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A New Life in Christ

Dawson's baptism celebration

Born on the west coast, Dawson possesses a laid-back, easy-going, California kid vibe – just a teenager who enjoys video games and has affinity to 80’s rock bands. However, he hasn’t always been as go-with-the-flow and respectful to authority as he is today.  By his own admission, his past includes a history of drugs, disrespect, as well a heart of bitterness struggling to come to terms with changes in his life. After bouncing around from home to home, he eventually arrived at OBHC in March of this year, looking for his fresh start.

“I want to take advantage of the opportunities I have here. Every time I moved from house to house growing up, I was always told it would be a fresh start, but I never felt like it was because of my past. Here, it truly was a fresh start.”

Dawson attended church regularly prior to his arrival at OBHC, but says he never took it seriously. “I found church as a mild inconvenience in my week.” Since being at OBHC, he has learned more about God but initially only wanted to please the adults around him, so he decided to act like a Christian. “It was really selfish of me. I only did it so I thought it would build more trust between me and the adults, and I thought I would be able to get away with stuff.” Looking back, Dawson knows now that wasn’t the honest thing to do and understands OBHC staff cares more about his heart than he realized.

He added, “I knew I was faking this relationship with God. This summer, when a missionary, Trey, came to spend the summer with us, I really connected with him.” Over the next few weeks, as Dawson listened to devotions and had discussions with Trey about what it truly looked like to follow Christ, Dawson asked Trey how to make the decision real in his life. It was then that Dawson gave his life to Christ and professed his faith in a genuine way. Trey had the privilege to baptize Dawson in front of his peers and staff in a meaningful act of obedience to walk in the newness of life God has prepared for him. “Now, I’ve learned to have a different mindset.” Dawson knows this time is different.

“I still struggle, but now I understand I can pray about stuff and know God will help me and be with me through life. There’s a maturity to acknowledge my sin I didn’t have before. I actually have a desire to read my Bible and pray. It doesn’t mean life will be easy, but I know this time it’s real.”