Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children

 

Endless Possibilities

"…He leads me beside quiet waters." Psalm 23:2

LukeAn old soul, with deep dimples and a flare for the philosophical, twelve-year-old Luke approaches life with objectivity born of experience, optimism born of faith, and gratitude born of adversity. Now that he and his mother are safely settled into Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children (OBHC) as participants in the Children's Hope program, this young man of the house is free to explore, develop and use his God-given gifts, free of the adult-sized worries that once threatened to squash him.

"When I was very little, me and my mom lived in Texas," Luke begins. "She was in college and had a job, but we didn't have a car. We took a train. We walked. Then we lived in shelters. Finally, I went to live with an aunt for a couple of years while she got back on her feet. She met someone who let me come live with them in Oklahoma. When he left, it was just me and my mom like before, but I was okay with it. I believed in God because he brought us together again."

When Luke was in fourth grade, he and his mother were evicted from their home. "We lived in condos that were miserable. I was so glad when Mom interviewed and we got to come here to OBHC," says Luke, relief in his expression. "I've got a roof over my head and my mom doesn't have to worry about so many bills. It's nice not to have to stress about that for a while. My mom's in school getting training so she can get a good job, training she couldn't afford on her own because it's so expensive. She's saving money for a home of our own." Luke smiles. "That's all really good stuff."

Luke has big plans for his own future as well. "When I'm older, I'm planning to enlist," Luke says. "I feel like that's a good thing for me and my country. I haven't really had a lot of men around to look up to, no big brothers close, so I've been trying to get to know people here who can be a good influence on me. I just want to continue that when I'm older."

For now, Luke is squeezing every drop of happy out of his current situation. "The kids here get to do some really cool stuff," Luke says. "I got to go on a mission trip to Louisiana and learned to drive a gator, which is kind of like a dune buggy. We went to the Duck Dynasty shop and I got really cool sunglasses with the Duck Dynasty logo on them. I learned to use a weed eater and cut down trees and went swimming. It was awesome! Christmas here is cool, too with the parties and the presents. I have also done the Style Show twice. I even got to go to the capitol once and see the courts and how they make bills and laws.

Since he came to OBHC, Luke's confidence and creativity have flourished. "I'm really not that complicated," Luke explains. "I mean, I'll never be the kind of teenager that goes to parties and gets in trouble. Just give me a hill, some stars and some time by myself and I'll be happy. I do have a great sense of humor, though. I'm also an artist. I love Batman, so I have stacks of Batman drawings, and I think I've really improved over the years.

Willing and grateful students, Luke and his mother attend Monday night classes on the OBHC campus. "They teach us about the Bible, money and other important things," says Luke. "I think it's going to help. I really do. You know, sometimes, my mom and I drive through neighborhoods and she tells me we'll have our own house one day. I believe her, and I'm excited to get there. One step at a time."

Luke continues, "For now, I'm just happy Mom and me can be where we are doing what we're doing. She's at the top of her class right now, learning how to take care of the elderly. Of course, in my book, she's top of her class in everything! We do have arguments, but we'll never ever separate again." Luke's throat catches. "I get emotional when I think about it. I've lost a lot of people in my life, and I don't want to lose her again."

To those whose financial gifts have made it possible for Luke to enjoy childhood under the same roof as his mother, he offers an emotional thanks. "You've definitely blessed us," Luke says, "in ways you'd probably never guess. I'm interested in learning things now, like martial arts. I enjoy getting exercise and being with people. Before, all I wanted to do was sleep because I didn't see the point in starting anything. Now, I wake up at seven o'clock ready to get started with my day because I feel like everything's going to be okay and anything is possible. Thank you."

June 2018


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