The following letter was published in the May 29th bulletin of the Baker Heights church in Abilene TX, one of our long-time supporters. I was touched by it, coming as it evidently was, from the non-Christian parents of a young man converted in the congregation.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. You all have proved this statement to be truth.
TJ has been a part of the Baker Heights church all his life, but he truly became a part of your family his eighth grade summer when his Uncle Cliff invited him to WRYC. It was there that he reconnected with Luke and Carrie Bower and his life was changed forever.
He was always a sweet, loving and thoughtful child, but he came home from camp that summer with the decision that he wanted to live his life for Christ. Luke and his many youth leaders helped TJ to make sure he was making the right choice and he was baptized at your church. We will forever be grateful that you all have accepted him as your brother, son, grandson, nephew and cousin in Christ. He has blossomed into a wonderful young man due to your encouragements and leadership.
You have never once judged TJ for his parents not being members of Baker Heights. Indeed you have been very gracious with us and have included us in many aspects of your family. When a parent raises a child they hope and pray that he or she will be a better man or woman than they themselves ever dreamed of being. You have helped me realize that dream. You have been a huge part of his heart, and so by proxy you are a huge part of our heart.
We want you to know that your efforts did not go unrealized. You as his church family have succeeded in creating a strong, faithful lover of Christ. TJ has shown his love in all aspects of his life. He has continuously shown his heart at home and taught us many things about unconditional love.
TJ is our heart, our joy and (even though we should not be prideful) our pride. Thank you! Thank you for taking him into your home, family and hearts. Thank you for showing him the way. Thank you for being his example of Christ’s love. Thank you for always being there to support him. Thank you!
TJ’s favorite verse: John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
We gave you our son, not with selflessness like God but with the selfishness of a parent. We gave you our son with the hope and prayer that he would turn out better than us. We gave you our son with the hope and prayer that he would find a path. Thank you for being part of his journey. Thank you for leading him to Christ and thank you for showing him unconditional love.