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Almost Home

by Angela Sanders, Freelance Writer
Clayton


“The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” Matthew 7:25

All twelve-year-old Clayton really wants is for his family to be happy and healthy, live in one place for more than a short time, and make friends he can enjoy long-term. Thanks, in part, to the Children’s Hope ministry of Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children (OBHC), it seems Clayton will get to enjoy most, if not all, of those things very soon.

“We’ve been here almost two years,” Clayton says. “When my mom graduated from rehab, we didn’t have any money or anywhere to go at that moment, and this place was close. I think it was a good thing we came here because they’ve been teaching my mom about finances. She’s done so well she was able to move into the transitional duplexes. When she gets a little more money saved, we’ll be able to move, settle down and start our new life as a family. I’m just SO proud of her!”

Until the big move, Clayton is enjoying the benefits of living on the OBHC campus. “There are a lot of activities to do here,” Clayton says, “and I got to go to New Mexico on the Triple C leadership retreat. We snowboarded and studied different leadership topics. There was a magician who would do tricks then teach us about God. This summer, two kids from here are going to Washington D.C. I think that would be cool to do, too. We also participate in rabbit shows and the Style Show. They buy you all kinds of new clothes, like nice ones, and you get to show the people who come what you chose. It’s really cool.”

“There are also a lot of people to hang out with,” Clayton continues. “I made friends fast because I talk a lot. That’s just how I am. I’ve had to be because I’ve moved a lot. My friends are really important to me and I look forward to spending time with them.”

Clayton

Clayton is also enjoying the Bible classes offered at OBHC on Monday nights. “I used to go to church a lot when I was younger,” Clayton says. “It’s been hard to get involved in church when you move a lot or you know you’re about to move, but now we are able to stay and get involved. People sometimes ask me what I like about church. It’s just enjoyable to me. It always has been. I guess some people go because they think they have to, but I’m interested in what’s being taught.”

“I got saved not too long ago,” Clayton offers with a big smile. “I went to the Rewired Men’s Retreat at Falls Creek. We listened to a Christian comedian. After it was over, I asked my grandpa if I could become a Christian and be baptized. He asked me, ‘So are you ready to ask Jesus to come into your heart and serve Him?’ I said I was and I did it. Now I want to know even more. We’ve learned a new verse every week since spring break and learn all kinds of life lessons from the Bible. My relationship with God is stronger from studying the Bible.”

“We also learn about finances here too,” Clayton continues, “which has already helped me. We just did a budget project in school, and I had one of the highest bottom lines, partly because of what I learned at OBHC. I have never understood why people think they need to live such a high life. It doesn’t make sense to me! I’d rather do stuff that matters. All you need is what you need, you know?”

To those who have helped meet his and his family’s needs while his mother lays a firmer foundation for their future, Clayton offers his passionate thanks. “Thank you SO much! I don’t think you understand how much you are actually helping all the kids AND the adults here. What you give might not seem like much to you, but even if it’s just a few dollars a month, you can provide a meal for someone who needs it. When you combine that gift with everyone else’s few dollars, it adds up to a lot and changes people’s lives in ways you can’t imagine…big, BIG ways!”