As a youth pastor in the early 1990s, one of the first mission trips I took was with a group of men, women, and junior high students to Palmer Home for Children in Columbus, Mississippi. Out of those crews of servants came a God-given desire to see a home for neglected, abused and orphaned children built in Anderson, SouthCarolina. Calvary Home for Children was birthed from that group and their desire is a reality today.
On that first trip to Palmer Home, a bright, vivacious, caring and spunky little girl named Katie captured my heart. She had strawberry blond hair and bright blue eyes. She worked alongside our rag-tag team of adults and kids and sought to spend every moment with us that she could.
One afternoon a group of us needed to deliver some goods to the thrift store. As we finished loading the truck, Katie called “shotgun” (as only a true Mississippian could) and she tagged along.
As we were making our way to the store, Katie began panicking. She was pale and bent over like she was going to be sick. Terror gripped her heart. All she could say was, “Please don’t go any more, Greg. Turn ’round and go back home.”
I immediately turned the truck around and headed back to Palmer Home. Katie’s demeanor slowly began to change as she took several deep breaths and calmed down.
I looked at her and asked, “You okay?” With tears rolling down her face, she looked back at me and said, “I thought I saw him.” Katie had seen a man who reminded her of the one who had caused her so much pain in her young life. And in a split second, a glimpse of a man who reminded her of her abuser created a tsunami of fear that overwhelmed her entire being.
Calvary Home for Children is in the business of rescuing “Katies” from those who abuse and abandon them. Our desire is for the “Katies” in our community to find that they do not have to live in fear but can live in the security of a loving and safe home.
God used little Katie to plant a love in my heart for children just like her. I now have the privilege of being a part of a ministry where kids like Katie can find help and hope for the needs in their lives.
I’m excited to tell you that Calvary Home has a firm foundation and a bright future. We have beautiful facilities. We have a committed Board of Directors. We recently completed the relicensing process through the South Carolina Department of Social Services. And, we have some exciting events and activities planned to continue to tell the story of Calvary Home and raise much needed funds.
But most importantly, we need your prayers and partnership as we continue to serve the children.