I’ve got an old black and white photo of my father-in-law, Wilkerson V. Jones, standing next to Babe Ruth, one of baseball’s greatest players. Ruth of course, went on to baseball immortality and is among the sport’s pantheon of stars.
But in my book, Wilkerson went on to immortality too. His legacy is revealed in the lives he positively affected, including me. The interesting connection between Ruth and Wilkerson is that they both grew up in boys’ homes. Both had rough starts to life and it was effectively at a boys home where their lives took a turn for the better. It was people investing in them that made a difference.
Tennessee Baptists are those kinds of “investors.” Tennessee Baptists support the Tennessee Baptist Children’s Homes (TBCH) and Tennessee Baptist Adult Homes (TBAH) through their Cooperative Program giving, but they also go beyond that in supporting the Mother’s Day Offering for TBCH and Father’s Day Offering for TBAH. These two offerings are vitally important to both of these great organizations enabling them to provide compassionate, gospel-centered care to children and aging adults.
You may be unfamiliar with the foster-care crisis Tennessee is experiencing. There are more than 9,500 children in foster care across our state on any given day. Many of those children have been removed from homes due to drugs or abuse of some kind. The circumstances are gut-wrenching and heart-breaking. By God’s grace, some of those children have landed in the safe, nurturing environment the TBCH provides. If you know Greg McCoy, the president of TBCH, you know he’d love to provide a safe place for every child who needs one. Greg has positioned TBCH for a bright future that gives children the opportunity they may never have had otherwise.
And then there are those living at the far end of life, our aging adults who are in need of assisted care. These precious souls are the ones who have been referred to as the “Greatest Generation,” and the generation to whom we owe so much for the legacy they’ve left us in serving the Lord and serving our country. They cared for us and now it is time to care for them. Did you know TBAH serves more than 200 adults, both aging and exceptional (those with some type of mental disability)?
Mark Anderson is the president of TBAH and one of the things I love about Mark is the leadership he offers in treating every adult in TBAH’s care with dignity. It’s heartrending to see the effects of aging on those who we love. I grew to hate Parkinson’s Disease as it took its toll on my sweet momma. I dearly loved, and still love, the precious people who cared for her over the last year of her life. Tennessee Baptists can be proud to know that we have those same type of people serving in TBAH.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 25:40 that, “‘Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” We also know that He calls us to care for the widow and the orphan. I truly believe God has a tremendous love for those who are vulnerable and in desperate need of compassionate care, and Scripture is crystal clear that He expects us to be the ones to administer that care.
Scripture tells us that the world will know us by our love which is why I am hopeful that you will financially pour out your love generously in support of both the Mother’s Day Offering for TBCH and the Father’s Day Offering for TBAH.
And beyond your financial support, I encourage you to pray for Greg and Mark and all those with whom they work. Pray that God will bless the ministries they lead and pray that through those ministries the love of Christ will pour out on the many with whom they come in contact.
These ministries are a part of our legacy as Tennessee Baptists.
It is a joy to be on this journey with you.