Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children

 

President's Report OBHC President, Greg McNeece

Remember a Stone?

If I say to you the word “Ebenezer,” what comes to mind? Many of us would automatically connect this to Ebenezer Scrooge from A Christmas Carol. In this story, Ebenezer is associated with being miserly and one with an unhappy disposition. However, if you look to scripture, you will see this word in a different light.

Ebenezer actually means “stone of help.” To better understand this origin, one must read I Samuel 7. During this period, the Israelites felt there was no way to defeat the repeated attacks of the Philistines. So Samuel called the Israelite people to Mizpah and made a sacrifice on their behalf, asking God to provide the victory. In verse 12, it was here, Samuel took a stone, gave it the name Ebenezer, and told the people “till now, the Lord has helped us.”

Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children has many “ebenezers”. For 116 years, OBHC has been the leader in providing safety, protection, hope and provision for many children and families and is the largest non-government supported child-care provider in the state. Since the beginning, more than 11,000 have lived in one of four campuses. When children spend time on one of these campuses, it becomes home. It is a place where they can find hope and direction for their lives. Many children come to faith in Christ during their time at OBHC. While Samuel used a stone to create a place to remember the Lord’s provision, OBHC has used brick and mortar, property and most importantly people to be ebenezers in the lives of children.

However, OBHC’s impact doesn’t stop there. When we look back, we also see God’s guidance and provision in the work done for the past 30 plus years on the pro-life front in the five Hope Pregnancy Centers in the state. It is through these centers where life is protected, education is given to would-be mothers and fathers and the physical resources are made available for prospective parents. It is also where many find faith in Christ and other women find God’s forgiveness and freedom from a previous decision to have an abortion. So for these people, OBHC is an ebenezer of a different sort.

Last year, 186 people came to faith in Christ through the ministry umbrella of OBHC. This would not have been possible without God’s grace and provision, and those who faithfully support God’s work here at OBHC. In the vein of “ebenezers,” these are the true people and churches who will stand strong in these days. OBHC has been able to see the faithful provision provided through God’s people. As we seek to follow where the Lord will take us in the years ahead, we cannot lose sight of the “ebenezers” we have in our midst.

As we serve together,

Greg McNeece

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