One hundred years ago, there were 20 families who risked home and farm to take out a loan for $3,000,” Denny Hydrick, executive director of Illinois Baptist Children’s Home and Family Services, told attenders of the IBSA Annual Meeting.
“On July 4, 1917, that money was used to purchase 40 acres of dirt in Carmi, Illinois.” Hydrick held up a small vial of dirt from the rich southern Illinois farmland on the Carmi campus of the Baptist Children’s Home.
“Today, we get to see their fruit.”
Reminiscing about his organization’s history, Hydrick said, “From that commitment in 1917, Illinois Baptists rallied to pray for and contribute toward the establishment of what would become the Baptist Children’s Orphanage in 1918.…Thousands of lives stand as a testament to God’s provision of hope and life which was born out of a gift of 40 acres of dirt.”
Hydrick told about some of the lives that had been changed, including former Children’s Home resident Ronnie Rogers. He lived at the home in Carmi from 1959-1966 and was killed while serving in the Vietnam War. Hydrick was recently invited to Roger’s 50th class reunion, where he was presented with an American flag. Rogers’s brother told Hydrick, “Ronnie always considered the Baptist Children’s Home his home.”
Another is life changed is Desiree’, a former resident of Angels’ Cove Maternity Center and now a believer in Christ, who is two years clean from substance abuse and living with her two little boys. She told Hydrick that because of BCHFS, “I have become exactly who I knew I was supposed to be.”
In Joshua 4, the Israelites took memorial stones from the Jordan River to remember what God had done for them. As the 100th anniversary of Baptist Children’s Home approaches, the organization is doing the same, and handed out special memorial stones at their booth in the exhibit hall. “Our stories are for the same purpose—not to take credit for the work we’ve done, but to give credit to the Lord,” Hydrick said.
In other business:
- Hydrick reported that in the last year, BCHFS provided care for 1,237 children and families.
- Messengers approved the 2018 BCHFS budget of $3,235,941 and capital improvements including renovations to the administration building and a 15-passenger van for Angels’ Cove.
- BCHFS Board of Trustees officers are Ron Daniels, chair; Jacob Gray, vice chair; and Wesley Hahn, secretary.