May 06, 2019
We asked Sydney, a retired journalist, to reflect on her early years as a resident at Bethany Home—a home for children without families—and how that experience changed the trajectory of her life.
I have many fond memories and emotions about my experience with Bethany Christian Services. Above all, I can truthfully say it changed my life.
When I came to Bethany Home, at the tender age of 5, I was lost and confused.* However, I was welcomed warmly by Aunt Tena and Aunt Mary, my house mothers. They taught me about God and His love for me. I recall not quite believing this good news because of the years of abuse I had previously experienced.
Every child at the home came from terrible and sad situations, but we could see the love of God shining through Aunt Tena and Aunt Mary. They were kind and freely shared their time and attention with us. They assured us that God had a plan for our lives and He only wanted the best for each of us.
When I was 10, a foster family took my sister and me into their home. I was given piano lessons and learned to sing at churches and other functions. Those early lessons fueled my lifelong passion for music. In fact, I’ve spent the last 8 years singing with the Durango Choral Society in Colorado.
I often think of the word “Shalom,” a Hebrew word meaning “to be safe in mind, body, or estate.” It speaks of completeness or a type of wholeness that encourages you to give back— to generously repay something in some way. Despite my difficult beginnings, my life has been an interesting and exciting journey. I can stand before you today and say with confidence that I am living Shalom. Whole, complete, nothing broken, and nothing missing.
As a way to give back—and ensure Bethany is there to help other children and families change the direction of their lives—I’ve become a legacy donor. I hope you’ll consider leaving your own legacy of hope through Bethany Christian Services.
*Bethany Home refers to the organizational structure of Bethany Christian Services before we formally changed our name to the latter in 1974 to reflect the growing diversity of our programs.
If you are inspired to ensure Bethany can help other children and families change the direction of their lives, consider leaving a legacy gift. It’s a strong and sure way to give back.