December 23rd, 2010 at 1:31 pm
BEEVILLE – Nine-year-old Carlos’ eyes lit up as colorful wrapping paper flew in every direction and squeals of excitement filled the room. This joyful moment is one that Blanco Baptist Association church members have come to look forward to every year as they plan their Christmas party for children living at South Texas Children’s Home.
“The Christmas season begins for our children each year on the first Friday in December when the annual Blanco Baptist Association’s party takes place,” said Todd Roberson, South Texas Children’s Home Ministries president and CEO. “The families of the Blanco Baptist Association have been helping STCHM celebrate Christmas for the vast bulk of our existence as an organization. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without their expressions of love and care and this year marks the fiftieth anniversary of this special event.”
More than 200 people attended the party, including couples, families and individuals from nineteen churches from the six counties surrounding the Children’s Home. Each participating church sponsored one or two children by bringing wrapped gifts to the party for them to open. Everyone enjoyed games, Christmas carols and feasting as they got acquainted for the first time or renewed friendships from previous gatherings.
Jimmy Hudson, current Blanco Baptist Men director and a member of Normanna Baptist Church, attended his first Christmas party for STCHM in 1982 and hasn’t missed a party since.
“The party was awesome and I love the way the church families interacted with the children,” Hudson said. “Kids often come to the Children’s Home with such tough life issues, most of which were brought about by situations beyond their control. However, for just one moment at the Christmas party each year these kids are just kids once again, with all the same thoughts and feelings of children who have never experienced their situations.
“Carlos and a teenage girl named Stacey were two of the kiddos our church sponsored. Stacey was so awed by the writing kit she received. She had never had anything like it and was looking forward to all the things she could do. The feeling of that moment with Stacey, and seeing little Carlos with his gift, will always be etched in my heart!”
“So many of the people who come to the Blanco Christmas party have been involved with many aspects of STCHM throughout the year,” said Becky Moore, STCHM director of student ministries. “Everything from serving and giving to praying for our kids and staff. The kids are always encouraged that someone thought enough of them to come to campus and spend an evening of fun and celebration with them.”
This was only the second year for brothers Carlos, Joe and Steven to attend the Blanco Christmas party.
“It was fun unwrapping presents,” said 11-year-old Joe. “It was like family time. I got a Play Station game.”
Fourteen-year-old Steven shared that ever since he had become a Christian, Christmas is all about joy. He accepted Christ into his life “on the last Wednesday in May” shortly after coming to live at Dimmick Cottage on the STCHM campus. He was in the seventh grade at the time and is now a freshman.
“I am thankful for all the people who make the Blanco Christmas Party happen,” Steven said. “I love to meet new people, and my Christmas sponsors at the party were really neat. God has done a lot in my life through special people.”
Carlos captured the beauty of the evening with one simple observation. “We got gifts there that we don’t even deserve,” he said.
The same can be said about Christmas, and God’s greatest Gift of all.
By Vicki Hewitt, South Texas Children’s Home Ministries