HARRISON – Sixteen-year-old Carson* admits his life was headed in the wrong direction before he arrived at the Arkansas Baptist Boys Ranch earlier this year.
“I was doing things that I should not have been doing, ... and my life was not very good,” said Carson, one of 32 residents of the Harrison ranch, a ministry of the Arkansas Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries (ABCHomes).
Carson came to the ranch from a dysfunctional and abusive home life. At the time, he was also failing in school and hanging out with a “bad crowd.”
But thanks to the ministry at the ABCHomes’ organization, which is committed to helping change lives of children and teens in crisis, Carson now is doing very well in school and has made lots of new friends. He beams when he talks about how his life has been transformed.
“Not too many people ... like me get a second chance,” shared Carson, adding, “The ranch has provided that for me. I am very thankful.”
Providing a loving home for hurting and needy children like Carson is the goal of ABCHomes, which raises much of its support through an annual Thanksgiving Offering, traditionally observed by Arkansas Baptist churches since 1908. The theme of the 2104 offering is Together, We are Changing Lives.
“The Thanksgiving Offering is our largest annual promotion for both our churches and our individual donors,” said David Perry, ABCHomes executive director. “Together, Arkansas Baptists and our ministry have been changing lives on the same 80 acres in Monticello where we had our beginning in 1894. Lives continue to be changed at the Arkansas Baptist Home for Children on a daily, sometimes hourly basis.”
This year, an anonymous donor, in memory of James Evans, will match individual funds given to the Thanksgiving Offering.
“For every $1, up to $50,000, a matching gift will be given to ABCHomes,” said Perry. “This is an opportunity to help children through the matching gift.”
Offering promotional packets to help churches promote the offering were mailed to pastors in October. These resources include posters, bookmarks, a promotional video, offering envelopes and speaker request forms. Downloadable resources, including three versions of the offering video, can be found at abchomes.org.
For more information, contact Stella Prather at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 501-376-4791, ext. 5168. Visit http://www.abchomes.org.
Stella Prather is the director of communications for ABCHomes.
*Name withheld for