Christmas at ABCHomes
Each and every resident of the Arkansas Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries’ six locations will have a Merry Christmas, thanks to generous ABCHomes donors and churches.
Following is a glimpse at the holiday fun and festivities.
Baptist Home, Monticello
Soon after Thanksgiving festivities wrapped up, the Baptist Home staff and residents transformed the Monticello Home into a Christmas wonderland. Residents helped decorate numerous Christmas trees in every Family Home. Christmas lights and decor now adorn the entire campus.
On Nov. 31, several teenage residents took a trip to Little Rock where they enjoyed ice skating at the “ARVEST Ice Rink” Winter Celebration. The ice rink is located in one of the River Market’s open-air pavilions overlooking Riverfront Park and the Arkansas River.
“It was fun but interesting to say the least,” joked Becca, adding, “I have a few brusies to prove it.”
The following day, more than 60 preteen members of Geyer Springs First Baptist Church of Little Rock hosted their annual party for the Baptist Home residents. Party activities included wacky Christmas games, music, fun and a drama presentation on the true meaning of Christmas. Church members provided gifts for each resident and each houseparent child.
Tori, a Baptist Home resident, said she was thrilled at the generosity and love showed by the Geyer Springs church members. Tori also received an unexpected “gift” when her former foster parents, who are now members of Geyer Springs, showed up at the party. “Getting to see Mrs. Barbie was a gift I’ll never forget,” shared a teary-eyed Tori. “This is awesome. I had no idea they would be here.”
On Dec. 7, most of the Baptist Home younger residents attended a peformance of The Nutcracker in Little Rock, while others attended the Trans-Siberian Orchestra “The Lost Christmas Eve,” featuring a diverse soundtrack fusing elements of rock, classical, folk, Broadway, and R&B.
A few days later, Mrs. Fran Brock, 90, of Clarksville, made her annual trip to the Home. She provides each resident, houseparent and houseparent child with a generous monetary gift, as well as three gifts from the wish list of each resident, houseparent and houseparent child. She personally purchased and delivered each gift during the annual party, which she also funds.
During the annual Baptist Home party Dec. 18, residents were showered with gifts from sponsors and friends. A highlight of the annual party is Campus Director Randy Luper’s reading of the Christmas story from the Luke’s gospel.
“We are so blessed to have sponsors and donors that make sure all of the kids at the Baptist Home have a wonderful Christmas,” said D.J. Chambers, Baptist Home sponsorship director. “It brings tears to my eyes as the kids express their appreciation in their thank you notes for this unconditional, unselfish love these people share with these precious kids.”:
Boys Ranch, Harrison
The Boys Ranch welcomed in the Christmas holiday with an open house, Dec. 8. Guests toured cottages and fellowshipped with residents. Among the many churches represented was Gassville Baptist Church, which brought gifts for all the boys as well as a bunch of fun snacks for the homes. Also bringing gifts was ABCHomes Executive Board President A.J. Burk, and his family.
“We are so blessed by our donors, churches and friends,” shared Jeanie Hunt, a Ranch staff member.
Topping off the Christmas festivities was the Ranch annual Christmas party, where residents received numerous gifts from their sponsors and friends. Also at the party, many Ranch friends and ABCHomes staff members joined residents in a Christmas meal.
Promise House, Little Rock
You might say that Christmas arrived a little early for one Promise House teen. Cara,* who was not due to deliver until around Christmas, welcomed a bundle of joy into this world right after Thanksgiving. The premature baby boy had to remain in the hospital until Dec. 11 when baby and mom returned to Promise House. Both are doing fine and plan to stay at Promise House for a period of time.
Promise House residents enjoyed decorating the Little Rock home, as well as trimmed at least four trees. They were also treated to several Christmas parties, hosted by various churches, church groups and sponsors. Churches represented included, Central and Park Hill Baptist Churches of North Little Rock, and Crystal Valley Baptist Church of Little Rock .
In hopes of giving back to others, the girls visited a local nursing home where they fellowshipped with senior adults and presented them with a Christmas “happy.”
Helping residents of the Paragould shelter have a very Merry Christmas were members of several area churches, including Nettleton and Central Baptist Churches of Jonesboro; Delaplaine Baptist Church; Lafe Baptsit Church; Providence Baptist Church of Trumman; and Finch and Eastside Baptist Churches of Paragould.
During the Nettleton party held at the Home, Santa made a surprise visit. Each child had the opportunity to tell Santa what they would like to find under the Christmas tree.
“Seeing the kid’s faces light up when they opened their gifts brings tears to my eyes,” said Sherry Brooks, Paragould housemother.
The Paragould Home kids also enjoyed an outing to the Walnut Street Baptist Church’s Living Christmas tree musical. The kids also visited a local police and fire station and nursing homes where they presented gifts.
At the Judsonia shelter, residents received gifts from several area churches, as well as gifts from students at ASU-Beebe. They also were treated to a movie/dinner night in Little Rock.
The West Fork shelter kids received many gifts and Christmas cheer from various donors and churches.