By now many of you have heard that our dear friend, Charles Hutchins, went to be with the Lord on March 21st. I have been blessed to call Charles my friend for the last 20 years, and he will be missed by so many. I learned many lessons from Charles and it started the first time I met him.
I was interviewing for a position at Holston Home and I had brought my wife and 18-month old son with me. After shaking my hand during our introduction, Charles quickly began talking with my wife and playing with my son. Charles knew that one of the very best ways to love people well is to care about the people that they care about. He taught me that one of the greatest ways of welcoming me was to reach out to my family.
We are committed at Holston United Methodist Home for Children to love and care for the people that our children care for. These acts of love can take the form of a welcoming smile, emotional support, financial assistance, or a hard and honest conversation from a sincere heart. Many times, it involves all of the above while we are caring for the child. We have seen the Lord heal and transform not just the lives of young people but entire families. His grace and forgiveness don’t have an expiration date once we become adults and aren’t we all glad?
In January, we started a women’s addiction recovery program called Recovering Hearts. The inspiration for the name comes from the parable of the buried treasure in the gospel of Matthew. A man found an incredibly valuable treasure buried in a field, and he sold everything he had to purchase the field. We clearly know that the precious treasure in the story represents Jesus who is worth everything for us to call our Savior. But I also believe that it shows us how God sees each person as a treasure worth sending His only Son to die for and giving His all to redeem. Scripture teaches us that God knew us, loved us, and planned good things for us before we were ever born. He has called us to seek and recover ladies buried in addiction and pain to experience the lives He wanted for them and for their hearts to be turned towards Him. They are His treasures!
One of our prayers as we were developing this program was that we could serve mothers of children that we were caring for, and that the Lord could heal and restore families. It hasn’t taken long for God to answer this prayer. We are currently serving two mothers of boys living at Holston Home.
Jeanette was incarcerated and has been living in addiction for almost 30 years. Despite some of the painful choices she has made, it is obvious that she has sown some good seeds into her 13-year-old son, Jordan. He is kind and outgoing and his smile lights up the room when he is with his mom, as he watches her become healthier and look like the mother she wants to be.
Last Sunday I had the joy of celebrating Jeanette’s baptism with Jordan and our congregation at The Rock during our on-campus chapel service. As part of her testimony, Jeanette shared that she cried out to God while she was in jail and asked Him for another chance to be the mother Jordan needs. She then described how she talked with her father who told her about a new recovery program where Jordan was placed. She knew God had answered her prayer and that He was REAL! She wants her experience to be an inspiration and ended her testimony with, “There is hope in Jesus!”
Like each one of us, Jeanette and Jordan’s stories are still being written. We are so honored and blessed that the Lord uses Holston Home as one of His pens to write words of love and hope into the lives of children and families. Thank you for your prayers and support as you care about those that He cares about. I pray that God blesses you and your families and that you are encouraged by the truth that Jeanette has come to know – “There is hope in Jesus!”