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“Reaching Out Through Christ”

 

“Ronnie” was my first exposure to the Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries, Inc. It was late July 1969. The Braves were headed to the playoffs, and my family was headed to the new Palmetto campus of the Children’s Homes to pick up “Ronnie.” Each summer, Ronnie spent two weeks with us. He attended church with us, cheered with us at Braves games, played pitch in the yard, and, accompanied us on vacations. Ronnie taught me to keep a score card of Braves games. Ronnie always introduced himself with his full name – first, middle, and last name.

I still feel the excitement of pulling into the beautiful entrance of the campus as we wound our way to Ronnie’s cottage. Those two weeks flew by faster than any other time of the year.

I remember just as well when those two weeks ended and we would again pull into that long entrance, much more slowly this time, to bring Ronnie back home.

About five years ago, I decided to look Ronnie up. I found out where Ronnie lived and called him. When he answered the phone, I recognized the voice. “Ronnie, this is Jimmy Orr. You remember me, Jimmy Orr?”

“Jimbo,” he replied, calling me by the name my parents called me. “How’re you doing?” The memories flooded my mind upon hearing his voice.

Remembering the positive impact the children’s homes had on Ronnie, I feel honored to serve as a trustee of GBCH-FM. Georgia Baptists have never had a better friend than the Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries, Inc.

With three main campuses, six group homes, four emergency shelters, Camp Hawkins and, The Nelson Price Treatment Center, Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes is reaching out through Christ to children in need. Currently, an average of 200 children are being served daily. Last year, 139 children made professions of faith. I can’t think of a better way to spend my time or a better place to give my money.

1969 – The Braves ended up losing to the “amazing Mets” in a forgettable playoff appearance. But what I remember most was my unforgettable time with Ronnie, my friend who was cared for by the folks at the children’s home.