A Ministry of Impact
The mission of Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children (OBHC) is to demonstrate God’s love by providing hope through empowering children and their families to follow Christ. OBHC has three residential campuses that provide child-focused care for children in need of a home and two residential campuses that provide family-focused care. Through the ministry of Hope Pregnancy Center, OBHC provides support and resources to young women facing an unplanned pregnancy.
Zachary lives at one of the campuses with child-focused care. When he first arrived at the campus a year or so ago, Zachary was nervous and unsure of what to expect.
“I had never been to a place like this before,” he said. “I did not know what it would be like and what I was going to do here.”
For child-focused care, children eligible for placement include ages ranging from 6-18, and those with disciplinary problems, abandonment, unsafe living conditions or parents or guardians unable to care for them.
Up to eight boys or eight girls are placed in a cottage-style home, under the supervision of a husband and wife serving as houseparents. Children enjoy day-to-day life together, from meals, to activities, chores and homework.
Now, Zachary has settled into life on campus. When asked about what his day-to-day routine looks like, Zachary detailed a day full of school, Bible studies, chores and programs. He especially enjoys the horse program on campus. In the program, the children on campus learn about horses and how to take care of them from a certified teacher.
“I’ve learned how to be around horses in a safe way,” said Zachary. “My favorite part about working with the horses is riding them and then getting to groom them.”
Zachary also enjoys the daily on-campus Bible studies. His cottage is currently reading through the book of Matthew. “It is kind of confusing how Jesus lived his life,” said Zachary. “His lifestyle is so different than what I’m used to.”
During his time at the campus, Zachary has grown in how he treats his houseparents, the other children on campus and his family back at home. Zachary noted that he wants to be more respectful to those around him, and he makes a diligent effort to live his life in a way that honors Jesus.
Zachary has found comfort and security in the love and encouragement of his houseparents, and he says he knows they care for all the children in his cottage. Much like his own parents, Zachary knows his houseparents want what’s best for him.
One of Zachary’s favorite things to do with his campus is to help with the “petting zoos” they host at different events or churches. They bring animals from the campus and let people interact with the animals. He loves telling people about the animals, specifically, the miniature horses, and seeing their expressions when they see the animals for the first time.
“I love getting to interact with people who have never seen a horse in person,” said Zachary. “At one church, a lady started crying because she was so happy to see a horse for the first time. It made me feel really special to know I was able to share that with her.”
Zachary is excited for his future. He is excited to reunite with his family and take what he’s learned from OBHC and his houseparents and apply these life lessons in the way he interacts with others. OBHC provides opportunities for growth, a safe space to wrestle with challenges and hope through the love of Christ. Your participation in the Mother’s Day Offering impacts children like Zachary and makes this ministry possible. Thank you!