Shamica was fifteen years old when she arrived at Baptist Children’s Home, Oklahoma City (BCH). “I just knew I had to get out of my house. I left the rough home life with my adoptive parents, and I was living in a shelter,” said Shamica. “I was playing pool with a woman in the shelter, and she told me I should consider the Children’s Home as an option to find a home. My caseworker set up an interview, and I was accepted to move on campus.”

A Changed Life

The switch from being the second youngest out of six siblings to being the oldest in her cottage at the Children’s Home was an adjustment for Shamica. Additionally, she was in an entirely new home structure, attending a new school, learning how to live by the rules of her houseparents and going to church on a regular basis.

“Going to church was a huge adjustment for me,” said Shamica. “My family had only ever gone to church on Easter or Christmas. So, when my houseparents started taking us to church every Sunday, I had to accept that this was my new normal. I wasn’t sure about it at first, but when I really understood sin and came to grips with my need for Jesus – that changed my whole life.”

“I credit the Children’s Home for the transformation in my life. If the Children’s Home had not given me people like my houseparents who loved the Lord and were consistent and still are consistent in their love for me, I would not be who I am today,” said Shamica. “So many people in my life had been inconsistent, but the Children’s Home showed me Jesus is consistent and he is faithful.”

Educational Encouragement

Before coming to Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children (OBHC), Shamica was not sure if she was going to finish high school, especially since she was living in a shelter. However, Shamica not only finished high school, but she graduated from Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU) with a bachelor’s degree in social work. She also received her master’s degree in social work from the University of Oklahoma and is currently working on getting her Ph.D. in social work from California Baptist University.

“While I lived at Baptist Children’s Home, OKC, the campus administrator, Mr. Rod Philips, and others played a huge role in the encouragement of my academic success, and they continue to,” said Shamica. “Kortny McGuire is someone in particular who continues to encourage me to further my education.”

Shamica and Kortny McGuire, OBHC Volunteer
Shamica and Kortny McGuire, OBHC Volunteer

Kortny McGuire met Shamica at Dillard’s in 2006. Kortny was, and still is, a vital volunteer with the Baptist Children’s Home, OKC and Boys Ranch Town, Edmond Back-to-School Dinner Event. Kortny met Shamica as they shopped for clothes for the upcoming school year. Shamica and Kortny formed a quick bond, and they continue to keep in touch to this day. When Shamica was in college, Kortny would get lunch with her and encourage her and provide a listening ear as she pursued her degree. Both Shamica and Kortny invested time and energy into their friendship, and it has only grown throughout the years.

“Shamica is such an encouragement to me,” said Kortny. “She is an overcomer and so special to me. Our relationship started out with mentoring her, but now I feel like she mentors me by the way she lives her life for Jesus. She is such an exceptional woman. The love of Jesus just radiates through her. Shamica is an example of what the Lord can do through OBHC. If only one life is changed, it is worth it.”

The Land of the Living

“Today, I am a licensed master-level social worker. I have been working as a hospice social worker for the past eight years,” said Shamica. “I have consistently loved what I do. It is such a unique opportunity to minister to people during the end of their time on earth. I get to share the hope of Jesus with them. My education and the encouragement to keep going has made all the difference.”

“The Children’s Home gave me the best gift – they introduced me to Jesus and gave me a family. Whether the Lord provides me with a spouse and kids or whether it is my relationships with my nieces and nephews, I see it as my calling to teach the generations after me about Jesus. My favorite verse is ‘I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!’ (Psalm 27:13, ESV). Ultimately, I can trust and know that the outcome will always be good. He has a perfect plan.”

“I remember crying in my closet at seven years old and praying and asking if God was real,” said Shamica. “My prayer was answered at sixteen years old when I found the love of Jesus at Baptist Children’s Home, OKC. God’s hand has been in my story even when I could not see it.”