faith-based community living here is so important to me. My kids are being exposed to Jesus at such an early age. I’m trying really hard to give them a better life than I had.”
*Name changed to protect their privacy.