A Head Start

by Angela Sanders, Freelance Writer

“Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths.” Psalm 25:4

Reserved, but sincere, fifteen-year-old Cody is enjoying the peaceful, ordered life he’s found at Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children (OBHC). Although he could probably go home if he wanted, Cody plans to “finish things out” right where he is. “I’m doing well here,” he explains. “I don’t want to mess up what God is doing.”

Cody is a history enthusiast who reads and watches documentaries just so he can learn a little bit about everyone. He is reluctant to talk about his own past and the family problems that brought him to OBHC. Understandably, he’d much rather focus on the fresh start coming to live at OBHC four years ago afforded him and the positive changes his new surroundings have made possible in his life.

“When I first came here, I didn’t know what to think about it,” Cody admits. “When I got here, I thought it looked fun because there was so much to do, but as time went on, I realized it was a really awesome place to be. Living here has changed who I am. People didn’t always like me before. I was pretty negative, but I’m not that way now. People enjoy talking to me and being around me.”

Cody attributes the outward change in his personality to an inward change brought about by the Holy Spirit as a result of his salvation. “I got saved when I was ten,” Cody says. “My houseparents took us to church and they had been talking to me about putting my faith in Jesus. Then some other pastors joined in the conversation. During a church service, I made the decision to accept Christ, and it’s made a big difference in the way I think and react to different things, especially people.”


Not only did Cody’s houseparents introduce him to Jesus, but they continue to encourage and foster his spiritual, emotional and social growth. “I really like them,” Cody says, a half-smile breaking through his rather serious demeanor. “They’re always ready to help me if I need it. They lay down specific rules in a way everyone can understand so it’s easy for us to follow them and do what’s expected. They’re organized, positive, outgoing and active, so it makes us want to be that way, too. They do devotionals with us, keep us in church, let us go on mission trips and do mission projects. It’s a great atmosphere for us.”

Convinced the time he has spent with his houseparents has equipped him for the future, Cody is looking forward to it. “They have taught me a lot of life skills,” he continues, “like manners, respect and how to approach people when I need to talk to them. They’ve taught me the importance of good grades and how to be organized. Those are all things that might have been missing if I hadn’t come here. Learning how to be a better person is much easier if you get to do it early.”

Someday, Cody hopes to become an aeronautical space engineer and earn a mention in the history books he enjoys reading. “Aeronautical space engineers design and build rockets to send people to space,” Cody explains. “My grandfather used to be one and he told me stories. He didn’t build the equipment, but would sketch them up and other people would build them. That sounds really interesting to me.”

Cody hopes to get the education necessary to reach his professional goals at the University of Oklahoma, but in the meantime, he’s content to learn what he can from his houseparents and the countless other caring, Christian adults at OBHC. To those whose financial gifts have afforded him the opportunity to do so at his own pace, Cody offers his thanks. “I’m very grateful for those who give and the home they’ve provided,” he says, eyebrows raised for emphasis. “They keep helping us be able to do more stuff and providing homes for more kids to live. It’s great. It makes us feel loved, cared for and teaches us to stay positive and keep moving forward. They don’t stop, so we don’t stop.”