Some who came were longtime Children’s Home supporters who had visited the campus before. For many, though, this was their first involvement with the home and its different branches of ministry, which includes homes for children, homes for families, family counseling, Christian women’s job corps and international ministry.
One of the largest groups to attend was made up of 20 plus students from a Tuloso-Midway High School English class. They excitedly delivered presents purchased for children living at STCHM.
“The girls brought presents to give the girls in Barnes Cottage, and the boys brought presents for the boys in Brown Cottage,” said Lesle Dial, a STCHM staff member who greeted guests at the registration table. “The students enjoyed touring these two cottages and visiting with the children and the houseparents there.”
A group of 17 people from Primera Iglesia Bautista in Laredo came, including Ana Landin and her two daughters, 11-year-old Ruth and 8-year-old Natalie. Several years earlier, Landin and her children traveled from Laredo to the STCHM Family Counseling office in Corpus Christi to receive professional counseling when she went through a divorce.
“I am grateful for the help we received, and we are doing great now,” Landin said. “We wanted to see your ministry and learn more about the work STCHM does.”
Others who attended have been involved with STCHM’s international ministry efforts but knew little about the cottage homes on Boothe Campus where houseparents care for up to eight children from birth through 17 years of age. These included John and Julie Herrick from Corpus Christi and their three children along with Kevin and Jessica Wik and their young daughter from Portland. Herrick and his 13-year-old son Jack went on one of STCHM’s mission trips to the Dominican Republic together, and the Wiks sponsor a Dominican child through STCHM’s Samuel’s Fund Child Sponsorship program.
For a few, visiting Boothe Campus was like coming home again. STCHM alumna Terry Campbell, who came to live at Parker Cottage along with three other siblings when she was only three years old, was accompanied by her husband Michael and their 16-year-old son, Jeremiah.
“I wanted to show my son the kind of Christmas I grew up with here,” Campbell said. She especially enjoyed visiting during the meal with her former housemom, Mona Chaffin, who also attended the gathering.
The evening was filled with horse and buggy rides, hay rides, pony rides and a special live Nativity program in the chapel, performed by STCHM kids, along with a musical performance by students from Beeville First Baptist Church School.
“A Homespun Christmas could not have happened without everyone’s assistance,” said Kyle Luke, STCHM vice president of development and communications. “Everyone had a great attitude and worked diligently to ensure our guests were made to feel welcome and at ‘home.’ This included our staff but also many volunteers. It continues to amaze me how loyal our supporters are and how many supporters we have that make South Texas Children’s Home Ministries a place of Godly influence to impact children and families.”
Groups lending a hand to make the event a success were: Otto Kaiser Hospital, Oak Hills Community Church, Cowboy Fellowship Church in Pleasanton, George West High School FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) and First Baptist Church Zapata.
“It was great to see so many people from the community out on the campus to get a look at who we are, what we do and how we do it,” STCHM President and CEO Eron Green said, “and many came from distances far away as well. We’re glad that so many people were able to attend, and we are thankful to be an important part of our community, serving children and families in need. We hope to have this event for years to come.”